Images are powerful. A single moment captured on film can tell a story, evoke emotions, and raise awareness. The Wide Angle Photo Club’s 20th annual photography show, the Power of Photography, embraces all three of those qualities while benefiting ARC Gateway and showing the power photography has to help others.
What started as the photography contest at the Santa Rosa County Fair with just a few hundred photographs has now grown to attract photographers from all over the United States. This year, the Power of Photography show will display over 300 photographs chosen by three judges from over 1,000 photographs submitted by 143 different photographers. The show has grown to be the largest juried photography show in the Southeastern United States.
First through third place photos from over 12 categories—including Animals, Art and Abstract, People, Best Food Image and Most Creative Image of a Typical Subject—will be on display. Attendees can also vote for their favorite photograph for the People’s Choice award. Photos were judged by three professional photographers: Gary Langhammer, architectural photographer in Pensacola, Jeff Johnston, wildlife photographer from Mobile and Steven Savage, Adjunct Professor at Springhill College.
“There aren’t many opportunities for photographers in the community,” said Dick Weaver, President of the Wide Angle Photo Club. “This show offers an opportunity to photographers and also helps spread awareness about photography as an art form and gets the community involved.”
The annual show has also garnered exposure for local photographers and has jump-started the careers of some. Carol Langston, trade show manager for the Power of Photography show and a participating photographer in the contest, says the show has helped introduce her work into the local community.
“The show allows you to get exposure you never had before,” said Langston. “I’ve sold some pieces at the show and a lot of other artists have gone on to do their own shows and sell their work. A lot of that gets jump started from the exposure artist receive from the show.”
The Power of Photography show benefits more people than just photographers. All proceeds from the show benefit ARC Gateway, a local non-profit that offers supportive services for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Charles Brewer, the Executive Director at ARC Gateway, says that proceeds will help benefit three of ARC Gateway’s underfunded programs.
“The show will help the Pediatric Therapy program, which works with children ages zero to three, the Supportive Employment Program and Supportive Living,” said Brewer. Through Supportive Employment, ARC Gateway helps the developmentally disabled find a job in the community by teaching them how to fill out a resume and helping them learn what to say during an interview. Supportive Living helps developmentally disabled clients that live on their own in the community.
“They don’t drive,” said Brewer “so we help clients access public transportation, teach them how to open a bank account, and show them how to make a doctor’s appointment.”
Local and national sponsors have donated products, services, and trips that will be auctioned and raffled off with all proceeds benefiting ARC Gateway. This year, the Wide Angle Photo Club received over $18,000 worth of donated items including a camera donated by Olympus, a lens donated by Tamron, and a photo safari trip to the place of the winner’s choosing with a professional photographer.
On Saturday, sponsors and artists will host seminars and demonstrations that are free and open to the public. Seminars will cover a variety of topics of interest to photographers including Choosing a Tripod, Portrait Lighting, How Filters Work, and a digital photo workshop. Attendees are encouraged to bring their cameras to test new gear and to get instruction from professional photographers.
After twenty years, Langston still believes that most powerful aspect of photos in the Power of Photography show is the emotions they conjure.
“A lot of these photos are filled with emotions,” said Langston. “They really move you.”
POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
WHEN: 5- 9 p.m. Friday, July 19, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday, July 20 and 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday, July 21
WHERE: Pensacola Museum of Art, 407 S. Jefferson Street
SEMINAR AND DEMO SCHEDULE, SATURDAY, JULY 20
10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m.: “Finding the Picture In Your Shot” (Digital Photo Workshop) by Jeff Leimbach
11:15 a.m.-11:25 a.m.: “Choosing a Tripod” by Tom Thomas
11:30 a.m. -12:15 p.m.: “Topaz Labs – How Filters Work” by Ivan Randall
12:15 p.m.-12:25 p.m.: “Cleaning Your Sensor” by Richard Weaver
12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.: “Portrait Lighting” by Long Hollow Studios’ Noel Nichols
1:15 p.m.-1:25 p.m.: “The Wacom Tablet”
1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m.: “Stop Taking Snapshots & Start Making Photos” by Suzanne Borges
2:15p.m.-2:25p.m.: “Packing Your Bag” by Angela Peacock
2:30p.m.-3:15p.m.: “Topaz Labs — Our Filters Rule” by Ivan Randall
3:30p.m.-4:15p.m.: “Exposure – Get Off Auto” by Rob Kepko of Calagaz Camera