Littleton photographer’s work named Best of Show in Lone Tree

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“We expected 370 or so and there were over 600,” juror Weldon Lee said of entries at the April 20 opening of the 2013 Lone Tree Photographic Art Show and Sale. “It was overwhelming — I went through them again and again. I needed to narrow to 90 … it hurt to take images out ....”

In the end, he focused on images that told a story over those that were technically perfect.

The 93 images are thoughtfully displayed in the lobby and on adjacent hallway walls at the Lone Tree Arts Center.

Lee awarded the teal Best of Show ribbon to Littleton photographer Mike Berenson, who specializes in capturing the Rocky Mountains at night — a magical world. His “Lenticular Mountain Milky Way” was shot at 4 a.m. on a moonless night at a ridgeline en route to Grizzly Peak.

Berenson said he got a special permit from the state transportation department to leave his car at a parking spot off Loveland Pass and hiked three hours, with a companion, to reach this particular spot, where he knew the sky and reflections on the snow would be just so. (“Lenticular” is defined as relating to a lens.)

A visit to his website illustrates his fascination with the night, and his remarkable skill in capturing starry expanses.

Lee, who also selected 12 images by Rock Canyon High School students for display, will offer a seminar for interested photographers from 3-6 p.m. May 18 at Lone Tree Arts Center. ($30) Register at the box office, 720-509-1000, or online at LoneTreeArtsCenter.org.

He has traveled around the world photographing exotic wildlife, and has images in museums and private collections, in magazines and natural history books and on television.

Lee’s other awards in the four categories for 2013 offer a rewarding potpourri of creative vision:

• Wild Animals — First Place, Karen Kirkpatrick for “Nourishing Flora,” a close-up of a bee in a white echinecea flower. (Kirpatrick also won 2012 Best of Show Black and White in the Littleton Eye of the Camera show and has a joint exhibit with Color winner Fee Chin at the Littleton Museum.). Second Place, “Three Eagles” by Brenda Hablutzel, a trio perched together against a blue sky. Third Place, “Sharks of Galapagos” by Leslie Superchi. Honorable Mentions, Brenda Hablutzel and Richard Goluch.

• People, Travel and Places — First Place, Pat Tryon, “An Old Friend.” Second Place, Laura Bennett, “Face of Freedom.” Third Place, Robert Lace, “Ready to Go.” Honorable Mentions, Alice Wagoner and Beth McCarley.

• Landscape and Nature — First Place, Doug Bennett, “Fall at Wilson Peak.” Second Place, Kristal Kraft, “Red House on Snowy Day.” Third Place, Ryan Wright, “Glacial Fire.” Honorable Mentions, Joseph Kovarik and Laura Bennett.

• Digital Art — Shane Bechler, “Flaming Tiger.” Second Place, Panagiotis Chrysovergis, “Heterotopia 1.” Third Place, Andi Salen, “Into the Light.” Honorable Mention, Michael Guttman and Shane Bechler.

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