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Longview photographer earns international award

By Jessica Ferguson
Sept. 22, 2012 at 11 p.m.

A Longview photographer earned an honorable mention for landscape work entered in the International Photography Awards Competition.

Tammy Cromer-Campbell's landscape series featuring images from the recent drought was one of 18,000 submissions from 104 countries.

In the series, Cromer-Campbell captured Lake O' the Pines during the Texas drought.

She and her husband Scott, a fellow photographer, went to the lake during New Year's Eve of this past year, where she saw a sight that was very "unique."

"The area was both disturbing and beautiful because they were normally filled with water," she said. "You usually don't get to see what we saw."

This odd sight inspired her to capture the images so she could share it with others.

The five-photo series shows exposed tree roots and swimming boundaries on the ground where land is usually covered by water.

Cromer-Campbell used two cameras for the series - a Holga and a Nikon D300S, used with and without a tilt-shift lens.

"I normally shoot with one camera for a series, but I didn't with this one," she said.

The series also includes a combination of black and white and color photos.

The landscape photography, which is outside of her usual portrait genre, gained her an the honorable mention in fine art.

"It is a great honor," she said.

The award is not the first for the photographer.

She received an honorable mention for her book "Fruit of the Orchard: Environmental Justice in East Texas," which documented stories of Winona residents after a company exposed the town to unknown chemicals.

Cromer-Campbell says she has always fought to bring attention to environmental issues through her work.

"The drought is an environmental issue that I believe is caused by climate change which is caused by the use of fossil fuels," she said.

She was inspired to become a photographer at 15 because of rock 'n' roll photography in Rolling Stone magazine. She aspires to have her photography on the cover of the magazine.

The award is a stepping-stone toward that dream.

"I'm very honored and blessed to have been selected, and it just inspires me to do more," Cromer-Campbell said.



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