Dick Davis said his winning close-up shot of a pig lying in the hay was simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
The Lombard man, 63, was the top finisher among 14 contestants that participated in Wednesday's Photo Shoot-Out Competition at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton, which was judged by Daily Herald photographers Bev Horne and Paul Michna.
But it couldn't have been all luck that earned Davis first place. Some of it can be chalked up to experience -- the former firefighter takes pictures in his spare time, and has even sold some professionally to the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.
"I'm glad people appreciate my photos," he said. "It's nice to get a little bit of recognition for my photography abilities."
Davis said he has his camera with him 90 percent of the time and shoots anything and everything that interests him. He says a good photo tugs at the heartstrings.
"That's the beauty of photography; it's so subjective," Davis said. "If I see something that catches my attention, and if the opportunity is there, I'll shoot a picture of it. I guess I'm a photographer of opportunity."
Brian James, 35, of Wheaton took second place for his photo of a child kissing a goat.
James found the low light in the barnyard challenging, but he ended up finding a shot with interesting detail that people could relate to, elements he looks for when shooting photos.
"I thought it had more emotional impact than the other stuff I took," James said. "You can really pick something out of the world that might be mundane and put a twist on it."
Cathy Williams, 47, of Naperville earned third place in the contest for her photo of a line of tractors that sat next to a sign that read "Line forms here" -- a play on the words that were meant for children waiting for a ride.
"I was trying to see if there was any other way to interpret tractors," Williams said. "I like doing still-life when I take pictures. I like finding an interesting angle -- something different, maybe something small in the picture that you might not have noticed was there."
Emma Walsh won a People's Choice award, voted on by the contestants, for her photo of an adult and child climbing a structure in the sunlight.
Fair Director Holly Yeates said the contest was an opportunity for fair goers to discover new venues in an engaging way.
"This is an opportunity for shutterbugs to look through their lensfinder and see the fair in new or different ways," she said. "There's no one picture that captures it all, just like there's no one memory you take with you. We're telling the story in a visual way."