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JHU Announces Winners of High School Photography Show

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Dani Truland took top honors for her photograph, Chameleon, in the third annual Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus photography show.

Truland, a senior at Poolesville High School, is taking AP Photography and plans to study industrial design in college. Her winning photograph was taken during a class trip to the Hirshhorn Museum.

Students from 12 Montgomery County public high schools participated this year and now have their art works on exhibit at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus through May 11. The exhibit, called Transitions, is free and open to the public.

Of the 299 works submitted, jurors selected 52 to be showcased. Six students won prizes.

An opening reception for the exhibit was held on campus in March. Parents, students and community residents gathered to view the art and hear the winners announced.

The exhibit is one of JHU’s programs designed to get young people excited about STEAM education. The A in STEAM is for “art,” an important component of a well-rounded student’s education. (STEAM is an acronym for Science-Technology-Engineering- Art-Mathematics.) Plaza Artist Materials donated the canvases.

The judges were local professional photographers Laura-Leigh Palmer and Carlo Pizarro.

Here are their remarks:

1st Place: Chameleon  by Dani Truland of Poolesville High School. Chameleon.jpg
Parker: Chameleon is an aptly named piece and shows the fun that can be produced with photography. An optical illusion is created as the person looking at the painting blends into the canvas due to the clothing she is wearing. The photograph itself emphasizes the blending more than someone who would be viewing the scene in real life since our eyes adjust to more subtle variations in color than the camera will. It is successful in wanting the viewer to look at it again and again. It fits the theme of Transitions in that it bridges the worlds of optical illusion and reality.

Pizarro: I chose this piece for first place because of the interesting, somewhat sophisticated graphic layout, the pleasing composition, and the creative use of a monochromatic tone range.

2nd Place: New Americana  by Rani Powell of Poolesville High School. New Americana.png
Parker: New Americana is another fun photograph that conveys the energy of the subjects in the photo as they gather on top of a school bus. Although multiple people are in the shot, the framing with a large area of blank sky draws the eye into the image and it is an image that multiple viewings bring new delights. The solid color of the bus also helps bring out the subjects.

Pizarro: The composition and feel of this image was compelling. The artist used the theme of Transitions well and applied the idea of our outdated views of what Americana used to be to a more modern interpretation.


3rd Place: Made of Many  by Sydney Rourke of Quince Orchard High School. Made of Many.jpg
Parker: Made of Many could have been done before the days of Adobe Photoshop but not without great difficulty. The various images of the subject’s face were taken apart and are presented as a collage of rectangles with the focus being an eye staring out at the viewer. A slight drop shadow has been added under each collage piece, giving a sense of dimension, and it also gives the viewer more to look at with additional viewings. Usually images that are people parts are not ones I favor. However, this one avoids the clichés with juxtaposition of images and also leaves in the viewers’ mind a question if all the images are the same model.

Pizarro: This image featured well-executed lighting and angles, as well as an interesting and effective placement of each segment.


Honorable Mentions

Birthday Wish  by Raheem Haq of Churchill High School. Birthday Wish.jpg
Parker: Birthday Wish is an image seen many times, but the photographer has caught that moment that shows on the subject’s face that great things are to come as the wish is pondered before the candles are extinguished. The dark background frames the subject beautifully, and the slight bend in the candle flame captures a moment in time.

Pizarro: This image had an eye-pleasing composition and nicely captured the theme, in particular the transition of entering into a new year. It captured a hopefulness of what the coming year will bring.

Grandmother  by Ana Gutierrez Covarrubias of Churchill High School. Grandmother.jpg
Parker: Grandmother is an image that transfers the emotion of caring and love as the focus is all on the old hands busy braiding the hair of a young girl. Only the hands busy at their task are in sharp focus, and it seems as if the child is ready or has already begun to jump out of the frame to rush off to some activity. Creating both emotion and movement in the same image is not an easy task although the goal of many a photo.

Pizarro: This image had very well-executed lighting, composition and tone. In addition, this image evoked the theme of Transitions very effectively.

Pivot Bouquet  by Yulong Jones of Northwest High School. Pivot Bouquet.jpg
Parker: Not knowing the artist’s intent and the title is not much of a help. It is an abstract that is well executed and allows the viewer to come up with his or her own interpretation. Is it representative of a bouquet of flowers and the woman in the process of unfolding? It is a Rorschach test that invites the viewer to decipher meaning.

Pizarro: I selected this image for honorable mention because it has an eye-catching, well-executed design and graphic layout.

CATEGORY: The Arts, K-12 Outreach