Reader issue #661
our fall 2007 photo contest, we asked our readers to submit
photographs playing off the words "beginning," "middle," and
"end." Here we present our favorites from among the nearly 100
submissions we received.

also asked the photographers to tell us a little about their
pictures, and their comments are illuminating, ranging from the
technical challenges they faced to the metaphysical.




by Larry Burns First Place, "Beginning"

Larry Burns


wanted to enter something that was familiar, but not too obvious. I
used available light and a slow shutter speed to capture the motion
of the balls. It took about 20 tries to get this shot."




by Shannon Colgan Second
Place, "



remember with this particular photo I was experimenting with new
macro filters, so I was in a very uncomfortable position of trying to
hold my camera steady and use my other hand to push back the other
ferns, while trying to get as close to the plant as I could. It's
very dark and shaded where they grow ... and these particular ferns
grow on the side of my house, and I'm pretty sure my neighbor
thought I was nuts, crawling around in the bushes and dirt. This
image seems very delicate and dark. The fern itself seems unprotected
and vulnerable, being so small."



by Christina Lorge Third
Place, "



photo was taken of my daughter at my mother's place in northern
Wisconsin. My daughter has a very considerate, kind, and
compassionate way about her, and this really came across in her
interactions with the kitty. The main challenge in taking this photo
was not to interfere with what was naturally occurring. I managed to
snap the photo without either of them noticing. I labeled it 'the
beginning of a new friendship,' because since that day both are
very close. My two-year-old asks about the kitty often, and whenever
we visit my mom, they become each other's shadows."



by Jami DeCrane Honorable
Mention, "



by the Mississippi, I love to be by the river. I thought that it
would make a beautiful shot. It fits the theme of beginning, middle,
and end; it's beginning, because you're stepping into a new
moment or new times in life. Don't cut life short."







by David Dwyer First
Place, "

David Dwyer


impetus for this photograph was a spring rain back in 2006. My
daughter Maeve was in full puddle-stomping mode in the months before
kindergarten. I grabbed my camera and had her jump in the puddles in
front of my house. Repeatedly. Being told to jump in puddles by your
dad has to be a dream come true for a little girl. I shot about 35
frames, and found this 'middle of a splash' buried in the middle
of the shots."



by Joanne Welch Second
Place, "



reflect the qualities found in books. Text and photographic image
both validate the proverbial thought that things are clearer when
reduced to black and white. Abelardo Morell captures the beauty of
books in images that give a visual voice to simplicity in the
everyday - teasing the mind into thinking about how writing with
light doesn't have to be complicated. The midpoint of every story
becomes the place where we all are at a particular moment, further
than yesterday ... but before tomorrow. The beauty of it all is we
can write our own endings. I am definitely a bit bookish!"



by Jenny Butler Third Place, "Middle"

Jenny Butler


title of Half-Baked is kinda tongue-in-cheek. The cookie is not dough
and it's not done; it's somewhere in the middle of its baking
process. I liked thinking about what would fit in the 'middle'
category since the subject matter seemed less obvious. I was a little
nervous sticking my camera in my oven but knew I wanted to get close.
I used a high ISO setting along with the macro option to get the
right 'inside the oven' lighting."



by Bruce Walters Honorable
Mention, "



uncropped photograph was taken on an extremely foggy morning last
winter. I had already taken a slew of photos of Vander Veer Park and
along Duck Creek when I took this image at Oakdale Cemetery. I
overlaid another photo I had taken of a sheet of metal with scratch
lines that eerily matched the direction of the trees."






by Alicia Ellison First
Place, "



the day this photo was taken, my daughter was taking such joy in
devouring her cotton candy. It was a
moment I didn't want to
forget, so I started taking a few photos. This was one of the last
photos in the series, which caught her just before the last bite. I'm
sure my daughter would agree that the end of this cotton candy was
just as sweet as the beginning."



by Kelly Morgan Second
Place, "













by Chuck Vitello Third
Place, "



photo was taken while I was vacationing in Recife, Brazil. I have
always been extremely interested in photographing people in their
natural environment. While walking around looking for interesting
subjects, I noticed this old man who was hanging around the local
park, begging for a handout. Sometime afterwards, I came upon him
again while he was sleeping on this very interesting bench. I am most
inspired when I can catch a subject at the right moment in an
interesting pose or situation."



by Jim Lohman Honorable
Mention, "



was vacationing in Maryland a couple of years ago when I came upon
this little 'end' scene in the corner of a parking lot. The first
thought that came to mind was, 'Oh - cell phones.' Now that
most of us have been seduced away by those needy little devices, I
imagine there are a lot of pay-phone graveyards out there just like
this one, with clunky old soldiers hastily stacked and forgotten."


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