Photopia brings out the imaginative best in Comox Valley shutterbugs

Carlo Henley’s photo of his daughter in a barn

Carlo Henley’s photo of his daughter in a barn

Special to The Record

The larger-than-life face of the thoughtful little girl rolled onto the big screen, her eyes looking directly into five-year-old Isaac’s face.

“Oh, wow!” he exclaimed loudly, amidst the crowd of mostly adults taking in the Photopia exhibition Saturday at the Courtenay Library.

Gentle laughter went rolling around the darkened room, people touched by the sheer delight in the boy’s unfettered and outspoken enthusiasm, exuberance and delight.  They were touched because that’s what art is supposed to about: provoking feeling, reaction.

Carlo Henley’s affecting photo, of his young daughter looking through a window frame, had pulled all of Isaac’s attention. The image was one of a series taken in farm buildings; another in them won Henley first place award in Photopia’s ‘Imagination’ category, which carried a $100 London Drugs gift card.

A steadily rotating crowd came to watch the day-long deluge of photo art from local camera captures, hundreds of images parading across the high-quality screens.  Six high-end units, 50, 55 and 60 inches in size, were supplied for the show by London Drugs and the Visual Sound Store.

“While there were a few photos submitted in which the value was mostly recognized by the photographer, the show had so many good, and even jaw-dropping contributions,” said Jamie Bowman, who organized Photopia as part of the multi-event Elevate Arts Festival.

“And those monitors we got were so detailed, so vivid, that they really allowed the photos to be alive.  I was very impressed, and humbled, by the breadth and depth of photographic talent we have in this community.”

Justin Guo’s time-exposed Skytrain at night brought him runner-up in the ‘Imagination’ category.  Al Wozniak won both first place and runner-up for his superbly creative multi-layered images in the ‘Manipulated’ category.

Ingrid Bollegraaf took first place in the ‘Other Side’ category, her image suggesting an eye looking through soap suds.

Crystal Norman’s highly amusing ‘Dance Date With the Normans’ won her runner-up status from the judges.

Norman also won runner-up in the ‘Stepping Toward’ category for her picture ‘Harnessing Energy’.  First place in Stepping Toward’ went to Kyle Grop for his Nanaimo Harbour night shot.

Judging was handled by two respected Comox Valley professionals in the field, Gordon Ross of Gordon Ross Photography and Paul Bailey of the North Island College Commercial Photography Program.

All the runners-up were awarded poster-size printings provided by Sure Copy, Woznia won $100 in gift certificates sponsored by Visual Sound Store, and Bollegraaf won a pass to the Comox Valley Art Gallery’s next TIFF film series.

“While the technical value achieved by high-end DSLR lenses and hours of editing time was clearly evident, we also had some very good, eye-catching images taken on smart phones,” said Bowman. “Both are good for their own reasons.  It’s the creativity that counts.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A map of the Village Forest Lands near Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland adopts forest management direction statement

Less detailed than full plan, documents sets out decision-making for village-owned land

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

“Of Bears at Fridges, drinking Planes and Cinderella’s Shoe” is Jordis Trumby’s first children’s book. Photo supplied.
Courtenay author writes, illustrates first children’s book

When is a collaboration not a collaboration? At first glance, Courtenay author… Continue reading

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Residential lawn and garden watering with a sprinkler is not permitted during Stage 3 water restrictions. File photo
Stage 3 restrictions apply to Comox Valley Water System during pipe repair

The Comox Valley Water System will move to Stage 3 from March… Continue reading

Most Read