URBANA — Walter Alspaugh of Urbana has never entered the Champaign County Camera Club's Best in Show Photographic Print Competition. But every year he makes sure to visit Lincoln Square Village to see all the entries — 520 this year.
"There's lots of variety, and over the years you also see the changes in photographic techniques like manipulation by computer and Photoshop," he said while perusing the prints earlier this week.
Alspaugh also likes the show because it gives him glimpses of our own backyard — he pointed to the prize-winning photograph by George Anne Hume of Mahomet of the new bridge at Lake of the Woods.
He also likes to see scenes of places much farther away. Italy, for example.
"A lot of them are vacation shots, seriously," he said.
But he likes those — he says they allow him to live vicariously.
If you haven't seen the 2013 Best in Show Photographic Print Competition, hurry! It will end after the judges' critique from 1 to 2 p.m. today (Sunday, Feb. 24). People are welcome to attend the critique; the judges this year are Ray Bial, Stacey Gross and Robin Scholz.
They chose the winners last week; a people's choice award also was expected to be announced today. The voting for that ended Saturday.
The top placers in each of the eight categories:
— Animals, Joel Houston, Urbana, first place; Allison Branson, St. Joseph, second; and Jodi Matheson, Savoy, third.
— Architecture, George Anne Hume, Mahomet, first; Jody Owens Yost, Seymour, second; and Richard Cahill, Urbana, third.
— Black and white, Michael Buras of Savoy, first; Brent Pomeroy, Urbana, second; and James J. Kirk, Bloomington, third.
— General, Susan Hopkins of Urbana, first; Michael Hensley, Champaign, second; Lindermann Miller, Champaign, third.
— Manipulated, Andrea Monninger of Bloomington, first and second, and Tom Small of Champaign, third.
— Nature, Rachel Ray of Tuscola, first; Tom Brant, Mahomet, second; and Christine Wetzel, Champaign, third.
— People, A. Richard Cobb, Champaign, first; Ron Ghere, Mattoon, second; and Tiy Goddard, Champaign, third.
— Youth, Abbie Mills of Champaign, first and second, and Kady Bennett, Catlin, third.
This is the 12th consecutive year for Best in Show, open to amateur photographers in the 11 counties in which The News-Gazette, a co-sponsor, has home delivery. Other co-sponsors: the Urbana Park District, Lincoln Square Village, Larry Kanfer Gallery, Framer's Market, Busey Bank, Better Image, International Galleries, Trophy Time, The Picture Lab, Illini Studio and News Channel 15-WICD.
If you go
What: The Champaign County Camera Club, The News-Gazette and other sponsors present the 2013 Best in Show Photographic Print Competition, with 520 entries by nearly 300 amateur photographers from 11 counties
When: Until 2 p.m.Sunday (today, Feb. 24), when most entrants remove their prints
Note: The judges' critique, which is open to the public, is from 1 to 2 p.m. today
Where: Central court of Lincoln Square Village, Urbana