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Artistes of Autumn

When tasked with capturing autumn's beauty with their cameras and smartphones, Mail Tribune readers turned out in droves.

The first Fall Colors Photo Contest ran from Oct. 8 to Nov. 12 and netted 427 entries that provided broad testament to the beauty of fall and the colors it brings to Southern Oregon — not to mention the sharp eyes and deft touch of local photogs.

Judges for the contest based their choices on composition, lighting and originality.

Online voters also got to pick a Reader's Choice photo. Here are the top three photos chosen by our judges, along with the pick of readers.

Barbara Orsow, who placed first in the Fall Colors contest, could not be reached for comment, but judges were taken by her entry.

The photo shows a single fallen leaf on the water, corners curling inward while it floats. Judges noted the intricacy and detail of the photo, adding that the lighting enhanced the captivating scene.

Tracy Eager is no stranger to Lithia Park.

The 60-year-old, who grew up in Ashland, has taken pictures there before, and his entry, which depicts a canvas of fallen red leaves beneath a shadowy canopy, earned second place.

"I had a couple of weeks off, and this friend of mine had challenged me to enter some of my photos," Eager said. "I know there's a lot of color in Lithia Park."

Contest judges said they liked the contrast in the photo, adding that the red leaves really popped against the darker landscape.

Eager recently had the photo framed.

"I'm pretty happy with it," he said.

A walnut tree and a sneaky dog led 22-year-old Central Point resident Karla Geigle to her third-place photo.

Her Australian shepherd, Millie, swiped a few fallen walnuts from the tree and brought them to her as sort of an offering.

Geigle's photo shows a few of those offerings arranged among a bouquet of colorful leaves.

"I just thought it was really pretty," Geigle said. "I like getting really down and finding new angles for things."

Judges said they appreciated the lighting and also remarked on the balanced composition.

"It was really hard finding different kinds of aspects of fall besides the leaves. That was a nice change," Geigle said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

1st — 'Solitude' by Barbara Orsow - Courtesy Barbara Orsow