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Judging of the Worldwide WOW Contest is done as a blind judging.  None of the judges are aware of the photographers name or the circumstances of the photograph.  The images are judged only on their visual impact.  All photographs are judges as projected digital images using the following process:

1)  Photographs are judged by category.  All photographs are viewed digitally as a projected image in a 1st pass.  This allows the judges to become familiar with all the images in the category.

2)  The 2nd pass of the photographs is used to reduce the number of eligible images within the category.  Each photo is reviewed and included in the final listing based on a majority vote.  If the majority of the panel votes "yes", the photograph is included in a final list of 20 to 30 photographs within the category.  The judges can discuss each photograph as a group before the "vote" is taken if desired.

3) Once the final list is determined, each judge assigns a score (independently with no interaction) for each photograph.  A score of 1 to 5 is assigned (5 being the highest score) in each of three criteria: "Impact", "Technical" and "Theme".  The net score is tallied for each photograph with a maximum score of 15 being assigned to each photograph that makes the final round in each category.

4) Volunteers from Elevate net the scores from each judge for each photograph.  The individual judges scores for each photograph are then "netted" together to get a total score for each photograph (6 judges x maximum individual score of 15 = net maximum score of 90).

5) 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category is then determined based on this net score.

Confirmed 2017 Contest Judges

George Webber

George Webber’s artful photographs spring from his affection for the people of the Canadian West.

George Webber is the recipient of numerous National Magazine Awards (Canada) including a Gold Award in 2010, multiple Awards of Excellence from The Society For News Design (USA) and The International Documentary Photography Award (Korea).

His books include: Badlands, Prairie Gothic, In this PlaceLast CallPeople of The BloodA World Within and Requiem. Webber’s photographs have been featured in numerous publications including: American Photo, Apple, Canadian Geographic, Canadian Living, GEIST, Lenswork Quarterly, Photolife, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest and Swerve.

George’s photographs can be found in Canadian and international museum collections including: The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (Canada), Glenbow Museum (Canada), Museum Ludwig (Germany), Australian National Gallery (Australia) and the Bibliotheque Nationale (France).

In 1999 he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in recognition of his contributions to the visual arts in Canada.

Acclaimed American photographer Mary Ellen Mark has described Webber as a “lyrical poet with his camera”.

Web Page:  www.georgewebber.ca

NEIL ZELLER

I photograph because I love to show people what I am seeing, exactly how I am feeling and seeing it at that moment. Photographing and editing my photos to a point where I am recreating how I felt in the moment of taking the photo is my greatest joy. To be able to share that with my viewers so that they feel the same way is incredible.

 My guiding principle in photography is "Be Positive, Always." This mantra guides me in all my work, and in how I shoot. Having this attitude attracts positive people to my work, and as a result I am working with some of the coolest corporate and private clients in and around Calgary. I try to photograph with feeling in all my projects to tell the real stories, from my own art photography to all my amazing corporate clients. If I can tell the story of whatever it is I am asked to tell in my photos, then I have succeeded.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/neilzellerphotography
Web: http://neilzellerphotography.zenfolio.com/
Twitter: @Neil_Zee 

MIKE DREW

Mike was born March 29, 1952, in Chilliwack, B.C. but his parents had the good sense to move to Alberta before he was 6 months old.  After a series of several different jobs, Mike had the good fortune to quit working for a living and become a photographer.  He started at the Lethbridge Herald on June 1, 1978 and moved on to the Calgary Sun in 1985. Mike has won numerous awards and has a weekly nature photography spread that runs in Calgary every weekend. He feels he has been blessed with incredibly good luck to have been able to do what he loves.

Twitter: @mikedrewphoto

JOHN DEAN

John Dean is a Calgary-based photographer whose artistic and commercial career spans 30 years. He graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1975 and was awarded the ACAD Alumni Award of Excellence in 2002. His work has been widely exhibited and is included in numerous public and private collections, including The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts permanent collection. John's exhibition work is represented by Masters Gallery in Calgary.

Web:  www.johndeanphotographs.com

Joe DesJardins

An award winning, published and nationally accredited photographer, Joe Desjardins’ images have garnered national accreditations in equine, landscape, nature, wildlife and other disciplines of photography through the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC). Joe has also received the Master Photographer (MPN) designation thru the Masters Photographers International Organization (MPIO).

