Mao Yang, Tyson McKinster, Don Aherin and Minerva Gama are the extremely talented winners of last year’s $150 Photography Scholarship awarded by the Yuba College Photo Guild.
The Photo Guild is an independent, ASYC recognized club on campus that is run by students; it was founded over thirty years ago by Yuba College’s own photo instructor, world renowned photographer, Rick Murai. Murai has made quite a name for himself with his amazing photographs and has won several prestigious awards. He encourages photo students to advance their skills by continuing on to other photography classes, offering a scholarship as added incentive.
Each year the Photo Guild awards 4-6 photography students this scholarship to be used for equipment and supplies because photography can be an extremely costly class. The scholarship is open to all photography students; in order to apply students must submit six matted photos of their choice from their work done over the course of the semester. These photos are judged by an independent judge. The scholarship is given to the winning students the following semester upon their enrollment in another class, as it is for continuing students only.
The Photo Guild has held a few fundraisers but it is mostly through the generous donations of Ron Carlos (from the Casa Carlos Restaurant in Marysville and local dentist, Doctor Dennis De Tomasi, that the club is able to continue awarding these scholarships year after year.
To find out more about the Photo Guild or the photo scholarships, stop by the photo lab or email Rick Murai at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Aherin took his first photography class thinking it would be a cool thing to do and enjoyed it more than he expected. Although he hopes to get an Associates Degree in photography at Yuba College, he plans to move on to another course of study in the future. “I don’t think it’s smart to get a Bachelor’s or Master’s in photography unless the goal is to teach it. Photographs speak for themselves and will show more than a piece of paper stating that you completed classes,” he explains. At this point he’s in intermediate photography but is unsure of what he wants to major in, or how far he will take his photography skills.
Mao Yang is a photography major with six semesters of experience and is currently enrolled in digital photography. When asked what her favorite part of class was she replied, “Weekend workshops. I enjoy getting the chance to experiment with different things like night photography and running water. I always wanted to learn these things and was recently able to. I’ve always loved taking pictures and, since I’ve been at Yuba College, I’ve learned a lot about using black and white film. I’ve really gotten into it.”
Minerva Gama has always enjoyed different forms of art and enjoy all aspects of photography, from mixing the chemicals and developing film to printing and editing the photos. She tells me, “I always wanted to be a photographer. When I was little, in fifth or sixth grade, I would have my older sisters dress up and pose in front of curtains and other backdrops so I could practice doing photo shoots. I got even more into photography in high school.” She is now in her seventh semester; she is now taking digital photography and working towards a degree.
Tyson McKinster took photography as a “filler class” without expecting it to go further. “What I experienced with Rick opened my eyes to a whole new world. I developed a love for photography and started seeing things differently, wondering what would make good photographs. People kept telling me how much they enjoyed my pictures and it inspired me to pursue it further and make it my major.” McKinster has taken five courses with Rick Murai over the course of three semesters, he is currently taking intermediate and digital classes. He would one day like to work for an extreme location magazine like National Geographic; the idea of hanging over 100 foot cliffs snapping waterfall pictures appeals to him.
In our Winter 2010 edition that just came out in print, two pictures by the winner’s were placed next to the wrong paragraph. placed with the wrong The photo next to Minerva Gama’s paragraph was actually the taken by Mao Yang. The photo next to Mao Yang’s paragraph was taken by Minerva Gama. Mao’s photo was used on the front page and because the photos were swapped, the front page credit went to Minerva instead. We at The Prospector apologize for this mistake.