SETAGAYA-KU, TOKYO, JAPAN - Allio, an American-based professional photographer, was one of 24
individuals honored today as a winner of "Best Pictures of the Year" competition presented by
Photography Unlimited of Japan. Allio's entry, entitled "Tribute", was inspired by
international sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.
"I'm pleased to be recognized for my photography in an international setting, especially this type
of artistic imagery," Allio said. "Photo contests rarely interest me due to the subjective
nature of the judging. However, the opportunity to present this photograph to a world-wide audience
was the deciding factor in my first participation in this annual competition."
An estimated 20,000 photographs were submitted to this year's contest. The entries were narrowed to
839 images, selected by audience voting on a 1-to-10 scale. Finally, the official judging panel
selected 24 photographs for "Best Pictures of the Year" honors.
An amateur figure model from Las Vegas, Nevada, was the subject of the artwork created in 2002.
"Tribute" was selected as "Best Pictures of the Month" in June of that
year. Ironically, the "Best Pictures of the Year" award was announced on June 1, 2003,
the anniversary of Monroe's 77th birthday.
The original studio image was created in Las Vegas using a professional Nikon digital camera and lens.
Illumination for the exposure of the model's nude figure was indirect existing light.
According to Allio, the entire cash prize that accompanied the "Best Pictures of the Year"
honor will be converted from Japanese yen to US dollars and used to fund a college art scholarship.
In the past decade, the Allio and his family have established one national and one international
Allio is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He travels the world on photojournalism
assignments. He maintains a studio presence in Wise, Virginia; Upstate, South Carolina;
Atlanta, Georgia; and Las Vegas, Nevada.