My Atlanta exhibition at Atlanta Celebrates Photography.
My Atlanta exhibition at Atlanta Celebrates Photography.

By Martha Nodar

 From professional photographers to students and amateurs, and from digital to black-and-white prints, the focus this autumn turns once again to the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival now in its 18th season.

October is the home of the annual event sponsored by ACP, a nonprofit organization that promotes the art of photography through exhibits, lectures, and seminars held at public libraries, art centers, galleries, photography schools, museums, and more around the city.

Among several exhibits gracing the walls of the Midtown-based Tula Center this fall is “My Atlanta Exhibition” in the Spencer Sloan Studio. This is a free and open event “where anyone can come and hang a photo” said ACP executive director, Amy Miller. This exhibition has been attracting students from local schools for several years.

“France Dorman’s photo class at Pace Academy and Dawn Wadsworth’s class at Grady High School participate every year and really show strong work,” Miller added.

Wadsworth, a Midtown resident, said the allure of black-and-white film rules her classroom.

“My students really enjoy working in the darkroom,” she said. “They love the hands-on process, manipulating the material, and seeing the final product.”

The Showcase School of Photography’s students are also partaking in the annual festival at the school’s gallery in Sheridan Drive. Jan Fields, the school’s director, said a reception, open to the public, is planned for Oct. 14, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Other venues rolling out the red carpet are the public libraries. The Buckhead Library is displaying the work of members of the Atlanta Artists Center and hosting an open reception on October 8, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Decatur Library is showcasing the juried compositions of members of the Decatur Digital Photography Meetup Group. “Visions and Voices,” may be viewed during regular library hours. The public is invited to a reception on October 9, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Spiral Staircase by Laurel Neels.

Dunwoody resident Laurel Neels is a member of the Decatur photo group whose piece, “Spiral Staircase” taken at Hunting Island Lighthouse in South Carolina, made the cut.

Turning the lens toward Neels’ image, Fields said its “dramatic impact” captures a sense of intrigue.

“The circular border engages the viewers’ eyes in a sense of motion going down the spiral lending toward the mystery of where the staircase may lead,” she said.

Miller emphasized this year folks will have the opportunity to find the specific style or type of photography they may prefer by searching in the Online Festival Guide and entering a keyword.

“For instance, “she said, “you can search for nature photography; or perhaps sports photography is your thing, so you can customize your experience.”

For a complete schedule and more information about the festival, visit

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.