2012 Kepesita Hitchhiking Photo Contest
236. by Vladimir Kovalchuk - 1st Prize winner
"We chose this image (#236) as the winner of the contest for a few reasons... This photograph has a strong feel to it. It expresses a common occurrence among those who have hitch-hiked a lot--that of exhaustion. It encapsulates that feeling of waiting by the side of the road, having watched your hope for an easy ride seem to slip away with the hours. I can really sense the resignation of the rider here in his expression, his eyes (as he looks down the road at oncoming traffic), and his body language also makes it seem as if he has almost given up. The passing vehicle contributes to this feeling of time slowing down as does the mistiness/cloudiness of the day--sort of a gloom that makes hitch-hiking less fun than if it were to be taking place on a beautiful, sunny day. I am led to feel that this is truly a documentary image. In addition to that, it is well composed and artistically carried out. The blur of all things behind the subject allows the subject and his expression to pop out of the frame. And the photographer clearly knew what he was doing, getting low for perspective and moving slightly to the side to allow for the subject's expression to continue to focus on looking down the road for a ride. It is a thoughtful photograph. I love this image--how it feels and how it really captures the feeling of hitch-hiking at one of its real, less than ideal, moments!!"