Students impress with photography skills
With several of the outstanding entries on display, James 'Jimmy' Moss-Solomon, chairman of the Grace and Staff Community Development Foundation, praised the work of the young photographers at the foundation's LICK and SPARK photo clubs annual awards ceremony at GraceKennedy headquarters on October 25 and made a bold statement.
Referring to the collected images - those from this year as well as from the last 12 years or so since the inception of the first club - Moss-Solomon said that they "represented the beginnings of a fledgling movie industry".
In other words, the quality and expertise consistently presented meant it was time for the club activities to add video features and shorts to the still photography.
Moss-Solomon pointed out that if they or any of the other club members moved on into the world of cinema or video, they would be walking in a well-established tradition of well-known directors and cinematographers who began as still photographers.
These include Oscar winner, the late Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey and Full Metal Jacket), who started as a freelance photographer with Look magazine and others, and Anton Corbijn (Life, The American), who started out as a photographer for U2 and REM before transitioning to feature films via music videos.
Programme director Dr Curtis Sweeney concurred.
He said the high standard of the entries this year was only to be expected, given that the club members had distinguished themselves in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Photo Competition over the years and had also gone on to international acclaim at the International Photo Awards of the Lucie Foundation.
Guest speaker, painter Stanford Watson, who is also the coordinator of the MultiCare Foundation, used a Langston Hughes poem and a number of pointed examples to show the interconnectedness of all art forms and the vital role that the creative industries play in everyday life.
Motivated to Go Further
The comparisons were not lost on the top three winners, with two of them stating that they wished to pursue photography further.
Brandon Sanko, second-place winner with his entry 'Hard at Work', and third-place winner Dayna Francis, with her entry 'Lookout', said that they were excited by the prospect of a career in visual media. Winner Chrisanna Todd (entry: 'Boat Yard') said her dream career is accounting but also said that she wished to continue doing photography. Todd and Francis are first-time photographers.
Prints of the outstanding entries (including honourable mentions) from the LICK and SPARK photo awards are on sale and available from the Grace and Staff Community Development Foundation. The photography workshops were conducted by photographer Howard Moo Young, who was also chief judge.