MIDDLETON, N.S. - No one was more surprised about the winners of Macdonald Museum’s landscape photography contest than nine-year-old Aiden Kozera. He won first and second place in the youth category.
The Berwick youngster credits a school project with getting him started in photography and his father for getting him hooked when he gave Aiden his old camera. The two go on photography adventures together now.
Winners of the museum’s first ever photography contest were on hand Oct. 4 for the announcements of the winners by museum director Janice Slauenwhite and the opening of the exhibit that resulted from more than 50 entries in youth and adult categories.
Becky Foster of Mount Hanley was third in the youth category with her river photograph, a work of art that could easily have competed in the adult category. Aiden’s winners were a nighttime 25-minute timed exposure creating star trails, and a slow-exposure capture of waterfalls.
Nobody told Aiden he’d won, but when he saw the red ribbon beside his star trails photo his smile lit the room. It was amplified seconds later when he noticed the second-place ribbon by his waterfall photo. Of course he had to take a photo of his photos.
Jim Comer of Middleton won first place in the adult category with his stunning capture of fishing boats safe in the harbour. He was notable for his other entry of snow falling on trees at the edge of the Annapolis River. Both works were monochromatic in nature and noteworthy for their composition.
Belle Grant-Fairn of Middleton was second in the adult category with a photo taken from a boat with the bow in the foreground, water, and trees in the distance. It was also noteworthy for its composition.
Jenny Rice of Bridgetown was third in the adult category with a stunningly composed photograph of a shoreline with eye-catching perspective and exposure. It’s also noteworthy for its sepia tones.
Aiden’s father was at the exhibit opening and justifiably proud of his son.
“He’s very inquisitive. He likes to take things apart and put them back together, so having a camera that has attachments and can be taken apart and add different things to it is right up his alley,” said Matt Kozero of Aiden’s initial interest. “That’s what I think spawned the whole thing.”
Matt Kozero said Aiden’s eye for composition is coming along.
“He’s been following me around a lot, and he’s kind of got me back into it too,” the elder Kozero said, explaining that his son has motivated him and it’s great to have a buddy to go taking pictures with.
“He gets the tripod out and he sets it up and he’s very particular where he puts it,” he said. “He’s playing with the exposure, and that’s what he’s really in love with is the long exposure – like the silky water and the star trails. That’s what he’s into right now.”
“When the Earth spins, you get the stars in lines,” Aiden explained of the star trails photo that won the contest for him.
Aiden got to be the photographer for a school project.
“So I brought in the camera,” Aiden said, “and I really liked doing it.”
Where did the camera come from? “My dad gave it to me once he got a new camera.”
Range of Talent
“It was a really nice range of talent in both categories,” said Slaunenwhite, “especially to see the youth, of course. Their ages ranged from four to 16, so that was exciting.”
Entries were from across the Annapolis Valley, and this year’s topic was Valley Landscapes, Slauenwhite said. She’s already committed to holding the contest again next year with animals or portraits as the subject.
Prizes for the landscape photography contest were Henry’s Camera gift cards, $100 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third in each age category.
The exhibit that has resulted from the contest will run until Oct. 19 at the museum and is free to see. The exhibit also includes work by the three judges of the contest.
“It’s well worth a visit to the museum,” Slauenwhite said.