Exhibit showcases top photography talent

Last Saturday, photography students at Santa Monica College had the opportunity to show their best work at the 35th annual Photography Student Exhibition.

Held at the Photography Gallery on the second floor of Drescher, only 160 photos out of 1600 submissions were chosen for display.

The selection of photos was made by a jury of faculty members. Photos were also displayed at the Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery at the Performing Arts Campus.

Students not only competed for a spot on the display wall, they were also competing for several awards in different categories, such as portrait, landscape and travel picture.

This year a new award was introduced; the Art Streiber award.

Streiber, a renowned photographer, personally picked the gold, silver and bronze winners in the Best Portrait category and also selected three photos as honorable mentions.

According to SMC photography professor, Craig Mohr, this year's event turned out very well with a high level of interest.

We redesigned our program about a year and a half ago and so the level of work is a lot higher now and also the students have many more interests,” Mohr said.

Three of the 160 selected pictures this year belong to Graham Reid who's been a students at SMC for four years.

One of his pictures is shown at the gallery in Drescher Hall and it's a picture he took at the Dumbarton Bridge in California.

Reid was driving on the freeway when he saw beautiful reflections in the water and just knew he had to go back and capture it.

We had to get off the freeway, come back on and then go back. I drove about 2.5 miles back to get this shot,” Reid said.

Reid was really impressed by this years event and the quality of the photos that were displayed.

The event is awesome. It's a good opportunity and it gives you a sense of accomplishment to get stuff in the show,” Reid said. There are definitely some people here that are going to make a living out of this and I hope I will too,”

SMC students Alex Pizzimenti and Louise Joensson were also impressed by the photos hanging in the gallery.

I really enjoyed the event. It was very interesting and the photos were definitely intriguing,” Pizzimenti said.

While impressed with the quality of work, Joensson believes more publicity would have attracted a bigger audience.

I just wish they would promote events like this more around campus so students outside the photo department would know about it,” Joensson said. These kind of events are a great way for people with the same interests to communicate and bond.”

The Photography Gallery at Drescher Hall is open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery at the Performing Arts Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The show will run until May 3.