In a world of camera phones and Instagram, the art of photography has fallen by the wayside. The Exposure Photography Festival hopes to help change that.
Exposure started in 2004 as a platform to showcase photography as an art form. As the only photography festival in Alberta, Exposure has become one of the most beloved art festivals in the province during its 12 years of operation.
“What’s interesting about the Exposure model is that [it] isn’t a curated festival in that [we aren’t] bringing in or curating exhibitions and exhibits,” Alyssa Berry, a coordinator with the Exposure Film Festival told Calgary Buzz. “Basically Exposure works as a bit of a hub for supporting organizations and galleries that are showcasing photography events and exhibits in the month of February in Calgary. We help market and promote those, and push them out.”
Alongside the community-driven events, Exposure hosts its own movie showcase, and Emerging Photographer Program, and a Portfolio Review in cooperation with the Alberta College of Art & Design and the University of Calgary. Barry says these events help solidify Exposure as a hub for photographers, and raise photography back to its place as an art form rather than a dime a dozen pursuit.
“Everybody can be a photographer now. Anybody with an iPhone who’s taking shots on Instagram, everybody feels they’re a photographer now, which I think is great,” she says. “I think that the expansion of digital photos and the digital world of curating photos and expanding those photos through Instagram is excellent, but I think in terms of Exposure specifically it’s really important still to showcase the professional angle of photography as a legitimate form of art – no different than visual art or performing art – it’s all important.”
With Exposure going strong and growing every year, Barry says she hopes photography will begin to regain the respect it held in the past, and the role of photographers will be appreciate by the public at large.
“Whether it’s a commercial photographer or an art photographer, it’s a legitimate career and a legitimate form of art,” she says. “I think that’s Exposure brings to the table. We elevate it just beyond Instagram.”
When: Saturday, January 30 to Monday, February 29
Where: Various venues