While most Art League shows are restricted to Art League or Art Council of Southwest Florida members, anyone with a camera and the $20-per-image entry fee could enter September Song. So Andrew West had quite a diverse range of images to judge.
West has been a photographer at the Fort Myers News-Press for 17 years. The Art Institute of Fort Myers graduate covers general news and documentary assignments for the newspaper. In addition to photographing local news and events, West has documented events throughout the country and other parts of the world. Among his credits are coverage of the hurricanes that ravaged Florida in 2004 and 2005, including Charley and Katrina, documenting a climbing trip to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2001, trips to Haiti to photograph Hurricane Jean in 2010 and the earthquake of 2011, and chronicling the cowboys who work at the Babcock Ranch in 2006.
Over the course of his career, Andrew has won numerous awards, including numerous National Press Photographers Association awards, Best of Gannett, and multiple commendations from the Society of Professional Journalists, including a Sigma Delta Chi award for the work he did in Haiti. When not working, Andrew loves to photograph wildlife. In fact, West does a weekly video column about photographing the wildlife that inhabits Southwest Florida called Andrew's View, which can be seen at www.news-press.com/section/ent13.
West chose Jerald Hawkins' Mewaco-Kyoto Best of Show at September Song, remarking that the image is a "stunning portrait" and "arresting image" that makes "good use of light ... clean, good use of depth of field" and "excellent composition."
Taking second place was Bernie W. Moore's photograph, Toys. "Great use of motion blur, active and quiet in the same picture, good composition," said West about this image.
Third place went to Blue Satin by Alan Tiller. "Looks like a painting," commented West. "Good saturation and nice use of light."
West awarded three Merit Awards (Kissed by the Sun by Irma Backelant; Tattered Wings by KiKi Brewsaugh; and Gazing Ball by John Swank) as well as two Honorable Mentions (Birds in Flight by George A. Hoch and The Twins by Beth Ivens).
September Song is on view through September 27. The Art League of Fort Myers is located at 1451 Monroe Street, in the City of Palms Parking Garage building. For more information, please visit www.artleagueoffortmyers.org or telephone 239-275-3970.