Fall 2017
1st Deadline: Friday, Sept. 29.
2nd Deadline: Tuesday, Oct. 31.
3rd Deadline: Wednesday, Nov. 29.
4th Deadline: Friday, Dec. 29.

Spring 2018
5th Deadline: Sunday, Feb. 25.
6th Deadline: Sunday, Mar. 25.
7th Deadline: Wednesday, Apr. 25.
8th Deadline: Friday, May. 25.

Official Rules

Entry Form

Yerelyn Nuñez winner OF THE 2017-2018 CUNY PHOTO CHALLENGE

Yerelyn Nunez March 2018 1st Place CUNY Photo Challenge for March 2018

In online balloting, students chose “Two Worlds Collide,” a self-portrait of Yerelyn Nuñez that she set up (her brother pushed the button) in Astoria, as their favorite among the monthly winners in CUNY’s 2017-2018 photo competition. Nuñez graduated from the CUNY School of Professional Studies in June with a B.A. in Communications and Media.

May ’18 – WINNER #7

Photo by Sean McSherry May 2018 1st Place CUNY Photo Challenge submission titled SURREAL FRIES
Sean McSherry May 2018 1st Place CUNY Photo Challenge

“Surreal Fries” is one of a series of photos that use french fries in unusual ways. City Tech student Sean McSherry says this image was created as part of his final project for a studio photography class. The idea came to him in the school cafeteria while eating curly fries and absently noticing a corded phone on the wall. “I didn’t have any experience with food or surrealistic photography, but always had aspirations to give it a go.” The model is fellow student Niko Mohan. Other shots in the series – including shoestring fries that replace shoelaces and crinkle-cut fries that become a picture frame – are here.

Sean McSherry is a rising senior majoring in communication design at New York City College of Technology who has a concentration in advertising design. After graduation, he expects either to pursue an M.B.A. or to work in a design or advertising agency. In his spare time he enjoys biking around Manhattan, visiting museums and practicing photography.

April ’18 – WINNER #6

April 2018 Student Photo Challenge winning picture by Kingsborough Community College student Anonina Darmetta, Kingsborough Community College
Antonina Darmetta, April 2018 1st Place Photo Challenge winner for LIFE'S A BEACH

“Life’s a Beach” was shot in front of the main cafeteria at Kingsborough Community College. “I took this photo during the summer when I was taking an art course at Kingsborough,” says Antonina D’Armetta. “I was relaxing on the sand before class had started. It was exam day and the tranquility of the waves and sun inspired me to pick this beautiful feather lying nearby to help me capture this moment and stay calm for the rest of the evening. I still have the feather.”

Antonina D’Armetta expects to graduate from Kingsborough after the Fall 2018 semester with a degree in biology. She intends to become a veterinarian. “My goals for the future are to keep growing, learning new things and investing my future in a happy job and lifestyle. During my spare time I’m happy doing anything that amuses me. I like to explore different adventures and see what the world holds.”

March ’18 – WINNER #5

Yerelyn Nunez March 2018 1st Place CUNY Photo Challenge for March 2018
Yerelyn Nunez March 2018 1st Place winner, CUNY Photo Challenge, March 2018

“Two Worlds Collide” is a self-portrait of Yerelyn Nuñez, which she set up (her brother pushed the button) in Astoria, Queens, with the CUNY Photo Challenge in mind. “I lived in Astoria for about four years, so I knew about the graffiti murals; I passed by them every day on my way to the train station.” She sees this photo as “a visual metaphor of what it is like being an online student, where work life and student life come together at once. It showcases the flexibility of being an online student, the fact that you can make the sidewalk your classroom if you’d like.”

Yerelyn Nuñez expects to graduate from the CUNY School of Professional Studies in June with a degree in communications and media. She hopes “to land a job in media as a writer or a social media manager for a fun company that focuses on entertainment news and pop culture. I also want to start my own blog.” In her spare time, she likes to watch movies/TV shows, to read and create memes (“I’m obsessed”) and outdoor activities like hiking or races (“the Spartan Race is coming up!”).

February ’18 – WINNER #4

A road in Poland. Monika Mozelewski, LaGuardia Community College - 1st place winner for ROAD, February 2018 Student Photo Challenge
Monika Mozelewski, LaGuardia Community College, Feb 2018 1st Place Photo Challenge winner

“Road” shows a dry, rural dirt lane in northwest Poland. “After the spring semester, I took the summer break to visit my family,” says LaGuardia student Monika Mozelewski. “One evening we went for a walk. This road made me think about my personal road. I went back to school after a long break to pursue my dream of becoming a physical therapy assistant. There have been many sacrifices. This cracked, dry road made me think that the journey won’t be easy, but it’s a road that leads to a destination.”

