First-year student Jessica Luch takes prize-winning photographs

Jessica Luch’s “Speed of Life” photo won the Best Student General award at the BC Image Salon Awards on February 4, 2013
Jessica Luch’s “Speed of Life” photo won the Best Student General award at the BC Image Salon Awards on Feb. 4, 2013

A Langara photography student’s ability to capture life’s subtle beauty is receiving praise from the province’s industry leaders.

Jessica Luch, a first-year student, received the B.C. awards for Best Student Portrait, Student Photographer of the Year and General Category from the Professional Photographers of Canada – awards typically given to second-year students.

The winning photographs

The portrait Luch submitted is an intimate black-and-white featuring a woman loosely clothed with one side of her shirt falling below her bare breast.

“She’s super chill, really down to earth,” said Sydney Gregoire, the subject of Luch’s portrait photo. “Someone with such a keen eye for editorial work rarely has such a soft nature. It was pretty comfortable. Jessica just makes you laugh the whole time,” Gregoire said in an email.

Dave Scrougal, an instructor at Langara who will be awarded a master’s degree in photography during the Professional Photographers of Canada’s national convention in Vancouver on April 17, says Luch’s winning photograph “Speed of Life” deserves the recognition it has received.

The photograph is of a fluttering humming bird sucking nectar from a flower in a sea of pastel colours. The bird is beautifully in focus, freezing a fleeting moment of nature.

Composition and design

“The composition, the choice of background, the depth of field, a lot of those technical choices that help the image have impact, which is the most important thing, she does very, very well,” said Scrougal.

Composition refers to where the subject is placed in an image. The composition that Luch uses in her photographs was developed thanks to her background in design.

Although competitiveness can appear at odds with art, Scrougal, with a long list of awards to his name, believes having work judged by a panel is beneficial regardless of the result.

“It’s nice to get an award but sometimes when I learn the most is when I [submit] four images and all four of them don’t get anything but I get to talk to the judges about what went wrong,” said Scrougal.

Luch’s winning photos will be judged at the National Image Competition April 17 in downtown Vancouver.

Luch could not be reached for comment.

Reported by James McLaughlin

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