This is the blog of Steve Burkett of Italy, Our Italy

The Results Are In -- Part 14

Index of Articles

While I was away for a bit, I am pleased to say that recognition of my photography once again came my way. This particular recognition came from the Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery. The gallery is located in the oldest remaining residence in Middlebury, Vermont. It was built in 1799 as a residence for the foreman of the water mill on Otter Creek. I haven’t been there, but it’s said to be a beautiful structure, with sagging, hand-hewn beams of lumber from local virgin forest of yesteryear.

I received word that one of my photos was selected for the juried show of July, 2018 — a show simply titled, “Black & White 2018”. Each year this gallery departs from a specific monthly theme to display black and white photos that they feel merit exhibition.

Here is the photo that was selected for the exhibition. I have titled this photo, “Sunset Gospel” — a play on the fact that the sun has set on this particular old church.

Sunset Gospel

I am always pleased when one of my personal favorite photos is selected for framing and exhibition, and this one is one of my favorites. i was doubly pleased (is that possible?) that my photo was selected for two other honors for the exhibition: it was blown up to 36” x 54” for the large banner advertising the upcoming showing; and it was the featured photo on their website’s banner, shown below.


The story of how the photo came about is typical of my photo journeys through the southwest. I am drawn to the communities that have begun to fade away, or have already done so. There were hopes and dreams involved with each structure I find abandoned. Someone selected a paint color, cooked in a kitchen that they organized, worked in a shop, preached at a pulpit, taught in front of a blackboard, served up a chicken-fried steak that probably covered the plate. So many busted dreams and broken hearts. But I hope along the way there were times of love, snuggling, happiness, warmth, success and fulfillment.

I came upon this structure in Grenville, New Mexico, just before sunset. Grenville is located between Clayton and Raton. Though I have traveled this road often, I had not noticed this small community sitting just off the highway. According to census figures, the population of Grenville in 2000 was 25 souls. Here is a photo of Grenville as it sits today. The red rectangle defines the building depicted in Sunset Gospel.

Here is the main entrance from the highway to the Village of Grenville.

Though not going strong, I’m guessing that Grenville is not at all down and out. A welcome sign, some concrete sidewalk, a picnic table with a tiny bit of afternoon shade, and a community center complete with a piano, are testament to community pride. I’m guessing that those who live here enjoy their community. I’m optimistic that their hopes and dreams are being realized each day while hundreds pass by without even noticing the place they call home — which is probably the way they like it.

Sorry for the departure from things Italian! We’ll get back to Italy next time.

Ciao for now,


The Results Are In - Part 9

I recently filled you in on recognition in the 8th International Color Awards, and I feel compelled to keep you up to date regarding additional recognition.

I am always pleased when a juror or jurors single out my work for recognition. That is not the driving force in my photographic work, but it does give one a boost when it is received!

This recognition concerns the PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. This gallery is strictly for photography and their themed exhibits change monthly. You last saw two of my exhibited photos in my article The Results Are In! Part 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 (it was part 5, by the way).

Today's article covers three different exhibits -- one past, one current, and one upcoming. Here are the works that have received recognition.


FYI: You can see a slideshow recap of all awards, recognition and accolades by clicking the RECOGNITION link on my webpage.

Theme: Going Places 

Sept 22 - Oct 23, 2015

This photo is titled "Movin' On". It was taken on a wonderful day in The Highlands of Iceland. The vehicle in the photo was one of eight or so that I saw that day on this 160 mile road. And the road? It is exactly as you see it here for its entire length. 

Movin' On

Want to see a bit more of Iceland? See my YouTube video.

Theme: Up Close and Personal 

May 11 - June 13, 2016

Two photos were selected for the current Up Close And Personal exhibit. 

This first photo is one of my favorite flower photos. There are millions of dogwood trees blooming in the southeastern U.S. in the spring, and I enjoy seeing them. Traveling one of the many narrow back roads of Tennessee, I was able to capture this photogenic dogwood branch. As I traveled through the southeast last month, I was again treated all along the way to these spectacular blooms.


Here is a dandelion puff that you may have seen before. It was one of my first recognized photos from when Black & White Magazine had a companion color photo contest in 2012. My wife, Ellen, and I were picnicing in Vail along Gore Creek when I spotted this healthy puff. I used a bit of strategery to pluck just a few of the seeds to reveal the heart of the puff in this photo which I have titled 'Puff Fluff'. 

Puff Fluff

Here is the color version from Black & White Magazine, which received a Silver Award back in 2012. It is just the upper-right quadrant of the same image, above.


Theme: Flight

June 8 - July 1, 2016

Both the photographer Ansel Adams and painter Georgia O'Keefe made the San Francisco de Assisi Church at Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, famous in the early 1930s. My more modern version is just below. 'Ranchos Morning' was indeed taken in the morning. I believe that the passing bird adds to the drama of this fabulous adobe church, which was completed in 1816.

In her Juror's statement, juror Laura Moya cited this photo in particular as she said, "Details in some of the imagery stick with me...a hawk soars above the famed Ranchos de Taos church...". 

Ranchos Morning

I am always pleased when a juror or jurors single out my work for recognition. That is not the driving force in my photographic work, but it does give one a boost when it is received!

Ciao for now,


My Twitter Feed...

The Results Are In! Part 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Have you ever been going through your email, with the intention of cleaning up old emails, and then way down the list, you find a whole batch of emails that you had overlooked and they were never opened?

I did that recently. What I found was more good news about the results of photographic competitions I had entered. I want to present those decisions to you in this blog…a bit belated, I know. Also, I have had some photos accepted for gallery exhibition recently and I’ll show you those, too.

‘...your work received a high percentage of votes overall. Certainly an achievement, well done!

