Our Finalists & Winner

Congratulations to the 13 finalists of the Uncommon Cameras photography competition!

Uncommon Cameras, the photography competition run by the European Alumnae Council and the Mount Holyoke Global Alum Alliance, would like to congratulate our 13 finalists and our overall winner!

Our “Super Winner”

Voting was open to all MHC alums and students. Voting closed on 24th November and the overall winner was Nadia Heath ’80, Scotland, with her joy-filled image “Fly Like A Bird”. Huge congratulations Nadia!

Nadia Heath '80 - Fly Like A Bird
Winning Entry by Nadia Heath ’80 – Fly Like A Bird
Meet our finalists…

The Uncommon Cameras jury included photography and art professionals Jennifer Ransom ’65, Claudia Palmira ’95, Sonali Gulati ’96, Sylvia Xue Bai (白雪) ’07, and Christine Boehm ’09. After intensive and extensive communications via email and Zoom, the jury selected 13 finalists out of the 122 photographs that were submitted by 53 alums from 24 countries and five continents.

To see all 122 entries, visit our Instagram to see the photos and read their captions 🙂

(scroll down for the gallery of finalists’ pictures)

Cindy Chan ’05 Cindy Chan ’05, Australia Deserted Classroom 
Eleanor Chang '78 Eleanor Chang ’78, USA       Argue, Pray, Love
Sophie Chen ’91 Sophie Chen ’19, China       Milky Way 
Elizabeth Cooper '95 Elizabeth Cooper ’95, UK Ben Sgulaird
Heather Do '07 Heather Do ’07, Germany Weather the Storm
Carolyn Geisler Hornfeld '63 Carolyn Geisler Hornfeld ’63, Switzerland The Dents du Midi – Am I dreaming?
Nadia Heath '80 Nadia Heath ’80, Scotland Fly Like a Bird 
Karen Hopkins '92 Karen Hopkins ’92, Spain Sunlit Lavender and Grasses of LaMancha
Mieke Kamps FF'78 Mieke Kamps ’78, The Netherlands Inside & Out 
Lane Rosenthal '74 Lane A. Rosenthal ’74, USA My Paris Teacher 
Virginia Ross '66 Virginia Ross ’66, UK Surfing Forecast 
Elizabeth Taeed '09 Elizabeth Ta’eed ’09, Portugal My Other Half 
Olivia Wrobleski '21 Olivia Wrobleski ’21, USA/UK c/a 4:30 pm 


View our 13 finalists’ photographs & backstories

The finalists were selected proportionally in each different category (representing roughly 10% of the entries in each category), and are all together here for you to enjoy:

13. Olivia Wrobleski ’21, USA/UK – c/a 4:30 pm

Image 13 of 13

I took this photograph for a project while studying at the Siena Art Institute for my study abroad, spring of 2020. My experience at Siena Art was one of the best I've had in my entire life, giving me a voice as an artist and introducing me to people from all over the world whom I would have never met otherwise. When I was forced to leave abruptly, I felt a whole in my heart for a long time. For this reason, these images have immense sentimentality to them. The project I took these for was the first assignment, called "Walk of Destiny", where we were meant to walk alone throughout the city to become acquainted, but also find what stood out to us about Siena. To me, the open windows and hanging laundry lines were something I fell in love with -- the liminal space between open and closed, public and private. I did my project of laundry lines, creating my own installed laundry line of photographs, drawings, a poem, and my own clothing. This project became the inspiration for a great deal of my work over the past year. The poem for the project reads as follows What defines public or private space?  Or who defines it?  The windows are open, The streets are intimately lined in black and white, Fabrics floating from above -- some at eye level. Do they know we are looking?  That I am looking?  Do they care?  Should we? The invisibility of a city  Is defined by its walls,  But what about Its windows?

The quality and intensity of the photos submitted for Uncommon Cameras is truly impressive, and the jury faced a very challenging task. During their evaluation, jury members focused on artistic quality, composition, visual impact, and originality. They also valued adherence to the theme and relevance of the backstories. To view all entries, click here.

The task was daunting but exhilarating. One of the jury members summed up the experience with these words: “[it was] amazing to see this cross-continents effort! While I didn’t expect to be empowered in the process, it happened! Reviewing the photos made me happy and gave me an MHC kind of power”.

Congratulations to the finalists, our overall winner, and big thanks to all jury members for their participation!