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Yorktown photographer earns honors

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Oct. 27, 2012 at 5:27 a.m.

"Chinese Lanterns" took top honors  in the Best Mushroom Photo Category of the 2012 Texas Mushroom Festival photo contest in Madisonville.

Frank Klein has an eye for seeing beyond the normal through the lens of his camera.

Klein, a Yorktown rancher and conservationist, has been a photographer for more than 25 years.

"My subjects are usually related to nature," said Klein. "The springtime is usually the best for wildflowers, birds and landscapes, but even fungus and mushrooms can be beautiful, growing in cow dung.

"I am one of the few lucky people who can get excited about photographing a slime mold."

Klein, a founding member and past president of the DeWitt County Shutterbugs, began his interest in photography on vacations and once dabbled in wedding photography.

He soon found his eye was best suited to help illustrate his lectures on conservation topics.

Klein's photographs were recently recognized at the 11th annual Texas Mushroom Festival in Madisonville and at the exhibit, The Nature of South Texas: A Photographic Perspective at the Simon Michael Art Gallery, Coastal Bend College in Beeville.

At the Mushroom Festival competition, Klein's eye came into play as he captured mushrooms popping up through manure in a field after a rain.

"Whatever subject has beautiful form and meaning and catches my eye, I try to interpret through my photography," Klein explained. "Especially subjects that others overlook or consider unpleasant or strange."

"Chinese Lanterns" took top honors and "Manure Bells" placed third in the Best Mushroom category.

At the gallery in Beeville, Klein's "Earth, Tree, Sky," a photo of an old tree on his ranch in DeWitt County, won the People's Choice award.

The ranch has been in his family since 1878.



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