2014 North Dakota Governor's Photo Contest winners named

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BISMARCK, N.D. –- First Lady Betsy Dalrymple today celebrated the 11th anniversary of the North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest by unveiling the winning photos in Memorial Hall of the North Dakota Capitol building. Six winning photos, four 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 Beth Gigante Klingenstein and AAA Senior Public Affairs Representative Gene LaDoucer.

Photographer Meredith Jo Ehli’s “July 4 2014” was named Best of Show.

This year’s contest, which started in May, attracted more than 500 photo entries.

“Capturing the legendary beauty and sense of community across North Dakota has been such a tremendous benefit of the Governor’s Photo Contest, as well as showcasing the talents of our state’s outstanding amateur photographers,” the First Lady said. “Through the lenses of their cameras, everyone gets to enjoy first-hand views of all that North Dakota has to offer. It is an honor to help showcase these photos and photographers.”

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.

“It is always impressive to see the talent North Dakota’s amateur photographers have, and each year we have the honor of enjoying their amazing work,” Otte Coleman said. “North Dakota is such an interesting state with its diverse landscapes, large and small cities and, of course, the varied weather, that photographers have a wide array of opportunities to capture something unique.”

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 2014 winning photos will be on display during the months of October, November and December at the Capitol in the offices of Governor Jack Dalrymple, First Lady Betsy Dalrymple and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. 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.

“We are so pleased to be able to display this beautiful photography, and want to thank First Lady Betsy Dalrymple for helping champion the efforts for this contest,” Gigante Klingenstein said.

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

“AAA is proud to help sponsor the Governor’s Photo Contest and to provide additional exposure for the state’s amateur photographers. Winning photos are eligible for display in AAA North Dakota branch offices and may be printed in AAA regional publications,” LaDoucer said.

The contest has grown significantly since its beginnings. Otte Coleman noted that the contest attracted more than 300 submissions its first year. Overall, approximately 8,400 photos have been submitted since the contest began 11 years ago.

Social media has also impacted the contest. For the fifth 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 the state’s tourism marketing materials.

The North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest is held annually and is open to any North Dakota amateur photographer. Next year’s contest will begin in May 2015. Winning photos can be seen on the North Dakota Tourism website: www.ndtourism.com.

2014 Governor’s Photo Contest Winners (by category):

Best of Show

Winning Photographer: Meredith Jo Ehli, Bismarck

Winning photograph: “July 4 2014”

Adventure Category

Winning photographer: Mary Lizakowksi, Grand Forks
Winning photograph: “Adventure Ahead”

Honorable Mention
Photographer: Laura Gardner, Washburn
“Date Night”

Attraction Category

Winning photographer: Dale Rehde, West Fargo

Winning photograph: “Blazing Sunset”

Events Category

Winning photographer: Meredith Jo Ehli, Bismarck

Winning photograph: “July 4 2014”

People Category

Winning photographer: Laura Gardner, Washburn

Winning photograph: “Nice Fishy”

Scenery category

Winning photographer: Mary Lou Tastad, Portland
Winning photograph: “Winter Reckoning”

Honorable Mentions

Photographer: Jennifer Dewey Rohrich, Ashley

“Ag Pilot Over Sunflowers”

Photographer: Scott Heller, Williston

“Sunset over Chris Creek at Long Creek Cabins, Epping”

Wildlife Category

Winning photographer: Laura Cronquist, Grand Forks
Winning photograph: “A Chance Encounter”

Honorable Mentions

Photographer: Dean Rummel, Dickinson

“Western Meadowlark”

To view all the 2014 winning photographs, visit: http://www.ndtourism.com/articles/2014-north-dakota-governors-photo-contest-winners-named

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