April 25, 2019 By Kelly Kauffman , kk4bb@virginia.edu

Lake reflecting the yellow grey sky and trees that surround it

UVA’s Spring Photo Contest Captures the Best of Spring on Grounds

Photographers took to Grounds to showcase the best of spring. Their entries did not disappoint.

To celebrate the warm weather and flowers blooming around Grounds, the UVA Spring Photo Contest called on members of the University of Virginia community to grab their cameras or smartphones and capture the highlights of the season.

The photographers were invited to post their best photos to UVA’s Instagram account or send them in via email. Hundreds of submissions poured in, with shots of the University’s iconic architecture, animals and flowers abounding.

These photographers each had their own styles and subject matter, with some choosing to use the Rotunda as a backdrop for their photos and others bringing their pets in as models, which was reminiscent of UVA’s Pet Photo Contest.  

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White flowers on a tree on the Lawn
A bright spring day was the highlight of one Instagram user’s submission for the UVA Spring Photo Contest. (Contributed photo, @ vahidfarmehini on Instagram)

However, this year’s winning photographer chose a location that showcased the serenity of Grounds.

Second-year foreign affairs major Spencer Patton won the contest with his shot of the pond at the Dell, featured at the top of the page. The winning shot was a serendipitous moment, he said. He did not originally intend to participate in the contest, but while taking photos of his fourth-year teammates on the Cavalier men’s soccer team, he found the perfect shot.

“I happened to have forgotten my portrait lens and only had my landscape lens. It was the golden hour of the day so I figured I’d go and grab some shots,” he said.

Adorable dogs were a feature of this year’s UVA Spring Photo Contest. (Contributed Photo, @gshamiyeh on Instagram)

Adorable dogs were a feature of this year’s UVA Spring Photo Contest. (Contributed Photo, @gshamiyeh on Instagram)

By taking his shot during “golden hour,” a photography term that refers to the period of daytime either immediately before sunset or after sunrise, Patton took advantage of the day to feature beauty of the pond.

Helping judge the contest was UVA Communications’ senior photographer, Sanjay Suchak, who lauded the symmetrical framing of the shot, which “gives equal space to the sky and the water.”

“The nice mirror image of the sunset is something we are lucky to capture on Grounds,” Suchak said.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the UVA Spring Photo Contest! Take a look at a few more submissions from this year’s photo contest:


Media Contact

Kelly Kauffman

Social Media Associate University Communications