Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Our April program certainly convinced us that photography has a great future. First we saw five high school students receive prizes for their entries in the Spring WPHS Show High School Photo Contest. Their work was considered some of the best we’ve had by judges and members alike.

The second part of the program consisted of presentations by Ashley Whaley and Claire Warden, our 2009 College Scholarship winners. Both are students at Arizona State University and demonstrated a strong sense of both the artistic and technical aspects of photography.
Ashley showed us some of her work around a variety of themes. One theme was hands—portraits where one really got a sense of something special about the person by focusing on their hands. She also had a series of “staged” work telling a story about people who had lived in a house that had been abandoned. We got a feel for their lives by looking at the images Ashley produced. Ashley works both with film and digital processing.

Claire has published a book containing some of her best images. She shoots with a 35mm camera and then scans and prints the images digitally. One of her series of works was a variety of textures, conveying the feeling just with the texture. Claire noted that she particularly focuses on networking with photographers and gallery owners and curators, so that, when she’s ready for a full time job, these connections can produce results, even in a tight job market.

Both students are interested in photography and curating exhibits. Claire currently works part time at the gallery at ASU and both have secured internships at galleries for this summer. Ashley and Clair truly appreciated their scholarships because the money went directly into their education and photography, allowing them to concentrate a little less on part time work and more on their classes.

Ashley Whaley and Claire Warden are both skilled photographers and the WPHS can be assured that we invested in good students. Thank you to Ashley and Claire for great presentations—we expect to see your work in prestigious galleries in the future.

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