News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Photo Contest: Categories
And the winners are ...

Four more amateur photographers have a chance at winning the $500 grand prize in The Daily’s 10th annual photo contest. Their entries are $25 category winners. They join the three weekly winners in the running for the grand prize, which will be awarded Nov. 11. No more photos will be accepted. Nonwinning entries can be picked up starting Monday through Nov. 30.


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Rick Talley of Decatur won the landscape/nature category for the shot he titled “Anchorage at Sunrise.” But the photo wasn’t taken in Alaska. The 40-year-old got up early in the morning and drove to Lake Guntersville. He staked out the perfect location at Anchorage Marina and waited for the flawless moment when the sun peeked over the horizon. “It was a little cloudy that morning, so we weren’t sure what we would get,” he said. “It turned out that the clouds added a lot to it with the reflection (of the clouds) in the water.”


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Star whinnied her way to a win in the humor category for Wendy Smith. The Hartselle woman didn’t realize she had captured her horse’s guffaw until the photos were developed. Even the people who developed the picture were saying “ ‘I can’t believe that,’ ” Smith said. “They thought it was a doctored picture, but I told them, ‘Nope, that’s my horse,’ ” she said. “Everybody said it looked like the donkey on ‘Hee Haw.’ ” The 4-year-old Arabian horse neighs like this all the time, Smith said, but her photo was the first time she captured the expression. “It’s a once in a lifetime thing to catch something like that,” she said. “We have a mama cow that has a new calf, and actually, I was trying to take pictures of them,” she said of the animals in the background. “She is camera-happy. Anytime I’m out in the yard with a camera ... she always sticks her head out in front of me.” “My horses are like children ... they’re not like normal horses. We just whistle and they will come running. They get petted to death like dogs.”


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Jeff Houston’s photo of bison in the snow won the judges’ vote in the animals category. “Every year a couple of buddies and I take a big road trip — we just take off work and hit the road,” the Decatur man said. In February, the group traveled to Montana. While they were hiking outside Yellowstone National Park, the bison walked up and started staring right at him, Houston said. “He was probably about 25 feet from us. You could hear them crunching through the snow.” Bison generally leave you alone if you leave them alone, he said. “You get up there in Yellowstone and they’re all over the place. Usually that time of year especially, they’re more worried about finding a patch of grass.” Someone gave Houston, 34, a free camera the first trip, and he soon became hooked on photography. “The more I learned, the more I wanted to try new things,” he said. “It’s gotten to be a little bit of an addictive hobby.”


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Andrea Darby Rhodes of McCalla snapped this winning children’s photo of Cole Collins, the son of her sister, Mary Kate Collins of Decatur. Rhodes, 30, has a 15-month-old girl, and the cousins were playing in the living room when she took the photo. “I just get in their face and take their pictures and try to get them to smile, or I try to get somebody behind me to do something funny,” Rhodes said. “They love it because my sister takes a lot of photos, too,” said the Austin High School grad. “It’s like second nature for them to have a camera right in front of their face.” Rhodes’ parents, Rodney and Cindy Darby, also live in Decatur.

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