Winners 2012 - 2013

May '13 - Winner #8

May 2013 winner May winning photo

“Outdoor Zumba,” sponsored by John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Office of Community Outreach, takes place on the college’s new Jay Walk. “What I find interesting about this photo is that while the instructors do their Zumba exercise, you can see how everyone is trying to follow along at that exact moment,” says photographer Derek Sokolowski.

Derek Sokolowski is a forensic science major at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who anticipates graduating in 2015. He will be treasurer of the Photography Club in 2013-2014. “What I enjoy doing in my spare time is to take photos of events and photos of people. Afterwards, editing the photos just makes you go ‘Whoa, I can't believe I took this photo.’ I also like to go on trips around New York and enjoy the company of close friends,” he says. He intends to go to graduate school and seek a combined M.S./J.D. in forensic science and law. His ideal career would be running a forensics lab while having a photography business on the side.

April '13 - Winner #7

April 2013 winner April 2013 photo

“Colors of Spring” offers a potent visual antidote to winter’s cold. “It’s about what you see every day and forget to appreciate its beauty,” says photographer Atreyee Das. “I have captured a simple, yet beautiful, moment of nature.”

Atreyee Das intends to complete a master’s degree in computer science at the College of Staten Island in December 2013. Das, who did her undergraduate work in her home country, India, says she chose CSI because its computer science classes matched her interest. “It’s indeed a great college under CUNY with a magnificent campus,” she says. She intends to find a job in a software company and to continue her pursuit of photography and dancing.

March '13 - Winner #6

March 2013 winner March 2013 photo

“Interview” offers a visually arresting take on a sidewalk encounter between a journalist and a college student. The journalist recorded the conversation about youth unemployment on his iPad, whose rear camera was also on, capturing his face. "The iPad worked as a window to look at the conversation in a different and interesting way," says photographer Jay Han.

Jay Han, who expects to earn a master's in public health nursing at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in 2015, hopes to work for the World Health Organization and "use my expertise for improving global health." Meanwhile, Han works at a Bronx trauma center as an RN. "It is a kind of busy schedule for me to work and study at the same time. But whenever I have spare time, I take photos on the street."

February '13 - Winner #5

Feb 13 winner Feb 13 photo

“Bridge to College” is a moody take on a classic New York City scene – the Brooklyn Bridge.

Paloma Nunciato, who expects to graduate from Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2014 with a degree in multimedia art, says, "I ride my bike to school almost every day from Brooklyn. I've taken many pictures on the bridge, but I think this one has a unique feeling. I was in the right place at the right moment. It was a foggy Saturday morning. I love taking pictures and, while riding my bike, I always find amazing and beautiful images." Her plans call for continuing to study photography and to work as a freelance artist-designer.

January '13 - Winner #4

Dec 12 Winner Dec 12 Photo

“Final Performance” captures students during their final exam in adjunct lecturer Patricia Hoffbauer’s “Dance, Dancer and the Audience” class at Hunter College.

Luis Gonzalez, who expects to graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology in 2015, says he “decided to photograph the finals as a favor to my classmates.” Other than social dancing, he had never danced before taking this class. “I can only assume that my own final dance performance went quite well, since I did receive an A.” Gonzalez anticipates making a career that utilizes his psychology degree. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, hiking and camping.

December '12 - Winner #3

Dec 12 Winner Dec 12 Photo

"Steps Home” shows students heading on and off Bronx Community College on the campus passway on a bleak day in  December. The central figure looks toward the exit, presumably heading toward home. The original image was shot in color and converted to black and white in the computer.

Rafael Santos, a digital arts-interactive media major at Bronx Community College who expects to graduate in spring 2014, shot this image as part of his final project for a photography course. “I find the composition of the young man in the center, surrounded by the branches of the tree, interesting,” he says. He says that his goals for the future are to “become a great animator, longboard from New York to California and to be a well-known YouTube partner.”

November '12 - Winner #2

Nove 12 winner Nov 12

"Reflections of the Storm" evocatively captures some of the devastation that Hurricane Sandy left in the Cedar Grove Beach area of Staten Island, near Our Lady of Lourdes church.

David Rodberg, is a cinema studies student at the College of Staten Island who expects to earn his bachelor's degree in 2014. "I felt the need to document one of the most traumatic moments of my life by watching the high tide come back in, down my street," he said. "There is a rich level of surrealism to this photograph, when there was only a mere perspective change of reality." His career goal is to work as a cinematographer and become a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, which invites membership based on the body of their work. In his spare time, he enjoys still photography, watching movies, playing drums with a band and spending time with his girlfriend, who shot his portrait in the same locale as the winning photo.

October '12 - Winner #1

Oct 12 winner Oct 12 photo

"Jay Fallin;" is a title that riffs on "Jay Walk," John Jay College of Criminal Justice's 60,000-square-foot rooftop terrace, which opened to the community on Sept. 13. Connecting the college’s two buildings, it is the centerpiece of John Jay's recent expansion.

Kaher Ahmad, a freshman, shot the photo as an assignment for a photography class to make compelling images of the Jay Walk. "I was able to get a group of my friends to follow up with this staged work,” he says. "I didn't hear about the CUNY Photo Challenge 'til after I took this photo and uploaded it onto Facebook, where a friend told me to submit it." During his spare time, he jogs with his twin brother, "challenging each other to see who can go the furthest." He foresees a career in the computer field.


Use your camera to capture a compelling moment at CUNY and win an iPad! Enter our monthly student photo competition by the 25th of every month and, if you're a winner, you and your photo will be featured during the following month on the homepage billboard, the contest winners page and CUNY Facebook, which also will show two runners-up. In June 2013, the winning photos will compete for best student photo of the year, with the top photographer being awarded an iPad. So enter now.

What judges look for: Our panel of professional photographers, editors and graphic artists looks for images that say something about our students, faculty, staff, a CUNY college or a campus activity. Images that tell stories are especially favored, including human interest topics and depictions. For the winning photos of 2011-2012, click here.


For information, enter now >>