The cell phone photo winning best of showKrystle Caesar shows off her selfie winning third place.

A glimpse of a hand reaching skyward, an image of a mountain bike awaiting its next ride and a powerful selfie are among the stunning photographs winning awards in the College of the Mainland Oh Snap 2! Cell Phone Photo Contest.

Juliana Forero, director of education for the Houston Center for Photography, selected four of the images submitted by COM students and community members for awards. The winning images, and other best of show photos, are on display at the COM Art Gallery through May 1.
Winning best of show, Melissa Tran’s “Peeking” portrays a hand stretching toward the sunlight seeping through a window. “It is an image that makes you ponder and create your own narrative,” Forero said. “There may be many answers to this image, yet it is so simple and delicate.”
In second place, Timothy Schorre’s “Brick Window, Outlet Bird” juxtaposes the red brick of a home’s exterior with a goldenrod interior wall. “In this case, the inherent humor on the piece is what caught my attention,” said Forero. “The disparity of this inside-outside image is so real, and it reflects on our modern life in way. Which one is the outside image and which one is the inside image?”

Krystle Ceasar, a graphic design and photography student at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, won third place with her black-and-white image titled, “Selfie.”

“I knew exactly what I wanted,” said Caesar of the winning shot taken with her iPhone 5 in the studio at UHCL. “I did a similar one with a traditional camera. I actually liked this one better. It’s sharper.”
Forero praised its composition.
“This work to me is what a real “selfie” is!” said Forero. “The gray scale adds to the mystery and directness of this self-portrait. From this work, I can read that this is a powerful woman with incredibly beautiful curly hair arranged at the top of her head. It is defiant.”

Lester Lawas, who works at Mainland Medical Center, shot his honorable mention photograph, “Texas City Dike,” with his Apple iPhone 5 one rainy day. He could not ride his mountain bike through the mud and instead chose to snap a few photographs of the bike against the clouded sky.
“This perfectly symmetric image offers a lot to the viewer in terms of narrative,” said Forero. “The bike in the middle of this vast space makes you ponder where this bike will go next.”
The COM Art Gallery is committed to making contemporary artwork accessible and is free and open to the public. The gallery is located in the COM Fine Arts Building and open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. It is also open one hour prior to COM Community Theatre performances.

For more information, call 409-933-8354 or 1-888-258-8859, ext. 8354 or email