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Images of Nevada’s striking landscapes still comprise the majorityof entries into our annual photo contest. Out of the hundreds of submissions into our Wide Open category, a snow-covered state park captured our Nevada hearts. This year, a new Adventure category emerges, replacing Living. The other four categories—City Limits, Wide Open, People, and Events—return for another year.
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Title: “Ward Charcoal Ovens”
Location:South of Ely
On his first visit to Nevada, Brian Garner arrived a day early for his scheduled photo shoot sponsored by the Nevada Northern Railway. Interested in ghost towns, he planned to visit Osceola, but his rental car couldn’t handle the snow. Consulting his Nevada atlas for something interesting to photograph, the Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park near Ely captured his attention—and the Grand Prize in this year’s contest. Several inches of fresh snow had fallen overnight, and sunlight was breaking through the clouds, setting up the shot. “I was out of breath,” he says of the walk to the ovens. “I live in Texas at 700 feet above sea level, and this was [nearly] 7,000 feet, but it was well worth the hike.” Garner used a Sony A-100 outfitted with a Sigma 10-20 lens.
Tourist Tidbit: Historic beehive ovens aside, Ward Charcoal Ovens offers trails for hiking, biking, and ATV riding; wildlife-viewing and birding opportunities; trout fishing in Willow Creek; and campsites and picnic grounds. parks.nv.gov/ww.htm
WINNER: CITY LIMITS
Like father, like son, except son was just a bit better in this case. Eleven-year-old Jordan Gerrard and his dad submitted photos, making Jordan one of the youngest photographers to participate in our contest. They both took similar photos and submitted their best result. “I got up before sunrise and headed out to Lake Las Vegas with my dad to attempt some early morning photography and beat the heat,” says Jordan, who shoots with a Canon PowerShot A410. “We both agree mine was better.”
Tourist Tidbit: Less than 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Lake Las Vegas features The Ritz-Carlton, Las Vegas, Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort, and MonteLago Village Resort. You can hit the links on the championship golf course, take a romantic gondola ride on the 320-acre lake, or relax at a spa. lakelasvegas.com
RUNNER-UP: CITY LIMITS
“It looked like something out of a science-fiction movie,” says Mike Lienhard. He and a friend stopped on a road trip to Arizona. “Most of the photos from the Grand Canyon didn’t turn out, but those ones did,” says Lienhard, who used a Nikon N80 and 35mm film set on a tripod.
Tourist Tidbit: The one-hour Hoover Dam tour costs $30. usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam
WINNER: WIDE OPEN
Joshua trees flower in the spring but don’t produce their greenish-white blooms every year. “Last year was a spectacular year of bloom in Red Rock Canyon,” William Lane says. “This photo was taken at the entrance to Spring Mountain at sunrise with the camera set on hyperfocal distance to get the foreground and background sharp.”
Tourist Tidbit: Spring Mountain Ranch is a historical landmark honoring the pioneers of Las Vegas. Visitors can choose between docent- or self-guided tours and participate in living-history demonstrations. parks.nv.gov/smr.htm
RUNNER-UP: WIDE OPEN
“Lighting the night sky, Fly Geyser adds unusual brilliance to Northern Nevada’s desert moonscapes,” says Ann Brinkoetter.
Tourist Tidbit: As oft photographed as it is, the Fly Geyser is on private property, with few sanctioned entrances per year. blackrockdesert.org
“I was taking a photo class at the time, and our assignment was to take some panning images,” says Tom Compton, who in this instance placed his Nikon D200 on a Bogen Monopod. “I thought, ‘What a perfect opportunity.’” The photo was snapped during what Compton refers to as the “magic hour”— when the sun is low enough on the horizon to give warm light. Compton is a former racer and still rides often. “As with ski racing, my love of cycling drives me to want to photograph and capture the essence of the sport.”
Tourist Tidbit: The 2009 Tour de Nez occurred in June over five days in three locations: Truckee, Reno, and Northstar-at-Tahoe. tourdenez.com
“I go to Red Rock quite often to take photos,” says John Harrison. On this day, he went to Calico Hills looking for Agave to photograph, but they were not in bloom. He made his way to Calico Tanks and noticed four hikers. “I had photographed reflections at Calico Tanks before, so I went to the edge of the water on the north side. When they started walking I figured I had a good photograph,” says Harrison, who has owned his Minolta SRT 101 for 36 years.
Tourist Tidbit: The daily entrance fee for Red Rock Canyon is $5, and a season pass costs $20. There’s a 13-mile, one-way scenic drive. redrockcanyonlv.org
The town of Spring Creek, south of Elko, isn’t in Nevada’s Cowboy Country by mistake. The chance to forever remember her three-year-old son, Tanner, playing on a wooden fence—and playing cowboy—was too tempting for Jodi Esplin to pass up. The image, with a postcard-like impact, illustrates Tanner’s innocence. “He doesn’t yet realize what a special gift it is to have wide-open spaces [in which] to play,” Esplin says.
Tourist Tidbit: Spring Creek offers “rural Nevada living with all the amenities”—according to the town’s official Web site—including swimming, fishing, hunting, camping at the Ruby Dome trailhead, and golfing at the base of the Ruby Mountains. springcreeknv.net
Gordon Allen, founder of Gordon’s Photo Services in Reno and Carson City, at this year’s Shooting the West.
Tourist Tidbit: Shooting the West is Northern Nevada’s premier photography symposium. shootingthewest.org
Guns weren’t the only things firing at the Cowboy Fast Draw World Championship in Fallon last October. Talbot pulled the trigger on his Nikon D200 to get an image he had to have. “The idea was there right when I walked into the gate,” he says. “I thought, ‘I have to line up those guns and get the smoke pouring out.’” In doing so, he made papa proud. “My dad’s a cowboy,” Talbot says. Spoken like a true Nevadan.
Tourist Tidbit: Fallon’s Cowboy Fast Draw World Championship comes to the Churchill County Fairgrounds on October 1-4. Talbot is still impressed one year later. “Young to old, everybody there is fast. It was amazing,” he says. cowboyfastdraw.com
This photo was taken at the Snow Mountain Pow Wow in May 2009. “I took it at the Second Grand Entry at 6 p.m., because I thought the light would be warm at that time of day and complement the skin tones and fabrics,” says Mary Alexander, who utilized a Canon Rebel XT and Tamron lens. “The wind made it more challenging, but the intricate beadwork and color designs against the skin were what made me want to capture the image.”
Tourist Tidbit: The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe hosts the Snow Mountain Pow Wow annually on Memorial Day Weekend. lvpaiutetribe.com