First Place Winner ($200)
Bill DeClement , Folsom, N.J., Local 351
Atlantic City’s casinos, hotels, shows and attractions boast some stellar views. But few can match the perspective of what you see through the eyes of an electrician working on what is now the largest building in the city, the 48-story Revel Casino.
DeClement snapped this captivating photo of two members riding in a window rig at about 7 a.m. one morning when a blanket of fog rolled in, swaddling the ocean and city below.
“It was one of the eeriest things I’d ever seen,” says DeClement, 42:
You could see just the tops of some buildings around us, and then there’s the water in the background of the picture – it just felt unreal.
The photography enthusiast didn’t have his high tech camera with him on the job site, so he snapped the futuristic-looking scene with his iPhone.
“I later uploaded it into Aperture [a photo editing computer program], but I didn’t have to tweak it,” he said. The cerulean sky and puffy clouds are as close to real life as DeClement saw that morning.
This wasn’t the 18-year member’s first trip atop one of the city’s giants. DeClement and his co-workers have wired the area’s most popular hotels and casinos, including Harrah's Resort and The Borgata.
“I’ve been on top of them all,” he said.
Second Place Winner ($150)
Bill Strite, Seattle Local 77
When snow and ice snare the electrical infrastructure in the wooded bluffs of Washington’s outlying areas, Bill Strite goes where snowmobiles fear to tread.
Strite and his four-man team were called out last winter to repair a downed power line that feeds radio towers on Monumental Mountain in the northeastern part of the state. But because of the terrain, the only way in was with their snowshoes.
“We had hiked in the last half mile, and there was severe ice,” said Strite, who brought his digital camera with him in case the group saw any wildlife:
It’s not unusual to see something moving around up there.
Instead, he and his co-workers were treated to a splendid vista – rich evergreens glazed with ice giving way to a broad expanse cut by the Columbia River, just behind the Grand Coulee Dam. Strite made his way to higher ground to snap the photo.
A 32-year employee of Avista Utility, Strite said he enjoys photographing the natural world around his home near Colville in the northeast region of the state. “There are several thousand acres of timberland out there,” he said:
I’ve come in contact with moose, bears, cougars – there’s a lot to see.
Third Place Winner ($100)
Paul Phillips, Charlotte, N.C., Local 962
Blinding snow and a tasteful use of black-and-white processing blend together in Phillips’ photo of fellow member Joe Long working with his tools atop a pole in the midst of severe weather. It’s an interesting spin on an iconic image in the Brotherhood – a stark rendering of a worker that only leaves room for skill, determination and good-old-fashioned guts.
“It was snowing hard, everything around was just white and there was no color to the sky,” said Phillips, a 22-year member:
I knew black and white was the way to go.
It’s a rugged image. Joe’s beard, the old pole – it’s not a neat or clean photo. I like the old, rustic look.
Honorable Mentions ($50 each)
Angelo Morgan, Seattle Local 77
Transmission lines rise out of glowing snow in this chilling portrait of winter. Morgan captured the essence of the season near the Palouse River in northern Idaho.
Tom Lawless, Long Island, N.Y., Local 25
Lawless’ lush nighttime image shows the vivid lights on the George Washington Bridge illuminating the corridor that leads into the Bronx, New York’s northernmost borough.