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Capturing the Light

Deadline for submissions: May 15, 2023
Juror: Ann Jastrab
Prints due: Jun 29, 2023
Exhibition: July 14 - August 11, 2023

Prints of most of these images are available for purchase. Please inquire.
All photographs are the copyright of the individual artists and may not be reproduced without their permission.

Juror's Statement

There’s an image of the Milky Way with the silhouette of a figure just visible standing on the edge of the earth. This is the magic of light, also the magnitude and minuteness of all there is. I think of this human surveying distant worlds, stars throwing back their light, time like we can never really know. In this set of images there is a lot of waiting, watching, anticipating, and then there it is: the light, bold like a spotlight or a bleeding sky, soft like a blanket of fog settling on the land, dim like the light from the star-filled sky, or startling and stark at noon, then the color shifting from white to yellow to orange to purple to black with the waning day. Neutral, then not neutral. Palpable, then untouchable. Moving. Really at their best, the images of light are moving.

In looking at a great many images and whittling them down to just 35 in the gallery and 40 in the online annex gallery, I saw so many fantastic images…and I had to let many of them go. I kept running this directive from the prospectus through my head: "we’re looking for images whose success rests in the quality of the light". There were many images, from all genres, that were incredible. I mean pictures where I thought, “Damn, I wish I took that photograph!” And then I thought, is this a photograph about light? Is light one of the main subjects in this image? Does the light enhance this picture? Should the photographer have come back 2 hours later when the light was better? How much waiting, watching, anticipating is enough? Too much thinking, maybe overthinking on my part, but there they went: images that I wish I’d taken, wish I owned, wish I’d witnessed being made, well, I let them go. Tough. Tougher than many of the shows I’ve juried. And even, as I finally got my edit down to a tidy 100, I thought I couldn’t cut another 25…but I did, and it was brutal and I’m still thinking of some of those pictures that couldn’t be in this show. But what I am left with are images that, for me, spoke of the magic of light. I marvel at the silver surface of the sea, an exploding flock of birds with illuminated wings, clouds gathering and dispersing in the wake of a storm, shadows so black they become solid, a rivulet of water reflecting the sunset sky, a tethered ship in the thickest fog, the edges of mountains aglow, faces coming forth into the light, the soft peach color of a wall at the end of day. I can feel how fleeting it all is, how temporal. Thanks to all the artists for taking me on a journey through days and nights and making the ephemeral last.

            — Ann Jastrab

Call for Entries

Photographers recognize that their subject is not the tangible object, but only the light that is reflected from it. The quality of the light, then — its intensity, direction, color, diffusion — often determines the success or failure of an image.

For this exhibit, we’re looking for images whose success rests in thequality of the light — natural or artificial, harsh or diffuse, bright or dim — their subjects made extraordinary by the light that falls on them. All capture and processing methods are welcome.

We are very pleased that Ann Jastrab will jury this exhibit. She will select up to 35 images for exhibition in the Middlebury gallery, and up to an additional 35 for our Online gallery. All selected images will be promoted in social media and published in the exhibit catalog.

Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here.

Thumbnail image: Bob Avakian
Banner image: Ketil Born

About the Juror

Ann M. Jastrab is the Executive Director at the Center for Photographic Art (CPA) in Carmel, California. CPA strives to advance photography through education, exhibition and programming. These regional traditions evolved out of CPA's predecessor, the renowned Friends of Photography. While respecting these West Coast traditions, CPA is also at the vanguard of the future of photographic imagery.

Before taking the helm at CPA, Ann was the gallery manager at Scott Nichols Gallery and also the gallery director at RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco for 10 years. Ann has curated many shows in California while simultaneously jurying, curating, and organizing numerous exhibitions for other national and international venues. While being a champion of artists, she created a thriving artist-in-residence program at RayKo where multiple residents including Meghann Riepenhoff, Carlos Javier Ortiz, Kathya Marie Landeros, and McNair Evans all received Guggenheim Fellowships.

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