For Cynthia Huntowski, there's no such thing as a "perfect" picture.
Something can always be tweaked, adjusted or modified, whether it's by adjusting the lighting, making changes in Photoshop or going back to the field for a second try.
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Each week our Neighbor section includes at least one entry in our Photo Finish photography contest. If you would like to submit a photo, email it in .jpg format with at least 300 dpi resolution to email@example.com.
The Bensenville native even goes back to pictures she has from middle school and sees what she can do to make them better.
"I don't think I've ever really found the perfect picture because then there's nothing you can do to make it better or go further with it," Huntowski said.
Regardless, the DuPage County photo staff found her image of a sunset at the Wood Dale Itasca Reservoir close to perfect, choosing it as the June winner in the Daily Herald's monthly Photo Finish contest.
Huntowski said she took photography classes in high school and still takes a few at College of DuPage, where she is a student. Her plan is to transfer to Western Illinois University, where she hopes to get a degree in graphic design and a minor in photography.
"It's just something I've grown up with. Since I got my first camera, it's just what I've been doing," she said. "I wanted to go into photography as a career choice. Since high school, that's what I'd planned on going into."
Huntowski snapped the winning photo with her Nikon D80 Digital SLR while on a walk that she didn't think would amount to much. The reservoir was dead and without water when she was there, she said, which usually detracts from its beauty.
But just because the reservoir wasn't full of water didn't mean there weren't aspects of the setting that were still beautiful, Huntowski said.
"It looks great with the sunset there, and the plants are ghost-looking, so I wanted to put a spin on that," she said.
Huntowski said she likes taking nature pictures, but it really depends on her mood.
She was the photographer at a wedding she recently attended, where she set out to capture the romance and wanted to make people feel something when they looked at the photos. But for her contest photo, she simply wanted to capture the beauty of the reservoir.
"It just depends on what I'm feeling when I have my camera with me," she said.
Support has been the key to unlocking her potential as a photographer and is something every artist needs, Huntowski said.
Her mom always encouraged her to pursue photography and told her she had a unique perspective. Similarly, a couple trusted her enough to shoot their wedding, something Huntowski said she knows she would want perfect if it were her own. But that ended up giving her a great opportunity, all thanks to someone taking a risk and giving her a chance.
"Without support, you really won't go anywhere," she said.