Fourth Annual Digital Photography Contest

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club (PSPC) is pleased to announce our Fourth Annual Digital Photo Contest. The contest is open to all current members of the Club. New members may join at the time they enter the contest.

Our goal with this contest is not only to recognize members for their talent, but also to encourage everyone to share their best work with the rest of the group. So pick your images and send them in!

There will again be four categories: Landscape, People, Creative, and Nature. Each member may submit two images per category (up to six total). Images may be submitted as digital files. This year, there is no entry fee. Submissions are due no later than September 11, 2020. Awards will be presented to the top 3 images in each category at the October PSPC meeting, which will be held on October 13, 6:30 PM. All entries will be displayed at the awards gathering.

For contest guidelines, and instruction on entering your images, go to: .

To download an entry form, click: . The guidelines and entry form have instructions on how and where to submit your files.

If you are not currently a 2021 Photography Club member, you may join the Club or renew at the time you submit your images. A membership form can be downloaded here:

2020 Digital Photo Winners

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club held its Third Annual Digital Photography Awards presentation on October 14, by videoconference. Winners of the competition were announced during the presentation. The contest received entries from 21 Photography Club members in four categories: Landscape, People, Creative, and Nature. In total, 112 photos were entered. The images in each category were judged by two professional photographers on the basis of composition, impact and technical quality. In addition, this year the images were also voted on by Club members to determine “People’s Choice” images. 

In the Nature category, winners were Chris Roebuck, for his photo “Cougar”.  Dave Anderson received 2nd place for “Migration”, and Andy Butler’s photo “Sphinx Moth” was third. With many outstanding photos in this category, there were a number of Honorable Mention’s; images that scored very close to the top three. These included Lion, by Dean Dussell; Alpha Pair, by Doug Coombs, Full House, and Grasshopper, by Kathie Disner; The Stalker, by Linda Pampinella; Lewis Woodpecker, by Liz Jamison; Colorado Columbine and Size Matters, by Darryl Saffer; and Bittern Showing of His Socks and Hummingbird’s Break Time, by Diane Cirksena. People’s Choice awards for the Nature category were Dave Anderson, 1st for Migration, Darryl Saffer, 2nd for “Colorado Columbine”, and 3rd to Linda Pampinella for “the Stalker”. 

The winning image in the People category was Fred Guthrie’s “Working Cowboy.” Guthrie also received 2nd place for “Native Portrait”. Third place was awarded to Lorie Butts, for “Gym Brat”. Honorable Mention went to Dean Dussell for Masai #1 and to Linda Pampinella for Shades of Peterhoff. Guthrie’s two images tied for first in the People’s Choice voting as well. The third place People’s Choice image was Dean Dussell’s “Masai #1”.

Among the images in the Creative category, the judges’ selections were “Medusa on the Ridge”, by Andy Butler, in 1st place, “Stonehead” by Fred Guthrie, 2nd, and “Spring”, by Dean Dussell in third. Honorable Mention was awarded to Dave Anderson, “Aspen Grove”; Doug Coombs, “Grand Prismatic”, and Gregg Heid, “Bavaria”. This category’s People’s Choice awards went to Bill Milner, 1st for “Crater Lake”, Fred Guthrie, 2nd for “Stonehead” and Dave Anderson, 3rd for “Cold Dinner”.


In the Landscape category, the number one image was Doug Coombs’ “Horseshoe Bend.” Second place went to Fred Guthrie for “Escape from Alcatraz” and 3rd place was “Tombstone Sunset” by Lorie Butts. The top People’s Choice vote also went to “Horseshoe Bend”, with Dave Anderson in 2nd place for “Photographing the Milky Way”. Honorable Mention images were “Silent Roar of the Ocean”, Linda Pampinella; “Photographing the Milky Way”, Dave Anderson; “Sunset at Morel Hoodoos” and “Red Rock Twilight”, Andy Butler. The People’s Choice voting resulted in a three way tie for 3rd place, between Dave Minkel for “Fire River”, Dean Dussell for “Thermal Pools” and Andy Butler for “Sunset at Morel Hoodoos”. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s contest!