On July 13th, I filled you in on the 7th Annual International Pollux Awards in a blog titled, “The Results Are In”, so I’ll continue in that same heading for this an any future horn-tooting blogs. So that previous email was Part 1 -- so now you get Parts 2 thru 6 of recent accolades.

Note: Even though this web site is generally about things Italian, please don't be disappointed as you will see many recognition photos below which are not related to Italy.

Part 2:  The Neutral Density (ND) Awards for 2014

This notification came from an email sent last November – I really need to try to keep up with emails, don’t I?

This is another one of those big contests, which they describe as follows: “The judges reviewed thousands of images submitted from 76 countries. The nominated photographers were selected by highly acclaimed industry professionals, including: gallery owners and curators (Greenaway Art Gallery, Valid Foto Gallery, Susan Spiritus Gallery, Emon Photo Gallery, Immagis, Gilman Contemporary, Tokyo Arts Gallery, Galeria Chroma, Strother Fine Art, McGaw Graphics, Editions Braun), publishers (Kehrer Verlag), editors (Digital Camera Magazine, PhotoBulletin, Soura Magazine, Asian Photography, Art World Magazine) and renowned photographers (Michael Levin, Hengki Koentjoro, Sudhir Shivaram, and Laura Zalenga).” As I look at the photos from the other competitors, I’m very pleased and humbled to be within their midst.

Though a good number of photos were nominated for further consideration by the judges, I received the following four ‘Honorable Mentions’:

[click photos for larger image]

Honorable Mention for Fine Art: Abstract

Just a Chance of Clouds

Honorable Mention for The Environment

Oil on Water

Honorable Mention  Nature: Landscape 5-Photo Series - 'Beached Bergs'

Honorable Mention for Architecture

Sunrise on the Grand Canal


Part 3: Black & White Magazine’s 2015 Single Image Contest Issue

I am fortunate to have been published in this high-quality photography magazine a number of times, both for single image and portfolio submissions – and even once for a couple of color images when they use to have an occasional companion color issue. Two photos were recognized in this year's single image contest issue as follows,


Block House


Puff Fluff


Part 4: 9th Annual Black & White Spider Awards

Another interesting contest name. No idea how ‘spider’ creeps into the name (and that in itself sounds creepy, doesn’t it).  But I did read on the internet recently that spiders have begun to take up photography – at least the black and white spiders are doing that. Everything on the internet is true, isn’t it?

This one was actually announced in October of last year and was in the same email batch as the Neutral Density Award email that I had missed – what was I doing last fall instead of reading my emails? I can’t remember, but I’m sure it was more fun than reading emails.

With 8,508 entries from 75 countries, this is another one of those huge contests. Their notification email said, ‘...your work received a high percentage of votes overall. Certainly an achievement, well done!’ Regarding the jury that judged the photos, they indicated that ‘the Jury represented the industry's biggest names and tastemakers’, including The Royal Photographic Society, FoMu Fotomuseum, Fratelli Alinari, Stockholm City Museum to Torch Gallery in Amsterdam and more. Nice to have tastemakers involved…I think maybe they were from the Food Network.

Three photographs either placed or got honorable mention and there were others that were nominated for judging. Here are the main three, and then I’ll just put the nominations in a gallery just in case you want to click them to see larger versions of those, which fell into the categories of Fine Art, Nature and Wildlife.

[Note: I just want to say about the first photo that I was particularly pleased about the recognition. This has been one of my all-time personal favorite photos (because of the texture and simple composition), and it’s really nice to see that someone else thought highly of it, also. You may not be able to tell because of the size of the photo, but the laundry on the line is kid’s clothing and bed linens, complete with bunnies on the sheets. You can see the color version of the photo, taken on the island of Burano in the Venetian lagoon, here.}

2nd Place - Merit of Excellence in Still Life

Laundry Day

Honorable Mention in Nature

Icy Byway

Honorable Mention in Architectural  [a repeat from above]

Block House

Nominated Photos from the categories of Fine Art, Nature and Wildlife


Part 5: Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery

Your trivia question: In what state is the Vermont PhotoPlace Gallery? OK, you got it – I’ll have to think of a harder question next time.  Earlier in the year I had a photo accepted for exhibition for their ‘Traces Left Behind’ show. Here is that photo, which I titled, ‘Education Might Help’ – I think you will get the irony. If not, then education might help.

Education Might Help

In September, another of my photos will be shown in their ‘Black & White’ show. This is one of the beached icebergs that I photographed in Iceland last summer. I had not thought to convert the original color photo to black and white, because the colors in the original version are so vivid. But, I think it worked out quite well because of the brilliance of the crystal-clear ice.  You be the judge.

Beached Berg


Part 6: Carter Gallery’s North Valley Art League 2015 Photography Show

OK, here’s another trivia question: In what city and state is this gallery showing held? OK, you got it again!!! How did you know it is Redding, California!? 

I think you will be intrigued (and if you aren’t intrigued, then amused) at what the judge said about this photo, which was a ‘Gold Award Winner’ and received a ‘Merit Award’ – I have the ribbon to prove it.  Here is his quote:

What we see, and how the camera records it, may be far off the mark, and it is up to the artist to render the medium to best effect. Forbidding and exquisite at the same time, Beached Berg #2 fully utilizes the range of colors available to photographers today. Careful framing and juxtaposition of near and far bring us in close contact with an aesthetic experience made from the elemental forces of air, water, earth and fire.
— JUROR – Thom Sempere

Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I had no idea I was doing that…but I’m glad it worked out that way.

Here is the forbidding and exquisite 'air, water, earth and fire' photo, which I’m happy to say sold during the show.

Beached Berg #2


The horn has been tooted and I’ll put it back in it’s case until some other form of recognition might fall my way. Until then…

Ciao for now,