Hidden Gems of Southern Utah Photo Contest Winners
60 photo entries, over 600 votes for our Reader’s Choice and over 4,000 page views of our photo contest finalists. We think our first photo contest has been a success. And now we have some winners to introduce to you. Also, we have posted all the names of our finalist photographers in the slideshow below. Some of our finalists have agreed to sell their photos and that means you can get posters, canvas, cards or more of these great Southern Utah photographers work. Just click on the first slideshow below.
Now, without further ado . . .
Our Grand Prize Winner:$100
Colors of Duck Creek by Samuel El Halta
Description: “The fall colors of Duck Creek always prove to inspire a good photo session. No matter which direction you turn your head, there is a photo waiting to happen.”
The judges take: The Grand prize was chosen by the judges panel. This photo was chosen for its rich colors and unique angle on this treasure of our Southern Utah mountains.
Samuel El Halta lives in Enoch. “I am very excited and very honored to have won the Grand Prize in this photography contest. My photograph of Duck Creek in Autumn is by far one of my favorites. I am a semi-professional photographer. I am a school counselor as a career but use photography as a hobby, and as a service. I have been involved in the arts since High School. That is when I received a “hand me down” Canon AE 1 from my father. I used that old Canon during high school and during college and loved taking black and white photos and doing my own developing. My interests at that time were mainly landscape portraits, and shooting the mundane every day scenes. Over the past couple of years I have purchased first a Nikon D-50 then more recently upgraded to a Nikon D-90. It was at this point that I started to include people as my subject matter, taking engagement, family, and senior portraits. However, my greatest enjoyment is still in landscape photography. When I shoot anything, whether landscape or people I look first for good composition, then lighting, then an overall aesthetic look. I always try to capture the beauty of what I see with my own eyes and try to bring that out in the photograph. My hope is to find ways of sharing what I find to be beautiful through the image that I create.”
Reader’s Choice: $50
As The Sun Sets by Brandon Behling.
Description: Abandoned house on Minersville Hwy (about 7 miles North of Enoch). I was out shooting a thunderstorm that was moving towards Minersville as the sun was setting and captured this shot. I couldn’t help but think of those who had once lived in the house and wondered how many sunsets similar to this one they witnessed.
Canon 60d Body, EF 770-300mm f/4-5.6L IS US Lens, ISO 1000, 1/100 sec at f/4.
Brandon Behling lives in Cedar City.
“Photography has been something of a hobby/addiction of mine for about a year and a half now. What I look for most in a shot isn’t necessarily the view or the subject within the photo, but the story the photo can tell or the ability to stir the imagination of the viewer and allow them to create their own story within the photo.”
Sponsor’s Choice: $25
Brian Head Peak in Fall by Mike Saemisch
Our sponsor’s choice was chosen by our photo contest sponsor, Iron County/Brian Head Tourism. This was their favorite photo of all 60 entries.
Description: Brian Head Peak is a beautiful backdrop to the fall colors of the Dixie National Forest and the red rock formations of Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area.
Mike says of his love for photography “My parents have pictures of me holding a camera back as early as age 4, so I can say I have had a life-long interest in photography. Moving to Southern Utah was a retirement goal that offers an incredible number of scenic photo opportunities throughout the year.”
Judge’s Honorable Mention:
You can purchase prints of our winners photos as well as some of our finalists’ photos by clicking on the slideshow below. We are in the process of updating the photos to bigger resolutions so larger photos can be purchased. Larger (16×20 and larger images) will be available for purchase later in the week.)
Look at our original slideshow to see other finalists and see who got our reader’s votes.