Chase Osborne doesn’t have any fancy photography equipment like some of his AP Photography classmates have. His sole camera is the one on his iPhone 6SPlus.
But that phone camera, coupled with his talent for photography, landed him top honors in the 2017 photography show at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.
“I never thought I’d win something like this,” Osborne said.
Osborne, 17, is a junior at Northwest High School. His photograph, “The Chase,” shows him running on the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail. He set his iPhone up on a tree, used a 10-second timer and ran across several large rocks. He took five of the best photos he captured and combined them in PhotoShop to create his winning image.
“I’m chasing myself,” Osborne said, playing off his first name, Chase. He frequents the trail and enjoys running there; he is doing a concentration in running photography for his photography class.
Juror Liliane Blom said Osborne’s photo was “an innovative use of photography and digital media to create an eye-catching piece of art that is not only technically successful, with deep rich blacks and good color balance, but also closely related to the theme of exploration both in subject matter and technique. An outstanding piece all around.”
“The color and the movement make this image stand out,” said show juror Jim Tretick. “The muted background allows the runners to show up richer, and the transparency is just fun.”
The theme for the photography show this year is “Explore.” This is the second year JHU held a separate exhibit to showcase the photography of Montgomery County Public Schools high school students. Previously, a single exhibit featured both photography and canvas works.
In all, students from 13 Montgomery County public high schools now have their photos on exhibit at the JHU Montgomery County Campus. It is a competitive process: Of the 261 photographs submitted, jurors selected 53 to be showcased. Five students won prizes.
An opening reception for the exhibit was held on campus in March. Parents, students, and community residents gathered to view the art and hear the winners announced. The exhibit will be on display through May 12 in the lobby of the campus’s 9605 Building. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
The exhibit is one of JHU’s programs designed to get children excited about STEAM education. (STEAM is an acronym for Science-Technology-Engineering- Art-Mathematics.) The A in STEAM is for “art,” an important component of a well-rounded student’s education.
Another standout photograph was Coleman Martinis’ “Grab ‘Em By the Eyes.” Martinis, a Poolesville High School senior, won second place for his photograph.
Martinis never took a fine arts class until this year. He is in the humanities magnet program and took art history last year, which he enjoyed. His teacher suggested he try photography. He was skeptical because he says he isn’t skilled at drawing, painting or even handwriting. But he decided to give it a try, going straight to AP Photography.
“It would allow me to capture what I saw in my head without forcing me to rely on my drawing ability,” Martinis said.
His photograph was taken at Markoff's Haunted Forest in Dickerson. The box of eyes is a prop. The hands are his brother’s.
Blom called Martinis’ second place image technically and artistically successful. “It is a well-balanced composition and well lit. It has excellent color rendition and good tonal range. An imaginative interpretation of the theme. A piece that can be seen as both humorous and slightly creepy. Very well done.”
“This image is unique,” said juror Tretick. “It fits the category is so many different ways, and I'd love to hear the story behind it. It makes me ask, ‘What else is possible?’”
Edit Note: This story was originally published on the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County website. Used with permission.
Top: Winners of the 2017 photography show at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus; from left, Maddie Bonchick of Quince Orchard High School (honorable mention), Sruthi Srinivasan of Quince Orchard High School (honorable mention), Chase Osborne of Northwest High School (1st Place), Coleman Martinis of Poolesville High School (2nd Place), and Dylan Fan of Winston Churchill High School (3rd Place).
Next: Chase Osborne’s winning entry “The Chase.”
Next: Chase Osborne and his winning photograph.
Next: Coleman Martinis’ second place winning photograph “Grab ‘Em By The Eyes.”
Next: Coleman Martinis and his photograph.
Photos by Rob Riddle