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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Madeleine Brand.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And it's time now for ALL TECH CONSIDERED.

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SIEGEL: We're in the middle of the summer travel season. So we're talking today about the tech mainstay of any vacation: the camera. In a few minutes we'll get some buying tips from Keith Jenkins. He's NPR's multimedia director and a former photo-journalist. He's going to demonstrate a few different cameras for us from cheap and fool proof, to neither. But first, we have a story for those of you out there, most of you probably, for whom picture taking is a hobby, perhaps a passion but not a paying job.

Every summer, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, hosts an annual festival for photography fans. It's called the Look3 the Festival of the Photograph. And NPR's Bilal Qureshi discovered one of the most popular exhibits celebrates the achievements of the amateur.

BILAL QUERESHI: Over three summer days, the city showcases some of the most famous names in photography. Their work is projected onto brick storefronts on the town's paved downtown plaza. There are galleries filled with some of the most striking images of the year. Wars in the Middle East, campaign portraits and rarely seen animals. And some pictures that didn't quite make it onto magazine covers.

Unidentified Man #1: Took a picture of my friend recently, so - it's kind of like a seminude shot in a mirror.

Unidentified Man #2: I have a photo of my daughter. She's three and a half years old. And it's her hand with her - we call her boyfriend's hand, it's just another good friend of hers. They were at a carnival and they just clasped hands as they were sitting on a little mini train ride.

QURESHI: Just a few of the images taken by nonprofessionals on display at YourSpace. It's exactly what it sounds like. You bring in your proudest photographic achievement. It's professionally printed for free and then exhibited in a gallery as part of the festival.

Ms. HOLLY OLSEN: I would never be able to afford this print on my own. So, I like to come here and get it printed and see the quality of the work, it's really neat.

QUERESHI: Holly Olsen is one of hundreds of amateurs whose work lines the walls of YourSpace. She's come back to pick up her picture of the desert botanical garden in Phoenix, Arizona. For the past few hours, it's been strung up in all its photographic glory for everyone to see. Michael Shares is here with Canon, the co-sponsor of the festival. And he says showing your work is an integral part of being a photographer.

Mr. MICHAEL SHARES (Co-Sponsor, YourSpace): It's nice that amateurs can experience as a hobby - they can now experience all ends of it, not just shooting the picture, but shooting the picture and refining the picture and producing the picture and ultimately hanging the picture. Because what we're saying here is that it's not a real photograph unless it's hanging in your gallery or your living room.

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QUERESHI: At its core, YourSpace captures the spirit of camaraderie that defines the festival of the photograph. And it provides another example of how new technology is shrinking the space between the professional and the amateur.

SIEGEL: That was NPR's Bilal Quereshi.

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