Rebecca Anderson was enjoying dinner with her husband, Marty, when she saw it.
Gazing out over the water from an outdoor table at Louie's Backyard Restaurant in Key West, Fla., the combination of the clouds and setting sun was producing a vivid display of changing colors, the kind of moment that sends visitors and chamber of commerce folks searching for new adjectives.
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About our contestEach week our Neighbor section includes at least one entry in our Photo Finish photography contest. If you'd like to submit a photo, email it in .jpg format with at least 300 dpi resolution to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It was a beautiful sky show," the retired fourth-grade teacher from Glen Ellyn says.
So she did what most anyone would do: she broke out her cellphone to snap a picture and sent it to a friend.
But as she continued to watch, and as the colors continued to change, she realized there was a better picture to be had and asked Marty, who usually handles the bulk of the family's picture-taking, to pass over their Sony Cyber-shot.
"I thought the colors were lovely and enjoyed seeing them change by the minute," she wrote in her submission. "The palm trees and dock made a perfect contrast, so after watching the nature show for a time, I finally snapped this picture."
The image she captured was dazzling enough to win first-place honors in our April Photo Finish contest.
"I like it," DuPage Photo Director Scott Sanders says, "because it has great color and great composition."
For her efforts, Anderson will win a $50 gift certificate from PJ's Camera, 662 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn. It's the perfect prize for Anderson, who says she lives near the shop and is a regular customer.
She's been tempted before, but this is the first time Anderson has entered a picture in our contest.
She says she was showing some of her pictures to a friend from Naperville, Allen Panek, who has entered the contest in the past and was our first-prize winner in February 2012 for his picture of a sailboat and the setting sun in, you guessed it, Key West.
"You better enter that," he told her, and the advice paid off.
Anderson says she's hardly an expert behind the viewfinder, but she says she's been taking pictures "off-and-on forever." She enjoys focusing on nature, flowers, landmarks like the Space Needle in Seattle and, of course, her grandchildren.
And if she spots a possible picture that her husband isn't seeing, she isn't afraid to "pester" him for the camera.
"I do enjoy good photos," she says, "and I do enjoy art."
With this month's entry, she provided us all with a little bit of both.