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Sophomore receives honorable mention in national photo contest
Joel Dirnberger, graphic design major, receives honorable mention in national photography contest.

“The texture on the tree is really what makes (the photo) stand out."

It was a cold, snowy day — not unlike many other days in South Dakota. But Joel Dirnberger saw something that day. He saw the frost hanging off of the bark of a tree against the white canvas of snow. He saw a piece of art.

Dirnberger is a graphic design major and a 2013 graduate at Huntington University. As a sophomore, he was recognized for his photograph of the tree in the 31st Annual College Photo Contest sponsored by Photographer’s Forum magazine.

“The texture on the tree is really what makes (the photo) stand out,” said Dirnberger who received an honorable mention out of the 13,960 photographs that were entered this year from the U.S., Canada and around the world. His photo will appear in a hardcover book from Photographer’s Forum magazine titled “Best of College Photography 2011.”

Dirnberger entered the photo contest after hearing about the opportunity from Professor Ken Hopper, associate professor of art at HU. And with the help of Professor Barb Michel, instructor of art, he was able to select the photos that best demonstrated his abilities.

Even though the tree photo was his least favorite from the 12 that he had submitted for the contest, Dirnberger said that he was “still happy about honorable mention.”

Dirnberger became interested in photography last year from a close friend whom he called a “big inspiration.”


 Tree photo 
This photo, by HU student
Joel Dirnberger, received an
honorable mention in the 31st
Annual College Photo Contest
by Photographer’s Forum Magazine. 

“He made me want to get a camera,” he said.



During his freshman year, he bought a digital Nikon camera, and since that time, he has taken every chance he could to shoot landscape, nature and other still-life photos, especially photos of graffiti.

Dirnberger says that he hopes to turn his passion for photography into a career someday, but for now, he is just looking at the possibility of more photo contests in the future.

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