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Birds win in Victoria Photography Club contest

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:16 a.m.

"Sundown Island" won best of show in the 2012 Victoria Photography Club photo contest.

The Victoria Photography Club's annual contest went to the birds this year.

Literally.

The Best of Show winner, Diane Nunley, of Port Lavaca, and student winner, former Victorian Isis Garcia, of Ingleside, earned their recognition with bird photographs.

Nunley, an avid bird watcher, was taking part in a bird count on a rookery island in Matagorda Bay when she shot the winning roseate spoonbill photograph in March 2011.

"We had just completed a count for the Audobon Society and I had some time," she said. "I got my camera set up and got lucky."

Nunley took the photograph, titled "Sundown Island," with a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera with a 500mm lens. The camera was mounted on a tripod and shot at 1/2000 speed at F8, she said.

Isis, who turns 14 on Tuesday, is a repeat winner in the student division, having also won in 2011. Her photograph of an owl took top student honors this year.

A total of 32 entries were in the student division.

Nunley's photograph topped 447 other entries in the annual contest.

She uses photography to help get her out in the fresh air.

"For me, photography is like hunting without the mess. I don't have to cook it when I get in. I'm still out enjoying nature.

"Photography goes hand in hand with my other passion, birding. The learning never ends and is only limited by my time and energy ... and money."

Nunley and her family are Calhoun County farmers, raising milo, corn and cotton since 1971.

Other winners by category included: Tom Savage, of Saginaw, animals/fauna; Savage, birds; Santiago Marroquin, of Victoria, buildings/structures; Marsha Gibson, of Cuero, creative; Gibson, flowers/plants; Savage, landscapes/scenic; Don Jeane, of Victoria, macro/close up; David Van Leeuwen, of Victoria, miscellaneous; and Charles Gossett, of Victoria, people/portraits.

In the adult divisions, first place in each category won $75, second place won $50 and third won $25. The student division winner won $30. The Best of Show photographer won $125.

Cash prizes were also awarded for second and third places.

About 360 of the top scoring entries are on display at the Victoria Mall through 1 p.m. Sunday.

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