News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

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Photo Contest
And the grand
prize winner is ...

By Andrea Brunty
and Danielle Komis Palmer · 340-2448

Rick Talley’s photo of two giraffes nuzzling at the Birmingham Zoo wins the $500 grand prize in The Daily’s 10th annual photo contest.

The Decatur man’s picture was chosen from nearly 1,000 photos submitted by 150 local amateur photographers.

Judges evaluated the seven finalists who were selected over a four-week period.

“It’s usually not this hard,” said Julianne Lowman of Lowman Art. “There’s always been a clear-cut winner” in the past.

The awe-provoking moment grabbed judges’ attention with its attention to detail, clean lines and composition.

Jonathan Moral of McWhorter Publications said the photo provokes a “nice, warm fuzzy feeling when you look at it.” Moral, who is also a photographer, appreciated the photo’s depth of field, which draws the attention of the photo to the foreground of the subject.

Photographer Ellis Chenault of Chenault Studios agreed.

“Your eye is brought in straight to where it’s supposed to be,” he said. “It gives you that stillness with that movement.”

All the judges agreed that the cropping of the image creates impact and allows the background to fade away so the moment grabs your attention.

Talley works as a manager at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, but he said he would love for photography to be his profession one day.

“I try to go out as often as I can (to shoot photos),” he said.

“I’ve always sort of dabbled in it, but as far as taking landscape shots or animal shots ... something just one day kind of drew me to it,” he said.

“I wanted to start creating something.”

Talley belongs to the North Alabama Photographers Guild, and occasionally meets with members to shoot photos together.

He snapped the photo using a Nikon D70 digital SLR camera.

“It’s not every day or every week, but I try to go whenever I can,” he said.

“I’ve only been into it seriously for a little over a year.”

Talley, 40, titled the winning entry “Daddy’s Boy,” because it was a father and son giraffe who shared the gentle touch.

As he and a fellow photographer watched the giraffes at the zoo, the animals “just caught each other’s eyes and walked toward each other. We both just knew something was going to happen and got ready. I felt privileged just to be able to be there.”

This kind of calming gesture is more commonly thought of between mothers and daughters, he said.

“It’s something you don’t really see that often ... and it makes it that much more special to see it between a dad and a son,” he said.

He said he thought the photo might do well in the contest because it had captured such a special moment that was also unique.

As for his $500 prize money, Talley said he might purchase a new camera lens with it.

Talley also won $25 in the landscape/nature category for a sunrise at Anchorage Marina at Lake Guntersville.

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