Hot Shot Photo Contest: And the 2015 Winners Are…

Hot Shot Photo Contest: And the 2015 Winners Are…

Look up the words “hot shot” and up pops a number of disparate definitions.

A private hauler, usually with a 1-ton pickup and a double or triple-axle trailer, who will haul anything anywhere for a premium price.

A high-priority freight train.

A liquid of high alcoholic proof which, when ingested repeatedly, transforms the drinker into a self-perceived “hottie” (also works in reverse, creating the perception that all members of the opposite gender are hotties).

An individual, commonly of the male sex, who sees himself as a person everyone loves.

Or a hot shot is a photograph so cool it’s hot.

Along with floats, flyovers, a public BBQ, and an outdoor Impressionist art show, after six years, Katrine and Bill Formby’s Hot Shot Photo Contest has become a popular addition to Telluride’s Fourth of July celebration, a tribute to all things Norman Rockwell – on steroids. The event is co-sponsored by the Nugget Building, the Ah Haa School for the Arts, the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department, and Telluride Inside… and Out.

This year’s seven judges were Mary Slosson, Bill Fandel, Richard Cornelius, Aiden Kask, Jane Hickox, Scott Bennett, and Sloan Lehman. Their challenge: select three top-prize winners and 10 honorable mentions from a record 183 submissions to the Hot Shot website. The criteria for choosing the winners: artistic expression, creativity, originality, image quality.

The top prize winner was a visitor from the Formby’s home town of Austin, Texas. For his image, “High Five,Rye Clifton wins a $1000 cash prize.


1ST Rye Clifton - High Fives (1)

“High Fives” by Rye Clifton


Second place went to Neno Zhekov of Mountain Village, Telluride. For his “Fireworks Over Telluride,” he receives $300.

2ND Neno Zhekov - Fireworks Over Telluride (1)

“Fireworks Over Telluride” by Neno Zhekov

The third place winner is from Telluride and one of the region’s most highly regarded and popular photographers. For her “Getting’ Roudy on the Fourth,” Melissa Plantz wins $100.

3RD Melissa Plantz - Gettin' Roudy on the Fourth (1)

“Gettin’ Roudy on the Fourth” by Melissa Plantz

Honorable mentions included  four locals: Kevin Younger (“Welcome to Telluride”); Jessica Mason (“Best Little Main Street in the West”); Bonnie Mehl, Mountain Village (“First Responders Celebrate America”); and Randy Stephens (“United We Stand”). All 10 mentions receive a cash prizes of $50.

"Welcome to Telluride" Kevin Younger, Honorable Mention

“Welcome to Telluride” by Kevin Younger

The Audience Choice award went to Jeffrey Moross from New York, NY, for his “Whirling the 4th.”

AUD CHOICE Jeffrey Moross - Whirling the 4th

“Whirlin’ the 4th” by Jeffrey Moross

Tellurideʼs July Fourth festivities, likely among the most fun and most imaginative in the nation for a small town celebration, deserve to be documented with fabulous photographs,” said Katrine Formby.

To view all the images, including all “Honorables,” watch this video by Hot Shot team member Sue Rostvold.

Or see images of all the winning photographs, go here.

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