Fourteen Black Hills State University photography students were chosen as finalists in the 33rd Annual College Photographers Competition by Photographer’s Forum magazine. Joe Geyer, mass communication major from Rapid City, received an honorable mention for his photo "Windswept." Geyer was one of 100 international submissions to be chosen for the honor.
Fourteen Black Hills State University photography students were chosen as finalists in the 33rd Annual College Photographers Competition by Photographer’s Forum Magazine. Joe Geyer, mass communication major from Rapid City, was awarded an Honorable Mention for his image “Windswept in the digital photo category.

 “I was shocked and excited,” says Geyer after learning his photo was selected for honorable mention. “I was actually standing with my professor Jerry Rawlings when I got the letter, and we both kind of freaked out a little,” he said. This is the first year Geyer’s work has made it into the magazine.

BHSU photography students chosen as finalists in this year’s competition include: Geyer; Lindsay Urich, art major from Custer; Desiree Willar, mass communication major from Rapid City; Chynna Lockett, mass communication major from Rapid City; Shelby Tollefson, mass communication major from Hitchcock; Lori Little from Spearfish; Danielle Donald, business administration and accounting major from Gillette, Wyo.; Lindsay Mader, mass communication major from New Underwood; Kelsey Parfitt,  from Cheyenne, Wyo.; and recent graduates Abby Wehner, Kim Woods, Joshua Knutson, Rebecca Gage and Joshua Larson.  Photographic mediums included color, black and white, digital, and alternative silver processes.

Competing against the nation’s finest art and photography schools, BHSU students have once again performed extremely well placing among the top photography schools in the country, according to Steve Babbitt, BHSU professor of photography. “The BHSU photography program has, over the past eight years, routinely placed in the top ten percent of photography programs in the country participating in the Photographers Forum competition,” Babbitt said. “It is clear from their outstanding performance in this year’s Photographers Forum competition and over the past 10 years that our BHSU photography students are among the most talented, creative, and hard working in the country.”

The annual international competition, sponsored by Nikon camera, draws submissions from art schools and universities from around the world. In this year’s competition, over 1,300 photography students submitted more than 16,700 photographs for consideration. The top five percent of entries submitted were chosen as finalists. From these finalists the judges chose the top 100 submissions for honorable mentions.

Geyer was leading an outing to the Badlands with Shutterbuzz, the BHSU photography club, when he captured the photo that was selected as a honorable mention. Geyer says he finds much of the inspiration for photos in strong lines created by objects. “It was the telephone wires that caught my eye and kind of demanded to be shot.” ”I saw the wires, slammed on my breaks, and jumped out of the car to get the shot,” he said.

 “If photography is your passion, you can't find a better department than BHSU. The teachers care about your success and they get to know every one of their students’ personal hopes and dreams for the future, and help them achieve them.”

Geyer currently operates his own photography studio, 1:11 Studios, in Rapid City, but his career aspirations extend beyond that. “I hope to someday shoot photography for magazines like Harper’s Bazaar or Elle. Fashion photography has always been a passion of mine. I feel you can be so creative with it,” he says.

The photographs chosen as finalists appear in the 2013 Best of College Photography Annual published in July by Photographers Forum Magazine and Serbin Communications. Winning images can be viewed in the Winners Gallery at http://pfmagazine.com/.