by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: JORDAN VANSISE - Jordan VanSise's self-portrait is one of 10 finalists in the Sony World Photography Awards.Marylhurst University student Jordan VanSise is a finalist in the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus competition. VanSise is in his sophomore year at Marylhurst. His photograph, titled “Self Portrait,” was shot in response to a advertisement asking for single image showing “Tomorrow’s News.”

“I often find it difficult to know where I stand with myself while I try to hold on to the value and the beauty of this life,” VanSise said. “I am constantly reminded of the things I have come witness to, and I wonder what the point of all this is.”

Student Focus is one of the largest international programs for photography students. Involving 230 educational institutions worldwide, its aim is to support and inspire the future generation of photographers. It provides a professional network of contacts and offers a variety of competitions, tutorials and opportunities to help amateur photographers turn professional. Many of the previous finalists are now working regularly in the photography industry.

“This image was originally for a self-portrait assignment in one of my photography classes,” VanSise said. “I thought of the different versions of myself that I wanted to depict. I set my camera on a tripod and framed it how I wanted. Then I changed into different outfits and changed my spot on the couch, as well as making a variety of gestures. Afterward, I chose the shots I liked and put them together to make the final image.”

As a finalist, VanSise won the latest full frame camera from Sony, the a7, which he must now use to fulfill the second portion of the competition: shoot a series of images under the title “Self-Portraits.” One winning series will be chosen by the judges from this work.

As the other part of their prize, all 10 finalists will be flown to London with their instructors to attend the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony April 30 in London. At the ceremony, the finalists will discover the recipient of the 2014 Student Focus Photographer of the Year title and the grand prize of 35,000 pounds (approximately $58,397.50) of Sony photographic equipment for their university.

Each finalist will also see their self-portraits shown as part of the exhibit at Somerset House, London, May 1-18, and have their work published in the 2014 edition of the annual “Sony World Photography Awards” book.

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