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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 10, 2009

Enterprise photography contest winners link sentiment to scenes

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

ALTAMONT — The recent Enterprise photography contest shows that, even in the computer age, people still value printed pictures.

The contest was set up by James Gardner Jr., a printer who also runs a photography business from The Enterprise. A photographer himself, Gardner said he is interested in “photography and how it can capture emotions that we all experience, and bring back the moments that we all too soon forget.”

Gardner processes film and prints digital photos with same-day service in the Enterprise Photo Shop, with quality printing and competitive pricing.

Hal Grant submitted the photo that won first prize, judged by the Enterprise staff. It depicts a stunning sunset, the sky striped with orange and purple, as trees are silhouetted in the foreground.

The picture was taken by his brother, the late Robert Grant, a dozen years ago. Framed in oak, it holds a place of honor in Grant’s Altamont home.

Grant entered two treasured photographs in the contest. The other was taken by his grandson, Scott Grant, who was studying at the University of Stirling and traveled on holiday with his grandparents through Scotland.

Both Hal Grant and Scott Grant took a picture of the Queen’s View of Loch Tummel in Perthshire. “The next day, I realized my camera had no film in it,” lamented Hal Grant. So his grandson gave him a print of Queen Victoria’s View as a gift.

The Grant boys had grown up in Schoharie — Hal liked to hunt and Robert liked to fish. Robert always loved the water, his brother said, and, after graduating from Cobleskill, he settled for a while on Duane Lake in Duanesburg. (The origin of the Bozenkill, which flows through Altamont, is the outflow of Duane Lake, which, in turn, flows into the Normanskill and then into the Hudson River, Grant explained.)

The prize-winning picture, though, was taken from the yard of Robert Grant’s later home, on Lake Chautauqua, where his wife still lives today. He worked for the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, doing dairy inspections. He died a decade ago of cancer at age 63.

Hal Grant treasures the picture, which is linked to the memory of his brother.

Describing what he likes about the picture, he said, “The sunset and the contrast of the trees with the sky and the water — to me, it’s just so peaceful.”

Second place went to Brian Barnes for a picture submitted by Ann Knowles of a beautiful boy, arms outstretched, ready to jump into a swimming pool. The boy, Daniel James Barnes, is the two-and-a-half-year-old son of Brian and Patricia Barnes and the grandson of Knowles.

It was taken on the family’s Florida vacation. Knowles, who works as a teller at the Key Bank in Altamont, noticed the display Gardner had set up in the bank, promoting his photography business, and thought she had the perfect print to enter the contest, a five-by-seven snapshot.

“I thought it looked like he was going to step out and walk on the water,” Knowles said with a chuckle. “He is just precious — a gift.”

Knowles often shares pictures of her grandchildren with bank customers who look forward to hearing about them and seeing them grow. Daniel’s parents traveled to Kazakhstan, in Asia, bordering Russia and China, to adopt him.

“I think he’s a fascinating, wonderful little boy and he came such a long way to be here,” said Knowles. “We feel thrilled to have him. People say, ‘He’s a lucky boy.’ We think we’re the lucky ones.”

Third place went to Eric White for an artful photo taken at Pine Lake in the Adirondacks. His wife, Cathy White, submitted the photo to the contest. It is one of a series, she said, that rolls through the screensaver on their computer.

“Every time that comes up, I have to stare at it,” she said. “I like how still the water is. It just seems quieting.”

Although his wife thought White might have taken the prize-wining photo with his Blackberry as he often does, he said this was taken with an Olympus camera. The view includes the dock at the Whites’ lakeside camp with cool blue water beyond. A mountain is reflected in the lake; along the line where the reflection meets reality is a branch of golden maple leaves.

“That particular morning,” recalled White of the photo he took over a year ago, “I liked the peacefulness and the reflections on the lake’s mirror-like surface.” He also liked the contrast in textures.

White grew up around photography since his father, the late Dave White, was both a reporter and photographer for The Buffalo Evening News, retiring as a features editor.

When White is not too busy with his work on wind and solar energy, he enjoys taking pictures.

“I tend to be old-fashioned and like hard copies,” he said of printed pictures to hold in the hand.

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