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Image of bear, fish earns top honors at DeWitt photography contest

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
April 5, 2010 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2010 at 11:06 p.m.

This photograph of a grizzly bear catching a salmon in Alaska won Best of Show at the 2010 DeWitt County Shutterbugs Photography Contest. It and more than 250 other photographs are on display through April 29 at the Cuero Municipal Library.

This photograph of a grizzly bear catching a salmon in Alaska won Best of Show at the 2010 DeWitt County Shutterbugs Photography Contest. It and more than 250 other photographs are on display through April 29 at the Cuero Municipal Library.

CUERO - There was something fishy about Tom Savage's Best of Show victory in the annual DeWitt County Shutterbug Photo Contest.

The winning image depicts a grizzly bear with a salmon in its mouth.

Savage, 67, of Saginaw, took top honors with the photograph taken in August 2005 at Hallo Bay in Katmai National Park in Alaska.

His photograph was one of about 400 entered in the contest this year.

Savage said that he was standing on a gravel bar at low tide where the river enters the bay at about 7:30 a.m., when he captured the image.

"The bear was about 30 yards away," he said. "It was a female grizzly we called Paula."

Savage used a Canon 1D Mark II camera with a Canon 500 mm, F4 lens on a tripod.

Another photograph Savage took of Paula and her cub, Racer, was named "Most Honored" by Natures Best Photography magazine in their Windland Smith Rice Awards competition in 2006, and was displayed in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. in 2007, Savage said.

"So, Paula is my favorite bear," he added.

Savage, who got his first camera at 12, learned of the DeWitt County contest through his membership in the Gulf States Camera Club Council. It was his first time to enter the contest.

Contest judges Danny Vivian, Kathy Leske and Rick Comstock were impressed with other Savage photographs.

"Grizzly with Salmon" also won first place in the animals/fauna category. His "Sunrise at White Sands" won in landscape/scenic and "Backhoe Driver" won for portaits/people. His photograph "Texas Thistle" was also named best Texas wildflower photograph.

Savage's photographs and more than 250 of the other entries are on display at the Cuero Municipal Library through Thursday, April 29. The library, 207 E. Main St., is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday.

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