Sports Icons + Still Lifes: Photography 2022 Winners

Sports stars shine under colorful lighting, and a still life tells someone’s life story in these Photography 2022 award winners.

Howard Schatz is an award-winning American photographer and Graphis Master residing in New York City. Originally trained as a retina specialist at John Hopkins University, Schatz first worked as an ophthalmologist but then decided to turn to a photography career after his wife gave him a camera in 1993.  Despite his change in professions, Schatz’s background in studying human anatomy and biology plays into his practice, where he uses light and color in combination with his technical skills to create images that challenge the traditional representation of the human form. 

In his Gold-winning entry “DeLisha Milton 010” (above, left), Schatz shoots the WNBA player posed against a green illuminated background, holding a basketball against her forehead and looking away from the camera. Taken from a low angle, Schatz captures Milton’s lean build from a striking perspective, utilizing bold lighting design to emphasize the ridges and shadows created by Milton’s muscles. Schatz continues his study of the human physique in his Platinum-winning entry “008: HB 1320 – Bryan Scott” (above, right) picturing the NBA player posed on a pedestal under the gleam of white lighting. As he bends over, Scott’s physical form and skin take on a statuesque appearance, highlighting his muscle and smooth skin while also emphasizing the rich blue undertones of his body to create an image that is both technically excellent and visually captivating.

The third image this week is another Gold-winning entry from photographer Scott Lowden. With more than 20 years in the industry, Lowden’s journey has taken him to editorial projects, branding campaigns, and even film and television. However, Lowden first launched his career in still life photography, and he goes back to his roots in more ways than one in his piece History 118” (above), producing a gothic-themed still life made of personal items from his past.  

Against the cool teal background, the rich warm hues of red, green, and brown offer the perfect contrast, immediately directing the viewer’s attention to the rose centerpiece and eclectic items on the wooden table. From there, the viewer’s eyes are guided throughout the picture, spotting a hand reaching out from underneath the roses with grapes before being drawn to the red prayer cards near the back of the photo. A blue ink bottle matching the photo’s background sits open on the table with a lock and key sitting close by, and on the left side of the bouquet, a stack of thick books and a spool of thread peak put from behind the roses. Altogether, this still life pulls the viewer in and piques curiosity about the history behind each object. 

To enter our 2023 Photography competition, visit, or click here to see more award-winning entries from last year’s Photography Annual.

Author: Graphis