Many of us use our cell phones to take pictures of ourselves, our family, and our friends. The theme for the annual Student Show, Cellphone +, challenged students to use a cell phone as a serious camera to capture quality photographs worthy of gallery exhibition. The + in the theme suggested the postprocessing editing of images, print presentations, and possibly using other camera types rather than cellphones. Students were allowed to use other cell phones and other camera styles. There were 123 images submitted by 73 students from: Davis Senior High School, Ronald McNair High School in Lodi, Rio Americano High School, American River College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento City College, and Sierra College in Rocklin. Our juror, Gary Wagner, selected 29 images for this exhibit.
The cellphone has become the primary camera for taking photos worldwide. There seems to be no limit or restrictions on subject matter for today’s photo snappers, which can be seen everywhere taking photos of everything that one can observe in the world around us. This exhibit presents the work of students and displays what and how they perceive their world and want to share with us. Being the judge of this type of exhibit presents its rewards and challenges. I was rewarded with being able to witness new and exciting visions of the world captured by students who were not constrained by standards and norms of what good photos needed to look like. These images revealed new and exciting viewpoints into what is significant, meaningful, and deemed to be photographically worthy by a group of talented young individuals who live in our community. The exhibit also presented some challenges for me as I was asked to determine the most meaningful images and only to display those images in the exhibit. To me, all the images were worthy of the exhibit! Each showed imagination and inner vision of how each person viewed their surroundings and how they wanted to portray that vision to us. Another challenge was that I was also asked to choose a few images that I considered the best of the group. Again, this proved to be a difficult task as I felt that there were many best images! Congratulations to all the student artists who competed in and are shown in this exhibit.
Gary Wagner, 2023 Juror
Gary’s love of photographic image and craft began when he became the photographer for his high school newspaper in Kokomo, Indiana. He continued his education at Indiana University and Brooks Institute of Photography. For the past 40 years, he made his home in Northern California, enjoying a career as a fine art, portrait, commercial photographer, author, and instructor. He has won many awards for his black and white landscape photographs, including the prestigious Golden Bear Award from the California State Fair statewide exhibit. Gary has published five books, including iPhone Photography for Everybody: Black & White Landscape Techniques.