A finalist in one of the most notable international photo contests is a photo from Davenport. It was selected from among 122,000 entries.
It is of Barack and Michelle Obama, relaxing over chocolate sundaes at Lagomarcino’s in the Village of East Davenport after a campaign rally last August.
The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards received entries from all over the world. Only 21 were designated as finalists in what is called the slide show “shortlist.”
The Obama photo by Scout Tufankjian, an independent photographer whose portfolio includes a book of photographs from Obama's first run for the White House.
In a statement, World Photographer Organization creative director Astrid Merget referred to the competition as the hunt for the “best international contemporary photography from across the world.”
He’s quoted: “After seeing the results, we can say with certainty the shortlist achieves its goal. The selected photographs capture the diverse, strange and beautiful experience of living on earth, from a frog dramatically leaping from a predator, to Barack and Michelle Obama laughing over ice cream sundaes.”
THE PHOTO of the Obamas is entitled “Four More Years.” It portrays them as a couple having a good time together in a simple, quiet setting.
No subject names are used with the competition picture and Lagomarcino’s was not mentioned, The work of the winning photographers was shown in a gallery at Somerset House in London from April 26 until last Saturday at the Sony World Photographic Awards Exhibition.
Understandably, reaction from Lagomarcino's has been ecstatic.
"I'm stunned,” Tom Lagomarcino, one of the owners of the shop, says of the photo. “I’ve looked at the 21 finalist pictures. Many are exotic, like a bunch of running giraffes and scenes from all over the world … monks looking up at a night sky with thousands of lanterns. And right among those finalists, there we are, a little soda and candy shop on 11th Street.”
THE QUIETUDE of the soda fountain booth was a marked difference from a rousing Obama appearance a half-hour earlier at a curb-to-curb outdoor rally.
After the speech, the Obamas adjourned to the cool of Lago’s. Tom had prepared for them to be seated in Booth No. 3.
“The Obamas were shaking so many hands before coming into our soda shop that I had to make three different chocolate sundaes for them.” Tom says. "They kept melting."
In the photo, the president is laughing after having finished his sundae. Michelle is said to have left a dollop of ice cream and a little chocolate in the bottom of her tulip glass.
AFTER THE OBAMAS LEFT, a server was about to wipe down the tabletop and take the sundae tulip glasses to the dishwasher.
“No, no,” Tom said. “They are history.” The two glasses are now on a shelf of soda fountain memorabilia in the Village store.
The 2013 international Sony winners have been compiled in a limited-editon coffee table book available on Amazon.com.
You also can see a slide show of the top photos at qctimes.com/photoawards.
Contact Bill Wundram at 563-383-2249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.