Museum photos

Lynn Neal of Temple looks at Jason Deckman’s third place photograph of the grain elevator in Temple on Saturday at the Bell County Museum in Belton.

BELTON — The Bell County Museum launched its new photo exhibit, “Expressions by Local Photographers,” with a Saturday afternoon reception.

The 46 photos, which call attention to Temple’s historic downtown buildings, were entered in the Temple Architectural Appreciation Photography Contest this spring, said Dan Kelleher, Temple’s Main Street program manager. The city made them into a May-June exhibit at the Czech Heritage Museum in Temple. They’ll be at the Bell County Museum July-August and at the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum September-October, he said.

Terry Rascoe, a recently retired Temple doctor, won first and second place in the contest. Jason Deckman, a planner for the city of Temple, won third.

Rascoe’s first place photo was of the old Hawn Hotel and the Arcadia Theater. He did not attend the reception, but his wife, Zoe Rascoe, said he had to take the shot in the evening, because earlier the theater was in the shadow. His second place photo was of the Santa Fe Depot, taken about sunset. Deckman’s photo was of the old grain tower near the Third Street bridge. He said he took it at sunrise.

The Rascoes have lived in Temple for 21 years and love it, Zoe Rascoe said. “These are kind of our favorite buildings.”

Once her husband decided on the Santa Fe Depot, he only had to wait until the lighting was right, she said.

“In real estate, it’s location, location, location,” she said. “In photography, it’s lighting, lighting, lighting.”

“What a brilliant idea to have a photo contest to promote Temple, Texas,” she said. “I also appreciate Dan not putting a corral around it. It was kind of wide open.”

Photography needs to be recognized as an art, she said.

“Let’s do whatever we want to do with it.” She said. “Why not?” It’s up to the judges as to whether that wins.”

Beckman agreed with her that lighting and timing have a lot to do with photography. He’s been into photography about 15 years, he said, and sells prints through a gallery, Uniquely Salado. Landscapes are his mainstay, he said.

“There is the creative aspect of it,” he said. “I’ve gotten into a more artistic side. I try to envision, what do I want to take?”

Within the past year he’s done more community event photography.

“That forced me to become a better face photographer than a flower photographer,” he said. “I still like taking pictures of flowers.”

The range of subjects presented in the museum photo exhibit points to how versatile photography is as an art form, he said.

As to how he placed in the competition, Beckman said he couldn’t be beat by a better photographer.

“I think I’m in good company,” he said. “There were several photographers I know that entered. To be selected from that group is a great honor.”

Sennett Farias, a City of Temple event coordinator, said it was good to see Temple through so many people’s eyes.

“By taking pictures of those buildings, I think we are honoring and remembering our history and where we came from,” she said.