Last year’s split of the John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program into two distinct entry categories resulted in close to 150 photographers submitting a wide variety of fascinating images. For the 2017 awards program, the judges have opted to again split the contest into two categories: “Vision from the Past” and “By the Light of Night.”
Vision from the Past
The first contest, “Vision from the Past,” solicits excellent photography captured any time before May 1, 1971. The judges were delighted with Charles McCreary’s third-place image from the 2016 “Most Evocative” contest, which depicts a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train above a bustling street scene in Pittsburgh in 1950. Many photography contests require submissions of work from a recent timeframe. This category of this year’s contest requires work that is not recent. The judges hope this will bring forth even more captivating, historic images of railroading and the railroad scene. As with the “Most Evocative” contest last year, the judges will evaluate images for their visual impact, but also with an eye towards the historic value of their content.
By the Light of Night
For the “By the Light of Night” contest, the judges are looking for originality, both in terms of exploring the technical capabilities of high-ISO photography, and the dark details of railroading that often go unnoticed at night. Entries may be of any ISO, and artificial lighting as well as Photoshop processing are permitted. The judges are looking for creative use of the digital capabilities to do new, innovative things. Entries must have been taken after December 31, 2013, between sunset and sunrise, underground, or in an otherwise dark environment.
Deadline and entering
- Any interested photographer may enter images in both categories, and there is no entry fee
- Please make only one submission, by email, to
award [at] railphoto-art [dot] org
- Submissions are limited to three images per category
“Vision from the Past” entries must have been prior to May 1, 1971
“By the Light of Night” entries must have been made after December 31, 2013
- In the body text of your email, you must include your name, physical mailing address, and phone number
- Also in the body text of your email, please include basic caption information of location and date for each photograph (please send this in the body text of your email and not as an attached document)
- Please do not watermark your images—we require clean images, without watermarks, for both judging and display purposes
Please get in touch via the above email address if you have any questions about your submission.
- First place: $500
- Second place: $250
- Third place: $100
- Judges also liked: one-year membership in the Center
Winning photographs and selections that the “judges also liked” will be published in both Railroad Heritage® and Railfan & Railroad magazines, as well as on the Center’s website and social media platforms. The Center will also mount an exhibition of the awards program at the California State Railroad Museum.
- Publish those images on our website, on our social media platforms including Flickr, and in Railroad Heritage®, our quarterly journal
- Use your images to promote the awards program in both print and electronic advertising
- Present your images at our conferences and display them in exhibitions
Finally, you also agree that Railfan & Railroad magazine may print your images in a future issue at their then-current rate for publication.
Given the size of the files, you may send them in separate emails or include a link to a file-sharing site such as Dropbox, Hightail, or Google Drive, but please send all of your entries at the same time.