September 25, 2018
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  • Terry Niec’s winning photo, “Mirrored,” was taken at Bunk's Pond.
    Photo Provided
    Terry Niec’s winning photo, “Mirrored,” was taken at Bunk's Pond.
  • Speaking about her photo “Stripes,” Terry Niec said, “It was just a bunch of shadows, but to me, it made a compelling pattern.”
    Photo Provided
    Speaking about her photo “Stripes,” Terry Niec said, “It was just a bunch of shadows, but to me, it made a compelling pattern.”
  • Alana Morino won the People category with her photo called “Endless Possibilities.”
    Photo Provided
    Alana Morino won the People category with her photo called “Endless Possibilities.”

Local Photographers Depict Life In The Park

Zach Sparks
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View Bio
March 20, 2018

Pasadena resident Terry Niec considers photography a hobby, saying she would never be a wedding photographer, yet she admits that it’s a big part of her life.

“If I went on a trip and my camera broke, I’d have a horrible time,” joked Niec, who frequently visits Downs Park to take pictures of eagles, ospreys and other wildlife.

Niec notched first place and tied for second place for Landscape in the Friends of Kinder Farm Park’s annual Life in the Park photo competition. The other categories were Fauna, Flora and People. First-place winners earned a $50 gift certificate and second-place winners received a one-year park pass.

Contest rules dictated that photos be taken within the boundaries of Kinder Farm Park. Niec’s winning photo, “Mirrored,” was taken at Bunk's Pond and the second-place entry, “Stripes,” was shot at a trail near a barn.

“It was just a bunch of shadows, but to me, it made a compelling pattern,” she said of “Stripes.”

Niec had entered the contest the last three years, but her foray into photography came about a decade earlier.

“I was a neophyte. I taught myself,” Niec said. “I got one of those tiny clamshell digital cameras thinking, ‘I’m never going to like this.’ I liked film and I did not have the concept of how great the memory cards were, that you could just shoot and shoot and shoot.”

She recently traveled to Moab, Utah and has made four trips to Iceland. “It gives you something different each time you go,” she said of Iceland. “I’ve been twice in the fall and twice in the winter. It’s like [someone] took a slice of wild America and threw it out there. There’s still so much beauty in the western U.S. as well.”

Her best shot was of a horse set loose on the beach. Not all novice photographers will have opportunities like that one, but Niec does have some advice for aspiring shutterbugs.

“Don’t worry about particulars,” she said. “Don’t worry about every little button. Just get out there.”

Like Niec, Severna Park resident Mirjam Spaar likes to travel, usually with her husband or father. She has been to every state.

“Along the East Coast, you see all the birds,” she said. “If you go to Pennsylvania, it’s more deer. Out west, it’s buffalo and elk.”

For the Life in the Park contest, she got the photo she envisioned: an egret in a field of dandelions. The judges named it the winner for Fauna.

“It’s nice to be able to enter a contest for something you enjoy doing,” Spaar said. “It’s not the money; it’s validation that you’ve taken a good shot.”

Millersville resident Alana Morino wasn’t planning to enter Life in the Park, even though her 2013 picture of a sunset by the barn took second place. This year’s entry featured Morino’s two daughters by the cow fields on August 30, 2017.

“I just saw the way the sky was looking that day,” she said. “I looked back and thought, ‘This is pretty.’”

Without words, Morino slowly backpedaled so she would attract attention from her kids. Even though she owns a DSLR, she took the candid photo with a cellphone.

“The park has so many beautiful elements,” Morino said. “It’s better to be in the moment, and I thought, ‘This could be cool to capture.’ I like to go with the flow instead of going with the intention to get this contest-winning photo.”

She did, however, win the People category with her photo, which she called “Endless Possibilities.”

“It’s a great contest and a fun way to get involved to support the park,” Morino said. “Hopefully more people will participate. As a bonus, it was great to win.”

 

Here Are The 2018 Life In The Park Winners

Flora

First Place: Lorinda Bradley-Lewis (Severna Park)

Second Place: Mark Laster (Bowie)

Fauna

First Place: Mirjam Spaar (Severna Park)

Second Place: Scott Doty (Gambrills)

Landscape

First Place: Terry Niec (Pasadena)

Second Place (tie): Terry Niec and Cindy Myers (Arnold)

People

First Place: Alana Morino (Millersville)

Second Place: Diane Leiter (Petersburg, Virginia)


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