CMC student’s photo wins award at international competition
Colorado Mountain College
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Standing where the living room used to be, Jury Jerome photographed the runoff-swollen waters of Elk Creek rushing through the bedroom of a partially submerged vacation cabin.
That photo, taken last June when the 21-year-old Colorado Mountain College photography student was an intern at the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, earned Jerome an award of excellence in the spot news category of the 66th College Photographer of the Year competition at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
The small cabin on Main Elk Creek Road outside New Castle was ripped off its foundation because of high snowmelt and a natural dam that had been created upstream. The water eroded away the bank and foundation of the cabin, sending the back half of the home into the water and lifting the front half off the ground. A woman in Fruita owned the cabin.
“There was a space of about two and a half feet I had to crawl through and under the part of the house that was lifted in the air,” Jerome said. “It was taken from where the living room was.”
Jerome and other professional photography students at the college’s Spring Valley campus entered their photos in several categories of the contest. Fellow photography student Christopher Mullen was a semifinalist in the general news category, according to associate professor Steven G. Smith.
The College Photographer of the Year competition began in 1945. This year’s winners were announced Nov. 9, after judges viewed 14,216 photos entered by 721 student photographers from 132 colleges and universities in 21 countries.
Judges included Alice Gabriner, senior photo editor at National Geographic; David Gilkey, staff photographer and video editor for National Public Radio; Lisa Krantz, staff photographer at the San Antonio Express-News; Joe Mahoney, director of multimedia for the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network; Geri Migielicz, co-founder and executive editor of Story4; and Colin Mulvany, multimedia producer at The Spokesman-Review.
The judging was conducted live online. Jerome said some of the judges remarked on how close he appeared to be to the water in order to get the shot. “One of [the judges] said, ‘If I have a nightmare tonight, that is the picture that is going to wake me up,'” Jerome added.
Smith said to his knowledge, Jerome is the first Colorado Mountain College photography student to place this high in the competition. Jerome’s award may also be the only one earned by a student from a two-year college, Smith added.
“I think it really shows the program is on track with the high quality of students we have,” the associate professor said. “They’re all working hard and getting the extra work, like Jury’s internship, to gain experience.”
Jerome said he is unsure what he will do after he graduates this spring with an associate degree in professional photography. He may transfer to a college or university where he can complete a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism, or try to find a job as a photographer’s assistant.
“I’ve always been into photography since high school,” Jerome said.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed around 9 p.m. Thursday for a flash flood warning.