10th annual North Dakota Governor's Photo Contest winners named

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Bismarck, N.D. – First Lady Betsy Dalrymple celebrated the 10th anniversary of the North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest with a special unveiling of the winning photos today in the Memorial Hall of the North Dakota Capitol building. Six winning photos, seven honorable mentions and the Best of Show were revealed.

Joining the First Lady in the presentation were North Dakota Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman, North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) Executive Director Jan Webb and AAA Senior Public Affairs Representative Gene LaDoucer..

The Best of Show winning photo and photographer was “Medora @Night” by Brian Ward.

This year’s contest, which started in May, attracted 732 photo entries.

“Today we not only celebrate 10 years of the Governor’s Photo Contest, but we also are showcasing the talents of our state’s amateur photographers who uniquely capture the beauty and originality of North Dakota,” the First Lady said. “There’s no one better at capturing our state’s attractions and beautiful scenery than North Dakota’s amateur photographers, who experience first-hand the legendary offerings awaiting our visitors.”

Photos were judged on originality, subject matter, visual appeal and ability to portray North Dakota as a legendary travel destination in the categories of adventure, attractions, events, people, scenery and wildlife.

“Each year, we’re amazed by the beautiful photos North Dakota’s amateur photographers take and share for this contest. The amount of talent they have is remarkable, and I thank them for sharing their talents with us,” Otte Coleman said.

The North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest began as a collaborative program between the Governor’s Office and North Dakota Tourism, and has grown to include AAA as a contest sponsor and the NDCA as a collaborative partner.

The NDCA, along with the offices of Governor Jack Dalrymple, First Lady Betsy Dalrymple and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, will exhibit the works of the 2013 Governor’s Photo Contest winners. This is part of a cooperative program between NDCA and the First Lady’s office. Canvas displays were printed and sponsored in part by Mathison’s

“Thanks to First Lady Betsy Dalrymple’s interest in photography that features our state’s beautiful scenery and attractions, these pieces of art have another place to be showcased,” Webb said.

AAA, North America’s largest travel organization, will also display winning photos as part of its sponsorship.

“Through our sponsorship, winning photos from the Governor’s Photo Contest are eligible for display in AAA North Dakota branch offices and may be printed in AAA regional publications. Both venues provide additional exposure of North Dakota and also to the state’s talented amateur photographers,” LaDoucer said.

The contest has grown significantly since its beginnings. Otte Coleman noted that contest attracted more than 300 submission its first year. Overall, approximately 7,600 photos have been submitted during the decade-long contest.

Social media has also impacted the contest. For the fourth year, photographers were able to submit photos online through image and video hosting site, Flickr. Otte Coleman said this method of submitting a photo was added by request of photographers shooting digitally.

Winning photographers will receive a $200 cash prize for each winning photo and have their work featured in North Dakota Tourism’s marketing materials, along with even greater exposure through contest partner AAA. A Best of Show photo was selected from the winning photographs, and the photographer received an additional $300 cash prize and a free, one-year basic membership to AAA. Honorable mention winners will receive $50 and may also have their images featured in tourism marketing materials.

The contest is held annually and is open to any North Dakota amateur photographer. Next year’s contest will begin in May 2014. Winning photos can be seen at the North Dakota Tourism website at www.ndtourism.com.

2013 Governor’s Photo Contest Winners (by category):

Best of Show:
Winning Photographer: Brian Ward, Hunter
Winning photograph: “Medora @Night”

Adventure Category:
Winning photographer: Dave Bruner, Grand Forks
Winning photograph: “Photographing the Little Missouri River in the beautiful Badlands of North Dakota”

Attraction Category:
Winning photographer: Brian Ward, Hunter
Winning photograph: “Medora @Night”
Honorable Mentions:
Photographer: Anna Meidinger, Wishek - “Whitestone Battlefield”
Photographer: Dave Bruner, Grand Forks - “Sunrise on Hole #9 @ King’s Walk”

Events Category:
Winning photographer: Brian Ward, Hunter
Winning photograph: “Calm­_Before_The_Storm” (Lake Ashtabula)
Honorable Mentions:
Photographer: Ben Gumeringer, Bismarck - “Legendary Ride” 

People Category:
Winning photographer: Angie Waletzko, Lisbon
Winning photograph: “Sisters in Snow”

Scenery category:
Winning photographer: Dan Schill, Jamestown
Winning photograph: “ND Sunset”
Honorable Mentions: 
Photographer: Mary Lizakowski, Grand Forks - “Beauty as Far as the Eye Can See”
Photographer: Dale Rehder, West Fargo - “Fog at Sunrise”

Wildlife Category:
Winning photographer: Dave Bruner, Grand Forks
Winning photograph: “Day Before Pheasant Season”
Honorable Mentions:
Photographer: Derek Stout, Bismarck - “Northern Saw-Whet Owl”
Photographer: Anna Meidinger, Wishek - “Western Grebe"

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