Lanthier wins Sandhill Photography Club contest

by Jim Boyle

Denise Lanthier has won the Powered by Nature Photography Contest, which was held in conjunction with the Elk River Independence Day celebration on Wednesday.

Denise Lanthier, of Elk River, penned that dawn laid new beginnings for American dreams as part of her winning entry in the Powered by Nature photography contest sponsored by the Sandhill Photography photo club.

Her photo, snapped one early, foggy morning at a VandenBerge Middle School baseball field in Elk River, caught the attention of judges from the Sandhill Photography Club that sponsored the contest.

“Dawn lays new beginnings for American dreams in Elk River,” Lanthier said of the picture.

For her winning photo she claims the top prize of 100 Chamber Bucks from the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jay Grammond, who leads the local Sandhill Photography Club, says Lanthier was an easy choice.

“The winning picture scored well in all four of the criteria,” he said. “We also felt it had the most ‘wow’ factor.”

Judges’ comments included: “We like the fog, sky colors, the field.  Composition, technical and originality are right on.”

The judges spent more than an hour of their time going over the submissions for the contest.

Wayne Matteson took this picture at the 2011 Sherburne County Fair. He took second place in the Powered by Nature Photography Contest.

Wayne Matteson took second for one of two shots taken at the Sherburne County Fair, a gathering place in July where people of all ages come together to be energized by a great time.

Jennifer Wagner took third with her shot of a girl named Ella who, along with her daddy, was enjoying a Sweet P’s ice cream cone in downtown Elk River.

“It just does not get any sweeter,” Wagner wrote of the photo.

Jennifer Wagner took this wonderful shot in downtown Elk River when a girl named Ella enjoyed an ice cream cone from Sweet P’s Ice Cream Parlor.

“Powered by Nature. Energized by Sweetness.”

The second-place winner will receive 50 Chamber Bucks. The third-place winner will get 25 Chamber Bucks. The Elk River Economic Development Department contributed the funds for this year’s cash prizes as part of its Powered by Nature branding initiative.

The Sandhill Photography Club keyed off the initiative and plans to make the contest an annual one. The contest will be marketed all year long so photographers can capture what it means to be Powered by Nature throughout the year.

“This year’s contest was a last-minute idea, but we were happy with the results,” said Jim Boyle, the chair of the Elk River Independence Day Committee. “I foresee next year’s contest becoming quite competitive and exciting. Elk River’s a great place to live and take pictures.”

The top 10 photos for this year’s contest were on display at Elk River’s Fourth of July celebration at Lions Park. The three winning entries were made into 11 by 14 inch prints and framed.

The judging criteria included:

•Composition (Does the photograph tell a story? Where is our eye led to in the photograph? Is the photograph balanced?)

•Technical merit (Are the following the best they can be? Focus, sharpness, detail, depth of field, color, brightness, contrast, saturation, usage of light)

•Originality (How well does it fall within the theme: Powered By Nature…What do you love about Elk River? What about Elk River energizes you? What brought you here? What makes you proud to call Elk River home? Does it show creativity?)

• Impact (What is your original response to the image? The Wow! Or Ahh! factor.)

Stay tuned for information and rules for next year’s contest. For more information on the Sandhill Photography Club, visit their Facebook site under  Sandhill Photography Club.

The club gets together at least once a month for a photography shoot at a variety of sites and gathers occasionally to learn new techniques.

Powered by Nature photos sought for 2013 event

Who: Sandhill Photography Club will sponsor a 2013 Powered by Nature Photography Contest  to be judged next summer.

When: Photos will be accepted throughout the year. Stay tuned for details.