Brotherly love inspired award-winning photograph

February 07, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

The ability to capture the love between her sons in a black-and-white snapshot was what won Hali Taylor Best of Show in the Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon.

The juried show, in its 75th year, opens Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit will be on view until April 6.

More than 50 photographers will be featured. Entrants competed across several categories: landscape/architecture, still life, portrait, figure, abstract and digital effects.

The judges this year were Frank Goodyear, assistant curator of photographs at the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery, and Corinne Diop, an art professor at James Madison University.


Taylor's photo, "Jona and Seth," was named Best of Show and also won first prize in the black-and-white portrait category.

The photo, named for her sons, shows the men embracing each other, both looking directly at the camera. Neither is smiling, yet you can tell from their body language that they have a close relationship.

"They really love each other," said Taylor, 55, of Shepherdstown, W.Va. "I wanted to show the relationship between them."

Taylor specializes in black-and-white portraiture, paying close attention to the emotion her subjects show.

"Color can be a distraction," Taylor said. "Black and white affords a more visceral response to the subject."

She also has an informal policy on smiling.

"I ask my subjects not to smile," Taylor said. "I like eye contact. Smiling makes you squint your eyes."

Taylor brought her a passion for photography with her when she moved from Southern California to Shepherdstown in 1977. She built up her reputation as a photographer by asking people in the community if she could photograph them.

In 2000, when former President Clinton, former Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa (now Syria's vice president) and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (now Israeli defense minister) met in Shepherdstown for peace talks, she was designated "town photographer."

In 2001 she opened a community darkroom at Entler Hotel, which has since hosted yearly exhibits featuring the people she's photographed.

Taylor, director of the Shepherdstown Public Library, is now considering compiling her photos into a book.

Winners of the 75th Annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon

Best of Show - "Jona and Seth," by Hali Taylor, of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Best Photograph by a Washington County Resident - "Piercing," by Audra Haddock Martenot, of Hagerstown

Fuji Color Processing Inc. Best Digital Effects in Color - "Aquatic Study IV," by Dan Mangan, of Fairfield, Pa.

Reginald Holladay Best Slide Award - "Park Guell #1," by Martin Casey, of Gettysburg, Pa.

Landscape and Architecture, Color - "Roaring Ferris Wheel," by Brian McEntire, of Frederick, Md.

Landscape and Architecture, Black and White - "Waiting," by Michelle Marsili, of New Market, Md.

Landscape and Architecture, Slides - "Park Guell #1," by Casey Martin, of Gettysburg

Still Life, Color - "Patterns," by Paul Saberin, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Still Life, Black and White - "Majesticoud #734," by Sterling "Rip" Smith, of Martinsburg, W.Va.

Still Life, Slides - "Silver Tube," by Donna Reeves, of Falling Waters, W.Va.

Portrait, Color - "Robbie," by Annette Garthwaite, of Chambersburg

Portrait, Black and White - "Jona and Seth," by Hali Taylor

Figure, Color - "Tandem," by Charles M. Armstrong, of Chambersburg

Abstract, Color - "Reflection of Pines," by Jack Kramer, of Frederick

Digital Effects, Color - "Aquatic Study IV," by Dan Mangan, of Fairfield

If you go ..


WHAT: 75th Annual Cumberland Valley Photographic Salon

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 9, through Sunday, April 6. A reception is scheduled for 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10.

WHERE: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown

COST: Free

MORE: Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the museum at 301-739-5727 or go to

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