“Shot in the Park” is presented by California State Parks in partnership with the Southern California Association of Camera Clubs” and is open to the public through the end of August, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for July 4.
“We are excited to present this show with more than 25 photographers who capture the landscape, wildlife, historic sites, and recreational opportunities that make each State Park as unique as the people who use them,” said Lisa Fields, committee chair for the photography exhibit.
The photograph earning Best of Show award was “Little Giant” by Lewis Abulafia. His image of a smaller tree framed within a grove of giant redwoods at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park was taken six years ago.
Abulafia explained how he came across the image.
“On the trail in the park, I had been wanting to shoot redwoods in the fog. But the fog wasn’t cooperating. So I began looking for something to show off the grandeur and came across this small tree in a grove of giants in a clearing by itself. The light coming down through the tops of trees helped to illuminate the image.”
Abulafia is on George’s Camera email list and that is how he found out about the Shot in the Park photography competition and exhibit.
“I have enjoyed photography my entire life, starting with my dad bringing home a Polaroid camera. I was fascinated to see plain paper come to life in front of my face. It was magic,” said Abulafia, who belongs to North County Photo Association and is a member of the Sierra Club Photo Section.
One thing that Abulafia has learned over the years in being a landscape and nature photographer, is that you have to work to take advantage of each situation. “You roll the dice, so to speak, and get what you can. If it doesn’t work out, you go again,” he said.
Koustav Maity's "Twilight" at Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve earned the People’s Choice Award.
Judges were the California State Parks staff from the Shot in the Park committee and the department photographer as well as Robin Stern, president of the Southern California Association of Camera Clubs.
“These photographs help to enlighten the entire community about our state parks. I have to admit that I did not even know Old Town was a state park,” said Stern.
A member of both the Poly Photo and Photo Naturalists camera clubs in San Diego, Stern enjoyed the opportunity of judging the entries.
“Some of these images are remarkable,” she said.
The main criteria for the photographs is that they were all shot within a California State Park. Judges looked for high quality photographs, both technically and compositionally, that express the theme in a unique and creative way.
San Diego resident Laura Street came in to view the exhibit. She was enthralled with the photograph by Shawn Jacobs of a juvenile falcon at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
“My dad used to volunteer with the San Diego Zoo feeding the birds of prey,” Street said. “That love of birds of prey has always stayed with me.”
Fields said that the exhibition gives the California State Parks the opportunity to reach and inspire new audiences to educate and inform them about the many opportunities available within the parks.
“This includes exposing visitors to Liberty Station to the many different opportunities available in California State Parks. We also hope to encourage photographers to explore California State Parks,” Fields said.
The photographs remain the property of the photographers, so they are picked up at the end of the show. California State Parks does retain use rights to the digital images so that they can be used in future advertising.
Many images are for sale and have a price listed. The California State Parks office does not sell the photographs but will put interested buyers in touch with the photographer for a direct sale.
“Be creative!” Fields encouraged photographers for next year’s competition and exhibit. “There are plenty of opportunities within the 280 state parks in California.”
“I had no idea there were that many state parks in California,” said Street.
This year, donations of prizes were generously provided by Nelson Photo, George’s Camera, and MK Envision Galleries. People’s Choice is voted on during the opening reception and awarded the following week, the judges choose Best of Show and it is awarded at the opening reception.
To learn more of the Shot in the Park exhibit and California State Parks, go to parks.ca.gov.