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Portrait Gallery picks a winner

October 24, 2009|Washington Post

A photograph of a young woman in a contemplative pose, "Laura," has won first prize in the National Portrait Gallery's triennial competition for new styles of portraiture.

The winning entry, by Dave Woody of Fort Collins, Colo., was created when the photographer was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. Working in a studio with natural light, Woody asked a female fellow student to sit. In the picture, she is dressed plainly in a green sweater and white shirt with a brown curl framing the left side of her face.

Working very slowly and with a large-format 8x10 non-digital camera, Woody captured an expression of a woman lost in her thoughts.

The winner, chosen from among 3,300 submissions, was announced this week at the museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Woody will receive a cash award of $25,000 and a commission to do a portrait for the gallery in Washington.

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