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Year End Awards 2019-2020

Image of the Year 2020

Mink with Bass: Don Specht


Wildlife Image of the Year 2020

Kodiak Bear Keep-Away Games: Karl Fiegenschuh


Botany Image of the Year 2020

Backlit Prairie Smoke : John Pennoyer


Landscape Image of the Year 2020

Lake Morraine Sunrise : Paul Kammen


Portfolio of the Year 2020

Joe Fierst


Category Winners




1st Place

Wild Geranium: Don Specht


2nd Place

Wine Cup Bloom : Deanne Probst


Honorable Mentions

Marsh Marigolds : Mariann Cyr




1st Place

Milky Way over Zion: John Foty


 2nd Place

Aurora : Joe Fierst


Honorable Mentions

Sunrise Acacia near Lake Masek : Diane Herman

River to Paradise : Jordan Randall

Hollow Rock Winter Sunrise : Karl Fiegenschuh

Pine Forest in Winter : John Pennoyer

Thrift at Sunset : Alan Schulz

Fog Rays and Rhodies! Kathy Bishop




1st Place

Eagles in Sun’s Glare : Deanne Probst


2nd Place


Prairie Chicken Confrontation : Alan Schulz


Honorable Mentions

Mink : Mike Sweet

Western Grebes Rushing : Diane Herman

Fresh Fish for Lunch : Mary Williams

Bears : Tom Hansen

Brown Thrasher Sunset : Jeanette Mayo

Gotcha! : Dennis Randall

Taking Off : Jordan Randall

Mating Damselflies : Barry Mullin

Morning Egret : Rosslyn Long

Mule Deer Head : Ron Lahr

Flurry Blurry : Kathy Bishop

What’s for Dinner : Scott Landseidel

Bald Eagle Fish Grab : Paul Kammen

Foggy Morning : Patti Jones

Anhinga with Fish : Sandy Swanson

Brown Bear and Salmon : John Dykstra

The Plunge : Joe Fierst

Elk Rut – The Sniff : Rick Graves

Clarence, The Boys are at it Again : David Perez

Dinner : Dee Hunnisett-Dritz


Congratulations are extended to you all



Stories Behind the 10s – Eastern Bluebird


From the Photographer: Fr. Paul Kammen
The bluebird has an interesting story. I had gone out a few nights in a row towards the end of the day in search of migrating ducks or perhaps other early migrants. I was looking for an elusive great horned owl at an area park. I had struck out a few nights in a row, and I was, once again, giving up. I kept the windows down in the car while I headed back home. Home is only about 5 minutes from a marshy area with waterfowl that I like to visit in Rosemount .

Suddenly  I saw a blueish bird to my left, and was able to pull over  and get out of the car. Sure enough, it was a bluebird. The first one of the year. I had plenty of room to set up a tripod and follow the bird. I have bird calls on my phone so played a few notes on a speaker, and the bluebird flew in a little closer. I set up my camera to high speed continuous . I really liked the perch it was on and the sun setting behind me. I had no idea he was having berries too which was an added bonus.

It was a very peaceful moment in the midst of all that is going on in the world – the first bluebird of the season and hope for better days ahead.

You can see more from Father Paul here:

Stories Behind the 10s – Mating Damsel Flies



From the Photographer: Barry Mullin

My wife and I each have a kayak.  For several years, we have routinely kayaked on Big Marine Lake, which is between the towns of Forest Lake, Scandia and Marine on St. Croix.  Besides the sheer joy of kayaking, I monitor and photograph Loons for the Minnesota DNR.  I also observe and photograph the dragonflies and damselflies.  The image of two damselflies in tandem was taken June 22, 2016, at 8:06 PM.  These damselflies are of species Lestes inaequalis  (common name Elegant Spreadwing).  The evening was very still and I was sitting in my kayak watching the mating activity of a number of damselflies.  This tandem pair conveniently landed on a cattail leaf about five feet in front of my kayak.  They were resting before continuing, still in tandem, to deposit eggs in the water .  The bottom damselfly is the female being held just behind the head by the male’s claspers.

