Photography has increasingly become a part of many people’s daily life. Digital or film, professional or amateur, no matter your age, the Bear Paw Photography Contest allows locals a way to showcase the different ways they capture Alaska.
For most people, photographs are the closest they will ever get to Alaska. Towering snow-capped peaks, roaring grizzlies and silvery salmon leaping from glacial waters tempt and inspire. Even for those of us who are lucky enough to live here – who may even see the sights in person – it is hard to not be overcome by the magic of a well planned shot or vivid panorama.
Photographic talent seems to abound in Alaska. Whether the beauty of Alaska pulls in talented photographers, inspires skill refinement among those already here, or is so amazing it’s just hard to mess up, it is hard to say. Today, almost everyone is a photographer to some extent. With the advanced technology of camera phones, taking pictures is embedded in our daily lives. Certainly, some photographers are more skilled than others, and many cameras are better than others, but it is relatively easily to capture moments in one form or another. Whether a beginner or a seasoned expert, there are many ways to be part of amazing local photography, both behind and in front of the lens.
10th Annual Bear Paw Photography Contest
The Bear Paw Photography Contest is hosted by the Eagle River Camera Club. Photographs are submitted by youth, teen and adult photographers in seven categories: Eagle River, People, Scenic, Fauna, Flora, Cultural, and Creative. Entrants may submit as many photographs as they like into any and all categories, but each submission requires a $5 fee. The fee covers the Camera Club’s website expenses, and the remaining funds become prize money to be divided among the winners. Participation varies from year to year, and judges have from 100 to over 300 photographs to evaluate.
Each year the Camera Club strategically chooses three judges from a variety of backgrounds; a professional photographer, someone with an arts background – without being a photographer, and person with no art or photography background. These different experiences guarantee a balanced perspective of the entries. The judges receive no instruction from the club other than that they must determine 1st Place, Runner-up and Honorable Mention awards in each category.
Winning photos from each category will be displayed at Jitters from June 30 – July 30, 2017. The Camera Club Awards Ceremony will be held, also at Jitters, on July 6, 2017, at 6:30pm.
Even though the winners have been chosen for this year, you can still participate in this great community event by stopping in to Jitters to vote for the “Festival Favorite” between June 30 and July 15, 2017. This special award will be announced July 16, 2017.
Eagle River Camera Club
If you are ready to start honing your skills to prepare some spectacular entries for next year’s contest, you are welcome to learn with the Eagle River Camera Club. This loose association of camera enthusiasts meets to offer a variety of opportunities for new and experienced photographers alike.
From September until May, the group hosts an event on the first Thursday of each month. One month a speaker may share technical tips or frame placement strategies while another month the group may go out on location to shoot an event. Examples of past events include “Playing with Light”, “Abstract Photography Practice”, and “Capturing the Moment”. Group field trips have sought out wildlife, fall colors and auroras, and often conclude with a social gathering to review and discuss collected images.
Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of photography there is something in the Eagle River-Chugiak area for you. By jumping into our local photography community, you can practice some skills, share your work and capture Alaska for yourself.
For more information on the Eagle River Camera Club: meetup.com/eaglerivercameraclub