September ’17 – WINNER #1

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 looking 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.”