By on 2013-12-17

For the final Lightapalooza Illusions challenge, we asked participating contestants which event in history they wish they could have photographed. We received a large amount of inspired and imaginative responses, ranging from the Big Bang to the signing of the Gettysburg address. However, it was a response regarding future events that captivated us the most. We would like to congratulate Jon Hung of Ann Arbor, Michigan for winning the 62nd Lightapalooza Illusions challenge.

I live in Southeast Michigan. Being close to Detroit, you always think about what used to be here and the glory of days past. Instead of wishing to photograph a time in history here, I envision a new, revitalized Detroit moving forward. I envision a future Detroit that plays out in my mind something like this..

Autonomous cars have since revolutionized ground transportation and Michigan is at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of not only the vehicles, but the highway and transportation network. The city is full of budding small businesses like independent watch makers and artists. Autonomous vehicles fly by on a network of roads and highways with nary a sound with electric and magnetic power.

It is 2032, and Detroit is a completely revitalized city. The car industry is back strong in America and the automative industrial re-revolution is in full force in Detroit.

As winner of this Illusions challenge, Jon will be receiving an Illusions Photo Green Screen bundle, which includes the PhotoKey 6 software, 200 digital backdrops, 20 overlay graphics, a 5′ x 7′ green screen backdrop, and wall hooks. Jon will also receiving a pastel backdrop, Lightapalooza tee shirt, and a Golden Ticket, which will enter him into the year-end grand prize drawing for a $15,000 Westcott shopping spree.

For this final Illusions challenge, we also chose a second place contestant, which just happened to be Jon’s fiance, Hayley Ng. Hayley’s response regarding her grandmother was a beautiful idea of a historic event.

The event I would have loved to photograph was when my Grandmother embarked on her journey to independence for the first time in her life at age 70. My Grandmother was married at age 16, lived with my Grandfather and raised three children as a stay-at-home mother until she was 56 years old. Since then, she lived with my parents and became a stay-at-home Grandmother and raised my older brother and I. When I turned 16, she decided that her job at raising all the children around her was completed and that it was time for her to experience being on her own.

I would have loved to capture the moments and emotions of the day she moved out. I wanted to photograph my brother embracing her like it was the last time he was ever going to see her. The way my mother helped shop for her new furniture and appliances, pack her bags, clean and tidy her new apartment like she was sending off her first child to college. My Father sitting next to the telephone waiting for her to call and ask us to pick her up, that she wanted to come home. The sadness on my brother’s face, the longing in my mother’s soul, and the worry in my father’s eyes.

But my Grandmother, her 70-year-old face was lit up like a child walking into a candy store. What was she feeling? Was she excited at the prospects of her new found freedom. Was she scared? She must have been, she doesn’t even speak English! But this was her chance, this was her opportunity it was time. Seeking independence, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance for the very first time in her old age was something she owed to herself. She reminded me that it is never too late to challenge yourself and step into a part of the world you never knew about.

This is the event I would have photographed.

As runner-up, Hayley will be receiving a pastel backdrop, a Lightapalooza 2013 tee shirt, and a Golden Ticket, which will also enter her into the year-end grand prize drawing for a $15,000 Westcott shopping spree and other great prizes. Congratulations to both Jon and Hayley! Stayed tuned this month for the grand prize drawing, taking place on December 31st!

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Tags: Lightapalooza

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