Friday, September 04, 2009

The Jury Has Reached a Verdict

As anyone who is even an occasional reader of this blog knows, I dabble in photography. I have been known to capture photos of my fellow authors at book signings, conferences and events of other sorts--and most of my novels are illustrated with scene-setting photographs I've taken.

You can see a slide show of the authors I've collected so far in my "rogues gallery" by going here.

Likewise, you can get a preview of the photographs I used to illustrate my forthcoming novel, The Big Wake-Up, by going here.

I'm going to blog more about those photos, but for now, I'd like to focus on just one: a picture I took on a trip to Savannah, Georgia last Christmas. I took it early one foggy morning on the median of East Oglethorpe Avenue near police headquarters. It's a statute erected as a memorial to all the city police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

As this city website explains:
The memorial is a stainless steel statue 5 feet 8 inches tall of a uniformed policeman -- city patrolman R. I. Ketterman was used as the model -- mounted on an inscribed Elberton blue granite die about four to five feet in height. The style is rigidly cubic, like Egyptian or archaic Greek statues, and is entirely freestanding. The die bears the outline of a policeman's shield or badge on all four sides, as a cartouche. Inside this are the names of police officers killed in the line of duty in Chatham County from 1869 onwards.
Police Statue
With the fog and the tree foliage and Spanish moss surrounding it, I was rather pleased with the dripping Gothic atmosphere the original image conveyed and I did more than a bit of Photoshopping to emphasize the mood.

When I was done, I decided on a lark to enter it in it a juried competition--one that was being sponsored by the Camera Club of New York in particular. The club has a long history. To quote from their website, "Alfred Stieglitz, considered by many to be the father of American photography, was an early member, and his groundbreaking publication, Camera Notes, documented the Club’s activities while advocating for the inclusion of photography in the catalog of fine arts."

Long story short, the photo was given an honorable mention in the competition and it and the other selected photographs will be exhibited in December in a New York gallery. As a mere dabbler in photography, I'm very pleased to be included in the August company of accomplished artists in the show, and even more pleased that The Big Wake-Up will have an "honorable" photo in front of chapter 18, which I titled "Nappy Boy" for reasons that take some splainin'.

See the first, second and third place finishers and the other honorable mentions for the competition here.


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