Hot Shot Fourth of July Photo Contest

Hot Shot Fourth of July Photo Contest

The 9th annual Telluride Hot Shot Fourth of July Photography Contest is coming up. To find out what you need to know, visit the website or call Ah Haa at 970-728-3886. Then please scroll down for further details. 



What is photography?

Today the question remains open-ended.

Photography is certainly vastly different in these early years of the 21st century than it was when the medium was invented in 1839, a date generally accepted as the birth year of the medium, when it was all about a metal-based daguerreotype process.

Photography is no longer exclusively the result of light exposed to film either, or necessarily lens-based.

As digital options have all but replaced the chemical process, photography has become an increasingly shape-shifting medium: the iPhone, scanner and Photoshop are yielding a dazzling array of imagery as artists, defined now much more democratically, mine those technologies to render their world in new and surprising ways.

But in all this, one things remains true: like big game hunting, a photograph proves we left our couches and went on an adventure where we “captured” a moment and “shot” a scene. But rather than a head with antlers, the trophy we are searching for is a particularly elusive beast: the truth of the moment.

The truth of a moment in Telluride, for example, when, on the Fourth of July, our town becomes a tribute to all things Norman Rockwell, a celebration of Main Street American, tricked out with floats, flyovers, a public parade, BBQ, and an outdoor Impressionist art show, courtesy of the Sheridan Arts Foundation.

The Hot Shot July Fourth Photography Contest, now in its 9th year, is an entrenched part of that local party celebrating our nation’s independence – and the anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Hot Shot is all about showcasing the talent and creativity in the Telluride community, which includes guests as well as locals.

Here’s how it works:

•  Photos must be taken on July 4th, 2018

•  Photos must be taken in San Miguel County.

•  Participants submit ONE original photo to by noon on July 5, 2018.

•  All entries must include name, address, phone number, and e-mail address of the photographer, as well as the title of the photograph. Any photos received after the deadline will not be eligible for prizes.

•  To be considered for a prize, a photo must be entered into the website here by noon on Thursday, July 5.

Are photo-shopped pictures eligible for a prize?

According to Katrine Formby, the visionary behind the Telluride Hot Shot Photo Contest back in 2010, the answer is “Yes!”

“Working with Photoshop or any other computer program to manipulate and enhance an image is today part of the artistic process, at least for some, so feel free to submit those images too.”

Go here for further details on the rules.

The Hot Shot first-prize winner receives $1,000; second prize is $300; third prize is $100. Ten honorable mentions are also awarded and they receive $50 each.

What’s more, the photographer who wins the Audience Choice Award has his or her image rendered on 100 U.S. postage stamps.

“Being part of the contest is easy. It only takes about one minute to submit your ‘wow’ shot. We are looking for the most memorable photo that captures the spirit of the Fourth of July in San Miguel County,” said Judy Kohin, director, the Ah Haa School for the Arts, an event sponsor.

“Even if you did not plan to enter this year’s Hot Shot, we suggest you look through your photos at the end of the jam-packed, fun-filled Red, White & Blue Day. Click through your images the morning after. You might be happy to discover you have bagged at least one gem that just screams ‘Submit Me’,” said Formby.

The history of the Hot Shot July 4th Photo Contest dates back 10 years, when Katrine Formby was chilling at Rancho La Puerta, Mexico. She and husband Bill happened to be at spa during “Photography Week,” when they held a daily one-hour session on the medium.

A dream was born.

And then quickly realized.

In addition to the Formbys and Ah Haa, event sponsors include the Telluride Ski Resort or Telski, the Telluride all-volunteer Fire Department, and Telluride Inside…and Out, the list of the 2018 judges includes:

Sean Murphy, Mayor, Town of Telluride

Erin Spillane, writer/editor

Ross Herzog, Town Manager

Scott Bennett, Fire Department

Rachel Bowers, Telski

Sarah Holbrook, Director, Pinhead Institute

Scott Cossett, Friend of the family, based in Austin, but always spends the 4th in Telluride




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