People, Places & Things: Our 10th annual photo contest

To submit an entry for the
2017 Contest click here.

2016 Grand Prize Winner

086-PPT-Grand-Prize-photo “441 Over Fox River” by Rick Ripp, Appleton

The well-trodden concrete of Highway 96 (Wisconsin Avenue) in between Appleton and Little Chute is nothing new to Rick Ripp. “I have driven on that stretch of road well over a hundred times. Every time I go underneath the highway I look at that structure,” he said. “I love how the symmetry of everything draws you in and takes you all the way across the river.” Judge Volkman was drawn to the architectural diversity captured in the image, stating the arches could easily be mistaken for a church. “The columns in the way they are shaped are very unique, just like the Fox Cities. There’s a lot of beauty in our cities. We just have to take the time to look around and enjoy it,” Ripp said.


First Place – PEOPLE

086-PPT-People_1st“The Band Marches On” by Paul Mannone, Appleton

Mannone captured this photo of a marching band and some fellow parade-goers at the 2016 Memorial Day Parade. “I was out getting pictures of the marching bands and didn’t even notice the girls across the street until I got home and looked at the pictures,” he said. “I think this [image] speaks to the sense of community that makes Appleton a great place to live.” Judge Palmer agreed. “These are the real people from Wisconsin,” she said. “I like how the band is reflected in the windows.”


Second Place – PEOPLE

086-PPT-People_2nd“Conference on the Mound” by Tony Tassone, Greenville

While watching his son’s baseball team play through three days of rain, wind and snow at a tournament, Tony Tassone took this photo of his son’s teammate and coach. Both Judges Carpenter and Poburka remarked at the expression on the young player’s face. “I love what this picture makes you think about,” Judge Poburka said. “It’s a sweetheart of a moment between the coach and the player.” Tassone said the Fox Cities provides a multitude of opportunities for kids to learn, grow and develop, whether through sports, arts or science. “We owe an enormous thank you to the plethora of parents and volunteers [who] give their time and talents year round so that our children can experience these opportunities,” he said.


Third Place – PEOPLE

086-PPT-People_3rd“A Day at the Beach…” by Heather Landers, Kaukauna

While her three sons and a friend played on the shores of Lake Winnebago at High Cliff State Park, Heather Landers observed them through her camera lens. “They were in their own world. With me watching up on the hill, I snapped a few photos and the boys happened to be perfectly silhouetted against the high afternoon sun glistening off Lake Winnebago, capturing what I feel is a classic and timeless moment,” Landers said. Judge Volkman agreed, saying, “This one takes me back. It could have been shot yesterday or in 1975. It’s nice to see kids playing and not just on their phones.”


First Place – PLACES

086-PPT-Places_1st“Reflections Over the Flats” by James Vervoort, Menasha

This vibrant spring sunset was captured by photographer James Vervoort while walking with his dogs along Newberry Trail in Appleton. It immediately caught the attention of our judges who were taken with the water’s natural beauty against the urban backdrop. “We sometimes take our waterways for granted and this is a nice representation of what we have here,” said Judge Volkman. “I like the perspective of how the sky is mirrored in the water,” added Judge Poburka.


Second Place – PLACES

086-PPT-Places_2nd“The Old and the New on the Fox River” by Bruce Danz, Appleton

A juxtaposition between historic architecture, modern development and organic scenery caught the eye of photographer Bruce Danz, who normally prefers wildlife to cityscapes. But even he couldn’t resist this east-facing view from Appleton’s Oneida Street bridge. “I was impressed by the natural and architectural beauty of the Fox River and the bordering community. From the Oneida Street and Memorial Drive bridges, at once can be viewed the historic background of the Fox Cites (paper mills, railroads, locks, dams) as well as the more modern structures that point towards the future,” he said.


Third Place – PLACES

086-PPT-Places_3rd“Storm Clouds Over Bubolz” by Paul Mannone, Appleton

Happenstance brought photographer Paul Mannone to this pond within the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, but the image was highly personal for Judge Seidl. “My husband and I have a tradition where we walk at Bubolz on our wedding anniversary. We were just there celebrating our 24th anniversary,” she said. Besides Seidl’s connection to the location, she appreciated the photo for showcasing the less-than-perfect observation deck, a feature Mannone was drawn to as well. “I love that five minutes outside of the city, we have beautiful natural areas like Bubolz,” Mannone said.


 086-PPT-Things_1stFirst Place – THINGS

“Winter Morning Freight” by Ken Kemper, Appleton

After a blanket of wet, heavy snow was dumped on the Fox Cities one January morning, photographer Ken Kemper snapped this picture from the top of the Canadian National Railroad grade, south shore of the Fox River at Telulah Park. Kemper said this local freight to Combined Locks (Appleton Coated Mill) leaves the Appleton Freight Yard faithfully every weekday at 8 a.m. and, believe it or not, this photo shows the landscape of the Fox River Valley almost directly below the College Avenue bridge. “All the ravines radiating out from the river give the city a rural quality if you just look for it,” Kemper said. Moderator Van Grinsven noted the image for its striking use of color with the red train emerging through the snowy white landscape.


086-PPT-Things_2ndSecond Place – THINGS

“A Winter Morning” by Larry Janssen, Little Chute

Larry Janssen, the photographer behind this iconic
photo, is the volunteer head miller at the Little Chute Windmill. One of his duties is to shovel the snow off the windmill’s deck. “On my way to work I stopped in to shovel the deck and saw the beauty of the scene and could not pass on capturing it. I had taken my camera with me, thinking the mill would look awesome in the fresh snow,” he said. “I am sure glad I planned ahead.” Judge Carpenter was intrigued by the highlights of the structure against the inky night sky. “It’s very ‘Fox Cities’ and I’ve got a soft spot for these local things,” he said.


086-PPT-Things_3rdThird Place – THINGS

“Thank a Farmer” by Hana Steffel, Kaukauna

It’s a common sight for those living in the Fox Valley – a cornfield bursting with the season’s bounty. Growing up in the Fox Cities’ countryside, photographer Hana Steffel also knows the view well. “I saw this field, like I always do every year, and this time I decided that I had to capture the everyday beauty of summer crops,” she said. Judge Palmer liked how the photo spoke to the everyday life of so many area farmers. “That’s life and that’s Wisconsin,” she said. “The corn shows renewal,” added Judge Porburka. “We gain so much through our agricultural, but we often forget about it.”

Visit the Trout Museum of Art to see the winning photo window display on College Avenue, Appleton.

Panel of Judges

Moderator Shannon Van Grinsven, professional photographer, PeoplePaperPrints
Tina Palmer, owner, Vintique and Red Door Mercantile
Pam Seidl, executive director, Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau
Karl Volkman, The Karl Volkman Group, First Weber Realtors
Julie Poburka, assistant store manager, Simon’s Specialty Cheese
Matt Carpenter, executive director, History Museum at the Castle


Sincere thanks to the area businesses that have generously provided our winners with the following prizes:

Grand Prize: One-night stay
CopperLeaf Boutique Hotel, downtown Appleton

First Place Prizes: $75 toward a stay, dinner or golf
Bridgewood Resort Hotel & Conference Center, Neenah

Second Place Prizes:  $50 toward custom framing
Foxley’s Gallery, Appleton

Third Place Prizes: $25 toward photo processing
Murray Photo and Video, Inc., downtown Appleton



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