I once won the first price of a photo contest. Our Col.legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya organized it first Digital Photography Contest for Architects sometime around year 2004. Subject: Architecture (really???!!!)
A short time before, around 2003, we travelled to L.A. to visit my friend Peclar.
When we arrived in the airport I was worn out, after a 14 hour flight from London, and a previous flight from Barcelona. Peclar was taking care of suitcases and car trunks. I looked up and there it was. The picture was there, waiting to be taken.
For those who have never visited L.A., there is a 3-legged-spider Calatrava-looking (though it was not designed by him) building, right on LAX International Airport, known as LAX Tower. Although many people believe it has some relationship with airplanes, it is actually a restaurant.
The picture is heavily based on composition and crop. The building structure is made of some kind of white concrete or enameled iron. The subtle contrast between the lit / unlit surface, and the blue California sky makes the picture look like its actually a watercolor painting.
The contest was sponsored by a really big Japanese hardware company. I as a first price, I got a laptop. I had gotten myself a laptop of the same brand (by coincidence) only three months before, so I sold it and I bought the first half of my "girlfriend".
My girlfriend, of whom my wife knows absolutely everything, is my beloved LEICA M6. She is more than a camera. She is (or I should say, was, since film labs have become a luxury I cannot afford) the closest I have had to a sixth finger on my right hand, or a third eye stuck on a piece of metal. She made me grow up photographically like nothing else in this world. For a long long time, I only used black and white film in it, and she made me learn how to see in black and white. Photographically, I am what/who I am, in a big percentage, because of her. It took me some six months to save the money for a Sumicron 35mm lens, and that's all I used and all I needed for a long long time.
We were a happy couple of three.