Joe has been a wildlife and nature photographer for nearly three decades. His photographic career began while working for a photography studio in Northern Ontario, Canada. Growing up in Northern Ontario afforded him the opportunity to explore nature, making wildlife and nature photography a natural fit.

Today, he works as a photographer out of the Calgary, AB region with his main areas of focus being environmental portraiture, equine, wildlife and landscape photography. Teaching has also become a large part of his photography life. Joe loves the enthusiasm that the students bring to the classroom both indoors and out. For up coming classes and to view more of his work, check out the following links:

Web: www.JoeDesjardins.ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/joedesjardins.ca

STEVE SPEER

Steve Speer has been a practicing fine art photographer for over 40 years. His key areas of focus is the rural and urban landscape as well as environmental portraiture.  His images portray a clean sense of structure and balance and he strives for ultimate sharpness and detail in all of his work.  He considers photography to be a therapeutic necessity and the sense of excitement that occurs when an promising image is framed in the viewfinder is extremely gratifying. The feeling is carried forward with each successive step of taking the raw image and working toward a finished and framed fine print. Steve comments that, “I love the exploratory and visual process of landscape photography. Being outdoors and seeing with the intensity that photography promotes is very gratifying to me as a photographer and when a viewer connects emotionally with one of my images, I feel like I have created meaningful art”.

He resides in Calgary, Alberta with his wife Holly, and their two daughters. He is a respected photographer and instructor whose work is hung in many corporate offices and private residences both nationally and internationally.

Web: www.fourbyfive.com

TRUDIE LEE

Trudie Lee shoots a lot of people. Queens, presidents, executives,   Olympians… for over two decades. She’d never tell you this (and she’d never write this), but Trudie’s ability to see though ego, excitement,  nervous posturing, camera shyness and always telling the truth secures  her spot as a first choice photographer for dignitaries (she  photographed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2005) and regular Joes.

When Trudie isn’t behind her camera, she can be heard spouting Yiddish quips, talking about songs she doesn’t understand but forced to listen to by her twin daughters, and kvetching about Brian, her colleague in the studio, co-laundry doer at home and well, the guy who in 1988 gave her great business advice and told her not to work for him but to go to work for herself.  She did, and hasn’t looked back.  From postage stamps, to international billboards, she’s been photographing people and working in the arts now for over 30 years and recently donated her film archives to the the Glenbow Museum.  

Web:  www.harderlee.ca

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The 2016 Judges

JOHN DEAN

John Dean is a Calgary-based photographer whose artistic and commercial career spans 30 years. He graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1975 and was awarded the ACAD Alumni Award of Excellence in 2002. His work has been widely exhibited and is included in numerous public and private collections, including The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts permanent collection. John's exhibition work is represented by Masters Gallery in Calgary.

Web:  www.johndeanphotographs.com

TRUDIE LEE

Trudie Lee shoots a lot of people. Queens, presidents, executives,   Olympians… for over two decades. She’d never tell you this (and she’d never write this), but Trudie’s ability to see though ego, excitement,  nervous posturing, camera shyness and always telling the truth secures  her spot as a first choice photographer for dignitaries (she  photographed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2005) and regular Joes.

When Trudie isn’t behind her camera, she can be heard spouting Yiddish quips, talking about songs she doesn’t understand but forced to listen to by her twin daughters, and kvetching about Brian, her colleague in the studio, co-laundry doer at home and well, the guy who in 1988 gave her great business advice and told her not to work for him but to go to work for herself.  She did, and hasn’t looked back.  From postage stamps, to international billboards, she’s been photographing people and working in the arts now for over 30 years and recently donated her film archives to the the Glenbow Museum.  Web:  www.harderlee.ca

STEVE SPEER

Steve Speer has been a practicing fine art photographer for over 40 years. His key areas of focus is the rural and urban landscape as well as environmental portraiture.  His images portray a clean sense of structure and balance and he strives for ultimate sharpness and detail in all of his work.  He considers photography to be a therapeutic necessity and the sense of excitement that occurs when an promising image is framed in the viewfinder is extremely gratifying. The feeling is carried forward with each successive step of taking the raw image and working toward a finished and framed fine print. Steve comments that, “I love the exploratory and visual process of landscape photography. Being outdoors and seeing with the intensity that photography promotes is very gratifying to me as a photographer and when a viewer connects emotionally with one of my images, I feel like I have created meaningful art”.

He resides in Calgary, Alberta with his wife Holly, and their two daughters. He is a respected photographer and instructor whose work is hung in many corporate offices and private residences both nationally and internationally.

