By Tom Cresap
For those who like to play in the snow, this has been the year. The extreme cold may have been a little forbidding, but what the heck! We are, after all, Alaskans! We thrive on frozen fingers. If the white stuff is there, it invites us to get out and get immersed. Maybe that means skiing, sledding, or ice skating. Perhaps it means taking a walk, ice fishing, or clearing the driveway. But what about photography?
ECHO Magazine has asked me to be one of the three judges for their upcoming photography contest with the theme of, What’s Your Story?
Why did they ask me to judge?
I’ve lived in Alaska for over 54 years, taught photography at Chugiak High School, King Career Center, and the Anchorage Community College, I guess I am supposed to know something about the subject.
I retired from teaching almost 27 years ago, and the photography I taught then had to do with cameras that used real film and required attention to aperture, shutter speed, and focus before pressing the shutter button. After you finished the roll, you had to remove the film from the camera, develop it in smelly chemicals then go into the darkroom with even more smelly chemicals to make prints. Well, that was unless you took the film to Payless Drug Store to have the last step done for you.
So, what’s the difference between the old school methods and our modern ways now?
Photography today is way more casual.
For most of us, light, exposure, and focus is not a problem. We just grab our phones and they do most of the work. Just tap “share,” and friends and family are a part of our day.
To take a photo or not to take a photo no longer causes the angst it once did – when we only had 12 or 24 shots on a roll of film. But, even when it’s this easy, what prompts us to look through the lens (or at the screen)? What is that we want to remember? What do we want someone else to see? What are the stories behind our photos?
Then and now, we all do our best to capture the interesting, memorable, important, noteworthy, historic, beautiful, silly, colorful, and meaningful moments that tell our story.
This contest is about stories-your stories. We know you have lots to share.
Tell us your story. I double-dog dare you.