SAVANNAH, GA – August 17, 2020 – Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) has announced the winners of their Third Annual Summer Photo contest, which ran during the entire month of July, and asked both locals and visitors: What is your favorite historic building or place in Savannah?
All entries had to depict a historic building or place in Savannah or Chatham County, with each photo being judged on its artistic merit and based upon composition, use of color (or black and white), use of light and camera angle. Featured places and subjects were required to be unique or, if traditional, depicted in a new or unique way using interesting vantage points and perspectives. All contest entrants submitted their photos through Instagram, using the hashtag #SavFave.
First place went to Cecilia Morris, with Brooks Construction Group placing second, followed by Frank Logue in third. Johnathan Stalcup’s photo was awarded the fan favorite designation, having received the most photo “likes.”
The winner will receive a comprehensive catalog of HSF books, including a copy of the extremely popular, Savannah, Square by Square. All winners will receive the honor of having their winning photos displayed in a public venue that is to be determined, in addition to being featured in HSF’s 2020 Annual Report. For the last two years, the winning photos have been featured in the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport.
“This contest is a way for locals and visitors alike to share with HSF the buildings and places that are important to them. We all have a shared love of Savannah, but it is very enlightening and enjoyable to see it from others point of view. This contest at its essence is a celebration of this unique and marvelous city,” says Ryan Arvay, HSF Director of Preservation and Historic Properties.
Using still images from classic movies filmed on location in Savannah, Cecilia Morris (@savannahfilmhistory) highlighted the city’s history by juxtaposing (in person) those locations over the same contemporary scenes. This year’s first-place photograph comes from an ongoing series of such images; and specifically features a still from the 1962 film Cape Fear, starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum. The location in the photo is the front steps of the imposing and historic Armstrong Mansion on Bull Street, at the North end of Forsyth Park.
“As a native Savannahian, I have always known – and have been in awe of the fact – that I live in a city with incredible history and is one of the most renowned locations for making films. With the wonderful efforts made throughout the years, Historic Savannah Foundation has been able to have buildings and other landmarks preserved,” Morris said. “An example of this preservation is the Armstrong Mansion as seen in the background of my photograph. As a lover of film history and historic preservation, my inspiration behind this picture was to share my love of Savannah, film history, and historic preservation as a means to educate, enrich and benefit our culture.”
HSF’s second-place winner, Brooks Construction Group (@brooksconstructiongroup), submitted a photo that depicts a sweeping panoramic view of the Savannah skyline, as seen overlooking Madison Square. Notable historic landmarks such as the old Masonic Lodge and the steeple of St. John’s Church are featured prominently against a striking sunset. “The image is even more impressive in its full panoramic view than it was as posted on Instagram,” according to Arvay, “and one gets the full grandeur of Savannah from this unique vantage.”
The contest’s third-place photograph, taken by Frank Logue (@franklogue), features a bird’s eye view of a boat sailing off toward the horizon at night on a calm, moonlit Wilmington River. For the photographer, the scene evoked images of another Lowcountry river enshrined in the famous song, Moon River, by Savannah’s native son, Johnny Mercer.
From the beach to the marsh to the riverfront, waterways are essential to Savannah’s charm. This aerial photo seeks to capture some of that magic in one frame as a boat cuts a course away from the docks,” Logue said. “A full moon over water is such a ‘Savannah scene’ that it was captured in Johnny Mercer’s award-winning lyrics, which are both nostalgic for the past and a future longing for expanded horizons. I did not take this drone photo of the inlet named later for the song, but of the Wilmington River alongside Bonaventure Cemetery where the song-writer is buried.”
While some of this year’s winning photos required some pre-planning and coordination, others were moments captured spontaneously, like this year’s fan favorite photograph, by Johnathan Stalcup (@architecturalsavannah). His photo features HSF’s very own house museum, the 1820 Davenport House, reflected in a puddle after a summer rainstorm. Stalcup is the proprietor of Architectural Savannah Tours, and regularly takes his tour groups through Columbia Square.
“Walking through Columbia Square on my way to meet a tour, I noticed this momentary view of the Davenport house,” Stalcup said. “The constant symmetry of its Federal façade was briefly doubled due to a summer morning downpour.”
Arvay said the decision was a tough one to make, as HSF received so many beautiful photographs. “The jury would like to thank everyone who entered the contest and shared their talent and creativity with us. It really was a pleasure to review so many amazing pictures and see our community in many different lights,” he said.
HSF saves buildings, places, and stories that define Savannah’s past, present and future. Following its formation in 1955, the nonprofit organization started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties – now totaling nearly 400 buildings – throughout several Savannah local historic districts. HSF is committed to continuing to build capacity within HSF’s operations, secure new financial resources, improve HSF’s image and visibility, and increase public policy efforts to protect Savannah’s historic districts.
For more information about HSF, please visit www.myHSF.org.
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