Monika Mozelewski, who came to the United States in 2002, raised two children (now 11 and 14) before deciding to go to college “to do something for me.” She says she chose LaGuardia because of the quality of its program and then spent 18 months taking prerequisite courses, including anatomy and physiology, statistics, psychology and English. She started the physical therapy assistant program in January and expects to graduate in June 2019. When she passes a national examination, she will be able to work. She lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and finds that it’s often faster to walk to LaGuardia than to take the subway. “I photograph all the time,” she adds. “It’s a passion.”

January ’18 – Winner not Selected

December ’17 – WINNER #3

Carousel at night, Elisa Quintana's photo LIGHT SHOW OF CHAOS, the December 2017 1st Place CUNY Photo Challenge winner
John Jay College student Elisa Quintana, December 2017 1st Place CUNY Photo Challenge winner for LIGHT SHOW OF CHAOS

“Light Show” captures the spirit of the holidays, as well as the feeling and movement of the wintertime carousel at Bryant Park, across from Guttman Community College in Manhattan. Elisa Quintana shot the photo while walking home. She liked “the way the night looked, combined with the lights of the carousel. A carousel is almost never still, so photographing it while moving seemed appropriate.”

Elisa Quintana is a sophomore at John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a double major in criminal justice and forensic psychology. She aspires to become a detective with the NYPD or LAPD. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and reading poetry.

November ’17 – WINNER #2

November 2017 Student Photo Challenge winning photo by Cesar Velazquez, John Jay College
November winner Cesar Velazquez
November 2017 Student Photo Challenge First Place winner, John Jay student Cesar Velazquez

“Extravagantly Vivid” elegantly captures the conical dome atop the Fulton Center subway atrium, a venue that draws some 300,000 daily transit passengers to nine subway lines. According to Grimshaw Architects, “The central architectural concept of redirecting natural light deep into the transit environment culminates in the design of the dome’s interior and a new integrated artwork titled Sky Reflector-Net … Both a neighbourhood asset and regional interchange, the Fulton Center fulfills a significant civic role as a gateway to and from Lower Manhattan. Commuters and visitors alike arrive and depart through a memorable, contemporary urban transit center that celebrates the city’s history while looking forward to its optimistic future.”

Cesar Velazquez, a freshman at John Jay College, says, “I was on my way home when I decided to roam around this building made of glass. When I entered, it turned out to be a subway station. I was amazed by the architecture. What I did not realize was that the roof was circular, with diamond-shaped patterns all over it. I decided to take a photo of it right then and there.” Cesar routinely carries the Canon DSLR that he bought during his senior year at Aviation High School. He intends to pursue a career in law enforcement.

October ’17 – Winner not selected

September ’17 – WINNER #1

September 2017 Student Photo Challenge winner by Kenneth Kwan Lam of Baruch College Library ceiling
September winner Kenneth Kwan Lam looks up at Baruch’s library atrium.
Baruch College student Kwan Lam, First Place winner of the September 2017 Student Photo Challenge.

“Bottom of the Well,” a compelling study in geometry and perspective, at first may be disorienting. What am I looking at? Is it ahead, down or up? Up, most assuredly, as anyone craning a neck in the atrium of Baruch College’s William and Anita Newman Library can testify. The shot is perfectly, squarely framed. Photographer Kwan Lam made the photo while waiting in line for a printer. “Everyone always runs back and forth between the library and the vertical building [across the street]. It was the only moment I had time to stop and look around the library where I study night by night. The atmosphere was so stressful. People do not even talk to each other, but the footsteps created a fast rhythm symphony. I wanted to escape all of these anxieties, thus, I subconsciously looked up to the roof.”

Kwan (Kenneth) Lam began studying at Borough of Manhattan Community College and transferred to Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, from which he expects to graduate as an accounting major in 2019. In between he took a gap year for family reasons, but that time also included a trip to Tibet “where I stayed on the Everest base camp overnight for Milky Way photography.” He currently interns in a small accounting firm, although he recently has been recruited by a bank, which could reorient him toward finance. Nonetheless, he has a great eye for photography, having won second place, third place or honorable mention in five CUNY Photo Challenge monthly competitions in 2015-2016. (The Challenge was on sabbatical in 2016-2017; the CUNY judges who select the monthly winners do so blindly, without knowing the photographer’s name.) “I love photography. It changed the way I think, changed the way I see the world, as well as allowing me to build my own world into a wonderland. Perhaps, the ultimate goal of my life is to capture all of the beautiful landscapes all over the world.”