Silver Winner

What's Left

Photographer

Shilohbear Photography

Category

Fine Art Photography - Open Theme

Company

Shilohbear Photography

Submission Group

Amateur

Year

2021

Country / Region

United States

In October of 2017, I was living in Sebastopol, California when the catastrophic fires that destroyed over 8,000 structures whipped through Sonoma County. Luckily, neither I nor the house suffered any physical damage. I was, however, shocked and traumatized by the fury of the blazes.

Recently at dawn on a chilly mid-winter day, I began driving around Fountaingrove, one of the hardest hit areas. The scope of the devastation took my breath away. Everywhere I turned there was annihilation. Where there used to be homes, gardens, people, animals—life—I was seeing only ruins. Blackened skeletons of burnt trees. Dirt and rock, piles of fallen dead branches. Occasional oddball debris like a stove on its side in the middle of nowhere. Endings.

But there were also beginnings. Sprouts of new growth trees, homes in the early stages of construction, white narcissus whose bulbs had slept underground through the cataclysm and were now, over a year later, producing their lovely blossoms. I began pondering what’s left after the fires. Heartbreak and hope, chaos and endurance, bewilderment and resolve.

And art. There was a stark beauty with a kind of minimalist vibe, inseparable from the profound ache I was feeling. The inexorable power of fire—and life’s utter persistence—blew my mind.

So I present these images to the viewers with the hope that they might also see something of light—and promise—in what’s left.

Professional
2021
Alien World - Photography Winner

Photographer / Company

Craig Bill

Category

Special Category - Long Exposure Photography

Country / Region

United States

Professional
2021
Night at Noon - Photography Winner

Photographer / Company

Antonio Denti

Category

Special Category - Covid-19 Related Photography

Country / Region

Italy

Professional
2021
Modern Monoliths - Photography Winner

Photographer / Company

Emiliano Pinnizzotto

Category

Architecture Photography - Architecture / Other

Country / Region

Italy

Professional
2021
Jeanette Ottesen - Photography Winner

Photographer / Company

Jesper Grønnemark

Category

People Photography - Sports

Country / Region

Denmark