by James Netzer

Photographs from twelve Black Hills State University photography students were chosen as finalists for the 30th Annual College Photographers Competition by Photographers Forum Magazine and Nikon camera.

The finalists in this year’s competition from BHSU were: Andrew Rexroad, senior speech communication education major from Spearfish; Crystal Savage, junior mass communication and history major from Stillman Valley, Ill.; Abigail Snowden, senior mass communication major from Newell; Lindsay (Rose) Jimenez, senior mass communication major from Spearfish; Jamie Heymans, recent BHSU art graduate from Rapid City; Mary Ringstmeyer, senior commercial art major from Spearfish; Geneva Kuhn, senior mass communication major from Rapid City; Heidi Dubej, sophomore mass communication major from Spearfish; James Netzer, senior commercial art major from Sidney, Mont.; Justin Kloppel, senior mass communication major from Spearfish; Wesley Pridgeon, senior art major from Sundance, Wyo.; and Becky Jensen, senior mass communication major from Rapid City.
The annual competition, which is sponsored by Nikon camera and Photographers Forum Magazine, draws submissions from art schools and universities from the United States and around the world. In this year’s competition more than 14,000 photographs were submitted for consideration by more than 3,500 photography students. The top four percent of entries submitted were chosen as finalists. BHSU students Dubej and Netzer were awarded Honorable Mention in the black and white category, placing their images in the top one percent of all images selected.

Students submitted a variety of photographic mediums including color, black and white, digital, and alternative silver processes. The judges for the 2010 competition were: Christopher Broughton , Brooks Institute of Photography; Mark Takeuchi , Art Center College of Design; and Dr. Joe Ippolito, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
The photographs chosen as finalists will appear in the 2010 Best of College Photography Annual to be published in June by Photographers Forum Magazine. Julie Simpson, competition coordinator, stated that BHSU photography students accounted for twelve of the fifteen finalists from South Dakota in this year’s competition.
According to Steve Babbitt, professor of photography at BHSU, competing against the nation’s most prestigious fine art and commercial photography schools, BHSU students have dramatically increased their standing in the competition over the past seven years. BHSU photography students began competing in the Photographers Forum competition in 2002. That year only one student from BHSU was chosen as a finalist.
For more information on the competition or the BHSU photography program contact Babbitt at 642-6769 or email Steve.Babbitt@BHSU.edu.