Photo Finalist!

May 16, 2011

When I was in grade seven, I had a teacher who was a professional photographer. She had a dark room where I spent many hours developing photographs because I loved taking pictures and watching them appear before my eyes. I loved manipulating them during the developing process – how you can create shadows and textures with movements from your hands. I had dreams of becoming a professional photographer, of having a visually artistic career, of sharing the world my images I had created by snapping away and then processing them in the dark room. (Now, with digital photography, you can manipulate images on your computer. I don’t have time to edit – yes, the photos you see on this blog are completely untouched – warts and all.)

When I was in highschool, I heard about a photograph competition for highschool students and I desperately wanted to enter. I developed the photograph I had taken when I was twelve years old and still loved – a photograph of water droplets from the Eaton Center in downtown Toronto. I liked how I angled the photograph, how the light hit the droplets, how the shadows created a mysterious mood. I thought I had a decent chance of at least becoming a finalist, maybe even winning a prize. I didn’t enter though because as the days came closer to the last days of entering the competition, I lost faith in my photograph and me as a photographer. I let the image sit on top of my bookcase in my room and left it there until I stopped living at home. My dreams of a photographic career finished because I just didn’t believe in myself.

Three years ago, I heard about a photograph contest for amateur photographers sponsored by the Music Center and Los Angeles Times. This year, I entered the competition. It was a marathon day of horseback riding in Topanga, attending preconcert festivities and a classical music concert in Glendale, playing with a statue of Benjamin Franklin, heading to Torrance to see the Golden Chinese Acrobats, and then the next morning, heading to the Santa Monica Pier and riding the carousels – all in 24 hours. I photographed our journey and distilled it down to 10 photographs.

Now, I am a finalist! And it’s time for people to vote. Please vote for me. I would love to win. The prizes are a camera bag and a gift certificate to Samy’s Camera shop. The winning photographs share a spread in Brand X Magazine, which is published by Los Angeles Times.

To vote, text: 2410059 to 22333  You may text up to 10 times! Please do. I really would love to win. Voting closes on May 21, 2011 at 9:30AM.

If you would like to see my photos, here is the link:

They are alphabetically listed so I am on page 5 – bottom left hand corner under: A Day Starts With Horse And Ends With Horses by M.J. Kang.

And please spread the word so people vote for me. Please.  On Facebook, Twitter – please.

To vote, text: 2410059 to 22333

There is a public viewing of all of the finalist this weekend at the Music Center. Here’s the link for more details:

I am stepping out of my comfort zone and putting myself out there because well, why not? Now that I’m a mother – if I want my daughter to take risks and believe in herself, I need to start believing in myself.

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