July 25, 2012 News » Cover Story

Caught in the action 

Professionals and amateurs alike capture fleeting images for the Move IT! photo competition

When you hear the words, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is Sacha Baron Cohen's rendition of "I Like to Move It," from Madagascar 2. (Yup, enjoy that running through your head for the next little while.)

But they've been co-opted for better purposes, we hope, in the upcoming photography exhibit titled Move IT! — and yes, that exclamation point does serve to highlight all the action within.

The exhibit is the culmination of a regional photography competition sponsored by the Colorado Springs Independent and Imagination Celebration. Amateur and professional photographers of all ages were invited earlier this year to enter pictures "that capture the many ways we move and play, compete and unite, in athletic and fitness activities of all types."

Eligibility was limited to images either taken in the Pikes Peak region or captured elsewhere by Pikes Peak region residents. More than 125 entries wound up being submitted in the categories of Professional, Amateur, Under 18, Video and "Spirit of Olympics."

The jury consisted of: Rich Clarkson, a 50-year veteran sports photographer published by the likes of Sports Illustrated, ESPN and National Geographic; John Fielder, nationally regarded nature photographer and preservationist; Carol Dass, senior instructor of photography in the visual and performing arts program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; Sean Cayton, Indy freelancer and locally award-winning wedding photographer; and local developer and hobbyist photographer Chuck Murphy.

The award-winning photos you see on these pages (whose caption information was compiled by Matthew Schniper) represent only a sample of all the winners, listed below. And even that list only hints at what will be on display for free at the Imagination Space inside Citadel Mall through Saturday, Aug. 25. (It's open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) Select photos and videos will travel to other locations for viewing, including four Pikes Peak Library District branches, the Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Olympic Committee Headquarters.

Move IT! will also hang in coordination with Photojournalists in Action (see p. 20), a collection of six local, professional photographers' images of the Waldo Canyon Fire.

And now that "I Like to Move It" has faded from your subconscious (um, oops, sorry about that), we invite you to enjoy some fine local photography, as it pertains to the beauty of motion.

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Randy Poe, 49, Colorado Springs • "2D Pole Vault Girl" • Spirit of Olympics

Poe photographed his 3-year-old granddaughter Dani-Lyn Kirby from atop a ladder in his driveway on May 16, using household items to create the illusion of a pole vault. Without a wide lens, he took several shots that he later stitched together in Photoshop, and also doctored portions of the chalk. Poe, who's recently graduated from Pikes Peak Community College and is launching his own photography business, says he likes to play with "strange perspectives and unusual ideas." He formerly worked in print shops and drove a school bus, among other jobs: "I always felt like I should be doing something more — this is that something more."

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Donald Savage, 58, Pleasant Valley •

"Climbing Under a Silvery Moon" • Gold, Amateur

'It was total serendipity," says Savage, describing the timing of this March 4 photo. A retired Navy and NASA worker, Savage was at the Garden of the Gods photographing a soldier friend's family — the husband was about to deploy and wanted photos. Savage kept noticing these climbers as he worked, and after his shoot, he began photographing them. He noticed the moon rising around 6 p.m. and quickly positioned himself in just the right spot to place it between the climbers in the frame.

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Makena Mueller, 14, downtown Colorado Springs • "En Pointe" • Gold, Under 18

For an assignment in her photography class at Fountain Valley School of Colorado last spring, Mueller, then a high school freshman, enlisted the assistance of a friend who dances locally at Ormao Dance Company. The two shot a whole roll of film to create a visual biography of the dancer. Mueller played with this particular print in the darkroom, developing it both too light and too dark before finding just the right exposure time for ideal contrast. This upcoming school year, she aims to continue taking photography and art classes.

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Marilyn Benton, 34, Widefield • "Wild Horse Race" • Silver, Amateur

At last summer's Roughstock Rodeo in Cripple Creek, Benton captured this image during the wild horse race, just as the three horses were let out of their pens. To win the race, the cowboys must get control of the horse, get a rider on, and ride back to the other end of the arena. Benton stood at the fence to take the photo, shooting manually and cropping the image in post-production to create the panoramic effect. The stay-at-home mom is currently working on launching Photography by Marilyn, a photo business.

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Alex Somosky Jr., 29, Colorado Springs • "Girls Can Play Too" • Fielder Award

'Photography is a passion that complements some of my other passions," says Somosky. "Being immersed in the river and in nature is my peace, my 'church.'" When Somosky's brother returned from service in Iraq four years ago, they began kayaking; Somosky taught himself photography largely by shooting whitewater scenes on river trips. Here, he captured professional paddler Emily Jackson practicing during Buena Vista's Paddle Fest, over Memorial Day weekend in 2011. Somosky also won a second Fielder Award for another kayaking photo.

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Craig Sommerdorf, 49, Fountain

"Life's Hurdles" • Silver, Professional

Sommerdorf captured Mesa Ridge High School senior Rachael Jackson during the girls 100-meter hurdles race at the 2012 Harrison Panther Invitational this past spring. Now a retired police officer, Sommerdorf has volunteered at the school for the past eight years, photographing sports on a regular basis while contributing photography to the Fountain Valley News. This photo was shot manually, and Sommerdorf later used a blur tool in Photoshop to spotlight Jackson's movement.

Move IT! award winners



Under 18


John Fielder Summit County Spring Workshop Award

Summit Sports Photography Workshop Award

John Fielder Awards

Spirit of Olympics Award

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Another brand of moving imagery

Six professionals who captured some of the most poignant moments from the Waldo Canyon Fire have generously agreed to share their images in Photojournalists in Action, an exhibit shown in tandem with Move IT! at Imagination Space in the Citadel mall. Bryan Oller, who shoots for the Independent as well as the Associated Press and other news organizations, helped pull together Jerilee Bennett, Carol Lawrence, Christian Murdock and Mark Reis from the Gazette, as well as the Denver Post's Helen Richardson, to tell the story of the fire, in pictures.


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