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2017 Gotcha Photo Contest

June 13, 2017
Shootin’ match

Shutterbugging teachers from around the province flooded the ATA News with photos for the 23rd annual Gotcha! Photo Contest. The first-place winner receives $200. Second place gets $100 and third place $50. The contest judges were Yuet Chan, veteran ATA News photographer and ­graphic designer, and Cory Hare, ATA News managing editor.


Full swing

Grade 3 pupil Seth Elaschuk enjoys one of the last recesses of summer.
Photographer: Darryl Propp, Landing Trail School, Gibbons
Date of photo: Sept. 19, 2016
Judges’ comments:
This photo is striking because it blends numerous exceptional elements: composition, lighting and facial expression. The symmetry provided by the play structure and other elements is pleasing to the eye. The blue metal structure frames the swing seat, which in turn frames the focal point: a student exhibiting palpable joy and exhilaration. Further enhancing the photo are the backlighting on the subject and a strong sense of harmony in the colour scheme. Exceptional work!



A student gets some air time on top of Old Fort Point near Jasper during a student leadership trip in Jasper National Park.
Photographer: Derek McKinnon, The Learning Connection, Hinton
Date of photo: Nov. 22, 2016
Judges’ comments:
Although we can’t see the face of the silhouetted figure, his outstretched arms, bent legs and arched back convey the thrill and sense of freedom that he surely must be feeling. While the mountains in the lower part of the frame anchor the photo and give it a sense of place and context, we’re still left to ponder a delicious mystery: what is this student actually doing and did he survive it? (His teacher says he did.)


Dress rehearsal

After a two-week dance residency, Grade 7 students work through their dress rehearsal of a Bollywood dance performance.
Photographer: Kym Francis, Nellie Carlson School, Edmonton
Date of photo: May 11, 2017
Judges’ comments:
The picture captures an energetic moment in the dance, conveying rhythm, colour and exuberance. The colour and graphics on the background posters complement the foreground activity.

Honourable mention

Sneak peek

Students Paiden Still and Harry Singh peek through the plants during a tour of Templeton’s Greenhouse in Edson.
Photographer: Jessica Westergard, The Learning Connection, Hinton
Date of photo: May 4, 2017
Judges’ comments:
The foreground foliage forms an interesting frame for the subjects; however, there are many competing elements in the picture. A selective focus on the students could have been a potential solution.

Honourable mention

My pal

Grade 2 pupil AJ Clare shares a moment with kindergartener Felix Frigault during their school’s Terry Fox Run.
Photographer: Darryl Propp, Landing Trail School, Gibbons
Date of photo: Sept. 29, 2016
Judges’ comments:
This photo captures an engaging moment between two pupils, which is accentuated by the rim light that directs the viewer to the subjects’ expressions. One can almost hear the interesting tale told by the older boy, which delights his younger pal. One niggle: while the distant trees frame the subjects well, the goal behind the older boy is distracting.

Honourable mention


Kaylie Uong uses her fingers to create rain clouds and rain on her spring poster while Ivey Nguyen observes and waits for her turn to make her own poster.
Photographer: Connie Mackney, St. Alphonsus School, Edmonton
Date of photo: Sept. 29, 2016
Judges’ comments:
This is a classic classroom moment that’s elevated beyond the routine by strong composition, engaging facial expressions and a splash of colour.

Keep your camera at the ready for special ­education-related moments during the 2017-18 school year and keep your best shots for submission to the 2018 Gotcha! contest.

If you have photos to share during the school year, please email them to managing editor Cory Hare at


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