The Easterner Photo Editor Dustin Snipes won the award for the single overall best picture at the 2005 Sports Shooter Academy in Buena Park, Calif.
A member of the Sports Shooter Web site, Snipes applied for the academy and was chosen for the academy along with 29 other members from a field of over 200 applicants.
Snipes said that the workshop was an interesting experience.
Participants shot photographs all day, capturing images of basketball, volleyball, tennis, rugby and fencing.
At the end of the day, they submitted their five best photos to be critiqued by the experts, which included people from USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, ESPN The Magazine and Getty Imaging, which has photos in Sports Illustrated, among other magazines.
“This was a great experience for me,” said Snipes. “I have never been to a workshop and had never taken photo classes before. This workshop opened my eyes to so many new things, and I was happy to be a part of it.”
Snipes said that there were a lot of people responsible for helping him get to the academy.
The Easterner, Journalism Department, College of Arts & Letters and EWU Theatre raised $800, helping pay for expenses.
“I probably wouldn’t have been able to go without that. It helped pay for my trip,” said Snipes. “Thank you for making this happen, everyone.”
Nikon sponsored the five-day event, and Snipes said he was excited because all participants were able to use their cameras for their shots.
Snipes said that going to the academy gave him more assurance in his abilities.
“It gave me more confidence,” he said.
Before heading to the conference, Snipes said he was not sure about his ability, questioning his skills among some of the top photographers in the country.
“Am I good enough to hang with these people?” Snipes said.
Snipes has some experience shooting sports. He has been a photographer for The Easterner for the past two years and held a summer internship with the Spokane Indians baseball team.
The awards ceremony took place on Sunday night, and Snipes said that he saw his picture was in the top five, and he was surprised and honored that he was among the finalists.
Snipes said he was in disbelief when the academy called his name as the winner.
“I stood up, then sunk back down into my chair,” Snipes said. “I was shocked. I had no idea because there were so many good photographers there.”
He said that everyone was telling him to stand up, so he did, but he was so surprised that he sat back down again.
Along with having his photo named the best overall picture, Snipes received a Pro Modulus Speed System from Think Tank Photo, which Snipes said is a $400 fanny pack for holding a camera and gear.
Snipes said that overall it was a great experience.
“It was fun,” he said, “I learned a lot. I’ve never taken photography classes before. It was all new to me and I learned so much just from going to it.”