CHRIS TAIT

Chris first picked up a camera of his own to chronicle three months of exploring Canada coast-to-coast, sleeping on park benches and bus seats, and living on dollars a day. Since then he's found a passionate calling for things visual, photographing everything from weddings and events to magazine assignments and gallery art. He is a co-founder of YYCStreet, a street photography group working mostly in analogue processes. Chris now works days peddling the tools of his trade at The Camera Store, where, apart from sometimes feeling a bit like a diabetic kid in a candy shop, he rejoices in wonderful glass and mechanical things on a daily basis. He shoots with a range of both digital and film cameras. Highlights include the Swedish boxiness of a Hasselblad 500C/M (See also: Volvo, Ikea, latter-day Anita Ekberg), the ninja-like shutter of a Leica M3 and the reliability of the ever-sturdy Canon 5D Mark II. Chris put on his first group gallery show in March 2009, entitled BARE. He has been displayed in various corners of the city since, including train stations, arts markets and various charity events. 

NEIL ZELLER

I photograph because I love to show people what I am seeing, exactly how I am feeling and seeing it at that moment. Photographing and editing my photos to a point where I am recreating how I felt in the moment of taking the photo is my greatest joy. To be able to share that with my viewers so that they feel the same way is incredible.

 My guiding principle in photography is "Be Positive, Always." This mantra guides me in all my work, and in how I shoot. Having this attitude attracts positive people to my work, and as a result I am working with some of the coolest corporate and private clients in and around Calgary. I try to photograph with feeling in all my projects to tell the real stories, from my own art photography to all my amazing corporate clients. If I can tell the story of whatever it is I am asked to tell in my photos, then I have succeeded.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/neilzellerphotography

Web: http://neilzellerphotography.zenfolio.com/

Twitter: @Neil_Zee 

JAN BODYL

Jan is a Calgary based photographer/ mixed media artist/ professional writer whose passion for visual imagery, story and travel has taken her to many exotic parts of the world in her 35 years as a visual story teller. Jan worked as an Emergency Nurse for two decades before launching a successful career in the oil industry. She has pursued her passion for art and creative writing through studies at the University of Calgary and Alberta College of Art and Design, as well as private instruction in photography from several internationally known US /Canadian photographers, including Paul Caponigro, Joe Englander. Bruce Barnbaum, Jay Dusard, Sherman Hines, Roy Andersen and Stephen Murphy. In addition to her thriving art career, Jan is the founder of the Valkyrie Center for Creative Wellness, a founding member of the Creative Arts/Integrative Therapies in Health Group (CAIT) at the University of Calgary, and an instructor in Creative Journal Expressive Arts. Jan’s images have been exhibited in galleries in Alberta and US. Her work can be found in numerous private international collections andcorporate collections. Jan’s poetry has been published in several Alberta literary magazines , a University of Calgary anthology called “ Writing the Terrain” and a chapbook called “ Toward The Light” a journal of Reflective Word & Image. Current projects include : a series of portfolio chapbooks which combine images and poetry .  Her series Jane Doe and her most recent visual poem "Genocide” has garnered New York gallery attention in 2013.  Her work has been shown during Exposure in 2009 (former Arts on Atlantic gallery) and 2012 (Jane Doe and Paris )

Professional memberships: The Federation of Canadian Artists & The Writer’s Guild of Alberta

Contact :  www.janboydolphotography.com or via Linkedin

VENESSA BREWER

Art Director – Redpoint Media

When Venessa Brewer graduated high school, her parents told her to “find a job that lets you be creative.” In 2002, the Alberta College of Art + Design grad landed a job with RedPoint Media and has been flexing her creative muscles for the company ever since. As Avenue’s art director, Brewer uses her keen eye, design know-how and organizational skills to help create the magazine’s sophisticated look and feel. When she’s not directing photo shoots or designing layouts, she is chasing her two little girls around the house and spending what spare time she does have playing soccer.

MIKE DREW

Mike was born March 29, 1952, in Chilliwack, B.C. but his parents had the good sense to move to Alberta before he was 6 months old.  After a series of several different jobs, Mike had the good fortune to quit working for a living and become a photographer.  He started at the Lethbridge Herald on June 1, 1978 and moved on to the Calgary Sun in 1985. Mike has won numerous awards and has a weekly nature photography spread that runs in Calgary every weekend. He feels he has been blessed with incredibly good luck to have been able to do what he loves.

Twitter: @mikedrewphoto