State Photography Associations Gather at Maryland Photography Alliance’s Annual Competition

Many turned out for the Maryland Photography Alliance artists reception on Nov. 9 at Bohrer Park.
Photo | Mike L. Washington

Ansel Adams, photographer of the American West, once said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”  Photographs were made and are part of the third annual Maryland Photography Alliance (MPA) photo competition exhibit on display through Jan. 21, 2020 at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park.

Founded in 2017, MPA provides myriad benefits to photography clubs throughout Maryland.  President Steve Sattler noted that the current exhibition is a result of 70 images juried from 400 submissions and represents the talents of all of MPA’s 20 clubs.  Sattler explained that the club hosts various educational programs, including its Judge Certification Program, which has allowed the club to improve the quality of their competitions; its Odyssey of Light Seminar, where MPA brings nationally renowned speakers to Maryland; and its Learn & Earn program, which hosts seminars and workshops to raise funds for clubs through the MPA Grant Program.  The Gaithersburg Camera Club (GCC) was represented by nine images from seven members.

Judging was based on four categories: abstract, black and white photography, Maryland architecture and still life. Three winners were selected in each category including honorable mentions.  Submissions were judged by a panel of three:  Tom Berrault, Bob Leonard and Leo Howard Lubow.  Berrault is a professor of photography at Prince George’s Community College. Leonard has been honored by the Photographic Society of America (PSA) with many distinction awards and has extensive judging expertise in the Mid-Atlantic region. Lubow is a writer, educator and award-winning professional photographer.

Judy MacArthur’s “Textured Trio” was “captured at the old Waterside Woolen Mill in western Pennsylvania during a GCC field trip. I was attracted to the shapes of the worn oil cans and the way the light from a nearby window brought out the rusted textures and warm tones of their surfaces.  In order to emphasize the age of the objects and their setting, I combined three exposures with high dynamic range software to reveal details in both the highlights and shadows.”

Clarksburg resident and member of the GCC Anis Khan submitted “The Archer” (honorable mention, black & white).  The image, “is a black-and-white photo of the beautiful car hood ornament on a 1935 Pierce-Arrow car taken at the Rockville Antique and Classic Car Show. Photography allows me to observe and capture beauty in everything all around us and participation through the MPA exhibition allows me to share it with other photographers and art lovers.”  Fellow GCC member and Gaithersburg resident Frank Cerra contributed “Vessel,” “a black and white capture of the Vessel, a New York City park consisting of stairs and landings circling up toward the sky.  The photo was shot with a fisheye lens pointing straight up from street level at the center of the structure.”

This exhibition is an inspiring collection and the categories chosen truly capture artistic creativity with plenty of room for style and individuality.  The evocative black and whites are stunning, particularly “Egret Fishing” (third place in the category by Glenn Thompson) and “Frozen Light” (honorable mention, Bob Miller).  A color (honorable mention, architectural, Kevin Moore) and two black and whites (one awarded first place, architectural, Bidyottam Mittra) of the spiral Peabody staircase at the George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore are captivating. Beth Fabey’s “The Reckoning of Time” (third place, still life) has hints of Poe, and Anne Golfer’s “Spots Galore” (honorable mention, abstract) and David Todd’s “In the Same Car” (honorable mention, abstract) bring in color and fun. I particularly enjoyed exercising my eye over John Ellsworth’s “Ways-of-thinking” (honorable mention, abstract) with its waves of light, color and reflection.

The MPA show is on view at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 South Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg, Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 9 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.  Following its run at Bohrer Park, the exhibit will move to the Maryland State House of Delegates through April 10, 2020.  Award winners may be viewed by visiting