Local Lifestyle

Sunsets, wildlife, seasonal color and the people of Morgan County make winning photos

Entries into this year’s Morgan County Photo Contest gave judges a tough job, with so many captivating photographs of local views, people and wildlife to weigh.

Pictures were judged on clarity of image, how they capture life in Morgan County, and the technical skill it took to get the photo (think wild animals).

Winners in each category are:


First Place: Gayle Roy, “Young Patriot.”

“Young Patriot” by Gayle Roy is the first-place winner in the People category.

Roy’s photo shows a young boy at Cacapon State Park making his way across the grass during a public band concert with flags all around.

Second Place: Dena Kerns, “Sweet Nothings.”

Kerns’ photo is of a couple at the Berkeley Springs State Park.

Third Place: Leslie Devine-Milbourne, “Hello Woody.”

Devine-Milbourne caught this photo of a youth studying a tiny turtle on the move.


“Mommy and me” by Sandy Golden won the Best Wildlife Photo.

First Place: Sandy Golden, “Mommy and me.”

Golden’s photo of a doe and her fawn caught both their interaction and the changing light.

Second Place: Sandy Golden, “Wild Turkey.”

Golden captured three wild turkey interacting in a fall landscape here.


First Place: Sha Gomez, “Mountains and river.”

“Mountain and river” by Sha Gomez was the Best Landscape Photo this year.

Gomez’s photo of the Potomac Bends area on a crisp day catches the shadows of moving clouds on the landscape below.


First Place: Lara Goodman, “Sun Skink.”

“Sun skink” by Lara Goodman is the first-place winner in the Closeup category.

Goodman catches a sunk skink pausing in its movement through shadows and light.

Second Place: Sandy Golden, “Blue jay.”

Golden’s photo shows a blue jay stopped momentarily in its work gathering acorns.

Third Place: Stacy Schultz, “Barred owl.”

Schultz captured a barred owl so heavily camouflaged in its roost that it is almost invisible.


First Place: Margaret Traas, “Sunset at Berkeley Springs Farm.”

“Sunset at Berkeley Springs Farm” by Margaret Traas won Best Structure Photo.

Traas’ photo is a play on a quiet farm building against the intensely colored clouds at sunset.


“Redbuds, 10 red birds and snow” by Alison Carter won Best Seasonal Photo.

First Place: Alison Carter, “Redbuds, 10 red birds and snow.”

Carter’s photo of cardinals gathering near bird feeder was taken during the early spring snow this year, after redbuds were already in bloom.

Second Place: Brenda Dill-Clark, “Fall over Sleepy Creek Mountain.”

Dill-Clark catches the vivid colors of fall foliage along the foggy road over Sleepy Creek.


First Place: Fatima Sofia McHugh, “Timeless Farm.”

“Timeless Farm” taken by Fatima McHugh won the Youth category.

McHugh’s atmospheric picture of a brick farmhouse balances shadows and light against the color of the building.

Second Place: McHugh, “Autumn Falls.”

This photo looks across the Cacapon State Park lake from the lip of the waterfall with fall foliage framing the view.

Judge’s Choice

Judges were delighted by the light-hearted and comical photo “Hey There!” taken by Dena Kerns.

“Hay there!” by Dena Kerns caught the judges’ eye and earned Judge’s Choice for its humorous subject.

You choose

Once again this year, The Morgan Messenger will ask readers to choose their top three picks from the finalists from the Morgan County Photo Contest.

We will post those photos on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MorganMessengerWV).

“Like” the photos you think are the winners. Your vote totals will determine which are the People’s Choice winning photos.

Voting opens today, Wednesday, June 8 and runs through Wednesday, June 15. Winners will be printed in the June 22 edition of The Morgan Messenger.