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To us, Nevada Magazine’s annual photo hunt never gets old. This is the 31st time our staff fielded hundreds of submissions of photos taken in Nevada’s spectacular places. This year we’ve awarded our yearly Grand Prize, in addition to naming a second- and third-place overall winner. Our five categories remain essentially the same as they were in 2007: City Limits, Wide Open, Living (replaces Lifestyle), People, and Events.
Web site: mikesevonphotos.com
Title: “Lonely Sunrise”
Location: Pyramid Lake (near Sutcliffe)
In the Truckee River Flyfishers club the rank of “fishmaster,” as prestigious as it sounds, brings with it a certain degree of sacrifice. That was the case for Mike Sevon, anyway, during a December 2007 outing to Pyramid Lake. “It was my responsibility to set up my wall tent as a warming hut for a club fishout,” says Sevon. “When I woke up early the following day, the beach was empty, and I was inspired to take this image. The ‘star’ in the sky (see the large image above) is actually the planet Mars.” Sevon, who worked for the Nevada Department of Wildlife for 36 years, holds a special place in his heart for the desert lake. He did work there in the early ’70s while attending UNR and has kept going back ever since. “I have a spiritual connection to it,” he says. “It’s the most beautiful lake in the world.”
Tourist Tidbit: Pyramid Lake is open to fishing year round, with the exception of trout season, which runs from October 1 to June 30. plpt.nsn.us
WINNER: CITY LIMITS
Sometimes you can’t fully appreciate art until you hear the whole story, and that’s the case with Maria Coulson’s intriguing shot. “I went three different times to get the photo I wanted,” says Coulson, who is a first-time participant in our picture hunt. “The first time there were too many people; the second time the light wasn’t right. I made a mental note to go back in the late afternoon when the sun was behind me. I tried many different angles, but the one I liked best was straight on.” The persistence paid off for Coulson, who also waited for the rare Reno day with a fair amount of cloud cover.
Tourist Tidbit: Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is the home of prominent organizations such as Reno Philharmonic and A.V.A. Ballet Theatre. Visit pioneercenter.com for a schedule of events.
RUNNER-UP: CITY LIMITS
The Fountains of Bellagio light up the Strip, and Janice Phillips was there to capture it. “I just love the fountains,” Phillips says. “It’s fun to try to get the right shot—every shot is unique because of the way the water sprays.”
Tourist Tidbit: Visit bellagio.com for a schedule of the mesmerizing and complimentary show of water, music, and light.
WINNER: WIDE OPEN
The saying, “Last, but not least,” rings true with Deanna Esplin’s image, taken in 2007 on Pleasant Valley Road at sunset. “It was the last photo I took that day because the sun was going down,” says Esplin, who was a Runner-Up winner in last year’s Great Nevada Picture Hunt. She’s received a lot of positive feedback about the above photo. “It just works with the nice gold tones,” she says. One of her artistic strategies is to travel a random road and see where it ends up. On this November day, the results were golden, in more ways than one.
Tourist Tidbit: Pleasant Valley Road is south of State Route 227, the gateway to Lamoille Canyon Road, a National Scenic Byway. byways.org
RUNNER-UP: WIDE OPEN
A summer thunderstorm passes over the dunes east of Fallon. “I took it in color,” Angier says, “but realistically it looked better as a black-and-white photo.”
Tourist Tidbit: Sand Mountain Recreation Area offers nearly 5,000 acres of BLM land available to off-highway vehicle riders, hikers, and sandboarders. The Sand Springs Pony Express Station is in the vicinity. nv.blm.gov
“Blue sky, fresh-powder snow, and a run in the hills—it doesn’t get much better than that!” says Jodi Esplin, about this picture she took near her house after a heavy snowstorm last winter. Tango, a seven-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd, is difficult to shoot in the snow due to his white markings. “I have so many throwaways of my dogs in the snow,” Esplin says. “I was lucky he was coming at me with the sun in his face—it helped to bring his fur out. I have hundreds of photos of him where he blends in, but when I downloaded this one, I said, ‘Wow, that’s a keeper!”
Tourist Tidbit: The Elko Snobowl, the only ski resort in northeastern Nevada, is a short drive from Spring Creek. elkorose.com/snowbowl.html
Dave’s stepson, Ryan Young, enjoys a family sledding trip near Mount Rose. “Ryan was getting his eight-second ride in, hoping to not get bucked off!” Dave says.
Todd Esplin had to beg his wife, Deanna, to accompany him on a fishing excursion last November. She’s glad he talked her into it. “I didn’t want to go anywhere, but he said, ‘You can take some pictures.’ He knew how to get me.” But sometimes even a good photo can have its drawbacks. Todd loves it, but isn’t too elated with the idea of his favorite fishing spot being exposed. Don’t worry, Todd, we’ll keep it vague—the photo was taken near South Fork Reservoir.
Tourist Tidbit: South Fork State Recreation Area, 16 miles south of Elko on State Route 228, is popular for hunting, camping, boating, picnicking, winter sports, and wildlife viewing. parks.nv.gov/sf.htm
A portrait of Nevada miner Wayde Esplin, who is right at home at Barrick Gold of North America’s Goldstrike property. Jodi set up the photo shoot with her husband for a Popular Photography contest meant to illustrate someone’s career in pictures.
Tourist Tidbit: For information regarding Dig Mines tours in the Elko area, visit elkocva.com
In many ways, digital cameras have made photographers’ lives easier, but Janice Phillips disagrees when it comes to fireworks. “They tend to overexpose on the digital for me,” says Phillips, who captured this colorful display of light behind the Stratosphere Tower on July 4, 2006. “I’m still learning.” Judging from this photo, it appears Phillips has learned.
Tourist Tidbit: The 1,149-foot-tall Stratosphere Tower is the tallest observation tower in the U.S. Visit stratospherehotel.com for tower attractions, including three thrill rides.
Congratulations to Janice Phillips, our 2008 Readers’ Choice Photo Contest winner. Her photo, “Steam Ahead,” is of the Nevada Northern Railway’s Steptoe Valley Flyer. From 1910 to 1941, steam locomotive 40 traveled the rail route from East Ely to Cobre.
Tourist Tidbit: The railway offers regular and themed rides—the schedule varies depending on the season. nnry.com, 866-40STEAM