Steve Piepmeier places first in June photo contest

First Place: Steve Piepmeier - Barbwire Twist

First Place: Steve Piepmeier – Barbwire Twist

Third Place: John Strandquist - Waiting for Sunset

Third Place: John Strandquist – Waiting for Sunset

Second Place: Lauren Hillquist - Hummingbird Silhouette

Second Place: Lauren Hillquist – Hummingbird Silhouette

Robert Thoresen

June’s photo contest theme of Silhouettes, a dark shape or outline against a light background, seemed a continuum of May’s theme Reflections. In Steve’s back yard, where he was taking a picture of a giant saguaro, he noticed the beauty of the twisted barbed wire. He has been photographing barbed wire for years. Barbed wire changed how the West was won. A patent in 1867 for barbed wire assured that this technology would play an important role in the protection of range rights. And with the capability of restraining cattle, it transformed the open range into a closed land of fences. The famous “S” twist is the silhouette against the Western sunset. Steve’s yard overlooks what used to be pastureland of the Bull Farm of some 6150 acres which produced alfalfa, vegetables and grains. As many as 250 German prisoners of war during WWII maintained the fields and picked cotton along Old Nogales Highway south of Quail Creek Crossing. Farm operations were discontinued in 1975 when the pre-Robson Quail Creek started to take form. There was a cattle grazing operation in the area judging from the corral in the Madera Highlands development. So, Steve’s piece of barbed wire might have a bit of interesting history behind it. Camera: Steve’s very trusty Canon Powershot SX260HS, f/5.65, 42.5499 mm, 1/1000 sec, ISO 500.

Lauren Hillquist second place image, Hummingbird Silhouette, was taken in June 2013. Lauren did a mother/baby hummingbird series of images he called The Great Hummingbird Saga. They were taken over several weeks in Quail Creek. This image was a sunrise shot taken in Aperture mode. Camera: NikonD5100, f/6.3, 20 mm, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, cropped only. Lauren has a passion for photographing hummers which has resulted in a series of YouTube sites. The image and others can be found at:

And the music is one of Lauren’s very favorite pieces.

John Strandquist’s third place photo, Waiting for Sunset, was shot this summer in late June while vacationing in Maui. Viewing the sunrise or sunset from the Haleakala volcano at 10,023 feet was advertised as spectacular, so it warranted a visit. John and Deb got there early due to the anticipated crowds, but the mobs didn’t show up. Getting bored waiting, as were others, John walked around looking to keep busy and noticed these folks (not his group) standing at the ridgeline and creating an interesting silhouette with the almost always present cloud deck in the background and took a shot. Result was also very mystical. Camera: Nikon D300, f/11, 200mm, 1/500 sec, ISO 400.

The Photography Club of Quail Creek has a monthly photo contest for its members and also schedules numerous photo field trips throughout the year. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Kino Conference Center Ocotillo Room. Consult the club’s constantly updated website as well as the weekday HOA What’s Happening for additional information and updates.