The top prize winners of the 2017-18 Tohoku University Photo Contest (TUPC) have received their awards from Vice President of Public Relations Noriko Osumi, who was also head of the judging panel.
Clint John Cortes Otic, a student at the Graduate School of Engineering, won the Grand Prize of a 50,000 yen cash voucher. His photo, "Summer Meets Autumn," features the famous tree-lined street that runs through Aobayama Campus.
"Although my lab is at Katahira, all my classes used to be at Aobayama so I would travel back and forth and pass through this tunnel of trees every day," said Otic, who is originally from the Philippines. "The day I took this picture, the trees were so perfectly balanced. It was both luck and patience because I had to wait a long time to get a clean shot without cars or people."
Otic, who took up photography four years ago, said winning this contest has inspired him to take it more seriously. "I used to think of photography as just a hobby, but now I want to use the prize money to buy a higher-end camera to explore photography a little more."
Nguyen Chi Long, a medical student from Vietnam, won the Website Prize worth 20,000 yen for his photo, "I See the Light."
"When I first came to Japan I lived in Sanjo, and every night, especially in winter, the sky was very beautiful," he said. "We decided to go to the ocean area where we could see even more stars. We stayed up all night for this pre-dawn shot and used a long exposure. It was just a fantastic sight."
The Tohoku University Photo Contest runs year round and is open to everyone, including students, faculty and members of the public. There are seasonal competitions where winners get cash vouchers worth 2,000 yen.
The Grand Prize and the Website Prize are handed out once a year and chosen among the best entries from all four seasons.
"I was really impressed that we got so many high quality entries this year," said Osumi. "In addition to these top two photos, there were many others that were really good too. I'm especially glad that foreign students are using this platform to show us Japan through their eyes."
Winning entries and honourable mentions from the 2017-18 seasonal contests will be uploaded to the university's Instagram page.
The first seasonal (autumn/winter) contest of 2018-19 will be announced soon, here on the university's homepage and social media sites, so please check back and take part.
Links to Seasonal Contest winners:
Tohoku University Public Relations Division