I onlt do hand held photography from the kayak.  For moving subjects or in rough water, I hold the camera In front of me with both hands and use a higher shutter speed and faster ISO to help eliminate motion blur.  For this shot, the water was still, so I rested my elbow on the kayak gunnel with the lens mounting plate resting on my palm.  This lets me stabilize the camera and hold it for longer than I could if handheld without support.  Without using extension tubes, the Tamron 150-600 won’t focus much closer than 12 feet away.  This image was cropped to about ¼ its original size.  I was really lucky to have other cattail leaves far enough behind to allow them to fully blur to a nice green background.

Photographing from a kayak presents plenty of challenges.  The kayak rocks to my movement and to wave action.  The kayak is always drifting, so nothing stays a fixed distance away for easy focusing and the kayak often turns away from the desired subject.  Murphy’s law dictates that the best action will always be somewhere over your shoulder where you can’t possibly point your camera without tipping over.  The dragonflies and damselflies almost constantly fly around and catching them for the few moments they perch is a matter of luck.  Focusing is always a challenge due to the small size of the subject and the confusion caused by reeds and cattails swaying in front of and behind the subject.

I am looking forward to photographing more Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) this year.

Technical data: Nikon D7000;Tamron 150-600mm lens at 420mm, 1/250 sec exposure, f13 and ISO 800. VR on

Stories about the 10s – Fallen Oak leaf

From the Photographer: Rick Graves

Instead of shopping on Black Friday, 2019, I was photographing with some friends at Caron Park in Rice County.  As there was some fresh snow and newly fallen leaves, I devoted part of my time to searching for interesting leaf and snow compositions.  This one caught my eye because it had water drops on the leaf in addition to the snow.

Technical data:  Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS II lens, Gitzo GT3530LS tripod, Kirk BH-1 ball head, ISO 100, f/11, 0.3 seconds, 105 mm, two second timer with live view.

Salon Acceptances – April 2020

Our April Salon was the second meeting held as a virtual salon due to the restrictions placed on us for Covid19

Here are the Salon acceptances for April – Congratulations to you all – your images will be moved forward for judging in the end of year competition. The year end images will be showcased and the competition results will be announced at the May meeting.

We are looking forward to seeing you once again when we emerge into safer environment.

Paul Kammen Boreal Owl 9
Mike Sweet Great Egret 10
Diane Herman Black-backed Stilt 9
Patti Jones Birdie In The Bog 9
Mary Williams Resting CIcada 8
Sandy Swanson Great White Egret 8
Jeanette Mayo Dew Covered Robber Fly 8
Linda Scher Red Crown Crane 9
Dennis Randall I’m glad I’m not a Vole! 8
Jordan Randall Shoveler Sunset 8
Berry Mullin Siesta in Alaska 9
Karl Fiegenschuh Hollow Rock Winter Sunrise 8
Joe Fierst Virginia Rail Posing 9
Ron Lahr Mule Deer Head 9
Dee Hunnisett-Dritz Trumpeter 8
John Pennoyer Prairie in Bloom 10
Dave Perez Osprey Building Nest 9
Alan Schulz Prairie Chicken Confrontation 10
Don Specht Blue Flag Iris in the Rain 10
Kathy Bishop Silvery sunset 8
Paul Kammen Eastern Bluebird 10
Mike Sweet Green Kingfisher 10
Deanne Probst I’m So Pretty 10
Eric Gustafson Drake Wood Duck 8
Mary Williams Taking a Break 8
John Foty North Shore’s Starry Night 10
Sandy Swanson Boneyard Beach 8
Jeanette Mayo Gadwall Drake 8
Emily Coffey Morning-Stretch 8
Dennis Randall Vermillion Flycatcher 8
John Dykstra Egret 9
Berry Mullin Salmon Glacier 8
Karl Fiegenschuh Macaque Mother 10
Dee Hunnisett-Dritz Phelps Lake Through the Smoke 8
Dave Perez Dragonfly 10
Alan Schulz Elephant Seal In Sand 9
Don Specht Mink with Bass 10

