By Courtney Westlake
When UIS student Andy Mitkos decided to enter an international student photography competition, he opted at the last minute to "thrown in" a few more photos than he had chosen originally to "round out" his entry, he said.
It was one of the last-minute photos that impressed the judges.
Mitkos was selected as a finalist in the 29th Annual Student Photography Contest sponsored by Nikon and Photographer’s Forum Magazine. His photo, titled “Any Landing You Can Walk Away From...,” will be published in the Best of College Photography Annual 2009.
The winning photograph captures a scene of a plane underwater that Mitkos took while he was scuba diving off the coast of Aruba. He used an underwater housing for camera, which weighs about 50 pounds including the camera.
“I’ve always loved photography, and I had the fortune of being able to get really good camera few years back,” he said. “I like to use photography in everything I do.”
Mitkos is currently earning his degree in mass communications and has taken two photography courses with Professor Michael Duvall. He also works fulltime at Lincoln Land Community College as a blackboard system administrator.
He said he is thrilled to be among the finalists in the competition.
“Professor Duvall suggested it to me, and I entered it not expecting anything to happen,” he said. “I got collection of what I thought were my best pictures and just hoped to get some kind of recognition.”