When Randy Link headed out to watch Winfield's Good Old Days parade this fall he already had a picture in mind.
At last year's parade, the Winfield resident focused his camera and efforts on the West Chicago High School Marching Band and came away with a pretty cool shot of the drummers.
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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.
This time around, he was planning to concentrate on the band again. Maybe zero in on the saxophones. Maybe the clarinets. Maybe even the drums again.
Sure enough, he took plenty of shots of the band, but the ones that really stood out were of the trumpet section. And when he got home and started manipulating the images with the Find Edges program in Photoshop Elements 11, he knew he had something special.
"The background went away and the trumpets stood right out," he says. "I liked jazzing it up because the music makes me think of jazz."
Our photo department liked the results, too, and selected Link's entry as the winner of our November Photo Finish contest.
"I like it because the photographer took an ordinary photo and turned it into a very out-of-the-ordinary photo," DuPage Photo Director Scott Sanders says. "Digital photo manipulation is misleading and dishonest when used to alter the content in journalistic photos. However, it can be very rewarding and positive for artistic expression as in this photo."
For his efforts, Link will receive a $50 gift certificate from PJ's Camera in Pickwick Place Plaza, 662 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn.
A regular contributor to our contest, Link says he enjoys seeing his work displayed in the Daily Herald. "I guess I'm on the right track," he says.
An installation coordinator for a Naperville security systems firm, he says he's been taking pictures since he was 10 years old and his dad bought him a Kodak Instamatic camera.
But the digital age, he says, has opened a whole new world for amateur photographers who no longer have to worry about running out of film and can see their pictures immediately and make any necessary adjustments.
"I used to struggle because I couldn't see the results instantly," he says. "Now I'm getting into it more and more each year."
He didn't know Sanders used the term "artistic expression" when discussing his prizewinning shot, but Link would be happy he did.
"I like," Link says, "turning photos into works of art."