The photography winners include (left to right): Grace Brewers, Hannah Brewers, Amos Tu and Allison Johnson.

Local photographers ‘Connect’ with photos

They took a shot and it paid off. Four Minneota students recently were awarded a gift card as a top-three winner in the recent Art Connection Day event on April 18 in Dawson.

Allison Johnson, a freshman, received first place in the Elements of Art category for her photo of a pair of sunglasses on a beach with the reflection of a beach umbrella in one of the lenses. “My friend and I had just come from the swimming pool and she set the sunglasses down,” said Johnson, who captured her photo while on a vacation in Florida this winter to visit her grandmother.

“I liked the reflection in them so I decided to take a picture of it. I like how it turned out. We have it hanging up at home now.”

Hannah Brewers, a sophomore, placed second in Elements of Art for a photo of a single set of footprints in the sand in which shadows cause an optical illusion and makes the photos appear as though the footprints are coming out of the sand instead of sunk down into the sand. “I took the photo when we went to the Dominican Republic on a family vacation this winter,” she said.

“I decided to take this picture because I liked the thought of having it seem like only one set of footprints on the beach, and I also like the fact that the footprints fade away from the photographer.”

Six schools participate in Art Day each year, with the site alternating between Minneota, Dawson, Yellow Medicine East, Canby, Renville County West and Lakeview.

Approximately 180 students are involved in various art projects, including the photography portion which was judged by Granite Falls photographer Gene Stukel.

“The students took on the photo exhibition on their own,” said Scott Hanson, Minneota art instructor. “We do not offer photography classes in Minneota. We went online and found some information about basic photography and what makes a good photo.”

Amos Tu, a senior, received a third-place award for Elements of Art. His photo was of a lined up row of identical rental bikes in a bike rack taken when he went on a trip in March to Hawaii.

“I decided to take a photo of the bikes because it looked cool and I had seen that kind of a picture before, but not exactly the same,” he said.

“The bikes are supposed to be rented out for people who need them.”

Grace Brewers, a senior, was third in the Nature Division category for a picture of a stork perched on a railing while she was on vacation in February in the Dominican Republic.

“I took this picture because the bird was sitting on the rail so majestic looking,” she said. “Also, in Minnesota you don’t see many birds looking.”

“My favorite part of this photo is probably how precise the bird feathers look and also the side portrait angle.”

The four winning students from Minneota all went on winter vacations with their families and their assignment was to take 10 good photos, Hanson told.

“We talked about composition, rules of thirds, lighting, subject impact or the wow factor,” said Hanson. “There were about five different categories they could pick from.”

The four winning Minneota students each received a Walmart gift card.

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