7th Annual Hot Shot Photo Contest: And the Winners Are….

7th Annual Hot Shot Photo Contest: And the Winners Are….

We hold these truths to be self-evident…

Photography no longer means pictures printed and framed. Photography today is all about an infinite number of images flowing on real-time data streams and captured on webcams, video blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, platforms that have altered visual culture forever. For better or for worse? You be the judge. But one thing remains constant and true: taking pictures offers the possibility of forgetting yourself while capturing in just a fraction of a second the emotional charge of a chosen subject or event.

Along with floats, flyovers, a public BBQ, and an outdoor Impressionist art show, after seven years, Katrine and Bill Formby’s Hot Shot Photo Contest has become a popular addition to Telluride’s Fourth of July celebration and, like the parade, 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.

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,” says Katrine Formby.

This year’s eight judges were Scott Bennett, Laurel Black, Penelope Gleason, Sam Samuelson, LeeShea Betten, Kathrine Warren, Amy Levek, and Mayor Sean Murphy.

Their challenge: select three top-prize winners and 10 honorable mentions from 140 submissions to the Hot Shot website. The criteria for choosing the winners: artistic expression, creativity, originality, image quality.

This year’s top prize winner – drumroll please – is local professional photographer Melissa Plantz. For her image, – (#106) “Telluride Lights Up the Night Like No Other.” Melissa wins a $1000 cash prize.

1st Place - Melissa Plantz, "Telluride Lights Up the Night Like No Other."

Second place went to another Telluride local, Matt Kroll. For his “”Inspiring the Youth” (#139), Matt receives $300.

2nd Place - Matt Kroll

The third place winner was a visitor from Greenwich, Connecticut, Kristen Rosenbaum. For her “Beach Ball Bombardment,” (#79), Kristen wins $100.

3rd Kristen Rosenbaum final

The Audience Choice award went to Chase Horning (yes, Chuck’s relative, a grandson) from Boulder for his “Avenue of Dreams” (#11). For his effort, Chase wins a sheet of 100 stamps featuring his image. 


Audience Choice - Chase Horning


(Note: In addition to their checks, the three top winners also get 20 stamps featuring their image, as does the Audience Choice winner and the 10 honorable mentions.)

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

About the Formbys:

Bill and Katrine Formby divide their time between Austin, Texas and Telluride. In Texas, the couple owns two very popular restaurants, The Hula Hut.

The Formby’s first trip to town to escape the Texas summer heat was over 25 years ago.

“We are as smitten today as we were the first day we discovered this jewel-box town,” says Katrine.

In 1999, the Formbys purchased The Nugget Building on the corner of Main Street and Fir, one of the oldest structures in Telluride (built in 1892), right next door to their Heart of Telluride rental property.

“Our goal for the Nugget Building was and remains to rescue it from further deterioration and bring it back to the way it looked when it was first built during the height of Telluride’s mining period. With some very fine restoration experts and the town’s support helping us with state and federal grants, we have made progress, but we have a way to go before the project is finished.”

The Formbys may be part-time locals, but they are full time involved with making a difference by making memories in the Telluride region. In addition to their commitment to The Nugget complex and the Hot Shot Photo Contest, the Formbys are responsible for bringing the annual TED Talks to the region through TEDx Telluride Live.


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