Exposure: from Process to Publication

Photo by Sarah McNair
Focusing of the Future: The photographs McNair takes are taken manually which she said she prefers. McNair enjoys the process of developing photographs as opposed to the final result. McNair's photography is gaining exposure after being placed as a finalist in Photography Forum Magazine's annual Best in High School and College photography contest.

Tyla Eakins
Student Life Editor

Since 1977, Photographers Forum Magazine has created a way for emerging photographers to gain exposure through publications and contests.

The magazine offers fall and spring photography contests as well as an annual high school and college student contest.

This year, undeclared sophomore Sarah McNair, entered her photograph in the high school and college student contest in order to fulfill part of the Department of Art’s graduation requirements.

“The photograph I submitted was one of over 14,000 entries and was chosen as one of the top photos to be judged in the final round, and published in the book Best of College & High School Photography 2016,” McNair said.

The top four photographs will be selected and prizes will be awarded to the students before the book is published in June.

McNair said she enjoys the challenge of photography.

“I first learned the basics of photography working with a fully manual 35mm Nikon SLR, and what appealed to me then, and still does now was the precision and mechanics,” she said. “Having to manually adjust for everything from light to motion and beyond is almost clinical in approach, but the beauty of photography is that.

“That perfect F-stop, set with the correct shutter speed, and adjusted for lighting is not always going to produce that perfect photo, it will often be one stop left or right of ideal that captures the essence of the subject.”

Through Cameron, McNair has been given the opportunity to explore darkrooms.

She said she loves everything about photography but the process is what draws her to it most.

“Having gotten to play in an actual darkroom and see what goes on beyond the click of the shutter is even more amazing because so much can be adjusted even after the shutter has stopped,” McNair said.

“Photography is more about the process than the results – not that I don’t love seeing a beautiful imaged captured just so. There is a unique sort of satisfaction when an image captures just how you envisioned it when you set up your camera, and sometimes that image is more than you could have imagined.”

McNair said she is disappointed digital photography has taken over film photography but still has hope for a growing resurgence. She doesn’t know if she would like a career in photography apart from developing prints but knows it will remain a hobby of hers.

“Whether it’s digital or film there is a kind of magic about photography that I enjoy and plan to continue with even if just as a hobby,” she said.


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