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MailTribune.com
  • Pretty, pretty petals

    Southern Oregon flower lovers stepped up to the plate in the Mail Tribune's In Bloom Photography Contest
  • We knew giving shutterbugs a scant two-week window in which to capture images of beautiful blooms and submit them in a floral photography contest would be a challenge.
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      Take a closer look at all the entries online at www.mailtribune.com/flowers
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      More online
      Take a closer look at all the entries online at www.mailtribune.com/flowers
  • We knew giving shutterbugs a scant two-week window in which to capture images of beautiful blooms and submit them in a floral photography contest would be a challenge.
    Boy, did Mail Tribune flower lovers step up to the plate.
    Our In Bloom Photography Contest garnered 311 submissions, which included both wildflowers and garden blooms. Some showed entire meadows and some zoomed close enough to view dew drops on the petals.
    Medford resident Charles Lee said he snapped his winning photo of a deep blue iris in his garden just after an April 25 rain. "It was still kind of cloudy. I think that helps with the picture a lot," Lee says. "It had the ideal shape, the way the raindrops were resting on it.
    "It was, at that moment, probably the prettiest flower in the group of flowers that we have," Lee said.
    Judges chose his photo because of the attention to detail and the image's crispness.
    Lee says he has been doing photography since he was a child, but he has become more serious about it the past 10 years.
    "I just like what the image can convey. I love to share the photos and see the enjoyment that it brings to people," he says.
    It's apt that Ruch resident Alana Starkweather's second-place photograph was of a dahlia. It's her favorite flower.
    "I absolutely love dahlias," Starkweather said. "Up to last year, I was growing 150 plants. I just think they're the most amazing flower. They come up and they go 'til frost."
    They also are why she got into photography, Starkweather says. She's been pursuing the hobby for about four years.
    Judges liked the colors in the photo, and especially how Starkweather used natural light to enhance them.
    "That one that day just said pick me," she says.
    Medford resident Sue Martin snapped her photo of apricot blossoms in early April in her yard, just as the sun was beginning to set.
    Judges said they liked the resulting softness and balance.
    "I just have the habit of taking photos of flowers," says Martin, a photographer since her children were old enough to walk. "It's one of my favorite subjects. I really like to get in close and get some detail."
    Nathan Shinn's photo of a wild lily outside Jacksonville garnered 49 votes from site users, the most of any submission.
    "Found this beauty outside of Jacksonville and could not pass up taking a few pictures of it," Shinn wrote in his submission.
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