The 24 hour photography contest took place this past weekend at Centre 64 and every seat in the house was filled.
Proceeds went towards the Give Us A Lift Campaign which is an ongoing fundraising initiative for the installation of a platform wheelchair lift to make the theatre at Centre 64 more accessible; an initiative that event planner Natalie Skokan feels passionately about.
Skokan and her team of volunteers raised $1189.25 for the campaign and donated two bags of empties, which proceeds go towards the doggie treat system at the transfer station.
Skokan says that the turnout was excellent and whispers of a winter addition have already started.
The contest featured ten local photographers who had 24 hours to take all the shots necessary to then compile a slideshow. The theme was biking and the colours of autumn.
The photographers who competed were Shona Rubens, Chelsea Boyd Gibson, Nicole Leclair, Courtenay Forster, Pat Bates, Jenny Graburn, Franka Sparks, Ryan McKenzie, Bailey Repp and Paul Rodgers.
The top prize of $500 was awarded by a panel of judges, with the prize money donated by Tourism Kimberley. The people’s choice prize is a recreational camera backpack donated by Kootenay Mountain Works.
Top prize went to Ryan Mackenzie and the people’s choice prize went to Chelsea Boyd Gibson.
Many of the judges say they had a tough time deciding as every single person was talented and had a different style.
The judges for the event included: Kimberley Mayor, Don McCormick, Chantel Delaney, owner of Sprout Health Market, Bruce Kirkby, wilderness writer and award-winning adventure photographer, Lucas Roach, part owner of Big Magic and an eye for creative genius, Corey Bullock, writer and photographer for the Bulletin, Kieran Hickey, president of Kimberley’s Trail Society and outdoor/mountain biking enthusiast and David Couse, local photographer and community supporter.
The Bulletin spoke with McKenzie and Gibson after the contest.
When asked what his background in photography is, McKenzie replied, “I took a really bad online photography course about ten years ago. That motivated me to go out and learn on my own which is the best experience. I’ve been shooting weddings, sports and anything else that comes up for about the last eight years through the title of The Real Mckenzie Photography. My favourite thing to shoot is sports. People are always in their own element and there is less posing to worry about.”
Gibson says she has been a passionate self-taugh photographer for years.
“The transition of doing it for a job came very organically when friends started asking me to photograph their weddings and families,” said Gibson. “That evolved into doing more tourism and outdoor lifestyle events and now it seems to be a large part of my full time work. Photography really has become a way to let my creative side flourish where once I thought I was simply not a creative type of person. I just love everything about photography, chasing light and capturing moments.”
McKenzie says he uses a Canon 7d with a 28-300 lens with a wide angle and Aperture to edit, while Gibson uses a Nikon D810 and Lightroom to edit.
When asked what the most challenging part was, McKenzie says it was the weather and time frame.
“There was snow where we wanted to shoot and I was worried we wouldn’t be able to safely get the shots I wanted on Bootleg Mountain,” McKenzie said. “The rider in the photos, Kenny Larkin, is very good and stepped up with wheelies, steep, slippery slabs and big air when needed.”
Gibson says that motivation was her challenge.
“The most challenging part for me was finding the motivation the day before the showdown,” said Gibson. “With so much going on in my day to day life I was worried on the day of the contest I might not feel creative or motivated. But as soon as that day started and I saw the misty light in Marysville I was stoked and the rest of the day went smoothly.
“My favourite part was just spending the day with some of my best friends and playing outside, it felt much less like a contest and more like a reunion that included biking and beers!”
As for McKenzie’s favourite part, “Natalie put together a great lineup. I was blown away at all the other photographers images and stories. It was truly a surprise and [I was] honoured when they told me I won. Bruce Kirkby did an on-stage interview with each photographer after their slideshow. Every single one of them had an amazing story to tell about the photo challenge. Everyone who attended wants to see more events like this and it was all for a great cause. Natalie and her team raised about $1200 for the Give Us A Lift [campaign].”