EXPLORER Photo Contest Winner Announced

At long last, the AAPG EXPLORER Cover Photo Contest has concluded and a winner has been chosen. We used two criteria to choose the best submitted photo.

The first was aesthetic visual appeal – the level of beauty and awe the image inspired.

The second was scientific curiosity – if the image had that “Wow! What is that?!”- factor that provoked the need find out more by reading any included description.

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At long last, the AAPG EXPLORER Cover Photo Contest has concluded and a winner has been chosen. We used two criteria to choose the best submitted photo.

The first was aesthetic visual appeal – the level of beauty and awe the image inspired.

The second was scientific curiosity – if the image had that “Wow! What is that?!”- factor that provoked the need find out more by reading any included description.

We strove to choose the image with the best combination of both. If it was purely visually appealing with no scientific curiosity, it didn’t make the cut. Likewise, if it was of pure scientific interest with no visual appeal, it also didn’t make the cut.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, that left a lot of photos for us to work through.

“Fortunately,” because it’s nice to have such a wealth of images that are both emotionally and intellectually inspiring. We received such an embarrassment of riches in the photos that were submitted that we decided not to limit our EXPLORER covers to just one, but to include some of the runners up on the covers of future issues. There were just too many visually spectacular and scientifically interesting images for us to not use.

And, “unfortunately,” of course, because this made it difficult to choose The Photo. Suffice to say, the winner should be proud because the competition was formidable.

Congratulations to the winner … Jean- Philippe Blouet and his photograph of the “Old Red Sandstones of the Arctic.” Pictured in the photo is Blouet in Dickson Fjord, Spitzbergen. The steep side of the Fjord provides extensive outcrops of the famous Old Red Sandstone. These continental molasse deposits resulted from the collapse of the Caledonian orogeny during Devonian time. “We were hiking for three weeks in this pristine landscape, encountering both polar bears and fossil placoderm fishes!” said Blouet in his description of the photo.

Congratulations to Jean-Philippe Blouet on winning the 2019 EXPLORER Photo Contest. His photo has been featured on the cover, and he has won a free registration to the Annual Convention and Exhibition, this May in San Antonio, Texas.

Our very close runner up is Henry A. Galvis-Portilla for the photo, “Fieldwork is More Rewarding at the Borderline.”

The top finalists, in no particular order, were:

  • Robert Webster for “Sunrise in the Grand Canyon”
  • Phil Esslinger for “The Steeples of Hughes Range Reflected in Peckhams Lake, Southern Rocky Mountain Trench”
  • Robert Clayton for “Trail to the Burgess Shale”
  • John Noad for “Hoodoos”

Look for these stunning and fascinating photos on future covers of the EXPLORER.

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