Weekly Reports from Jordan

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Week 3A – Adventures in Archaeological Photography

by Jillian Logee, excavation team photographer

Jillian Logee, Photographer for most of the photos

As official dig photographer, I get an opportunity each season to search out moments on the dig all day long, capturing images of participants to preserve the collective experience of the season. Many have grown accustomed to the subtle clicking of my camera, doing their best to pretend they haven't noticed me lurking not far away, taking pictures of those rare times when they're excited to haul a guffah of dirt or trip over a balk string.h

But as with previous seasons, I can't be there for all those moments, and so we rely on our participants to share their experiences through their own photographs. We timed the contest so everyone had an opportunity to take dramatic landscapes and portraits at Petra, our mid-season trip, and they did not disappoint, submitting outstanding images of rock-cut tombs and cute critters to our seasonal photo contest.

For their efforts in sharing these pictures, I sit here and judge their abilities, declaring winners who are then rewarded with ice cream. The dig can be a cruel, cruel place.

We had many great submissions to this year's contest, which of course makes me work harder to maintain my job security. To prepare participants for this competition, I offered a few great articles to help the budding photographers expand their abilities:

Though some of the content in these articles emphasizes the technical "rules" of great photographs, in my judging process, I didn't just look for the technical. There are many images out in the world that step outside these boundaries, but still convey a powerful emotion or story (see Kristy's submission of her duct-taped shoes and Betty's submission of blue skies over a hammam [outhouse] below).

Participants could submit as many photographs as they wanted to the contest, but could only win or be runner up in one of the following categories:

  • Archaeology
  • Camp Life
  • Landscapes
  • Portraits

In the end, the judging process for this year's contest was very difficult. There are many talented and creative people working on the dig this year, and it easily shows in the images they are taking. It has been a privilege to work with the 2016 participants and capture them at their best and dustiest. They have all been endless amounts of fun to work with!

Without further ado, I present the winners & runners-up in our four categories:

In the Archaeology Category...

Winner: Kristy Swartz (Duct-taped un-matching pair of shoes)

Runner Up: Owen Chesnut (Roman Theater in Amman)

In the Camp Life Category...

​Winner: Glo Besana (Tally Counter mounted on a sift pole - beginning of the day)

Runner Up: Betty Adams (Tall reach of the tell's hammam)

In the Portraits Category...

Winner: Colin Pummel (Glo in the light of the Shobak Castle)

Runner Up: Carolyn Waldron (Tool fight on the tell between Ahmad and Jimmy)

In the Landscapes Category...

​Winner: Shayla Shupe (Hand in hand through Petra's entry Siq)

Runner Up: Kristina Reed (Crested Lark near the tell)

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