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Spring 99 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Bragging Rights

By Jean Robinson, Family Support Specialist, TSBVI, VI Outreach

Tommie Taylor, eighth grade student at TSBVI, won the 1999 Photo Imaging Education Association First Place Award for her photo "Mirrors." Tommie's photography teacher, Denise Elliott submitted the picture in this international photography contest where it competed with 3000 student entries. Her photo will be among 100 others exhibited throughout the world over the next two years. In April her work was part of the "Art of the Eye II" exhibit at the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin.

Tommie has not let her visual impairment (due to albinism) keep her from developing her creative talents. She elected to take photography this school year upon the advice ofschool staff and her mother. Although her vision is 20/400, Tommie is able to view photos on a computer screen by using a digital camera. She is very adept at using the computer to change the look of the picture. She also has experience in the dark room using traditional film, but the developing chemicals irritate her skin. Currently she is interested in taking pictures of nature and old buildings, but also enjoys people as photographic subjects.

Tommie enjoys all aspects of photography, but winning an award is the best part. She's received congratulatory calls from friends and teachers commending her work and was featured in an article in the Lake Travis newspaper. She will receive a 35mm camera, film supplies, and photography books for her first place award. Tommie plans to continue practicing her photography skills and hopes to become a professional photographer.

Tommie has typical aspirations of any student. In addition to her interest in photography, she is a cheerleader and is on the track team. She said, "At TSBVI I don't feel different, and I have become confident enough to ask for help when I need it. I want to go to college and get my degree in photography."

"Mirrors" can be viewed on the websites of TSBVI, http://www.tsbvi.edu/Education/wow.htm  and Photo Imaging Education Association at http://bobcat.tamu-commerce.edu/~stang/PIEA/99results.html .

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