April 20, 2005 - What some may see as a junkyard filled with broken window panes and rusty cars, Krysta Jabczenski sees as a lot filled with inspiration, and the 18-year-old immediately gets to work.
Jabczenski has a vision. She can turn garbage into art and strangers into masterpieces, and her photos are getting noticed.
The senior's portfolio placed second at the Photo Imaging Education Association's international photo contest, bringing Catalina Foothills High School its first ever placement in a photography contest. More than 3,500 students from around the world entered the contest.
Jabczenski often takes her Cannon camera and heads to downtown Tucson, snapping shots of the bus terminal, or of strangers on the streets. She can spend an afternoon walking through a local junkyard with only the sound of the shutter to keep her company. For the modest photographer, it is all part of seeing and creating art.
"I get goose bumps when I can develop something really good," she said.
Jabczenski entered two portfolios into the contest, with the selections titled "Peephole" and "Broken Glass" winning. Her works were on display in Orlando at the Photo Marketing Association Convention, and one piece will be selected to travel in the association's International Traveling Exhibitions.
While the contest win doesn't pad the wallet of Jabczenski, she did score some expensive photography equipment, such as a tripod, photo paper and film, which will come in handy this fall when she starts college
at the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography.
Jabczenski's photography teacher Jay Barwell knew immediately his student's work was special.
"She has a vision," he said. "I see Krysta being able to do whatever she wants to do."
What Jabczenski wants to do is become a professional photographer, the next Annie Leibovitz or Henri Cartier Bresson, two famous photographers and two of her idols.
"This art form has forced me to look at the world in a different way," Jabczenski wrote as her artist statement. "My photos are from real life."
A crowd of more than 350 people got to see Jabczenski's work, and the work of other Catalina Foothills students, at a photo show held April 12 at the school.
Students were able to sell work, which ranged from black and white silver gelatin print images of friends to digital reproductions of local architecture, all priced at about $20.
Jabczenski said it was the first time for her to see her work for sale and a chance to hear feedback from the public.
"Amazing" is the way Summer Buckley described Jabczenski's work, stating also how she admired the dedication and passion her friend has for the world of photography.
"She does individual pieces," Buckley said.
For Jabczenski, her work is just a way of seeing life differently, of looking into the eyes of strangers and seeing beauty. It's a way of seeing art on the dirt-covered walls of an abandoned home.
It's all just a way of simply seeing "art in reality" she said.