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Our 14th annual photo contest

GRAND PRIZE WINNER

“Sailboats resting at Neenah’s Riverside Park before a busy day”

Kevin Abing, Neenah

Cotton candy skies at sunrise are one of summer’s sweetest treats. This photo, taken in the early morning hours of July 3, 2019, was captured by Kevin Abing who high-tailed it down to Riverside Park in order to better photograph the evolving scene. “This image reveals a lot of things I enjoy about the Fox Cities,” he says. “From the awesome year around sunrises and sunsets, to all the surrounding lakes and rivers, to watching sailboats sailing on Lake Winnebago and to Riverside Park itself, there are so many fun parks in the Fox Cities area. These are all reasons, plus many more, why I moved to this area back in 2001.” The judges were taken with the photo’s use of light and complementary color palette. The image’s composition, with the boats and skyline dividing it in thirds, was another factor that led the judges to name it best in class. 

PEOPLE

FIRST PLACE

“Quarantine Haircut”

Kacie Mischler Bass, Oshkosh

On May 11, photographer Kacie Mischler Bass captured this image of her husband as he gave himself a haircut after being quarantined for two months due to COVID-19. “I thought it spoke to the moment of people in quarantine, trapped at home,” Brogan said. “It has cultural relevance and immediacy.” Volkman said the circumstances regarding public health impacted his interpretation of the subject matter. “A year ago if you showed me a guy cutting his hair I wouldn’t have gotten it, but it has more meaning now,” he said. During the pandemic, Mischler Bass says her family, as well as many others, have had to put aside certain luxuries like haircuts to stay home as much as possible in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “It’s been difficult to alter normal life so much, but worth it to keep each other safe,” she says. 

SECOND PLACE

“Friendship”

Lori Gelbke, Appleton

Life on the farm is always exciting. Photographer Lori Gelbke snapped this photo in Oshkosh last spring when she visited a friend’s horse barn to meet a newly-born foal. “When we were about to leave, I turned around and saw my friend give one of the mares a goodbye pat on her forehead,” she says. “The back lighting made it a kind and gentle moment, and I was glad that I was able to capture it.” Smith appreciated the photograph’s story of connection between man and beast. “I was drawn to the thought-provoking sense of the moment and the high contrast of what almost becomes a black and white image,” she said. 

THIRD PLACE

“Fall Fun”

Tanya Rosenbaum, Appleton

Photographer Tanya Rosenbaum and her children often partake in a day of fall fun at Cuff Farms in Hortonville. On this particular day last October, the blue skies and cool air demanded to be enjoyed at the farm. Rosenbaum says her children like to play tag and chase each other on the hay bale maze. “I just happened to catch my daughter Sophie jumping the bales with her sister Audrey in the background. I think the photo reveals not only what a beautiful place this area is, but that there can be fun anywhere,” Rosenbaum says. The judges felt this image told a quintessential story about family life in the Fox Cities and how highly it’s valued by members of the community. 

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