Stories Behind the 10s – Pine Forest in Winter


From the Photographer: John Pennoyer

It had been snowing for a couple of hours and some wind was assisting the snowfall. I was sitting in my office and I kept complaining that I should be out photographing. My Bride finally said ‘just go -but drive carefully. ” Before she finished the sentence both the Nikon and I were in the truck. I knew what I wanted and thought of Sand Dunes State Forest near Zimmerman, but did not want to drive that far in the weather.  So I settled on Westwood Nature Center not too far away from my location. It took awhile to get there but I made it safe and sound.

There is a small cluster of pine trees  behind the nature center. I hiked up the hill and the photographic opportunities were so much better than I expected. With the warm temperature and the wind,  all of the snow was collecting on one side of the pine trees. The snow was now very light, and the light was absolutely perfect. I left the tripod in the vehicle and was going to hand hold.  With VR and the good light it was going to be no problem.

When confronted with an image such as this and using a wide angle lens it is always best to “zoom” in so that any trees that are close are not in the frame.  They would be too big in the frame and overpower the image.  I took this image at F5.6 so my focus point was critical and I focused on the second big tree on the left.  This would give me enough depth of field even though I knew the trees all the way in the back would be soft, however with the light snow fall a person would probably never notice. At that aperture I could have a lower ISO and still have enough shutter speed to handhold.

Technical Data : Nikon D850,Tamron 24mm-70mm @ 65mm, ISO 200, F5-6  @ 1/100s, Matrix metering, Cloudy WB, Handheld with VR set to ON.









Salon Acceptances – March 2020

Our March Salon was a little unusual and was held as a virtual salon due to the restrictions placed on us for Covid19

Here are the Salon acceptances for March – Congratulations to you all – your images will be moved forward for judging in the end of year competition. The year end images will be showcased and the competition results will be announced at the May meeting.

We are looking forward to seeing you once again when we emerge into safer environment.

Tom Hansen Cinnamon Black Bear 8
Jeanette Mayo Brown Thrasher Sunset 8
Jordan Randall Taking Off 9
John Dykstra Dawn Bear 9
Barry Mullin Mating Damsel Flies 10
Joe Fierst Hollow Rock Sunrise 8
John Pennoyer Backlit Prairie Smoke 8
Alan Schulz Albatross and Island 9
Don Specht Wild Geranium 10
Scott Landseidel Schwabacher’s Landing 8
Paul Kammen Bald Eagle Fish Grab 8
Diane Herman Greater Flamingos 8
Phillip Bush Bard Owl in Snow 10
Sandy Swanson Anhinga with Fish 8
Tom Hansen Ruffed Grouse 9
Jeanette Mayo Thin Wings 9
Dennis Randall Red-Bellied Teenager 8
Joe Fierst The Plunge 10
Roslynn Long Trumpeter Swan Rising 8
Alan Schulz Gentoos Coming Ashore 10
Kathy Bishop Just Waking Up 8

Salon Acceptances – February 2020

Here are the Salon acceptances for February – Congratulations to you all – your images will be moved forward for judging in the end of year competition. The year end images will be showcased and the competition results will be announced at the May meeting.


Paul Kammen Hunting Bald Eagle 8
Diane Herman Western Grebes Rushing 8
Sandy Swanson Bald Eagle 8
Mariann Cyr Devil Track Lake Sunset 9
Dennis Randall Scarlet Beauty 8
Jordan Randall Bufflehead Beauty 8
Karl Fiegenschuh Weed in Snow 8
Trista Snapko Eagle on a Cloud 8
Ron Lagerquist Monarch Butterfly 9
Roslynn Long Morning Egret 8
Ron Lahr Mule Deer  with Snow 8
John Pennoyer Pine Forest in Winter 10
Dave Perez Hummingbird 8
Alan Schulz Albatross Flying Over Rookery 9
Don Specht Eastern Bluebird in the Rain 9
Kathy Bishop Pacific Shimmer 8
Mike Sweet River Otter 8
Deanne Probst WelcomeTo My Home 9
John Clouse Death Valley 9
Tom Hansen White Squirrel 9
Jeanette Mayo Tender Moment 8
Berry Mullin Territorial Mallards 8
Karl Fiegenschuh Martin’s Tree with Shadow 8
Trista Snapko Water Off A Duck’s Back 8
Joe Fierst Ruffed Grouse Picking Gri 8
Rick Graves Fallen Oak Leaf 10
Roslynn Long Cedar Waxwing 9
John Pennoyer Field of Coreopsis 9
Don Specht Snow Trillium 9
Romaine Bayless Iceberg Window 8
Kathy Bishop Arch Rock Swirl 8

