DEL MAR — The San Diego County Fair’s Exhibition of Photography included the presentation of Best of Show honors to Vista’s Stephanie Benintende and the Coordinator’s Award given to Oceanside photographer Heidi Gauthreaux.
Benintende received first place in the Digital Photographic Art category as well as Best of Show for “Blue Heron with Fish,” which is an image of a blue heron on a shore with a fish in its mouth. The photograph also received a donated award from Nelson Photo.
This year the Exhibition of Photography received 4,368 entries, and 1,244 of those were accepted to hang. Specific judges provide place awards along with honorable mention ribbons for each category. The first-place photos from the categories are reviewed by the judges to determine the Best of Show honor.
This year was the first in which Benintende entered the Exhibition of Photography.
Although her photo “Small Worlds” did not place in the Macro class, Gauthreaux earned the Coordinator’s Award for the water drops on two dandelion seeds. The Coordinator’s Award is the decision of exhibit coordinator Gene Wild.
“It’s a very interesting macro,” Wild said.
Wild noted that Gauthreaux’s use of cool and warm colors in the background complemented the dandelion seeds. “It’s crisp and sharp where it should be and well-composed,” Wild said.
Various photographic societies and industry members provide donated awards and choose the recipients based on the group or company’s criteria.
Lana Ansay of Oceanside took first place in the Digital Artwork and Illustration class. “Starfruit Dragon,” which was printed in Photoshop and sketched in FireAlpaca, portrays a dragon surrounded by leaves and flowers.
Morris Asato of Del Mar was the first-place All Other Plants and Trees winner. “Torrey Pines Sapling” was shot in Del Mar and is of a small Torrey pines sapling.
Kimberley Evensen of Del Mar had the first-place Family Moments photo. “Focus of Attention” captured children and their father shaving in front of a mirror.
Art Ferber of Carlsbad took first place in the Animals – Insects, Reptiles, Amphibians and Aquarium Sea Life competition. “Can You Hear Me Now?” features two California alligator lizards with one’s mouth around the back of the other’s head.
Ivy Gordon of Cardiff-by-the-Sea was in Gujarat, India, when she took the first-place Documentary photo. “The Nomad Mother” portrays a mother with a newborn.
Kim Hirsch of Carlsbad had the first place Cell Phone photo. “Garden Treasures” is of flowers and pods on a tin tray.
Escondido’s Theresa Jackson had the first-place Black and White – People entry. “My Dad is the Real McCoy” is a head and bust portrait of Jackson’s father wearing Western attire.
The first-place Color Scenic – Fall photo was taken by Michele McCain of Encinitas. “Magic Morning” captured a foggy morning sunrise on a lake in Napa Valley.
Terry Ogden of San Marcos took the first-place Film and Alternative Processes photo. “Timeless View” is a view of the Sacre-coeur using the platinum/palladium process on vellum.
Escondido photographer Grant Thompson had the first-place Color Scenic – Spring photo. “Radiant” features morning light on sand dunes.