For nearly a decade a running joke among the Easton Arts Council was that though Jeff Becker continued to enter stunning photographs each year and received special recognition for them several times, the Easton photographer never did win first prize. If the EAC were to give out a lifetime achievement award, surely Jeff deserved it!

In 2022, however, Jeff’s talent and persistence paid off. His photograph Hawk Moon won first place in the local division of the Easton Arts Council Photography Contest. And so it came to pass recently that Jeff brought his winning photograph to Town Hall and presented it to First Selectman David Bindelglass. Hawk Moon is now part of the town’s permanent collection.

Easton Arts Council President Joanne Kant, Jeff Becker, First Selectman David Bindelglass, and Cleo Sonneborn and Sheila Weaver, co-chairs of the Annual Photography Contest. Contributed photo.

Jeff, an artist who says he likes to push the envelope in his work, came to photography in his 20s. After graduation from Andrew Warde High School in Fairfield and the University of Hartford, where he earned a degree in engineering technology, Jeff felt wanderlust.

He moved to the West Coast and soon found work in the burgeoning tech sector, while serving as the photographer for Silicon Graphics Computer Systems. Feeling like he was doubling his knowledge base practically everyday, Jeff eventually burned out and decided to join his cousin on a travel adventure throughout Asia. Along the way he honed his photography skills, experimenting with shadow and light and creating what he calls “in camera abstractions.”

Never content to be one in a large field of artists, Jeff strives to lead, to create something new. Without using Photoshop or camera filters, he created his Slurry Series, water-color-like imagery achieved by using his inkjet printer as a paint brush and then employing his own method of letting the images slowly evolve. He describes his result as slightly disruptive; instead of a precise reproduction of an image, Jeff works to tease out its essence.

Jeff Becker’s photograph Hawk Moon won first place in the local division of the Easton Arts Council Photography Contest. Contributed photo.

Jeff has called Easton home for the past 24 years. He still does tech work, intermittently, but devotes himself more and more to another passion: organic gardening. Along with growing things, he finds keeping his place up — he does all his own work — a full-time job. It was his close attachment to the outdoors that brought into focus a beautiful young hawk, perched on a tree limb outside his door. The moon was setting, aligning with the raptor. There is was, the perfect shot. Jeff was just the right man to capture it.

The public is invited to see Jeff’s winning photograph, Hawk Moon, along with dozens of winners from years past, at Easton Town Hall.

The Easton Arts Council will be accepting entries for the 2023 photo contest in November. Details about the contest, including entry forms, are available on the Easton Arts Council’s website by clicking here.

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