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DDWS announces ‘Ding’ Day photo contest winners

By REFUGE / DDWS - | Dec 2, 2020

ELLEN TREVOR First place winner “Carry Out Lunch”

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge announced the winners of its 28th annual “Ding” Darling Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest on Dec. 1 with a special exhibition at the refuge’s Visitor & Education Center as part of the 32nd annual “Ding” Darling Day celebration.

On Nov. 19, the judges had selected three winners and 12 honorable mentions out of 128 entries from 19 states and Switzerland. All photograph entries were shot at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge complex.

“It was a very special photo contest for us this year because of our 75th anniversary,” contest coordinator and DDWS Development Officer Sierra Hoisington said. “It really makes you think back to a time when the protection of this habitat wasn’t guaranteed. If it hadn’t been for the work of ‘Ding’ the man, these wildlife subjects, the beautiful scenery, and the amazing views would not be here for people to photograph and share with the world. Now, more than ever, nature brings us solace and escape to a world away from the news, even if it is just for a little bit.”

First place went to Ellen Trevor, of Sanibel, for her great egret portrait titled “Carry Out Lunch.”

“I really love the beautiful reflection in this photograph,” contest judge and photographer Sara Lopez said. “It has decent lighting, but my favorite part is the splash connecting the fish to the water that the great egret has captured.”

RETT HILL Second place winner “Standing”

In second place was Rett Hill, of Henrico, Virginia, with a little blue heron shot titled “Standing.”

“I like that this photo has a plain background that allows you to focus on the bird that is placed very nicely within the frame,” Calli Johnson, wine steward at Bailey’s General Store who was also a contest judge, said.

Martha Huard, of Bokeelia, took third place with a photo of a roseate spoonbill titled “Pretty in Pink.”

“I really enjoyed the crispness of this photograph, along with the juxtaposition of the color of the bird versus the color of the sky,” contest judge and wildlife refuge specialist Bob Gerwig said. “It’s a really nice action shot, but also has hidden interest with the shadows on the wing of the bird.”

“We always choose three judges for the contest,” emeritus DDWS Board Member Terry Baldwin, who coordinates the contest with Hoisington, said. “They include a refuge staff member, a professional photographer and a member of the Sanibel community.”

MARTHA HUARD Third place winner “Pretty in Pink”

The winners received cash awards from the DDWS: $300 for first place, $225 for second place and $175 for third place. In addition, each honorable mention winner received a $25 award, which reflects a refund of their contest entry fee. They included:

– Teresa Anzalone, of Sanibel, for “Showing off Her Pearly Whites”

– Mike Bauman, of Milford, Michigan, for “Heavy Sky over Sanibel Bayou”

– Corky Boyd, of Sanibel, for “Mating Dance”

– Dale Dombrowski, of Sun City Center, for “Breakfast”

PHOTO PROVIDED This year’s judges included photographer Sara Lopez, Bailey’s General Store wine steward Calli Johnson and wildlife refuge specialist Bob Gerwig.

– William Fischer, of Sanibel, for “Flying Mangrove Cuckoo”

– Kent Jager, of Sanibel, for “Teal Twosome”

– Scott Joffe, of Highland Beach, for “The Stare”

– Len Littenberg, of Hinesburg, Vermont, for “Bad Hair Day”

– Linda Normoyle, of Fort Myers, for “Almost Camouflaged”

– Susan Sherman, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, for “Sunset Silhouette”

– Marletta Short, of Fort Myers, for “I See You!”

– Allen Sparks, of Cordova, Tennessee, for “Yellow-crowned Night Heron”

The winning photographs and honorable mention award entries will be on display in the refuge’s Visitor & Education Center throughout the year.

To view the other top-ranking entries, or for information about the refuge’s 75th Anniversary Celebration photo contest in 2021, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/photo-contests.