The Twelfth Annual Life in the Finger Lakes Photography Contest

GRAND PRIZE “Every year I spend at least a day or two in good company at Round Lake just outside Savona. This old dock made for one of my favorite photographs.” Nathan D. Miller • Rochester

“Adopt the pace of nature – her secret is patience,” once uttered transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson. Out of the more than 1,000 photo submissions this year, I feel the 15 winners mirror this earthy declaration. The grand prize winner, for example, illustrates patience in the stillness of the boat, as if it awaits a storm. The crew at the biker bar featured in the first-place black and white photograph lingers patiently for the picture to be taken.

It’s safe to say that nature’s secret is the same secret the people behind the camera lens hold dear to capture these images. How long did it take Andrea Barber to get the perfect shot of the Icelandic mare in midstride in the black and white second-place winner? Was Daniel Schlegel merely in the right place at the right time as the fox approached the fish-gripping heron in the third-place color winner? Or did he stalk the prey of his lens for hours? Did Bob Gates just happen to capture the perfect expression on the balloonist’s face in the second-place digitally altered winner?

No matter the method of our photographers’ madness, albeit patience or the right place at the right time, all of this year’s winners deserve an applause. These snapshots capture nature’s patience, the splendor of the human experience (on both sides of the camera), and maybe most importantly, the beauty of the place in which we live – the Finger Lakes.

– Alyssa LaFaro

“Every year I spend at least a day or two in good company at Round Lake just outside Savona. This old dock made for one of my favorite
Nathan D. Miller • Rochester


“Sunrise over Cayuga Lake”
Bernadett Pava • Cortlandt Manor, New York

“Draft horses at Watson Homestead in Painted Post”
Susan Nye-Bleiler • Odessa

“Standoff at Long Point Cove in Seneca Lake”
Daniel Schlegel • Webster


“During the summer, Corning becomes a popular gathering place for motorcycle enthusiasts planning their tours throughout the Finger Lakes Region. This photo titled ‘After the Run’ was taken at a popular bar and grill. The moon appears on the horizon as people share stories of their travels. A 14mm wide angle lens was used with a flash diffused and slightly tilted upward on the camera. The primary lighting of this scene is a bright street light on the top of the pole to the left of the man standing on the
sidewalk. This light shines more or less straight down on the bikes, causing the shadows from the bikes in the street.”
Gary L. Thompson • Big Flats

“Snow Girl – Icelandic mare in Mendon”
Andrea Barber • Honeoye Falls

“A tunnel of cornstalks at Rogers Farm in Skaneateles”
Wayne Kunkel • Skaneateles

“Sky and water – taken from the bridge on South Corning Road over the Chemung River”
Dipak Chowdhury • Corning

“Jamesville Balloon Festival”
Bob Gates • Jamesville

“Hemlock Barn”
Scott Hooker • Livonia


“Canoeing Beebe Lake in Ithaca” – color
Richard Elkins • Moorestown, New Jersey

“I was feeding the horses one morning and saw this once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.” – color
Kim Wickham • Stanley

“View through the ancient tree with moon.” – black and white
Alain Van Rhyn • Le Roy

“Sunflower sunset on Springs Street in Caledonia” – digitally altered
Larry Heins • Caledonia

“Reynolds Gully” – digitally altered
Steve Clough • Fairport

“Frosty morning in the Town of Farmington” – black and white
Michael F. Sargent • Farmington

by Alyssa LaFaro

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