A picture's worth a thousand words

Published 6:19 am Friday, April 1, 2005

By by Lee Weyhrich
A local group is asking children to view the world through the lens of their cameras.
T.J. Clayton of Captured Moments photography and Wesley Channell the minister at Atmore First Presbyterian have organized a photography contest for children in sixth through twelfth grade.
"T.J. and I thought it would be wonderful to allow children to be involved in the arts," Channell said. "The camera is a pretty democratic instrument, most people have one and we want people to think outside the box. They will be rewarded for their efforts."
In fact prizes will be awarded to the top contenders and the first place winner will receive a new camera with two lenses.
The contest was Clayton's brainchild.
"I wanted them to get involved in photography where the artistic side can come out in them and with computers they can further enhance their work," Clayton said. "It is another creative outlook, another option."
Clayton has been involved in art for over 20 years and wants to encourage children to pursue art as well.
"I was in art, I studied art, and I transferred into photography," Clayton said. "It's a new way of seeing things."
In order to get the largest number of children interested in the event the photography contest has been broken into five categories, people, animals, plants, landscape and artistic.
Each Category has an individual judge.
"T.J. has had a professional art studio for 20 years," Channell said. "We work together and Laura Marsh, Holly Fowler and Adam Prestridge are judges as well. Holly is an art major in photography interest and Laura has attended three years in the Atlanta Art institute in photography, and of course I'm the fine art photographer, I've won a few contests."
Anyone enrolled in sixth through twelfth grade is eligible for the contest.
"They can get entry forms at First National Bank, the Chamber of Commerce, the schools or local area businesses where the poster is displayed," Channell said.
The young photographers are also not limited to any one category.
"A person could enter in every category if they wish or just one for the possibility of winning a 35mm camera," Channell said. "The winners will be announced at May Fest May 7. The Top 50 entries will be displayed at May Fest and the Top 8 will be displayed through the month of May at First National Bank."
Clayton and Channell hope the contest will become an annual event so that hundreds of children may be touched by this art form. To Clayton the camera is a unique and personal form of art.
"The children can get involved with the camera," she said. "They can record their life and their experiences with the camera. In photography, they're capturing moments in time. I just want the children to start enjoying seeing life through the lens of a camera and capturing it."

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