Jon Erlien is the 2017 winner of the Jake’s Cafe Photo Contest. He received a $1000 check for his photo titled “Passion”. The winning entry was actually selected by Herbert V. Kohler and is used for his personal New Year’s Card and Kohler Annual Report. The photo will be matted, titled and framed for permanent display in the Kohler Company Collection. This is the 45th year of the contest.
“I love shallow depth of field”, says Erlien. “The way the foreground blurs leading up to your subject and the way the background falls off behind the subject is a look I truly love. The sharpness I can get out of an image when photographing wide open is a look I’m addicted to. I wanted an area that was long in length and had leading lines, what better area than the south pier area of Sheboygan county. My daughter was the subject in this photograph and I caught the timing just right with the wind blowing her hair to the north just a bit. The edit was already done in my head after I saw the image on the back of my camera. I knew I was going to process the image for black and white and I would do some minor adjustments to have her standout as the hero of the photograph. I am truly grateful for the successes that photography has given me. Knowing what my passion is and having that passion drive me makes it all worth it. It was very humbling to know that the image was titled “Passion” in the Kohler Collection, because the winning image encompasses 360 degrees of passion to me.”