Amateurs snap Laurel Highlands' treasures for 10th annual photo contest
The work of amateur photographers in the Laurel Highlands shows familiarity and pride, said Autumn Stankay, who for the first time helped judge the 10th annual photo contest sponsored by the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.
“There were areas I've never seen before,” said Stankay, who owns Skysight Photography in Greensburg. “It wasn't just the typical views you see of the Laurel Highlands, it was really integrated.”
Photos of Donegal Lake in Donegal Township and the Walter's Mill Covered Bridge in Somerset Township bested 860 digital entries to be named the top winners in the contest.
“The adage ‘A picture is worth a thousand words' couldn't be more true when I look at the photo contest entries,” said Julie Donovan, vice president of public relations for the bureau. “These photos are inspiring and beautifully represent the region's natural landscape and fun places to visit.”
Winners of the people and animals category are:
• First place: Brenda Schwartz, Hidden Valley, photo of Donegal Lake in Donegal Township;
• Second place: Brad Fisher, Jennerstown, photo of Fort Ligonier in Ligonier;
• Third place: Josiah Brown, Ashland, Tenn., photo of Fisher Road, Jennerstown;
• Honorable mentions: Brenda Schwartz, Hidden Valley, photo of Living Treasures Animal Park near Jones Mills; Jodi Brougher, Somerset, photo of children in Rockwood; Rusty Glessner, State College, photo of Farmers and Threshermans Jubilee in New Centerville.
Winners of the landscapes and attractions category are:
• First place: Charlotte Pletcher, Somerset, photo of Walter's Mill Covered Bridge in Somerset Township;
• Second place: Kurt Miller, Pittsburgh, photo of Fallingwater in Mill Run;
• Third place: Clare Kaczmarek, Latrobe, photo of Rolling Rock Farms in Ligonier Township;
• Honorable mentions: Jodie Cruse, Quarryville, photo of Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township; Curt Beal, Connellsville, photo of Bluestone Quarry, Dunbar Township; Ron Bruner, Rockwood, photo of Somerset Historical Center in Lincoln Township.
Kaczmarek, of Unity, submitted her third-place winning photo depicting a snowy morning with blue skies framed by the Laurel mountains and a Rolling Rock Farms fence.
“I really liked the depth of field that I got in that image,” she said. “It was a pretty interesting morning.”
She originally took about 200 photos, including that image, for a Ligonier Chamber of Commerce calendar contest, but ended up not liking them until about a year later.
A member of the Westmoreland Photographers Society, Kaczmarek first took up photography 20 years ago, then rediscovered it just four years ago.
Her second year as an entrant, Kaczmarek said she was surprised to be chosen, but said the region lends itself to picturesque images.
“I think anybody who is into the outdoors would have to agree, this is just a beautiful place to live,” she said.
Judges for the contest were: Nikki Kruse of Ohiopyle Adventure Photography, Christie Black of Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Stankay and visitors bureau staff members.
Donovan said the photo contest was started in 2003 to increase the bureau's photo library and for marketing purposes.
“The contest has enabled the marketing team to use authentic Laurel Highlands places and landscapes in our consumer ads, annual destination guide and on www.laurelhighlands.org ,” Donovan said. “For example, the cover of the 2013 Laurel Highlands Destination Guide was a 2012 photo contest entry.”
The photos are used on pieces distributed to partners and stakeholders, such as the group's annual report and membership benefits guide, and well as traditional advertising campaigns, including billboards and print ads.
They also will be used for digital marketing, including online banner ads and consumer e-newsletters, and throughout the visitors bureau website.
The photos are on exhibit through Sunday in the lobby at Seven Springs Mountain Resort and in the Gallery at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. All of the winning photos can be viewed online at www.laurelhighlands.org/photocontest .
Staff editor Deborah A. Brehun contributed to this report. Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Businesses find new home in old Loyalhanna school
- Derry adds 3 part-time officers to force
- Heritage Day offers activities for all ages
- Updated code would improve enforcement
- Scout’s project helps bring fresh produce to needy
- Changes await students at Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Derry Area
- Derry sports bar Black and Gold Grill to be featured on reality TV show
- Hostetter family crusades for an end to brain disorder