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Homewood Izaak Walton Preserve announce on Monday the 16 winners in its second annual photo contest. The winning photos will be included in the preserve’s “Seasons of Homewood Izaak Walton” calendar.

John Brinkman, president of the preserve organization, said, “Once again, the beauty of our preserve has attracted great interest from local photographers. We are thankful to all for their work and participation in our second annual calendar photo contest.”

A collage of the photos that were selected to be in the Izaak Walton Nature Preserve's new calendar. (Provided image)
A collage of the photos that were selected to be in the Izaak Walton Nature Preserve’s new calendar. (Provided image)

More than 150 photos of landscapes and wildlife were entered in the contest. 

The winning entries in the 14-month calendar include:

  • Front cover, Crystal Lesimple, “Untitled.”
  • Back cover, Samantha Sheehan, “Quite the Pair.”
  • November 2020, Kathie Hazlett, “Moonstruck Izaak.”
  • December 2020, Rebecca Slagle, “Rhythmic.”
  • January 2021, Laura Halfman, “An Old Friend.”
  • February 2021, James Shover, “Bridge Over Calm Waters.”
  • March 2021, Heather Marcum, “Mother Goose.”
  • April 2021, Todd Wittenberg, “Foggy Bottom.”
  • May 2021, Carolyn Funk, “May Apple Mini Forest.”
  • June 2021, Rebecca Jurek, “Morning Glow.”
  • July 2021, Howard Wolinsky, “Pause at the Clearing.”
  • August 2021, David Jurek, “New Beginnings.”
  • September 2021, Tina Ray, “Reflect the Moment.”
  • October 2021, Emma Steiner, “Catch You On The Flipside.”
  • November 2021, Laura Kern, “Logjam.”
  • December 2021, Ryan Patrick, “With Every Light.”

A panel of three independent judges made the initial picks. The judges included Martin Hackl, a Chicago area nature photographer; Rich Chapman, a northwest suburban photographer, and Ken Carl, a Chicago photographer.

Chapman said, “There were many excellent pictures entered, and therefore hard to narrow down to my favorite 20. Considering the pictures were going to be used in a calendar, the first six I picked were fairly easy, depicting seasonal aspects showcasing the quality of lighting and moments captured. The beauty of a contest? When we see what others around us have captured, hopefully we can all learn and improve together.”

Hackl said, ”My favorite pictures in this competition are those for which care was taken in editing. In presenting a photograph, processing/editing a photo is as important, if not more important, than capturing the image in the first place. My philosophy is to remove, or crop out, everything in a picture that is not essential to telling the story, or presenting an emotion or feeling. Every single photo you present to the public must be edited.”

Carl said, ”The nature, spirit of a place, is elusive and often camouflaged. ‘Hiding in plain sight’ as the saying goes. We as photographers see not only with our eyes yet also with our knowledge, experience, heart and understanding. It takes both calm patience and firm decision in creating your visual story. Being able to wait for the moment and realizing when the moment has arrived are hallmarks on every great image. In the selections for this calendar, I see those hallmarks.”

Each judge submitted a ranking of 20 of their favorite shots to the calendar committee made up of four local photographers who often make photos at the preserve: Kathie Hazlett, Heather Marcum, Penny Shnay, James Shover and Howard Wolinsky.

The committee made all final decisions depending on the judge’s rankings, breaking ties with the public’s “likes” on the preserve’s Facebook page and the votes of the committee. 

Todd Wittenberg, the preserve board’s liaison to the committee, said that one week during the public voting, the page attracted more than 19,000 visits, compared to 1,000 or so most weeks.

The calendars will be sold for $12 if the purchaser picks them up at the preserve office in Senior Hall, 1100 Ridge Road in Homewood. The total cost for mailing a calendar is $15.

A limited supply of calendars will be available. Calendars can be ordered on the Izaak Walton website after Oct. 15 at  Orders also can be mailed to the preserve office at the address above.

For more information, write to [email protected] or call 708-798-1850​.

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