September 18, 2007

Student wins national photo contest honor

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A senior in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Cinema & Photography program recently placed second in a nationwide photo contest.

Alex J. Wasilewski of Springfield finished second in the ILFORD HP5 Plus Challenge for his image, "A Record in Stone." He earned $500, and finished behind a professional photographer with more than 15 years in the industry.

Wasilewski is the son of Teresa Creviston and Donald Wasilewski, both of Springfield.

"Alex is a wonderful, talented young photographer," said interim Mass Communication and Media Arts Dean Gary P. Kolb.

"He was a student of mine last spring and I found him to be dedicated, creative and intelligent in his use of the medium. It's no surprise to me that he is succeeding in competitions such as this. We are very proud of his accomplishment."

The black-and-white photograph is of a pillar and corner steps at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

The image shows the lines and rectangular shapes formed by the stairs and the pillar, with a window in the upper left side of the photograph, Wasilewski said. He took the photograph in fall 2006 while taking a black and white photography class taught by associate professor Daniel V. Overturf.

"I love seeing how the pieces of different objects, particularly on building facades, interact with each other and I often use very formal compositions to display these," Wasilewski said. "I was very excited when I found out I got second, because I was recognized by a company whose products I have been using the past couple of years.

"It is also an honor to have my work alongside professional photographers' work as well," he said.

Wasilewski said he likes shooting black-and-white images "because it lets us look at the world in a way we don't normally see it, and it is interesting to see how something with gray tones can be as expressive as when it is in color."