Lydia Anne McCarthy is one of this year's winners of the portfolio competition conducted by Joerg Colberg on his popular Conscientious website. McCarthy's Refraction portfolio was chosen especially by Elisabeth Biondi, the photography editor of the New Yorker Magazine.
McCarthy is from Massachusetts but chose to move to Chapel Hill to enroll in UNC's MFA program in studio art. One might wonder in what sense this work is Southern, but when I look at these images made by photographing people through a fresnel lens, I immediately think of the harshness and merciless intensity of Southern light in the summertime.
Congratulations to McCarthy, and to UNC for becoming an attractive school for fine art photographers from across the country.