Captured by light

The rays have it: Those emanations of light define an image — in black-and-white or color — that someone has gone out and bagged in the wild or in a carefully composed session as private as a daydream. This year’s MT Photo Contest brings together 250 such frozen moments — portraits, landscapes, still lifes, nudes, cityscapes, action shots, docudramas, abstractions, multiple exposures and other manipulations in the camera, in the lab or in computerized reality. The entries, as always, gave our three judges a huge hit of pleasure and a lot to think about as they selected "the best" from a wide range of very fine work.

The judges

A bust-out photographer whose work radiates spontaneity and style, Angie Baan provides MT with a steady flow of fashion, arts reportage and other photo spreads. Her show of color prints at CPOP Gallery this past year brought her vividly to the attention of the downtown scene. Baan’s work also appears in Hour and Style magazines, and in a current installation at Russell Street Deli in Eastern Market.

As head of the photography department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Carl Toth continually immerses himself in the world of images. He has used photocopy and collage techniques to create a series of unique postmodern works, some of which are in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. Toth is represented by the Hill Gallery in Birmingham.

And then there’s yours truly, MT arts editor George Tysh. Though I mostly write about the visual arts, jazz, new music, fashion and books, photography has always haunted me with its uncanny presence (the way it seems to seize and preserve life) and its apparently unlimited creative possibilities.

The exhibition

While this week’s MT print edition contains the winners in both categories (black-and-white and color) and a few of the honorable mentions, our online interactive gallery at will let you peruse all 26 of the finalists at your leisure. And those who want their art experiences in person, up-close and unmediated are invited to join us tonight, June 6, at the Furniture Factory, 4126 Third Ave., Detroit (313-832-8890) for a party and exhibition featuring all of this year’s entries. Doors are at 5:30 p.m., awards ceremony at 7 p.m., with music by ethno-pop ravers Rhythm and Rain, and (of course) refreshments. The Furniture Factory has its own lighted and secure parking — and admission is free. So bring those hungry eyes to this feast of vision. You’ll see what we mean.

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