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posted: 8/4/2013 6:00 AM

Wheaton photographer 'peaks' with mountain goat photo

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  • Seth Gasick of Wheaton captured his winning image in the Rockies near Breckenridge, Colo.

    Seth Gasick of Wheaton captured his winning image in the Rockies near Breckenridge, Colo.


Seth Gasick is studying accounting and finance at Taylor University in Indiana, but the 20-year-old Wheaton man occasionally likes to leave the number-crunching behind and spend some time with Mother Nature.

"I like to do outdoors stuff," he says. "I like to go hiking and backpacking and try to take good pictures."

Gasick and his cousin were doing just that in mid-July, spending the day traipsing up Mount Quandary near Breckenridge, Colo., when they started hearing from folks about a herd of mountain goats up ahead on the 14,265-foot slope.

Sure enough, Gasick and his cousin came upon maybe 20 of the creatures. "I've never seen that many," he says.

The Wheaton Academy graduate broke out his Canon Rebel, got as close as he could to the animals and started snapping away. You saw George Clooney in "The Men Who Stare at Goats?" This was Gasick in "The Men Who Click at Goats."

One of Gasick's favorite images from the foray was of a baby goat, or a "kid," against the backdrop of the Rockies.

It's the kind of picture that demands a second look, and that's why the DuPage County photo staff selected it as the July winner in our monthly Photo Finish contest. For his efforts, Gasick will receive a $50 gift certificate from PJ's Camera, 662 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn.

DuPage Photo Director Scott Sanders says he's been on a couple mountains himself and, "I've never seen other living creatures up this close, except for other tourists."

More important, Sanders says, "scenic photos are frequently helped if something interesting is in the foreground. Getting that close to a mountain goat made this scene much more interesting."

Gasick says he and his cousin have hiked in several locations in the Colorado Rockies and on the other side of the country in the Appalachians. His favorite spot so far is in the mountains near Aspen, Colo., but he says he hopes to make it out to Montana soon to try the scenery there.

The trip up and down Mount Quandary, meanwhile, was noteworthy for more than Gasick's close encounter of the goat kind.

"I got altitude sickness," he says. "But it was worth it."

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