Finding and framing beauty

Published 5:01 pm Monday, November 11, 2013

Ashley Williams and Shane Dees are among the best Alabama student photographers. (Contributed)

Ashley Williams and Shane Dees are among the best Alabama student photographers. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“So I won this photography award, and I’m invited to this reception,” Ashley Williams said.

Williams is a talented PHS senior — a musician with the PHS band, a literary magazine staffer and a photographer. Williams is a well-rounded PHS fine arts student. She is also very humble. As it turns out, her photography award was for being a finalist in the Alabama Statewide High School Juried Art Exhibition.

Williams and PHS junior Shane Dees were both finalists in the Second Annual Statewide High School Juried Art Exhibition. Their photos were chosen from more than 200 entries. These winning entries are currently on display at the Shelby County Arts Council Gallery in Columbiana through Dec. 1.

Shane Dees’ photo named “Moss Chasm” won Honorable Mention in the Photography Category and also won statewide for juniors. His photo will be displayed with the other winners at the Sella-Granata Gallery at the University of Alabama from Jan. 13-29, 2014.

With the opening of Pelham High School’s newest wing in 2012, photography teacher Kim Hinds moved her classes into updated facilities.
“Having a photography class at PHS is great,” Williams said. “I get to learn new techniques all the time.”

Shane Dees is new to PHS this year. Coming from another high school without a photography class, Dees is glad to have this class at PHS.
“Photography class exposes me to new photographic techniques and helps me to better understand my camera,” said Dees.

Photography teacher Kim Hinds appreciates her students’ devotion and work ethic.

“I am so proud of these students and all of their hard work,” said Hinds.

“Photography has taught me to see the world in a different perspective—constantly reminding me that there is beauty in the most unexpected places,” Williams said.

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow,” famed photographer Imogen Cunningham said.

Taking pictures of these two award-winning photographers on a crisp fall afternoon, I watch them use cameras to capture their vision—and I know that their tomorrow photos will be amazing.