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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pros Of The Future

Out of the thousands of submissions, the images on these pages are those that rose to the top in this year's contest

This Article Features Photo Zoom

prosFirst Prize—Fashion/Beauty
Alex Lim
Location: Seattle, Washington
School: Self-taught photographer
Awards: Currently no awards or accolades, but hopes to receive many in the coming years.

Like many self-taught photographers, Alex Lim didn’t realize he had a passion for photography until he left college a few years ago. More into the technology side of the medium, his sensibility for imagery evolved when he realized he could marry high technology with artistry. He lives for the creative expression, the technical challenges, the connection with the subject and viewer, and the story that comes with photography.

To Lim, the most inspirational photographers working are those who are just hitting their stride, shooting campaigns, seeing lots of printed pages and doing what they love. Lim’s immediate goal is simple—to be able to make a reasonable living as a photographer.

In the winning photograph, we see one of the first compos-ited /images Lim has ever attempted. The foreground of the image with the model and columns were all shot together in daylight with a single strobe, while the town square in the background was shot at a completely different location later that day. Using Photoshop, Lim focused on details and made a flawless composite and an evocative final image.

The realm of Fashion/Beauty lies very much in the eyes of the beholder. This image is striking for its use of imagination and the way in which Lim departed from the normal rules governing a fashion shot. Too many young professionals move in lock step with the safe imagery that has come before. It’s always refreshing to see a photographer feel confident to step out of those boundaries.

prosHonorable Mention
Bob Garas
Location: Clermont, Florida
School: Self-taught photographer
On an athletic scholarship at the University of Tennessee studying to be an accountant, Bob Garas became injured and lost his funding. When he left school and returned to his hometown, he picked up a camera and started working with a local stock photographer to learn his way around lighting and composition.

While shooting and working in the airline industry, Garas decided to switch to a field that brought him more personal satisfaction, and a photography career was born. In particular, he’s drawn to the stock photography business and editorial magazine work, and in his professional work he hopes to make /images that show a unique perspective. For his Honorable Mention-winning photograph, Garas captured a rapper who was making a run at becoming a force in the music industry.
Awards: stockvault.net 2007 Photo of the Year; NationalPhotoAwards.com 2007 Photo of the Year.

prosChristine Szeredy
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
School: Attending the Academy of Art University, San Francisco
Christine Szeredy was raised in a small town in Germany, where her father got her started in photography by setting up a darkroom in the basement. Although she loved photography from an early age, she found herself hooked in a most unlikely place—a mechanical engineering class using a thermodynamic camera. After six years of living in the U.S., she now spends her time shooting commercial and fashion /images, with influences like Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams and modern-day photographers like Sally Mann, Patrick Demarchelier, Melvin Sokolsky and Annie Leibovitz.

This photograph was strongly inspired by the works of Louise Dahl-Wolfe. In order to get this image, Szeredy scouted the Grandfather Mountain area a week prior to the shoot and chose it as her location. The sky was cloudy and only some sun was coming though the clouds, a very typical October day for North Carolina—hot, humid and a chance for a thunderstorm to happen. The picture was shot with natural light and a Quantum flash.
Awards: Finalist, 28th Annual College Photography Contest sponsored by Nikon and Photographer’s Forum; featured in the 2008 Photo Editors Choice for Smithsonian Magazine.


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