Lowell 15-year-old wins worldwide photography contest

This photo taken by Davey Thrasher at Mound Cemetery won the first Youth Category Competition in Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk.

There are 984 photowalks and 21, 322 walkers registered on the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk page. And a Lowell teen recently became not only one of those walkers but the winner of the first youth competition to be held as part of the photowalk, an event that has photographers gather on the same day and locations across the world to take photographs.

Davey Thrasher, a sophomore at Fort Frye High School, picked up photography as a hobby less than a year ago and already sees it as his career goal. His photo taken at Mound Cemetery won the contest. In his judge’s remarks, Kelby commented on the shallow depth of field and leading lines that draw viewers into the photo.

“Such a nicely crafted image,” he said.

Prizes included a new Canon camera, printer, several gift cards and software subscriptions.

Thrasher will age out of the 16-and-under youth category next year but said he has no plans to stop experimenting with photography.

Question: How did you become aware of the contest and why did you decide to enter it?

Answer: I originally became aware of it through a friend in the photography community…I went online to register to do the photowalk and kept getting emails about entering the contest. It was the first time ever they did a youth competition. I’m the first person to win. It’s huge.

Q: When did you find out you had won?

A: On Nov. 10. I checked my email and it said “Congratulations, you won.” At first, I thought “This is for real?” I had to look it up on the website to make sure. When I saw it there, I was ecstatic. I was screaming and jumping up and down.

Q: How did you first become interested in photography?

A: I got into it through my mom (about eight months ago). She had a camera and wanted to upgrade and I said “Why don’t I take your old camera?” I then started going to workshops and photowalks through Hanson Enhancements and I learned so much. I think I owe this award to them (Lori Hanson and Bruce Wunderlich) because they taught me so much.

Q: Do you have certain things that you love to take pictures of?

A: I don’t have any certain objects I like to photograph more than others but I like to make my pictures unique. I like to put an extra abstract twist on them. I like playing with light. At night, I’ll find something extreme and shake my camera for a while and see what comes out. I love to experiment.

Q: What is it about photography that you love?

A: It’s completely about me. It’s for no one else but me and it makes me happy. I’m completely in control of it. I could take a photo of someone else and it makes them happy but I’m still doing it for me.

Q: Do you take many pictures of people or do you prefer landscapes and objects?

A: It’s a mix. I don’t do as much with people but I will take them and it’s pretty fun.

Q: Do you see this continuing as hobby or is it something you’d consider as a career?

A: I honestly think this is what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. This is my career.

Q: It sounds like you’ve been seeking out advice from professionals and learning from them. Do you think that’s important?

A: Yes. One of the things I won was a year subscription to KelbyOne which I’m so excited to utilize. I do know a little about some things but I’m not an expert. I’ve never used Photoshop and the fact that I get Photoshop and all these workshops to teach me how to use it…I love it so much.

Q: How did you end up taking the photo that won the contest?

A: It was a picture I took at Mound Cemetery. There’s a little section there with sticks to represent people that died in the military. I think it commemorates people who served in the Revolutionary War. I just decided to sit down for a minute, focus it correctly and take the picture.

Q: Did you know right away that was the one you wanted to submit?

A: Actually, that picture I submitted on a whim and thought “We’ll see what happens.” I had a few others I considered. But it worked out well.

Kate York conducted this interview.