In Greek Mythology, the muses were goddesses who stoked the imaginative fire of countless creative geniuses. My own creative energy has been inspired again and again by the myriad of intriguing cultures and the mesmerizing energy of people I've experienced throughout my photography journey. Last month, I kicked off my CHS Exploration of A Muse Contest to find the most beautifully executed shots and visually creative interpretation of the "Muse" theme. After reviewing the many exceptional entries, my editors and I narrowed down to 2 honorable mentions, who each get a premium 500px Awesome account.
Congratulations, Brenda and Ronen, both your entries blew us away. Of her portrait, Brenda (picture, top) from Long Beach, California, says, "My entry was shot in the Cenotes of the Mayan Riviera. Water is my muse. It has always been magical, mysterious, and otherworldly to me. I love to explore this realm (where few people go), and share how I see it with the world." For Ronen (picture, bottom) from sunny Tel Aviv, Israel, his portrait "Master Magician" is part of an ongoing series he has been working on for the past 5 years titled "The Surrealistic Pillow" Project. "Reconstructing my dreams into visual creations – conveying happiness, sadness, exhilaration or sheer paranoia – as dreams often do. 'Master Magician' speaks of my muse – the art of photography itself – A tool in which we, photographers, like magicians – can spellbound and excite through visual trickery."
See the 8 other finalists, including the Voter's Choice Tamara, who also wins a premium 500px Awesome account.
VOTER'S CHOICE WINNER: Tamara Pruessner
Originally from New Mexico, but now lives in Tucson, Arizona
"My entry is called 'Zeus' Playground.' My muse is Mother Nature herself. She has completely captivated my attention. I find myself hoping, praying, for lightning storm in the evenings. I have my tripod and my camera ready at a moment's notice and will drag my family out at midnight to chase the awesome strikes she produces."
"This shot is a great example of how I'm inspired in Photography. Travel is my Muse. I'm trying to find the less known places to see uncommon things. After getting lost on the Magdalen Islands I found this small fishermen harbor with this dramatic sky on the background."
New Braunfels, Texas
"This photo represents who I am through an endless amount of aspects you might see in my picture. Not only does it reveal my physical features, it also helps to reveal my thoughts, aspirations, and creative outlook on life itself.
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England
Annabel is my youngest daughter (almost 4). My kids are my muse. I love recording their development in pictures, and they are the reason I first picked up a DSLR - nothing special, just a Sony A200, but it suits my purposes.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
"The photo is of my muse, my wife, Pamela. She is my muse because she always encourages me to follow my instincts and shoot what I find interesting, which is often not what others do."
The ocean is my muse. This was a day that I was out shooting on the coast of Santa Barbara when a young boy climbed up on a rock in front of me. I decided to make the boy part of my composition because he looked so striking and confident. I named the photo "Rise Up" in honor of my friend Matt who had just lost his father.