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Student’s Photo Snapped Up by National Geographic

“If I had arrived just a minute later I would have missed it,” says W&L student Morgan Harris ’09, who keeps his professional-grade SLR camera on him whenever he can while traveling.

Harris was drawn to the musicians playing in Prague’s main square, but it was the image of them silhouetted against the fine architecture that led him to lift his camera and take two shots. Thirty seconds later the musicians stopped playing. Five minutes later clouds rolled in and it started to snow.

One of those shots proved to be a winning one and has been selected by National Geographic photo editors to be included in their 2009 Glimpse calendar. Glimpse is an organization within National Geographic that exists to promote study abroad and cultural exchange.

When he took the winning shot, Harris was studying abroad during the fall term of 2007 with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. Their International Business and Economics study tour took the group of students to Berlin and then to Prague.

Kip Brooks, study abroad advisor and program coordinator at W&L’s Center for International Education, calls Harris’s photo busy and colorful and says “Morgan captures the activity of this city and it makes me want to see it for myself!” Brooks told Harris about the photo competition at National Geographic and he submitted his photo in the winter of 2008.

Harris received an e-mail some time later saying that his photo had not been selected for the cover of the calendar, and he assumed that was the end of the story. So it was a surprise when he received a second e-mail congratulating him on the selection of his photo for inclusion in the calendar. Over 200 photos had been submitted. Harris admits that had he read the original e-mail to the end he would have seen that his photo was still in contention.

“I was quite pleased about it,” says Harris, “because I have had photos published in a few other things at W&L and back home in Maine, but this is definitely the biggest. There’s been nothing on this scale.”

mharris_photo Student's Photo Snapped Up by National Geographic
Photo printed with permission of National Geographic Glimpse.

Harris is majoring in politics and sociology/anthropology, and has never taken a photography course. He now plans to do so at W&L this winter.

The National Geographic Glimpse calendar is available online in return for a $10 donation to the Glimpse Foundation.