01/07/05 — Getting the picture

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Getting the picture

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 7, 2005 2:02 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Bart Albertson came to Mount Olive College looking for a "good art program."

"I drove up and spoke with the art professors for an hour or so," said Albertson, a sophomore visual communications major at Mount Olive College. He lives in the Fountaintown community of Duplin County. "After seeing the kind of work that the students were doing, I realized that this was a program where I could grow as opposed to a paint-by-numbers school of thought,"

He went through the art program at James Sprunt Community College before coming to Mount Olive College. He said the program at Mount Olive College fosters personal growth within the artist, and it teaches the students the importance of working with others.

"I can't think of a project that I've done without advice or some kind of encouragement," he said. What makes the art department so good are the professors, he said. "Larry D. Lean has been a constant source of support and, along with the other professors, has not been afraid to give me a push in the right direction."

Photography ended up being the right direction for Albertson.

"I would say that it selected me," he said. "It's a no-brainer. I'm an artist. I don't want to do anything else."

Albertson's photographs were recently featured on the Web site of the Student Photographic Society, www.studentphoto.com. The SPS is a national organization of over 1,000 student members who study or have an interest in photography, and they are affiliated with the Professional Photographer's Association.

Each week one student's artwork is chosen and nationally showcased on the Web site. Albertson had his artwork honored by the SPS, when he was afforded "Image of the Week." His unique photographs were displayed online during the first week of November, along with a feature article describing him and his work.

He first started on the path of photography during his second semester as a freshman when heI took a black and white photography class.

"I've been hooked ever since," he said. "For me, one of the greatest things about photography is that you interact with a lot of different people."

He said it's a popular misconception that one can hide behind a camera. This is not the case, he said.

"If you're taking portraits you have to make a person feel comfortable so that their pictures reflect that," he said. "If you try to take pictures of a subject that is not happy in front of the camera, it really shows up on the print. So, in that process you can get to know a lot of new people."

The scariest thing that has happened is when he was trying to get a particular shot on a small bridge. He was hanging off the side, and large tractor-trailer trucks were going back and forth.

"Those flimsy bridges shake quite a bit when those big 18-wheelers are going across," he said, "but I got the shot despite the fact that it was a little too close for my comfort."