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posted: 4/7/2013 6:00 AM

Warrenville photographer splits from the crowd

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  • Donna Sizemore of Warrenville won first place in our March Photo Finish contest with this image of photographers at Mount Moran in Grand Teton National Park.

    Donna Sizemore of Warrenville won first place in our March Photo Finish contest with this image of photographers at Mount Moran in Grand Teton National Park.
    Courtesy of Donna Sizemore


It was afternoon when Donna Sizemore and her husband drove past Mount Moran in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park and were captivated by the majestic view.

The Warrenville woman says they thought about stopping to take pictures of the 12,605-foot-tall peak, but decided instead to wait for the following morning, thinking "a sunrise shot would be awesome."

They returned the next day well before the sun but not, it turns out, before numerous other photographers who all had the same idea.

Sizemore says she finally found a clear spot, set up her tripod and started shooting away with her trusty Nikon D70, snapping a different image every 30 seconds or so as the colors on the mountain changed with the gathering light.

In the early morning quiet, she says, all she could hear was the click-click of camera shutters.

After taking all the pictures she wanted, Sizemore stepped back and discovered an entirely different image: the silhouettes of all those photographers against the image of the mountain now bathed in sunlight.

"I couldn't resist," she says.

As she began shooting she knew what she was hoping for, but she wasn't sure she had it until she got a closer look.

"It (the image) was one of my favorites from the trip," she says.

It also was one of our favorites and that's why the DuPage County photo staff selected her picture as the winner of our March Photo Finish contest.

DuPage Photo Director Scott Sanders says Sizemore's decision to step back from the crowd "is what makes this photo a winner."

"Sometimes the best, or most unique shots are taken when the photographer doesn't follow the crowd and shoot what everyone else is shooting," Sanders says. "It could be a different angle, a different vantage point, or a different time of day. It can be risky to try something different, but the results can really be worth it."

For her efforts, Sizemore wins a $50 gift certificate from PJ's Camera, 662 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn.

Sizemore says she's been taking pictures for roughly 25 years and frequently finds herself stepping away from the crowd.

She remembers being at Glacier National Park in Montana a while back when she found herself with a group of other photographers all taking pictures of -- you guessed it -- a glacier.

She was, too, until she happened to glance down and spotted an ant carrying a leaf. So while everyone else had their cameras focused on the snow and ice, she was following the industrious insect instead.

An insurance underwriter, Sizemore says she usually carries her camera during nice weather walks at area forest preserves or places like the Morton Arboretum and Cantigny Park.

Whether it's a mountain or an ant, she says, "you never know what you're going to see."

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