Our annual summer vacation photo contest was another big hit.
We received nearly 550 entries in the three categories: local, national and international.
Our panel of judges, made up of Star photo editors, features editors and designers, chose one winner in each category (each winner scored $50).
We’re publishing several of the contest photos here, but you can see the other finalists — indeed, all the entries — at Mingle.KansasCity.com. Here are the direct links to the local gallery, the national gallery and the international gallery.
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Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their summer adventures with us!
| Kathy Lu, features editor
WINNER, LOCAL: Rachel Grodsky
It’s fun to feed cows, as Rachel Grodsky √of Raymore learned when she shot this photo in the Flint Hills.
Rachel, 30, writes in an email that she has been learning photography for about 21/2 years. She has taken classes at Kansas City Art Institute KCAI taught by Crick Camera owner Bill Thomas and continues to try and put her “own spin on things.”
For this photo, Rachel says she was with some friends and one person in the group knew the cows’ owner, who let the group feed the bovines.
“I saw how this one was sticking her tongue out to reach the pellets and thought it might look interesting with my fish eye lens,” Rachel writes. “I think I was a little too far away and the cow really had to reach to grab the pellet from my other hand. She actually ended up licking my lens, so I couldn’t use it the rest of the day. Luckily, it made a really fun photo!”
WINNER, NATIONAL: Steven Brockschmidt
Steven Brockschmidt, 24, of Olathe visited Yellowstone National Park the last week of May. This photo is of the Grand Prismatic Spring from the Fairy Falls Trail.
He doesn’t know who the person is in the photo, but he says that’s part of why he finds the image so mysterious. He explains that the vibrant orange and yellow areas are caused by microbes living in the hot water of the spring.
“I like how this person seems to be walking on a cloud; from my vantage point she kept vanishing in and out of the steam like a ghost,” Steven writes in an email. “I also love how you can see the steam reflecting the rainbow colors of the spring. It just looks like something that shouldn’t even exist on our planet.”
He shot the photo with a Canon Powershot SX50 HS. He says he became interested in photography after vising Iceland three years ago. “Ever since then I’ve been trying to find new ways to get creative shots. There’s an overwhelming amount I still have left to learn, but that’s part of the fun!”
WINNER, INTERNATIONAL: Marcia Boal
In mid-June, Marcia Boal √of Bonner Springs and her family visited Italy for about three weeks. For one of the weeks, the group of nine rented an “amazing” villa in Tuscany — she was thoroughly happy with her find on vrbo.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner) — that had five bedrooms and looked out over an olive tree orchard.
Marcia (who says her experience with photography is just “point and shoot”) took this photo of the orchard at twilight, with her son’s iPhone5.