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2012 Winter Photo Contest Winner

2012 Winter Photo Contest Winner
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Female Cardinal in a Snowstorm in Warren, RI by Butch Lombardi
Judges Comments: The starkness of the white of the background drew us in by bringing the cardinal’s colors into focus as snow falls around it.

Read on as Butch tells us how he got the shot:
The shot came about through a series of circumstances. When my 93 year old mother fell in December and broke her pelvis, my sister, brother, and I became her primary care givers. Because I was no longer able to get out and shoot whenever I wanted, I started bringing my camera along when I went over to her house to take care of her.

On the day of the only significant snowstorm we had all winter, I went over early. She was still sleeping so I went upstairs to take photographs from the bathroom window. I had made a blind, with a hole cut in it for my telephoto lens, out of some foam board that fit in the window. From this vantage point, I could capture the birds as they flew from a pussywillow to the birdfeeder in the yard. It was snowing pretty heavily and there were three pairs of cardinals in the tree at one time. The shot was taken from about 20 feet away. One reader commented that it would have been a better picture if it had been of the male. I disagree. The female has many subtle colors that make her a better subject in many ways. The snow all around her face clinched it for me. One thing I’d like to pass along to any potential wildlife photographers: Don’t put your camera away when the weather gets bad. Even though it’s uncomfortable, and the lighting is bad, shooting in bad weather can result in those kinds of shots that most people don’t get…like this one.

Butch Lombardi was our featured photographer in August of 2011. See his slide show of the Rhode Island’s East Bay.

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