GINLC Nature & Wildlife Photo Contest for 2010

Entries for the 2010 Nature & Wildlife Photo Contest for Middle and High School students were judged during Saturday’s Earth Day Celebration at Centennial Farm.  A total of 31 entries from fifteen students from four schools were received and judged by Dr. Michael Martin, an amateur photographer with a keen eye for artistry and photographic technique, with ten years experience working with photo contest judges.


First Place - Middle School

Frog in the Pond by Alissa Rhode / GI Middle School

Frog in Pond

  • It’s very difficult to photograph a frog, since they leave very quickly
  • Good contrast
  • Good focus on frog’s eye
  • Good composition


Second Place - Middle School

Fresh Rain Drops by Alex Korany / GI Middle School

Fresh Rain Drops

  • Good impact, you can almost smell the flower
  • Placing the flower slightly off center is artistically well done
  • Good contrast, bright area to dark gives good interest
  • The title says fresh rain drops and while the photo is more about the flower, the raindrops enhance the flower

Honorable Mention - Middle School

Spring Has Blossomed by Jacob Porcarelli / GI Middle School

Spring Has Blossomed 

  • The blossoms are a main theme in this photo and the photographer has done a good job carrying the theme from the front of the photo all the way to the back
  • Good color
  • Interesting tree


Spring Has Blossomed

First Place - High School

A Calm Morning on Lake Desor by Kathleen Hurley / GI High School

A Calm Morning on Lake Desor

  • This photo is very serene and calm
  • At first glance you notice the mid-blue in the center and this causes you to look more closely
  • On closer look you see some dark rocks in the foreground amongst interesting black-blue water.  Then the bright blue transcends into a reflection of clouds and then onto the distant shore and finally the sky.
  • This photo has high impact, interest and took a good photographer to see its potential

Second Place - High School

Summer No More by Haley Falkowski  / GI High School

  • This photo lives up to its title
  • It is a colorful, contrasting in color fall collage
  • It is a good composition that captures your eye and causes you to look more closely
  • It resembles an artist’s still life painting

Third Place - High School

Give Life A Chance by Brandi Baldwin-Gat / Riverside Academy West

Give Life A Chance

  • This photo lives up to its title
  • The flowers are sprouting among debris and they appear to be struggling to survive.
  • The photographer put the focus on the trash on the right of the photo and this drives home the message this photo is attempting to deliver

Honorable Mention - High School

Summertime Sunset by Marissa Mott / GI High School

Summertime Sunset

  • This is a very dramatic scene
  • The colors are magnificent
  • Very good contrast, i.e. range of bright areas to dark
  • Good use of a low horizon to emphasize the drama in the sky



Honorable Mention - High School

Nature’s True Colors - 2 by Sheima Saleh / Riverside Academy West

Nature’s True Colors - 2

  • This photo is well-envisioned and composed.
  • Good use of foreground on the right which helps show the depth of the landscape.
  • Detail is soft in the photo, perhaps due to a low resolution image, however the colors are strong and the image has good impact

Honorable Mention - High School

Orange Sulfur by Christopher Ugorcak  / Burger School for Students with Autism

Orange Sulfur

  • Great impact
  • The bright orange is just wonderful
  • Good composition
  • Good out-of-focus background with a complimentary color


Event guests enjoyed looking at the photos and voted for their personal favorites.  Votes were distributed over seventeen of the entries, with two photos sharing the lead position.
  People's Choice Award for Calm Shores by Nour Khaled / Riverside Academy West
Calm Shores
  People's Choice Award for Catching Some Rays by Christopher Ugorcak / Burger School for Autism
Catching Some Rays

The Conservancy has enjoyed including this contest as part of our Earth Day programming and look forward to coordinating the contest again next year.  We hope it encourages students to spend more time day-to-day and season-to-season, observing, appreciating and sharing nature’s beauty.