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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

‘Seen in Milwaukee Photo Contest’ Names a Winner

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This February, the Shepherd Express challenged Milwaukeeans to capture life in our city—and you responded. The “Seen in Milwaukee Photo Contest” was inspired by the exhibition “Street Seen: The Psychological Gesture in American Photography, 1940–1959” showcasing post-World War II photography at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM). More than 150 readers submitted qualifying photographs capturing life at its best in Milwaukee, making for a breathtakingly beautiful competition. Among photo submissions of several local landmarks, photogenic people of our city and a certain station wagon seen patrolling our streets, only one photographer could claim the top prize of $500, provided by the Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA).

Chad Weinberger
, a 24-year-old Milwaukee native, captured the winning shot with Well Rounded. Weinberger has studied computer engineering at UW-Milwaukee. He currently works with KBS Construction and is a LEED accredited professional. This talented photographer cites ordinary life in our city as the inspiration for his work.


How did you hear about the photo contest and what inspired you to submit your work?

My friend Lauren actually saw this and sent it over to me because she knew I was into photography. After seeing the exhibit at the art museum I realized that my style of photography was pretty similar and I figured I would give it a shot and see how my art compared to some of the art coming from Milwaukee residents.

Where was the photograph taken and why did you choose this location?

The picture was taken at City Hall, just inside of the main entrance and overlooking Water Street. I chose this location sort of by luck. I shot most of my photos that day on a film Nikon SLR with a super wide-angle lens and had just a few shots left on my last roll of film. I love the way City Hall looks and kind of wandered over near it, laid down on a bench and snapped off the last three shots. Two of the shots were underexposed, but the third turned out great.

Who or what inspires you in your photography?

I really just want to show people how I see the world—how the right angle and the right light can capture something ordinary and turn it into something pretty extraordinary. Simple day-to-day things can be so amazing if you just take the time to stop and really look at them.

All qualifying submissions for the “Seen in Milwaukee” contest can be viewed on the Shepherd Express website at expressmilwaukee.com. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s “Street Seen” exhibition closed April 25, but media from the show can be viewed on the MAM website at www.mam.org. The museum offers a hardcover exhibition catalog for purchase as well.