Nature photos adorn center walls

November 04, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - From a close-up of a butterfly and a bee perched on a thistle to a colorful array of autumn leaves reflected in a lake, the entries in the first Tuscarora Wildlife Education Project photo contest exposed varying views of nature.

The 57 entries were displayed at the Charles Brightbill Environmental Center in Mercersburg Sunday, amid dozens of stuffed deer, beavers and other wildlife that fill the center.

St. Thomas, Pa., resident Jeni Keefer, 26, said when she heard about the contest from her sister, she knew it was right up her alley.


"I like to take pictures of nature, anything wildlife," she said.

Her photo titled "Flowers in the Rough" earned Keefer an honorable mention and a T-shirt.

Jerome Staniszewski, of St. Thomas, relied on comments from family and colleagues who admire the 20 framed photos he has in his office at Cornell Abraxas when selecting his contest entries.

He was thankful for those who offered feedback because the three photos Staniszewski entered won awards.

His shot of a pelican eye took third place for best in show, for which Staniszewski will receive a $50 prize. His other photos, including a picture of the sun setting through evergreens at Olympia National Park, earned honorable mention.

"I have about 20 photos framed at my office, and people come in and out and comment on them. I based my decision on that," he said.

Staniszewski learned about the contest from a pamphlet his daughter Justine brought home from her second-grade class at Mountainview Elementary School.

Three area residents judged the photos Friday, including Raymond Gehman, a freelance photographer for National Geographic who lives in Waynesboro, Pa.

Gehman showed slides of some of his own photos to more than two dozen people who turned out for the monthly open house at the center Sunday afternoon.

He offered tips on camera lenses, filters and what to focus on as he showed slides of his own photos of the Canadian Rockies, a rainbow following an afternoon storm and rock climbers.

"What is special about photography is everyone sees things differently," he said. "I like to catch the little weird details."

TWEP director Liz McClintick said she was pleased with the response, and she thinks the contest will become an annual staple.

"Most entrants were adults. We do so many things for kids, it's nice for adults to find a niche here," she said.

The Charles Brightbill Environmental Center, located behind James Buchanan High School, is open from 2 to 5 p.m. the first Sunday of every month from September to June.

The Tuscarora Wildlife Education Project, a nonprofit organization devoted to wildlife education and natural history, was founded in 1987 by teachers in the Tuscarora School District.

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