National exposure for photo contest winners

Posted on December 7, 2010 by Sonoma Valley Sun
VHS Junior Maddie Goertzen won third place in the advanced Timed Exposure category.

Five Sonoma Valley High School students took top honors in the Association of Texas Photo Instructors Fall Contest, a prestigious national competition that attracted more than 6,000 entries from 75 schools.

The 11th annual contest is open to high school students all across the country.

The contest includes 17 categories, covering both photography and video production.

The SVHS students were the only students in California to win top prizes.

“I have seen some great talent come thought our art classes and this group has been especially talented.” Mitchell said. “It’s exciting when students compete on a national scale and are recognized for what they create.”

Junior Ky Newman won First Place in the PSA category, beating out 30 other entries. Senior Danny Wirick won First Place in the Music Video category.

In the photography category, Senior Jenna Wirick won second place in the Digitially Constructed Image category, which had more than 40 entries. Junior Maddie Goertzen won third place in the Timed Exposure (Advanced) category, a category with more than 140 entries. Junior Brinkley Capriola received honorable mention in the Digitally Constructed Image category (Advanced). And finally, SVHS instructor Andy Mitchell received an honorable mention in the Faculty category among 138 entries.

About 100 students a year go through SVHS’ photography program.

Beginning students work in the darkroom, while second year students work in digital and traditional black and white photography. The school owns 25 enlargers and still does everything by hand in the darkroom.

Working exclusively in black and white, Sonoma students develop skills as artistic photographers through a variety of assignments, contests and shows. Donations from the community in support of the program are always appreciated, Mitchell said, with a specific need for SLR film and old digital cameras.

A complete list of the contest winners and the images entered can be found at

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