Student photo finalist inspired by Gary
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 21:09
PUC student Charles Gaspadarek, a philosophy major, found a place among the ranks of celebrated amateur photographers by becoming a finalist in the Photographer’s Forum’s 32nd Annual Spring Photography Contest.
Although he did not earn a spot among the eight winners and 100 honorable mentions, his photo will be printed in a full-color book along with those of the winners and hundreds of other finalists.
While taking PUC’s introductory photography course during fall 2011, Gaspadarek captured what he called a “spur-of-the-moment” picture of a bridge in Gary, Ind. He said he shot the photo while he was returning to the area where he parked his car during a class trip.
Gaspararek said the idea for the picture came to him as he saw the bridge and thought of the story of the city.
“I immediately thought about how Gary is the town that the world left behind. Most of the downtown area is in shambles, and it made me a bit disheartened. It occurred to me that this bridge and other structures like it are the only thing left of what Gary, Indiana, used to be.”
Gaspadarek said this approach was encouraged by his photography instructor, Yueqi Zhang. Gaspadarek recounted how Zhang told him to apply philosophy to his work in photography.
Zhang said Gaspadarek was both intelligent and creative and had found the two critical elements of good photography: technology and art. He said good pictures do not just show off technology, but have an underlying concept.
Zhang expressed admiration for how hard Gaspadarek worked in the class. Gaspadarek acknowledged that, in addition to the class projects, he took many photos, particularly of skateboarding, an activity he enjoys.
Gaspadarek said that he enjoyed photography before he took the class, but it will probably continue only to be a pastime.
The 108 photographs