My 18 year-old son Zach was recognized this week on the front page of our local newspaper. Zach won a silver award in theÂ 2009 National Scholastic Art Competition for photography.
His award was for a picture entitled “Cattle Drive” that he made during our trip to Brazil last summer.
Here’s the story from the Centreview Newspaper.
When Chantilly High senior Zach Gibson went on a trip to Brazil last summer with his father, little did he think that a photo he shot there of a cattle drive would end up receiving national acclaim. But thatâ€™s just whatâ€™s happened. Gibson, 18, won a silver medal in the 2009 National Scholastic Art Competition. He submitted eight or nine photos in a portfolio, plus three single photographs, and his winning entry was his black-and-white â€œCattle Drive.â€
â€œIt was taken in the Pantanal region of Brazil in August 2008,â€ said Gibson. â€œMy dadâ€™s a professional photographer, and I was there to photograph with him. He was asked to speak there, and a National Geographic photographer asked him to come to that region. We visited three ranches and lucked out â€” the cattle drive was happening while we were there.â€
He lives in Centrevilleâ€™s Fair Lakes Forest community with his parents, Patti and Greg, and siblings, Cameron, 15, and Bret, 13. Gibsonâ€™s only been taking photos for a couple years, although heâ€™s â€œbeen around photography foreverâ€ and plans to eventually become a photo-journalist. â€œI prefer photographing people, but Iâ€™m trying not to pigeonhole myself into one thing,â€ he said.
GIBSON LIKES taking both color and black-and-white photos and learned his craft from both his father and his photography classe at Chantilly. â€œIâ€™m in Photography III now, learning harder, more-advanced techniques,â€ he said. â€œI also learned darkroom printing in class.â€
He said the most difficult part is â€œfinding something that interests me enough to dig deep and put a ton of effort into photographing it.â€ But he gets great satisfaction â€œseeing results that Iâ€™m pleased with.â€ He mainly uses a Canon 50D digital camera and was just accepted into the VCU Art Department, after graduation.
Gibson won a gold key for his portfolio, including â€œCattle Drive,â€ at the district level, plus districtlevel awards for his photos, â€œBrazilian Cowboyâ€ and â€œShadow Skater.â€ Then at regionals, he won gold for his portfolio and gold and two silver medals for single entries.
In the national competition, he vied against thousands of people throughout the U.S. and, he said, â€œI was hoping Iâ€™d win something at regional level, but didnâ€™t expect to win at nationals. So I was excited when I found out.â€
IN JUNE, thereâ€™ll be a reception in New York where Gibson will officially receive his award, and one of those happiest about it will be Betty Simmons, his photography teacher at Chantilly.
â€œZachâ€™s sense of composition is amazing,â€ she said â€œHis ability to use that sense in capturing an image â€” at just the decisive moment â€” is a trait that will serve him well in the future as a professional photographer. A lot of thought and planning went into his portfolio. Winning a Silver Key award just validates what anyone who has met Zach already knows â€” heâ€™s an extremely dedicated and creative photographer.â€