We’re happy to announce the second of six winners of our inaugural Best In Show prizes for the 8th annual Exposed DC Photography Show. We invited a panel of distinguished Washington-area photojournalists to, in their esteemed opinion, pick their favorite photograph from our group of 49 images. Each Best In Show winner receives a $100 prize made possible by the Corcoran College of Art + Design.
We’ll be announcing the winners each day through next Monday. Tickets for the show, which opens next Wednesday, March 19, are available now.
Today’s Best in Show image is the moody “Carnival Giraffe” by Erika Nizborski. Congrats Erika! Her photo was chosen by judge Dan Westergren, Director of Photography for National Geographic Traveler.
Exposed: Can you give us some background on this photo, where was it taken, why was there a giant giraffe on a trailer, and what were you doing there?
Nizborski: My photo titled Carnival Giraffe is part of a larger photo series called The Hyattsville Project which I have been working on for about one year now. It’s a personal project that I have assigned myself in which I document my neighborhood. Carnival Giraffe was shot in Magruder Park on Hyattsville Day 2013. One day each spring the city comes together for a parade that starts on one side of town and ends at Magruder Park where a carnival then takes place. I was leaving the carnival and I spotted the giraffe in the parking lot with the street light behind it. I thought it was really strange, why didn’t the giraffe statue make it into the carnival? I was also drawn to the amazing light coming from behind it. I had my tripod with me, because I was taking other nighttime long exposures, so I set it up and took a few frames. I have also made it a rule to shoot this entire project on black and white film. I have found that with my professional work (which I only shoot with a digital camera) I sometimes end up taking far more images than I would ever need for one event. By shooting film for this project I am teaching myself to slow down. Film isn’t cheap and I only get 12 frames per roll, so I am very conservative with it.
Exposed: Your Flickr photos are funny and odd street scenes like this photo, but your professional work is weddings and portraits. How do you merge these two styles?
Nizborski: I haven’t ever thought of merging my professional work with my personal work before. They are very different. I am a wedding, event, and portrait photographer by day, and I like to think of my personal projects as assignments to strengthen my eye and craft. In my line of work capturing moments is a must, so I am constantly looking out for them.
Exposed: Dan Westergren awarded your prize. Do you read National Geographic Traveler and are you familiar with his work?
Nizborski: When I saw that I was one of the photographers that won the Best in Show I was honored and thrilled! I saw that Dan Westergren had voted for my photo. I read National Geographic Traveler from time to time, and while I did not immediately recognize his name, as soon as I pulled his website up I recognized his work. While his style and subjects are far different than mine, I see that his work relies heavily on moments as well. The whole experience of being a part of Exposed DC has really inspired me so far.