2012 Awards: Chris Starnes

Remarks by Shirley Burman Steinheimer, 2012 Judge

When I first went through the entries, I was stunned at how many great, great photos there are. Selecting the winners was agonizing and challenging. I looked for photos that Stein liked taking—especially crummy weather, landscapes and night shots using time exposures and moonlight, along with people—as just some of the elements. Dick said, “Creativity began in his darkroom, pushing the button was the easy part.” His influence was as both a creative photographer and a documentary photographer, but for this contest, I wanted to see the creative side of the individuals who entered.

About the 2012 Awards Program

With a big surge just before the deadline on December 31, the total number of entrants was up more than 50 percent over last year. With so much creativity presented among the entries, Burman and Center staff decided to create separate categories for color and black & white in order to honor more photographers. We send our thanks to all who entered; please know that each one of you made the selection process very, very difficult. The selected photos will be exhibited at the California State Railroad Museum and published in the Center’s journal and Railfan & Railroad magazine.

The theme was “Railroading, inspired by Steinheimer.” Canon again co-sponsored the awards program by providing a PIXMA Pro9000 inkjet printer as one of the prizes.

The theme honors legendary photographer Richard Steinheimer, who passed away on May 4, 2011, leaving a legacy that touches nearly every practicing railroad photographer in the U.S. and much of the world, either directly or indirectly (see our tribute page).

You can see selections of both Steinheimer’s work and Burman’s work on railroadheritage.org, and we encourage you to spend some time with Steinheimer’s books, such as Passion for Trains, Done Honest & True, and Backwoods Railroads of the West.