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AMERICAN FORESTS FIRST-EVER BIG TREE PHOTO CONTEST.

What made these pictures winners? A combination of creativity, setting, composition, and style, according to our panel of distinguished judges--Big Tree photographer Albin Dearing, Washington Post photographer Michael Williamson, AMERICAN FORESTS Big Tree Coordinator Katie Byrne, and Maryland Forester Maureen Brooks.

A tough job, they said, with many wonderful entries. But all agreed that the one image stood above the rest. AMERICAN FORESTS' member Andrew de Naray, our grand prize winner, captured that title with his photograph of a bristle-cone pine in snow at Windy Ridge, Colorado. Judges praised de Naray's efforts in taking the dramatic shot because he "hiked up there and made a commitment to stand in the snow and get that light."

Shooting trees can be tricky, as no doubt our entrants found, and judges offered these suggestions: Shoot early or late in the day or when the sky is overcast--never in the mid-day sun. Don't be afraid to use people to get a sense of a tree's size, and watch for that extra element that makes a good picture great: a bird flying into a forest scene, children having a picnic under a tree ablaze with autumn color. Don't discount images that show our connection with trees: birdhouses, tree swings, treehouses. And never forget to turn the "date stamp" feature off on your camera!

AMERICAN FORESTS had a winning mix of tree and photo know-how in our judges: Our Big Tree Coordinator Katie Byrne knows striking tree color when she sees it, having grown up in Massachusetts. She recently spent two years working with refugees in Hungary. Long-time big tree photographer Albin Dearing advises aspiring tree photographers to search for character: "everything, even trees, has character."

Michael Williamson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for The Washington Post, has photographed nature and people for more than 25 years. "Ask yourself, 'How does [the scene] make you feel?' Flaws can he part of the beauty, richness, and timelessness of a photograph," he says. Maureen Brooks sees her share of trees as an education specialist for the Department of Natural Resources Forest Service in Maryland. She is coordinator of the state's Big Tree program.

The Grand Prize winner was awarded a Nikon N60 camera with a 28-80mm lens; 1st place winners received an Olympus Epic Zoom 80 camera; the Kids Only winner, a Canon Sure Shot WP-1. 2nd place winners got a Canon Sure Shot Owl; 3rd place, choice of Famous & Historic Tree. All winners plus honorable mentions received a one-year membership.

Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to these winners:

* Grand Prize--Andrew de Naray

* Trees in Their Environment--1st: Andrew de Naray; 2nd: Carolyn G. Truman; 3rd: Ronald F. Billings; Honorable Mention: Andrew de Naray, Tom Gaman, George M. Hale Jr. Judges praised the "dramatic light" in Truman's redwoods shot and Billings' framing of the live oak known as the Angel Oak.

* Champion Trees--1st: Betty Wayne; 2nd: R.F. Mulgrew; 3rd: George M. Hale Jr.; Honorable Mention: Ronald F. Billings, Tom Reynolds.

* People and Trees--1st: Ken Fromknecht; 2nd: David Fields; Honorable Mention: Norman F. Boas. Judges especially liked how Fields used light to highlight the texture of the trees.

* Kids Only: 1st, Michael Lorberg, 10.
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Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2000
Words:526
Previous Article:THE NATIONAL REGISTER of BIG TREES 2000-01.
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