What’s wrong with this picture?


The Martlet’s “What’s wrong with this picture?” photo contest dealt with big issues relating to our environment and society. Summing such issues up in one photo is not an easy task, however picturesque our region may be. When selecting a winner, we looked for images that presented something new and were not voyeuristic, especially when it came to the sensitive issue of downtown homelessness.

The winning image, by TJ Watt, makes a concise statement on deforestation in B.C. The lone person provides a much-needed sense of scale. The clouds and the fog add to the overall gloominess; the lines in the stump and the mountains lead the viewer naturally through the important parts of the frame.

Our runner-up, Jackie Björnert, captured an unusual scene. The crushed cars atop a barge, coupled with the ominous claw in the background, are juxtaposed with the undisturbed water surface; a reminder that though Victoria may be known for its closeness to and respect of the natural environment, it produces waste like any city, and needs to invest in more sustainable means of transportation.

Louis Bockner’s honourable mention photo employs similar techniques. Through contrast of fore and background, the photograph tastefully registers the marginalization of downtown’s homeless people.

The Martlet is pleased to showcase the work of these photographers and thanks all who submitted to this year’s photo feature contest.

FEA First Place TJ Watt-1Web

Vancouver Island contains some of the world’s most spectacular old-growth temperate rainforests, where trees have trunks as wide as living rooms and grow as tall as skyscrapers. Sadly, 75 per cent of the Island’s productive old-growth forests have been logged, including 90 per cent of the valley bottoms, where the biggest trees grow and richest biodiversity resides. The forests support endangered species, tourism, clean water and many First Nations cultures. We need to protect our last endangered old-growth forests, shift to sustainable, value-added second-growth forestry instead and end the export of raw logs. Healthy forests, healthy communities and a healthy future — let’s make it happen!

First Place
Last Stands
Gordon River Valley, southern Vancouver Island, B.C.
by TJ Watt


FEA Second Place Jackie Bjornert-1Web
Across from Jutland Road, cars are disposed of at an alarming rate. An effective transportation system in Victoria such as light rail would reduce reliance on vehicles in the city. Light rail systems have proven to be environmentally friendly transportation solutions in Vancouver, Chicago and elsewhere. They are also safe, efficient, capable of transporting commuters in high capacity and affordable. Victoria’s current bus system is certainly utilized, but we’re still too dependent on cars. The city would benefit from a light rail system.

Second Place
Crushed and tippy
Near Jutland Road, Victoria, B.C.
by Jackie Björnert


FEA Third Place Louis Bockner-1Web
Victoria’s homelessness issue is complicated, and driving homeless people out of the downtown core by building new condos is not going to help. I believe that all people should be treated as human beings, and therefore, we need to take on this issue from a place of love and understanding rather than viewing it as an issue that simply needs to be dealt with.

Third Place
Pandora Avenue, Victoria, B.C.
by Louis Bockner