Photographer realizes longtime dream by winning national award

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post

Katheryn Gordon

SYDNEY — Local photographer Katheryn Gordon had a dream realized last week when she won the coveted prize at the Professional Photographers of Canada national convention in Mont Tremblant, Que.

She admitted she squeezed the hand of her husband, acclaimed photographer Warren Gordon, so tight just prior to her name being announced in the final and most prestigious category of the night: Portrait photographer of the year.


Gordon also wanted her parents in Sydney to take in the moment, having Warren call them from a cellphone in time for them to hear her acceptance speech.

"It was very moving for them," she said.

"They were listening to the names being called around midnight."

It's the first time a Cape Bretoner has won this award. She had tried but failed to win in the category twice before.

It's a difficult task just to nab a nomination, as a photographer must have four entries selected to enter the salon to be judged and a score given.

In Gordon's case, three of her portraits were given the "excellence" rating, and the fourth image was "accepted" into the salon for judging. She recorded the highest scores of her career since first entering images for judging in 2001.

Gordon also won best fine art print in Canada for her portrait, Legend of the Rhine Maiden.

In an image that beckons fantasy, the portrait depicts a woman looking up to the heavens as a girl, with a crown of flowers on her head, lays in a canoe covered in hay as the sun, shrouded in mist, sets in the distance.

It took several weeks for Gordon to capture the images and work with computer graphics to create her portraits.

"I had read a number of books on Camelot and that was the main idea that sort of developed," Gordon said.

"It's just really a creative gift that I received from God, and it just develops in front of my eyes. I can't really pre-plan it that well. It's very spontaneous."

Three of her images have been chosen to be included in the National Loan Collection. Of the 1,045 entries at the national competition, only 40 were chosen for the collection.

Excerpted courtesy of The Cape Breton Post - Copyright © 2010. All rights Reserved.