Photography students win contest


MAKING A SPLASH: Mia Nelson ’19 poses for a photo in Palos Verdes, taken by Chronicle Assistant News Editor Kaitlin Musante ’19. The photo was recognized in the Drexel University High School photography contest and will be displayed in the Drexel art gallery in February. Credit: Kaitlin Musante

Alison Oh

Photography students Cole Heine ’19 and Assistant News Editor Kaitlin Musante ’19 earned recognition for their submissions to the 2017 Drexel University High School Photography Contest, which chose 120 students nationwide.

Their winning photographs will be on exhibit at Drexel’s photography gallery in February.

“It’s really nice to be recognized, especially for something [like photography] that I feel like is usually very intangible,” Heine said.

Though both students are enrolled in Photography II, they completed their work outside of the classroom.

“I told the students that there was a contest they could enter, and then it was up to them to do the work,” upper school visual arts teacher Kevin O’Malley said. “They did it completely on their own.”

While O’Malley did not help his students put together their portfolios, he encouraged them to be proud of their work and helped them select pieces to submit to the competition, Musante said.

“[O’Malley] was really encouraging about pushing me to submit and let other people view my work and recognize my talent,” Musante said. “I consulted [O’Malley] to see which one of my photos he thought would be well received and which ones were his favorite, and we came to a conclusion.”

The students submitted their work to the contest digitally in November. Each submission consisted of one to three images, and Drexel University selected one photograph from each winning portfolio for exhibition.

Heine’s photograph, titled “Happily Encapsulated,” focused on the beauty of nature and was taken in the Daintree Rainforest in Australia.

“There was this little watering hole, and I was taking pictures of it under the light and [looking at] the positioning of the trees and such,” Heine said.

Musante’s photograph, titled “The Tempest,” featured Mia Nelson ’19 and drew inspiration from Shakespeare.

“We ended up on the cliffs of Palos Verdes and it was very windy and the waves were crashing against the rocks,” Musante said. “I had dressed Mia in a very long, flowy dress that was blowing in the wind, and the first thing that popped into my head was ‘The Tempest.’ I really wanted to emulate that in my photo.”

Musante, who used a film camera to take her submitted photographs, said she also appreciated the opportunity to see the value of different types of photographic processes.

“I was one of very few people to continue using film after Photography I,” Musante said. “It’s really incredible to see that film is still appreciated in the field of photography because I think that it’s become more of a dying art form in recent years.”

The University will name cash prize recipients Jan. 18.