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Williams Field Senior Selected for Drexel’s 2020 High School Photography Exhibit

Drexel University Showcases 2020 High School Photography Exhibit, Featuring Work from High School Students Across the US.

Black and white photo of buildings with shadows acoss   Zoe Omtvedt  

Drexel University announced the winners of its 20th annual high school photography contest, which highlights student work from across the US. Zoe Omtvedt, a senior at Williams Field High School, was among the students recognized in this year’s exhibit.

Drexel Photography received more than 2,100 photographs from 771 individuals. The show only accepted 267 students.  

Omtvedt, who applied to the Drexel University gallery in the summer, thought this was a great opportunity to get into a college-level gallery. “I was very pleased when I heard about my acceptance,” she said.

Omtvedt took the photo in September of 2019 during a trip to New York City. Her shot included the Manhattan Bridge on the left and on the right, she captured a building near the neighborhood, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass in Brooklyn.

“What I love about this photo is how unconventional it is in a way,” Omtvedt said. “Most people would have just taken a photo of the towering bridge next to them, but this shows the Manhattan Bridge from a new angle. In this photo, the bridge is not necessarily the main focus, but shares the spotlight with a beautiful old brick building.”

She added, “I'm also fascinated with how the photo almost plays an optical illusion. All in all, I hope this photo teaches people to slow down and take a moment to take everything in. Try focusing on things from a completely new angle and see what happens.” 

Omtvedt started taking photos her freshman year in Mr. Joseph Abbruscato’s photography class. She discovered her love for photography by looking at old photographs in museums, books and antique stores. “I love the idea of capturing a single moment in time forever. Even just looking at old family photos is one of my favorite things to do.”

“Looking back now at the start of my photography journey, some of those photos seem like monstrosities, but it is satisfying to see my growth as a photographer,” she said. “I would say the last two years I have really started to find my personal style, to the point where my colleagues could probably guess my photo out of a lineup. Is the photo black and white and focus on leading lines? Then yes, that would be mine.”

After high school, Omtvedt will be attending Arizona State University’s Fashion Program. Although she will not be majoring in photography, she plans to take a few extra photo classes while pursuing her degree. 

Update: Zoe Omtevedt’s work “The Girl and Her Umbrella” made it into the Phoenix College “Western Eye Exhibition”. It’s open to all MCCCCD students and Zoe is dual enrolled with me through CGCC. Her piece can be seen in the online gallery here:

"The Girl with an Umbrella" grayscale photograph

Williams Field High School, in Higley Unified School District, is located in Gilbert, Arizona.