HomeBensalem TimesPicture perfect: Local students compete in photo exhibition

Picture perfect: Local students compete in photo exhibition

This black-and-white image, titled ‘Architectures of Bulgaria, won a $1,000 scholarship for Danielle Gladstone of Dresher, in the student portion of the Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition.

Danielle Gladstone of Dresher, Pa., was in Sofia, Bulgaria, last summer with a youth group when she eyed what she thought would make an unusual photograph.

“It was a castle in Sofia,” said Gladstone, 18, an Upper Dublin High School senior. “I liked how the lines met and the overall architecture.”

Her black-and-white image, titled “Architectures of Bulgaria,” recently won the top prize in the student portion of the 21st annual Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition, running through March 31 at Phillips’ Mill, a 1756 grist mill located in Solebury, Bucks County.

The photograph, chosen over 36 others and handpicked for the show from a field of 136, earned her a $1,000 college scholarship. Competing for a place in the show were 101 students representing 17 schools.

Gladstone plans to study photography next fall at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

“It was like icing on the cake,” she said of her selection as the scholarship winner. “It means this is what I really want to do the rest of my life.”

Exhibition juror Frank Majore, an award-winning photographer from New York City, was drawn by “the lyrical quality” of the image.

“I was attracted by the way the various architectural elements seem to form a composition, not unlike the notes in a passage of music,” he said.

Initially, Gladstone printed the photograph in color.

“But black-and-white brought out the contrast of the architecture and made it a lot crisper,” she said.

It made for an award-winning image.

“The image is beautifully framed, whether through the lens or cropped later, and contains a very rich tonal range from shadow to highlights,” said Majore.

In addition to Gladstone, six other student photographers won awards at the student exhibition.

Merit Awards, with a cash prize of $50, went to David Bachman of Huntingdon Valley, Christina Mun of Willow Grove, William Lathrop of Southampton, and Marta Goraczniak of Hillsborough, N.J.

Honorable Mention awards went to Rachel Costas, of Washington Crossing, Pa., and Natalie Manogue of Warminster.

The student exhibition was coordinated by Kristen King, a fine art and photography teacher at William Tennent High School.

Dafydd Jones, co-chair of the exhibition, explained that jurors judge all photos in the show, and the names of the artists are not revealed during judging.

“A lot of people consider this to be the premier photo competition in Bucks County each year,” he said. “Unlike many other shows, we have no theme. We leave it wide open.”

The Phillips’ Mill Photo Exhibition includes both a student competition and an adult competition. In addition, the show does not distinguish between amateurs and professionals, allowing high school students to compete with adults.

This year, two students entered the adult portion of the show, which accepts only 15 percent of its entries.

Skyler Trize, a student at Council Rock South High School, had one image accepted into the adult competition. In the 2011 student show, Trize won the first place scholarship prize.

Jessica Waldinger, a Bucks County Community College student and Warminster resident, won Best of Show in this year’s adult competition. She was also a former award-winner in the student show.

The Phillips’ Mill Photographic Exhibition will take place through March 31 at Phillips Mill, 2619 River Rd., Solebury. The hours are 1 to 5 p.m., Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; 1 to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free. The works on exhibit are available for purchase.

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