Photo Expo features compelling, emotional and disturbing images

Camerawork from across the Island on display at the Mid-Island Photography expo gala on November 5.

An awards ceremony and gala is being held Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery to announce and celebrate the winners of the 2011 Mid-Island Photo Expo.

The Expo, an Island-wide photography competition organized by the Ladysmith Camera Club, accepts entries across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in an effort to promote education, application and appreciation of the art form.

According to club treasurer Brad Grigor, the 316 entries (up 60 per cent from last year due to the expanding of the qualifying communities) have been narrowed down to 82.

Today (Nov. 1), judges Dirk Heydemann, Ed Wiebe, and Allen Bargen will have the difficult choice of narrowing the 82 selections down to seven, with the eighth, a people’s choice award, selected during the gala.

Those winners will share cash and prizes totaling more than $4,000, thanks in part to increased sponsorship of this year’s contest.

“That’s a lot of opportunity for the finalists to win a prize, it’s almost one in 10 chances. It’s going to be a difficult final decision,” Grigor said.

The submissions range from landscapes to portraits, and some interesting compositions. This year’s categories were black and white, and colour. They will hang at the Waterfront Gallery from Nov. 2 to 30.

“The quality level is very high, especially compared to last year,” Grigor said. “We’ve upped the stakes and the photographers have really responded. I can see that some have gone out and worked very hard to compose their photographs.”

“Some of the images are very compelling, highly emotional and in some cases, kind of disturbing too.”

The MIPE gala and awards ceremony starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Grigor said photographers of all levels will not want to miss it.

“It’s going to be a good exhibition for those who like to see the best in photography,” he said. “People are going to be inspired and it’s a great way to learn.”

The Ladysmith Camera Club will hold a club meeting at the Waterfront Gallery on Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.

Participants will be able to study the images, and hear and discuss the comments from the judging process leading to the final winning selections, Grigor said. Everyone is invited to attend this special meeting and the normal guest drop-in fee will be waived.