For Immediate Release: 08/18/06
Civil War Preservation Trust and The History Channel Announce National Photo Competition
Annual contest encourages amateur photographers to embed themselves in Civil War Battlefields
(Washington, D.C.) - The Civil War was the first major conflict in history to be extensively documented by photojournalists. Using equipment now considered primitive, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and other "embedded" photographers recorded dramatic battlefield images that still haunt us today.
Nearly a century and a half later, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), The History Channel and the Center for Civil War Photography (CCWP) are teaming up to encourage amateur shutterbugs to follow in the footsteps of Brady, Gardner and other photographers like George S. Cook and Timothy O'Sullivan. Together, the organizations are sponsoring a national Civil War photography competition to promote appreciation of America's rich Civil War heritage.
In addition to modern images of sites associated with the Civil War, the contest is designed to encourage closer study of the many fascinating images taken during the conflict. CCWP, now in its third year associated with the contest, is dedicated to the preservation, study, use and presentation of Civil War photography and related equipment. Representatives of the organization will also participate in judging the competition.
"To see the fields and other sites where history was made is to understand those events much more deeply," said CWPT president Jim Lighthizer. "Viewing stirring images, like those annually submitted to this contest, helps us see what precious resources our historic sites are, and why we must work to preserve them."
Garry Adelman, CCWP vice president, concurred that photographs are an invaluable tool in the study and teaching of history, saying, "Whether taken in the aftermath of battle, or amid the grind of everyday life photographs are historical documents from which we can all learn."
Amateur photographers are invited to submit Civil War-related photos in six different categories: (1) Endangered Battlefields, featuring a battlefield under threat of destruction; (2) Scenic, showing the natural beauty of Civil War sites; (3) Historic, capturing the solemn effect of a historic structure or monument; (4) Close-up, examining a detail of a monument or landscape; (5) Then and Now, comparing early images of Civil War battlefields and historic sites with modern images; and (6) Junior Photographer, a special category for photographers under the age of 18.
The grand prize winner will be selected from among the first place winners in the 6 categories. The grand prize winner will receive a free registration (a $515 value) to CWPT's annual conference. The History Channel will award $250 to the remaining first place winners in each category. Additionally, second and third place winners are eligible for CWPT merchandise and gift certificates. The winner of the "Then and Now" category will receive a free registration to Center for Civil War Photography's 2007 Image of War seminar (date and location to be announced).
Participants must be amateur photographers. The entry fee is $20 and includes a half-year membership to CWPT. There is no entry fee for current CWPT members. The deadline for entries is November 30, 2006. For contest rules, visit CWPT online at www.civilwar.org/photocontestrules.htm.
With more than 70,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 23,000 acres of hallowed ground nationwide. CWPT's website is www.civilwar.org.