The following four Arts & Sciences students received awards in the 2018 A&S Student Photo Contest: Jennifer Greenberg, Ryan Hoopes, Adina Loomis and Amanda Mueller. The Ampersand sat down with first place winner Ryan Hoopes to talk about his entry and the study abroad experiences that inspired it.
Where were you in your study abroad experience when the picture was taken? What about the setting made you want to take the photo? What do you associate with this image?
This photo was taken atop "Stolzekleiven," a hike up 800 stone steps that winds from the center of Bergen, Norway to a small mountain peak in the surrounding valley. As we came upon this pond, the sun set, and it started to snow. The life ring served as a reminder that summer was both around the corner and yet, extremely distant. I wanted to capture this irony, and the breathtaking landscape surrounding it added to the effect.
What sort of impact did your time abroad have on your overall college experience? Where else did you travel, and is there any one place that was most memorable or meaningful?
I am so, so fortunate to have been provided the opportunity to study abroad. This experience gave me a new perspective on the world that I had never before encountered, and I was able to bring that back to WashU for my final two semesters. In addition to Norway, I traveled to Germany, Poland, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, and the Czech Republic, and I spent the majority of my semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. Of these places, Ireland was the most meaningful. While there, I stayed with my second cousins, who took me to my great grandfather's childhood home. It was incredible to stand in the same spot that he once stood, and to encounter the literal roots of my family tree.
Have you always enjoyed taking photos? How did your interest develop, and what do you enjoy about it?
While I consider myself more of a math and science person, I've always enjoyed taking photos. I started with a disposable, wind-up Kodak when I was a kid and have worked my way up from there. I love the visceral nature of photography -- any one picture can bring you back to the time, the place, and the memory of that event. It's incredible to then reflect on that journey and re-create the narrative.
1st Place: Ryan Hoopes
Ryan is a senior majoring in PNP and Biology, with a minor in Anthropology
Title of Entry: "Lifeguard to Return When Snow Melts"
Caption: Bergen, Norway Study Abroad, DIS Copenhagen, Spring 2017
2nd Place: Jennifer Greenberg
Jennifer is a senior majoring in Educational Studies and Religious Studies
Title of Entry: Sunset in the East
Caption: Secluded study spots on the Danforth Campus are even more special in the light of St. Louis sunsets. I was able to catch a set of windows reflecting in another set of windows in the tower of Anheuser-Busch Hall, casting the colors of the sunset in the west over campus in the east. Like the contradiction of a sunset in the east, a seemingly mundane activity like studying on campus can equate to exploration, the creation of intimate spaces, and a recognition of beauty all around- my experience prior to capturing this photo.
Honorable Mention: Amanda Mueller
Title of Entry: "Art Hill I"
Caption: On the drive to WU: Art Hill Sunrise
Honorable Mention: Adina Loomis
Title of Entry: "Flags"
Caption: I was in Ireland with a class for spring break and we spent three days in Dublin. We were on a bus multiple times a day and I often spent that time taking pictures out the window of things we'd pass by. These flags caught my eye because of the color and light that was hitting them.