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2018-19 Bing Overseas Studies Photo Contest

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Photo Contest Winners, from top

Sunset Photography in Makalali by Melina Walling

Academic Pursuit Winner.  South Africa Seminar, Summer 2017-18

“My fellow conservation photography students (in the safari car) snap pictures of giraffes in the sunset at Makalali Private Game Reserve in South Africa. We went on two game drives every day--one at sunrise and one at sunset--and learned so much about wildlife photography through all the practice (not to mention the incredible landscapes and environment!).”

Torres by Olivia Popp

Academic Pursuit Honorable Mention.  Argentina/Chile Seminar, Summer 2017-18

“This was perhaps the most strenuous hike of our seminar -- eight hours and thousands of feet of elevation gain in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. We learned about the geology and landscape of the park along the way and experienced the snowline firsthand as we ascended. This photo was capture right near the end of the hike--although it's hard to tell, the class is finishing the hike on the edge of a cliff face, the snow at the bottom of the photo leading straight to the bottom of the mountain. On the other side of the rock face in the photo lies the famous towers (torres) of the park--which, by the time we got there, hidden by the fog, leaving the hike as the prime marker of our journey.”

A Windy Walk Around Mont-Saint-Michel Bay by Samantha Starkey

Bing Trips Winner.  Paris, Winter 2018-19

“On a bright and windy February day, we donned water shoes and trekked around Le Mont-Saint-Michel with a guide who taught us about the ecology of the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay. Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with historical and religious significance, and we visited it during our Bing trip in Normandy, France.”

The Trial of Noh by Will Gutzman

Bing Trips Honorable Mention.  Kyoto, Spring 2018-19

“Suzanne Joh gets a chance to play the Otsuzumi, a traditional Noh theater drum known as "the most painful musical instrument in the world." At the Kawamura Noh Theater, we learned about the ancient art form. Slow and painstaking, the performance is more of a religious undertaking. We were even allowed to go on stage, a privilege usually forbidden to non-performers, to try out the instruments and costumes.”

The Hands of Music by Maria Suarez-Nieto

Cultures, Customs, and Traditions Winner.  Florence, Winter 2018-19

“For my photography course in Florence, we were asked to convey an important aspect of Italian culture that has changed in some way in recent time. As someone who has been captivated my music my entire life, I sought to explore the strong ties which Italy’s people have with music. As Italy’s culture is one grounded on traditions, and passing such traditions down to posterity, I embarked on exploring the passing down of music in modern day Italy. This photograph was taken in the workshop of the Vettori family, a family of violin makers who, for three generations, have practiced the craft of violin making. You can observe one of the Vettori Sons’ young yet experienced hand as it crafts another instrument, and continues to bring this beautiful tradition of violin making to life.”

A Lock on the Seine by Dominick Hing

Cultures, Customs, and Traditions Honorable Mention.  Paris, Spring 2018-19

“On the bridges crossing the Seine, the sides are covered in hundreds of locks, mostly from tourists, who then throw the key into the Seine. It's a romantic tradition, often in view of the Eiffel Tower, that couples from all over the world come to do in the City of Love. They come to make a statement: that their love is everlasting and unbreakable, and their lock stands as a reminder for the rest of the world to see.”

Parfait Party by Will Gutzman

Photo Favorite Winner.  Kyoto, Spring 2018-19

“Who says food portions in Japan are small? CASK (Cultural Association of Stanford Kyoto) is the Doshisha University student group dedicated to hanging out with Stanford students and showing them around Kyoto. At this CASK party, Doshisha and Stanford students alike dined on massive parfaits worthy of Godzilla. Natsumi, my host mother's niece, and I are pictured here preparing to chow down. The CASK students were incredibly friendly and helpful, and integral to my study abroad experience. They were always willing to give us advice--good restaurants, fun activities in Kyoto, and help with the language. Natsumi's wide-open mouth matches the wide-open arms with which her and her fellow CASK members welcomed us to Kyoto.”

Order out of Chaos by Melina Walling

Photo Favorite Honorable Mention. South Africa Seminar, Summer 2017-18

“This watering hole full of animals, including warthogs, sable antelope, kudu, and oxpeckers, was almost too overwhelming for my inexperienced photographic eye. Luckily one of my instructors gave me some great advice: "try to make order out of chaos." Finding joy in the chaos of life has become important to me in many ways as a Stanford student, and so I love this picture--not just for the snapshot frozen in time, but also for the meaning it represents.”

The Train Behind the Wall by Avery Tallman

Urban & Natural World Winner.  Berlin, Autumn 2018-19

“Nowadays, these bright yellow trains run all around the city both below and above ground. 30 years ago though, the memorial at the front of this picture once divided the city in half, preventing transportation, communication, connection between the two sides. Seeing the remnants of the Berlin Wall interact with the urban world of Berlin is both beautiful and spine-tingling. The past of Berlin grows with it; despite the speed at which it grows and moves, it’s amazing to see how little the city forgets what once happened to it.”

The Climb! by Caroline Steyer

Urban & Natural World Honorable Mention

“Among Cape Town's most stunning natural sights is the famous Table Mountain, the trademark which stands tall behind the vast city and offers incredible views of the world below. Here is my friend, Alex, at the peak of Table Mountain, after our 2-hour climb. We're so glad that the Stanford program and our RA's encouraged us to hike the mountain, instead of taking the gondola -- it made the view from the top even more rewarding.”