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  • “Eat Mor Sno Kones” by Gretchen Madden of Severna Park took first place among the fauna photographs.
    “Eat Mor Sno Kones” by Gretchen Madden of Severna Park took first place among the fauna photographs.
  • Provided
    "Summer Luvin’” by Michele Amos of Edgewater won in the Flora category.
  • Provided
    "Enjoying a Kinder Park Sunset with the Family" by Patrick Gillespie of Millersville was the winner of the People category.
  • Provided
    "Fall Reflections - 3" by Chris Kamenoff of Annapolis was the winner of the landscape photographs.

Nature Shines In 2015 Life In The Park Photo Competition

Maria N. Listman
Maria N. Listman's picture
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December 10, 2015

Known for its countless nooks and crannies of natural wonder, Kinder Farm Park creates a breathtaking backdrop for a photo contest, and several amateur photographers sought to capture that beauty through their lenses during the annual Life in the Park photo contest.

Competition organizers received 113 entries – the most they have ever seen. Categories for this year’s event included Fauna, Flora, People and Landscape.

In the People category, Patrick Gillespie of Millersville took home first place with “Enjoying a Kinder Park Sunset with the Family.” His photo captures him and his family enjoying a beautiful sunset from the swing.

“I set up my camera to automatically take a bunch of shots, and then ran over to sit on the bench,” explained Gillespie, a software engineer who honed his skills by practicing advice from YouTube. “Anyone who has a toddler knows that it's hard to get them to sit still for a picture, so I had to do this a few times. Luckily one of the shots came out nice.”

Gretchen Madden of Severna Park received first place honors in the Fauna category. Her photo, “Eat Mor Sno Kones,” featured a chicken being carried in a basket, attempting to enjoy its handler’s treat. “It was a completely spontaneous moment that I just happened to capture,” Madden expressed.

A busy mother, Madden enjoys photography. “I love capturing moments in time to preserve memories for later,” Madden emphasized. “I submitted this photo just because it seemed funny and was a silly memory of our day at the fall festival with our four children.”

In the Flora group, “Summer Luvin’” by Michele Amos of Edgewater won first place. Her picture exhibits a delicate butterfly gently resting on a zinnia flower. Amos considers photography both “a passion and relaxing.”

“I use a digital camera, but it took a long time for me to make that switch from film to digital. I was a hold-out,” said Amos, who took a black-and-white photography class at Anne Arundel Community College. “By entering these contests, it pushes me to take my time and do better pictures.”

Chris Kamenoff of Annapolis received first place in the Landscape division. “Kinder [Farm] Park has held a special attraction for me because our best friends have volunteered there, my husband runs there and it is one of the most unique public parks in Anne Arundel County,” she said. Her winning photo, named “Fall Reflections – 3,” displayed the glorious colors of a Maryland autumn as they reflect on Bunks Pond.

Kamenoff shared a little secret. The winning shot was taken with her iPhone. Although she uses a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, the iPhone won the slot for best landscape.

“Since my retirement, I have devoted more time to photography — learning about my camera, how to take pictures in modes other than automatic, and learning how to organize and edit photos,” Kamenoff said. She gave accolades to her instructor at the senior center. “He has inspired me to expand, explore and get out of my comfort zone.”

Second place in the Landscape category went to Mary Gallo of Millersville, who captured a unique angle of the farm and silos. You can almost smell the lush grass and see baby animals dot the background of Gallo’s photo, named “Spring is Almost at the Farm.”

“I was born and raised in this area and lived in Bowie,” Gallo recalled. “There was nothing but farmland way back then, with fields of tobacco and plenty of grazing land for the race horses. Kinder Farm reminds me of how it used to be.”

As an amateur photographer and a Maryland birder, Gallo enjoys her time at the park. “I am 73 years old and go exploring at Kinder Farm at least three times a week,” said Gallo, who noted that her winning picture was captured with a point-and-shoot camera.

The Life in the Park photo competition gives both amateur photographers and the park a chance to shine. The photos from this year’s competition are on display and information about next year’s contest is available at Congratulations to all the winners!

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