SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Coinciding with the start of the 34th consecutive weekend excursion train ride season on April 1, 2017, California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum will also debut a new exhibit inside the Museum that showcases the impressive award-winning photographs from the prestigious Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s 2016 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program. For a new twist on the international competition, the Center split the awards program into two categories: one for recent images made with mobile device cameras, and the other for most evocative photographs of all time. The new two-category format resulted in an incredible array of submissions that included 331 images taken by 141 photographers from more than 30 different states and 10 countries.
Top honors in the “Most Evocative” category was awarded to Olaf Haensch of Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany, for a timeless and impressionistic photograph of a steam train passing through a snowy forest. Second place went to Miško Kranjec of Ljubljana, Slovenia, for his pair of gritty, high contrast images of workers in a roundhouse. Third place went to Charles McCreary of Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a classic mid-century image showing the Pennsylvania Railroad in Pittsburgh. The “Judges Also Liked” selections include a visually-compelling image by photographer Steven Schlaht of Tracy, California, that showcases a Union Pacific excursion train down the Feather River in Oroville.
In the Mobile Device category, the top award went to Simon Jowett of York, United Kingdom, for a distorted and colorful reflection of a station scene in London. Second place went to Ryder Bechtold of Denver, Colorado, for a powerful, candid view of three passengers on a London Underground subway train. Third place went to Jeremy J. Schrader of Princeville, Illinois, of a train passing through a backlit urban landscape.
The photographs were judged by a panel of individuals including Center cofounder John Gruber who is also a noted photographer, author, editor and railroad preservationist. The Center, a nonprofit arts and education organization founded in 1997, is committed to interpreting the intersection of railroads, art, and culture with American history and life.
This special photography exhibit will remain on display at the California State Railroad Museum through January 12, 2018. In addition, the winners and a selection of the award-winning photographs will be featured in the Spring 2017 Center’s Railroad Heritage journal and in the March 2017 issue of Railfan & Railroad magazine. More information about the competition and the Center for Railroad Photography & Art can be found at www.railphoto-art.org, and for more information about the California State Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280.