For Hometown News
VERO BEACH -
Photographers from throughout the Treasure Coast found clever ways to capture the expansive collection of waterlilies at McKee Botanical Garden, putting forth their best images for the third annual waterlily photo contest, held in conjunction with McKee's eighth annual waterlily celebration on June 16.
More than 100 photos of waterlilies taken at McKee between 2011 and 2012 were submitted and classified into the contest's three judged divisions: color, black and white, and manipulated, and a fourth "people's choice" category that was voted on by visitors at the event.
New this year, second- place prizes were awarded in each category in addition to first place.
Winners included: George F. Bollis, Jr. (first place, color); J.R. Williams (second place, color); Sabrina L. Ryan (first place, black and white); Patty Corapi (second place, black and white); Gina Musick (first place, manipulated); Christopher Tippins (second place, manipulated); Jennifer Lahman (first place, people's choice) and David Garrett (second place, people's choice).
First-place winners each received an annual family membership to McKee Botanical Garden. Second- place winners were awarded a pair of guest passes to the garden.
"This year's contest attracted dozens of talented photographers from as far south as Jupiter all the way to Cocoa," said Christine Hobart, McKee executive director.
"So many of the waterlily photo submissions offered such an imaginative and original perspective that we decided to expand the number of winners to also include second place," she said.
Tasked with the challenge of determining the winners was Louis Ciszek, a former professional photographer who helped found the Indian River Photo Club. Mr. Ciszek has judged a number of art and photography exhibitions throughout the area including the annual juried photo exhibition at the Vero Beach Museum of Art since 2007.
In addition to viewing the waterlily photography exhibit, celebration attendees got to learn how to perfect their photo-taking techniques at a free class taught by Pat Rice, an avid photographer and past president of the Indian River Photo Club.
Nearly 500 visitors attended the waterlily celebration, which also featured demonstrations on waterlily care, painting by local artists Marlene Putnam and Rick Kelly, and an aquatic and tropical plant sale.
Images of the winning waterlily photos can be viewed at
The waterlily celebration was sponsored by the AT&T "Real Yellow Pages."
The mission of McKee Botanical Garden is to nurture and enhance a historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all. McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 U.S. Highway 1 in Vero Beach.
Summer admission fees are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children ages 3 to 12. Admission is free for members and children under 3. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. The garden is closed Mondays.
For more information, call (772) 794-0601 or visit www.mckeegarden.org.