Ryan Duffy, junior photography and business administration major, received an email from the Soho Photo Gallery in New York City a few weeks ago. The gallery informed him he had been selected as a winner of the gallery’s 14th International Krappy Kamera competition. Duffy’s work will be displayed in the gallery from March 7th-31st.
The Krappy Kamera competition solicits photographs taken with cheap, low-end cameras such as the Holga and the Diana. These cameras typically have low quality plastic lenses, which gives the photographer very little control over the exposure.
Duffy said he was shocked by the email.
“Over 1,400 submissions and only 49 were chosen. I feel honored,” Duffy said.
Wayne Parsons, the president of the Soho Photo Gallery said Duffy’s work was interesting and meaningful.
“The burden of making an outstanding image lies with the photographer, not the equipment,” Parsons said. “Duffy has combined an ability to use a low tech camera with an artistic sensibility to create imagery that is visually arresting as well as artistically meaningful.”
Duffy said he has had 12 photographs featured in different galleries. In the spring of 2011, another one of his photographs was selected to display a New York museum.
“I’ve won the best in show in 2010 for the Jerry Show and have won local contests around St. Louis for self-portrait, best abstract and best film photo,” Duffy said.
Duffy captured the winning image last spring, during a weekend trip to Chicago with Webster’s photography club, Latent Image.
Tom Barkman, an adjunct photography professor at Webster, takes the club to the Chicago for a three-day trip every year.
“Students have the opportunity to shoot photos somewhere else, the architecture is great, it’s a lively city and a fun place to shoot,” Barkman said.
The club holds a print sale in the fall to raise money for the excursion.
Duffy originally enrolled at Webster as an audio major in the fall of 2009, but after one semester, Duffy switched his major
to photography. Prior to attendingWebster, Duffy had only taken one photo course, during his senior year in high school. Duffy said he wanted to do something different after arriving on Webster’s campus.
“I wasn’t very good (at photography), but it (that class?) got me interested in doing it, and I continued doing it on the side,” Duffy said. “It felt natural.”
Duffy said one of his favorite things about photography is that looking at a good photo several times and seeing the different aspects of the photo. The Shaw Nature Reserve Park in Gray Summit, Mo., is one of Duffy’s favorite places to capture pictures.
“It seems really different from the St. Louis country area, it has a huge variety of terrain that makes it feel like you’re in a different state,” Duffy said. “There’s plenty of exploring and photography to be done there.”
After he graduates from Webster, Duffy would like to continue to do fine art work and would also like to work at a gallery and eventually teach photography.