|More than 60 entries from photographers aged 6 through 60 (and then some) made up the field of the first annual Nature in the Park Photography Competition held in Springfield. Winners were announced this morning (July 16, 2011) during the third annual Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival by Dan Dulaney, president of the Southwest Missouri Camera Club, which sponsored the competition. Other sponsors included Friends of the Garden and GREENE Magazine.
Winners focused on everything from butterflies and buttercups to bees and caterpillars. One requirement was that the digital photos limited to one per category be taken in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Gardens and Park.
First place winner in the children under 12 division was Ethan Palmer, 6, for his closeup color photo of a monarch butterfly. Second place went to Carson Marquart, 9, for her photo of the hosta gardens. The were no entries in the black and white category for children under 12.
Adult first-place winner was Megan Lineer, 22, of Springfield, for her photo of two jonquils in bloom. The judges said the photo combined intense natural color combined with translucent back lighting to produce a soothing floral portrait of one of the earliest flowers of springtime.
“When you look at it for very long, it jumps off the display,” said Dan Emrie, owner of Emrie Photography and a veteran photographer and frequent judge of photo contests.
Second and third place awards in the adult color category went to Sandra Graves Letson and Donald Letson, respectively. The Letsons were one of two couples who won awards. Sandra Letson’s photo was of three butterflies while Don Letson captured the closeup of a single butterfly.
The winning adult first place black and white entry was Guy Fox for his portrait of a young girl on the porch of the pioneer home in the Gray-Campbell Farmstead. The judges said the photo just seemed to invite the viewer to imagine what the young woman might be thinking in the timeless setting. Another couple, Kathleen and Roy Thompson, placed second and third place respectively. Kathleen Thompson’s portrait of a rose, joined Roy Thompson for his photo of a swallowtail butterfly on a shrub.
The following prizes were awarded to each of the winners: For first place, a $100 gift certificate to Black River Imaging; second place, a $50 gift certificate to Lawrence Photo & Video; third place, a membership to The Southwest Missouri Camera Club. Two adult first-prize winners also will receive a one-year membership to Friends of the Garden.
The photos will continue to be displayed in the atrium at the Springfield/Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic, through the month of July.