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November 1, 2011 > Juried Photography Exhibit

Juried Photography Exhibit

By Emma Victoria G. Blanco

Advancements in technology did not overlook the photography industry. And the ubiquitous Smartphones make it extremely convenient to tap into the photographer in each of us. But how many of us can boast an actual talent for taking and editing photographs that are breathtaking and/or inspirational enough to be considered Art? It takes both a keen eye and honed skill-set to capture a moment with a camera.

The Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC) is once again proud to present the 18th Annual Juried Photography Exhibit to showcase amazing works of talented and award-winning local photographers. With assistance from the City of Fremont's Recreation Services Department, the FCAC, the Fremont Photographic Society, and the Photogenesis photo clubs of Fremont are pleased to sponsor the popular show and invite everyone to the Opening Night Public Reception on Friday, November 4 at the Fremont Main Library's Fukaya Room. Photographs will be on display from November 5 through December 9 during normal library hours in the main reading area behind the first floor information desk.

As in previous years, a panel of three judges - prominent representatives from the photography industry - had the unenviable task of selecting the winning photographs based on Artistic Merit, Originality, Difficulty, and Technical Aspects. Alison Brooks, Dick Stahlke, and Claudia Peterson were not allowed to know the names of the photographers or the photographs' titles during the selection process.

Brooks is past president of the Northern California Council of Camera Clubs (NCCCC), has been involved in photography for over 25 years, and for several years owned and operated Negative Space Photography, a professional darkroom. Stahlke, who also served as past president of the NCCCC, has been photographing seriously since 1993 and actively competes at the Master's level with the Contra Costa Camera Club. Peterson is the president of 6C (a coalition of six Bay Area camera clubs) and is an award-winning wildlife, portrait, and still-life photographer.

This year 51 Fremont photographers and members of Fremont photography clubs submitted their photographs for the chance to win recognition and cash prizes. From a total of 176 entries, 105 images from 41 photographers were deemed worthy for display. The recipient of the "People's Choice Award" will be determined at the Opening Night Reception, and the Merit Award winners will be announced around 7:30 p.m.

First time entrant Rick Brandt of Pleasanton submitted five photographs; all five were selected for display and four are award winners. "Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, NY," a high dynamic range (HDR) image comprised of five different images, won first place. Brandt's "Steam Engine #6" won second place; the photograph is a black and white image converted from a color digital image taken in Felton, California, during a camera club field trip. His "Cascade Falls" and "Hands Spinning Yarn" also won Merit Awards. Brandt is an Air Traffic Controller working out of the Oakland ARTCC located in Fremont. He has been a member of the Fremont Photographic Society and Photogenesis camera clubs for about 15 years and photography is his hobby.

Ian Bornarth submitted four entries; two were accepted to the show and one, "Grand Canyon Storm," placed third. Bornarth has been a past participant of and an active volunteer at the FCAC Juried Photo Shows. His winning photograph was taken at the Grand Canyon last fall as a storm was passing. He explained, "It created beautiful light streaming into the canyon. I often photograph landscapes, storms and other weather [to] generate some of the most dramatic scenes to photograph." Bornarth is a professional photographer and a photography instructor at the Art Institute of California, Sunnyvale.

Marina Grabovskaya became a member of the Fremont Photographic Society only two months ago. She submitted two entries and her "Curious Cat" won a Merit Award. "I took that picture a couple of [years] ago in Quebec, Canada. We were walking along a street in Quebec, enjoying the city's architecture and ambiance, and all of a sudden I saw that kitty in a window trying to reach toys behind the glass."

P. Kay Hill-Hatten's five entries were all accepted, with "Waiting in Truckee" winning a Merit Award. It is a digital photograph taken with an Olympus E-420 camera and printed on Epson Ultra Premium Luster paper with pigment inks. She explained, "The photo itself is a young dog tied up in the dirty entrance to an old bar, calmly waiting for the person that left her there. It just sat there [and] gave me kind of a look while taking her photo, with those blue eyes." Hill-Hatten considers herself an "artist-photographer," adding, "Photography, I'm somewhere in between it being a profession or a hobby."

Raul Lopez of Hayward feels "blessed to be one of the winners in this year's FCAC Juried Photo Show." Photography is a new hobby for him and a great one at that since his black and white entry entitled "From Days Past" won a Merit Award. Lopez explained that the photograph is "a front shot of an abandoned old car in a field at Bodie State Park located in the Eastern Sierras. The tall dry grass embraces the front fenders, there is no glass in the windshield and the side opening hood covers look like they might fall off at any time. An old structure sits in the background slightly to the right with hills of dry grass extending as far as the eye can see. The glorious crown to this scene is the beautiful, enormously puffy clouds that fill the sky."

All five of Koushik Biswas' entries were accepted to the show and "Lighthouse at Chicago" is a Merit Award recipient. The photo was taken while Biswas was on a boat tour at Navy Pier, Chicago. "It was a cloudy/rainy day and I was a bit sad as there were so many things to capture but light was not sufficient enough. On the way back, I think God listened to my heart and showed some rays of hope and the sun peeped [out] just for a few minutes. The position of my tour boat and the timing of the light [were] really crucial [elements to the photograph]; overall, I think it's a very straight shot and [I] was lucky enough to capture the essence of the perfect moment of time and light," Biswas explained of the winning photograph.

Despite this year being the show's 18th, it does appear to be a year of firsts. Brandt's photographs' winning first and second place, as well as Merit Awards is indeed an unusual occurrence. "I don't think this has ever happened before," said Jason Cheng, the show's Chairman for the sixth year in a row. He added, "When the judges make their decisions, it is done in blinded fashion. They have no way of knowing who the photographers are."

Also a first at the reception is the chance for people to inquire about the potential sale of the photographs. Cheng stated, "I am sometimes asked if the photographs in the exhibit are available for sale. This is entirely up to the photographer but in many cases they are interested in selling their photographs. This year there will be an opportunity at the opening night reception for any interested parties to leave their contact information and we will have the photographer contact them directly. This is something new that we are trying out this year."

A list of the prints selected for exhibit, as well as lists of previous years' award winners can be found online at

All are invited to the reception to meet the talented photographers and learn more about their passion for creating art through photography.

Juried Photography Exhibit
Nov 5 through Dec 9
Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

Opening Night Reception
Friday, November 4
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Fremont Main Library, Fukaya Room

(510) 745-1400

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