The members of our Powell SMUG started the day at the farmer’s market in downtown Billings, which was a much bigger deal than I had initially anticipated. There was music, flowers, food vendors, and produce abound. This wasn’t just a typical SMUG meeting of discussing photography or listening to a speaker. We explored our local farmer’s market, and we visited an art museum afterwords, which was a nice way to get to know other members and take some fun photos.
After lunch, we met at the Yellowstone Art Museum. Our SMUG leader, Craig Satterlee, had driven several photography students from Northwest College in Powell to Billings to see Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs. About seven of us from our Smug group were in attendance as well. Due to the sensitive nature of the exhibit, I thought it best not to take photos in the gallery.
The traveling exhibit was developed by the Newseum, which is an interactive museum of news located in Washington, D.C. The exhibit was presented by the Yellowstone Art Museum and Billings Gazette Communications and will be shown until December 31st.
The past three generations of American History was reflected in the prize-winning photographs depicting the startling, disturbing, and amazing drama that is our world’s legacy. I was so moved by not only the images themselves, but the photographers recollection of the circumstances surrounding the images. One quote in particular jumped out at me: “I don’t really take pictures. I capture and share life. Moments come when the pictures take themselves,” by John H. White (Chicago Sun-Times) who won the 1982 feature Life in Chicago.
One image was taken in the fifties by a girl with a Brownie. It was a semi truck and trailer with the cab dangling precariously from the side of a bridge while the driver was being rescued with a rope being lowered from above by passing motorists. The photographer said she and her father were out for a drive when they came upon the scene. She pulled out her Brownie and captured the unfolding drama. The man was hoisted to the top of the bridge without any serious injury so the photographer felt it was okay to submit her photo to a local contest in hopes of winning the grand prize of ten dollars. She ended up with the Pulitzer instead.
The Pulitzer Prize for photography is the most prestigious photo-jouranlistic prize awarded and has been a great tradition in media since it’s inception in 1942. I felt humbled yet inspired in the presence of this unbelievable work and look forward to the next opportunity I have to capture an event or the people in our community.
Submitted by the Powell Scribe: Tess Anderson.
Make sure to check out her photos!
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