Stories Behind the 10s – Lake Superior Twilight


From the Photographer: John Pennoyer

I got up very early in the morning to try and photograph sunrise at “The Island” (formerly known as “Tombolo”). As I was driving North I was very disappointed with the cloudy skies, but I was still hoping for the best. On my walk down to the lake I could not even see one star shining in the sky. My eagerness was really beginning to diminish. Using my flashlight, I jumped across the rocks and pebble beach area trying to find a composition. At the same time I was thinking that others must have stayed in bed because, thankfully, I was the only one there. I have photographed this area many times over the years but when I get the chance it always draws me back. It is now getting to be one of the “icons” of Lake Superior for landscape photographers. It was still quite dark out but as the horizon began to glow my spirits began to rise! I quickly set up my tripod and mounted the camera and lens, found my composition, and focused on the rocks about one third into the frame! I snapped a pic or two to be sure it was the composition I wanted and everything was focused. In about 10 minutes the horizon began to glow, and for the next few minutes during “twilight” I shot my best images of this area ever. But the “magic” never lasted more than 10 minutes. Once the sun began to peak above the horizon, the clouds took over.

Disappointment turned to joy that morning! It pays to just get up and get outside to see what unfolds in front of you!

Technical Data : Nikon D800,Nikon 14mm-24mm lens @ 15mm, f11 @ ½ second, cloudy WB,Gitzo tripod w RRS ball head,
Cable Released, Processed in Lightroom, Sharpening in Photoshop.

Salon Acceptances – January 2020

Here are the Salon acceptances for January – Congratulations to you all – your images will be moved forward for judging in the end of year competition. The year end images will be showcased and the competition results will be announced at the May meeting.

Paul Kammen Lazuli Bunting 10
Mike Sweet Wood 8
Diane Herman Sunrise Acacia near Lake Masek 8
Deanne Probst Wine Cup Bloom 8
Eric Gustafson Female Cardinal In Light Snow 10
John Foty Milky Way Over Zion 10
Jeanette Mayo Robber Fly 9
John Dykstra Swans in Fog 8
Joe Fierst Golden Hour Humming 9
Rick Graves Frozen Leaf 8
John Pennoyer Lake Superior Twilight 10
Rich Roberts Watching With Intent 8
Alan Schulz Gentoos Jumping Out Of Water 9
Don Specht Pied-Billed Grebe 8
Kathy Bishop Flurry Blurry 8
Scott Landseidel What’s For Dinner 10
Diane Herman Young Black Bear in Tree 9
Patti Jones Preening Lesson 8
Sandy Swanson Fox Sparrow Portrait 10
John Clouse Winter Waves 8
Tom Hansen Great Grey 10
Dennis Randall She’s Looking at Me! 9
John Dykstra Brown Bear & Salmon 9
Joe Fierst Spruce Grouse Getting 10
Rick Graves Elk in Rut 9
Ron Lagerquist NZ Fjordland 9
Dee Hunnisett-Dritz Whimbrel 8
Alan Schulz Rufuous-Chested Dotterel Chick 9
Kathy Bishop Sunset Falls 9
Scott Landseidel Prairie Chicken Dance 10
John Foty Fast Flow 8
Kathy Bishop Forest Primeval 9
Trista Snapko Juvenile Eagle 8