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November 11, 2009 > Juried Photography Exhibit

Juried Photography Exhibit

By Emma Victoria G. Blanco

It has been said that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." If that is so, then photographers would have a unique and engaging perspective on that popular adage. Each year we are fortunate to be privy to the perspectives of local photography hobbyists and professionals as they share with the community the beauty that their eyes have beheld and their cameras have captured.

For the 16th year in a row, the Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC)'s Annual Juried Photo Show will showcase the talents of Bay Area photographers. Along with the assistance of City of Fremont Recreation Services and Alameda County Libraries, the FCAC is pleased to sponsor the popular exhibition, which will take place November 13 through December 11 at the Fremont Main Library.

"I was concerned that with the recession and slow economy we might have a poor turnout this year," expressed Jason Cheng. Cheng is this year's Exhibit Chairman. He added, "It's good to see that interest in photography remains strong in our community. There are certainly lots of very talented photographers in Fremont."

This year sixty Fremont photographers and members of Fremont photography clubs submitted photographs for the chance to win recognition and cash prizes. From a total of 220 entries, 114 images were deemed worthy for display at the exhibit. Ten entries won Merit Awards. A "People's Choice Award" will be determined at the exhibit's Opening Night Reception on Friday, November 13, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Fremont Main Library's Fukaya Room.

A panel comprised of three judges was not allowed to know the names of the photographers or photograph titles during the selection process. 2009 FCAC Juried Photo Show judges included prominent representatives from the photography industry: Joan Field is President of Northern California Council of Camera Clubs (N4C) and Editor of their newsletter. She just completed a two-year term as chairwoman of the Yerba Buena Chapter of the Photographic Society of America (PSA). Ellie Webster is a Fellow of the PSA, acting as Director of the Travel Aides Service and Director of the Nature Division's Essay Competitions. She is an active member of the Pacific Chapter of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, N4C, and the San Mateo Peninsula Camera Club. She has also been the subject of "one woman" shows of her African images in Palo Alto Galleries and at the San Mateo County Arts Council Gallery. Dick Stahlke has been photographing seriously since 1993 and has studied with many of the best instructors in the industry. He has served as past President (2006-2007) of the N4C.

Winning photographs were selected based on Artistic Merit, Originality, Difficulty and Technical Aspects. This is the first year that Greg Geren, a Manufacturing Engineer and Operations Director at One Touch Systems, Inc. in San Jose, has entered the FCAC show. Four of five entries that he submitted were selected to be shown at the exhibit. "Breaking Wave with Gull" won first place. "[It] was taken one chilly February morning at the Point Reyes North Beach. It was a bright beautiful day with the large waves breaking hard on the sand. Although this is a very long beach, there was no one else in sight. I was standing on a point of sand extending a bit farther into the ocean than the surrounding beach, allowing a profile view of the waves as they broke onto the shore."

Second place was awarded to Cheng, who captured one of his favorite places in the winning photograph, "Merced River, Yosemite." He took the photograph several years ago using 35mm film; he scanned the negative with a film scanner and then digitally converted the image to black and white. He said, "For a number of years, I resisted the idea of shooting digitally, preferring to shoot film and scan the negatives or slides to create digital files that I could print myself. The last few years I have shot almost no film and now use digital [single-lens reflex cameras or] SLRs almost exclusively. It is certainly more convenient and encourages one to explore since it doesn't cost anything to take more images." Of the five entries that Cheng submitted, three were accepted for display in the show. He was experimenting with infrared photography when he shot "A Day in the Park" and it was a successful endeavor; it won a Merit Award.

Jacline Deridder won first place last year and was the recipient of the People's Choice Award in 2007. This year, all five of the photographs she submitted were accepted to be shown at the exhibit. One of the photographs, "Sunny Winter Roofs" won a Merit Award. Her panoramic photo "composed of thirty pictures stitched together," entitled "Dry Mud at Coyote Hills," won third place. It was taken "in the fall, before the first rains, when the wetlands are discolored and dry and the mud is crackled from thirst." She added, "It could seem like a bridge to nowhere, but it is bridge that leads to wonderful wilderness discoveries."

In addition to Cheng's and Deridder's Merit Award winning entries, ten other Merit Awards were handed out this year. Other recipients include Tom Matt for "Olde Tyme Rodeo," Barbie Dike's "Blue Tree," Alvin Tenpo for "Blue Garage" and "Nuclear Shelter," Douglas Stinson's "Palo Alto Post Office Loggia," Hiroko Muramatsu's "Sunflowers," Alan Bickett for "Painted Hills" and "Autumn Street," Ralph Cooksey Talbot's "Koopman Oak 360," and Deborah Tidwell's "Del Valle Canoes."

It was the first time Tidwell entered her work in a photography show. "I submitted five entries and two were accepted for the show, with one winning an award. It's very exciting to have a photo chosen [on] my first try," she enthused. It is a testament to the caliber of talent that will be showcased in the exhibit. A number of the participants are professional photographers, such as Cooksey Talbot, who has studied under renowned artist Ansel Adams. But for most of the participants, photography is a hobby. Though Deridder clarified, "I'd rather say [photography] is a passion; it has become more than a hobby."

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

The exhibit's Opening Night Reception is open to the public. Cheng stated, "We'll serve light refreshments and there will be an award ceremony. It's a fun event and visitors can vote for their favorites to determine the People's Choice Award." He added, "Many of the photographers attend, so visitors often get a chance to discuss a photo they particularly like with the person who actually took the photo which is kind of neat." If you are unable to make it to the reception, plan to visit the exhibit anyway and see what beauty can be found through the eyes of the photographers and their camera lenses.

Juried Photography Exhibit
On display through December 11

Opening Night Reception
Friday, November 13
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 745-1400

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