Digital photography graduate captures the path to success

Michael Halse, a recent graduate of Durham College’s (DC) Digital Photography program won an award recently after submitting a photo to Applied Arts Magazine’s annual Student Awards contest.

The piece Halse submitted, titled “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,” is a reinterpretation of a painting by Frida Kahlo, and began as an in-class assignment in the final year of his two-year program. Students were tasked with choosing one of their photos and going through the process of following formatting, resizing and tagging instructions as if they were submitting the piece for different contests.

Following the assignment, the instructors went over the submissions and offered Halse the opportunity for the college to pay for his submission to Applied Arts Magazine’s Student Awards.

“It is a huge honour to have been chosen as a winner for the Student Awards contest and to have my work recognized by a national publication,” said Halse. “DC’s Digital Photography program allowed me to explore the different areas of photography that many might not realize even exist. This is where, with the support of the instructors, I was able to explore and develop my love for fine-art photography.”

Applied Arts is a Canadian magazine that showcases various forms of visual communication, which includes photography, design, advertising and illustration. The student awards program accepts entries world-wide, providing emerging artists the opportunity to promote their work to industry professionals, potential clients and to gain national exposure.

Beyond graduation Halse continues to develop his photography and creative skills through working on a fine-art/fantasy series, a more dramatic still-life series and working through the process of publishing his first fantasy-based novel.

Winners will be published in Applied Arts Magazine’s November/December Student Awards annual, as well as in the Winner’s Gallery and Awards Archive sections on their website. Halse, along with other winners will also have their work displayed at the Winner’s Exhibit during the Creative Futures Expo, which runs from November 17 to 18 at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Ont.

To view more of Halse’s work, like him on Facebook, follow him on Instagram or visit his website.