For Immediate Release – January 18, 2013
RALEIGH — The Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition attracts photographers of all types, many of whom bring tens of thousands of dollars of equipment and years of experience into the field in hopes of capturing prize-winning images. But in the end, it’s the brain behind the equipment that ultimately makes the difference. This year’s Grand Prize winner, Mickey Moten, is proof. Moten, of Kings Mountain, used a $400 camera, some homemade equipment and a dose of ingenuity to come up with the winning picture. His photo, along with 30 other winning shots in 10 categories, are now on display at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences through the end of April 2013.
Now in its eighth year, the Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition seeks to encourage high-quality nature photography and to identify talented wildlife photographers working in North Carolina. This year’s field totaled 1,611 photographs from hundreds of photographers. Lucas Bobay, a Museum Junior Curator and student at Enloe High school, took first place in the Youth Photographer age 13-17 category with his picture of a hummingbird. “After taking out the trash, I noticed this hummingbird flying around a light in my garage, so I ran inside and grabbed my camera,” Bobay says. “I climbed up onto our boat to get at eye-level with the bird, and began shooting. The hummingbird’s speed and the dark surroundings proved to be a challenge, but I managed to capture the bird illuminated against the black background. Fortunately, the hummingbird found its way out of the garage a few minutes later.”
Judges for this year’s competition were Museum senior manager of outreach Mike Dunn, WiNC art director Marsha Tillett, WiNC graphic designer Alyssa Stepien, and magazine photographer Melissa McGaw. The Photo Competition is held in collaboration with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, with support from JW Photo of Raleigh (Exhibition Sponsor).