PHOTOGRAPHY aficionados can experience the world through the lenses of more than 50 Costa Rican photographers as their works are presented throughout the month as part of the international photography festival Fotoseptiembre 2005.“The most interesting thing about the festival is that it provides an open place for photographers to analyze, create, discuss and open up new themes in photography,” said Xela Cabrera, director of Fotoseptiembre in Costa Rica and coordinator of the photography department of Colegio Universitario of Alajuela (CUNA), northwest of San José.The festival is an open event in which all types of Costa Rican photographers can submit their material for showing. The biannual festival was started in 1993 by Centro de la Imagen in Mexico, and was initially exclusive to that country. In 1998, the festival became international as the Centro de la Imagen began to assist other photography and arts foundations and institutions throughout the world to organize similar exhibitions.CUNA, the only higher-education public institution in the country to offer a photography major, teamed up with Centro de la Imagen in 1998 to bring Fotoseptiembre to Costa Rica.Photographers from throughout the country will present their photo sets for the festival, including Tico Times photographer Mónica Quesada, who will be presenting her work in three of 19 participating galleries.“IT’S a party for everyone involved because we are often very busy in the streets (with photography), and we don’t always have time to organize exhibits,” Cabrera said. “Some photographers don’t have a studio, and this festival creates opportunities for them to see international photography and opens up the field (to them).“It is important for us to encourage more participation and attention, not just in Costa Rica, but throughout the world. In recent years, the quantity and quality (of Costa Rican photography) has grown significantly… We want the world to recognize Costa Rica as a place of beautiful and professional photography.”Exhibits include: “19 Submersibles,” by Alexander Arias; “Mirrors,” by Celia Dávila; “Central Market,” a joint exhibit by Quesada and former Tico Times photography intern Marie Arago (TT, Aug. 19); and “A Trip through Havana,” by Álvaro Guzmán.The festival officially opened Sept. 1, and will close on Sept. 30. All exhibits are free and open to the public. For a complete listing of exhibits and galleries, see the Calendar pages. For information, call 443-1314, ext. 123, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.