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Passion for the scenic: Fourth annual Snoqualmie Valley Record Photo Contest results

What makes for great photography? Is it all inspiration, or is it work, perspiration, perseverance?

Ask some of the local shutterbugs who contributed their work to the Valley Record’s fourth annual Scenic Photo Contest, and they’ll tell you all three.

“I love shooting landscape photos,” said first place winner Jim Reitz. “Here in the Valley, I never have to go far to find great material. Some photos are just luck and some I carefully plan in advance.”

Reitz’ mountain lupine shot, which netted him a stay at the Salish Lodge and Spa, is one of the latter.

“I happened to notice these flowers in late spring, and thought they would make a nice foreground to frame Mount Si,” he said. “I made plans to come back a week later when they were fully in bloom. We fortunately had one sunny afternoon in June when the light was right.”

Reitz said he’s always looking and waiting for the right combination of scenery and light.

“I consider myself lucky if I can get 12 good pictures each year for our family Christmas calendar,” he said.

“I believe that if you find subjects that interest you, you will be more likely to create interesting photographs,” said second-place winner Meagan Barter, who snapped a shot of a sunset-colored Mount Si from Mount Si Golf Course last November. She wins a mentoring lesson by Down To Earth’s Mary Miller. “With the snow-covered mountain and the beautiful sunset, I just saw an opportunity for a great shot.”

“Photography is a passion of mine,” Barter said. “I love the creativity that goes into every shot.”

Terry Adams' photo of a Northwest Railway Museum train crossing the Snoqualmie River was selected as the third place winner by a staff vote. He wins a Vanguard camera bag, valued at $149, from Omega Photo.

"I really enjoy capturing beautiful sights and sharing them with friends and family," Adams said. "I also like the technology involved and the quick feedback you get from digital SLRs."

Adams looks for features such as sharpness, color, or exposure to know whether he's got a good shot.

"I just try to accurately capture the beauty of what God has created," he said.

Scenery spoke to contest contributor Dennis Bennett, who submitted a shot of a stump “with personality” at Rattlesnake Lake.

“This one looked at me with it’s ‘eyes’ and ‘mouth’ and said ‘come play in my water if you dare,’” Bennett said.

“Scenic beauty to me comes from the green,” Bennett added. “The green trees, the reflection of green in the water and the feeling you get when it all comes together. I love where I live and would not trade it for anywhere else.”

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