Spring Photography

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. –Harriet Ann Jacobs

I was surprised to note that the vernal equinox, the official start of spring in the northern hemisphere, comes on March 19 this year (In the USA). That’s early. Typically the first day of spring is the 20th or 21st of March. Indeed, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, this is the earliest spring equinox since 1896!  It turns out that this is due to quirks in our calendar system related to leap year (and leap century). And as a result of these quirks, spring will begin on March 19 every leap year this century. 

Given how early the vernal equinox is this year, perhaps I should not have been surprised (but was, at least a little) to have 7 inches of new snow on the first day of spring. That’s the heaviest single snow fall we’ve had, at our house, during this somewhat dry winter! It was just a little reminder that here in the Rocky Mountains,  spring doesn’t always pay strict attention to the calendar. Still, this is a good time for a post about spring photography. 

Although we have many great opportunities for landscape and nature photography in the winter here in the southern Rockies, there is no question that the new life associated with Spring makes it a joy to photograph this time of year. The grass is green, one of the most evocative colors for humans. Birds and mammals are migrating. Flowers are beginning to bloom. And, given our altered way of life in the era of COVID-19, it is fortunate that there is still a lot of photography that we can do locally, often in our own backyards, this time of year

In a recent video, Photo Tom explores 9 tips and ideas for spring landscape photography. It’s worth watching to revisit some ideas for the season. One that I think is big, is to look for the transition time between seasons. The snow this week may present opportunities for photographing the contrast of flowers, for example, in snow. Other ideas include taking advantage of the bright green of spring foliage, weather patterns, and foggy mornings. Check the forecasts for the day after storms move through. Cool mornings after a storm will likely produce fog in the valleys, especially around our hot springs. Fog creates opportunities for interesting, moody photos. If you are on a ridge above valley fog, you may have a dramatic sunrise. Later in spring, as the snow melts from the high country, waterfalls and streams will be flowing strongly, making for excellent photographic opportunities. For more ideas about spring subjects, as well as composition and lighting tips to take advantage of them, check out this post by Larry Price.

Of course, one of the highlights of spring are the blooming flowers.  Anne Belmont is a creative flower photographer, and shares a number of good ideas for unique, artistic flower photos in a two part series. These articles are full of ideas, including  seeing flowers uniquely, and suggestions for creative aperture and composition  When thinking about flowers, as well as other spring subjects such as butterflies, you’ll want to think Macro. Macro photography is easily done in your own back yard (or even inside) and can be very rewarding in terms of training your eye to see textures and patterns Lee Hoy has some good suggestions for getting started .  

There are plenty of subjects worthy of a photographer’s attention in the spring. So take advantage of the season to practice your photography, but be safe about it!

Photo Club Moab Outing

In mid-February, fourteen Photography Club members spent a few days in the Moab area, enjoying the magnificent red rock landscape. The group photographed in Arches National Park and  other nearby sites. We were lucky to have fair weather (though chilly mornings) and good light for most of our photo shoots. The trip was a really fun four days in a fantastically photogenic area. Here is a gallery of images from several Club members who were on  the trip. (Click on any image to view the photos full screen.)

Winners of 2019 Digital Photography Contest Announced

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club held it’s 2nd annual Digital Photography Contest recently. Eighteen club members entered this year’s contest.  Images were entered in four categories: Landscape, Nature, Creative, and People. Winners were selected by two professional photographers, and the winning images were announced at an Awards Gala on October 9, held at the Elk Park Meadows Lodge. During the evening, members had a chance to view all the images entered in the contest. The top images in each category are shown below. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version of each image.

In the Landscape category, first place went to Chris Roebuck, for Climb Higher. Andy Butler received Second Place for Deadhorse Dawn, and Third Place was awarded to Bill Milner for Grand Canyon. Pagosa Fall, by Fred Guthrie, received Honorable Mention.

Winner in the Nature category was Dave Anderson, for Sunflower. Chris Roebuck received second for his image Bighorn, and Bill Milner was awarded Third for Rock Wall. Three images were awarded Honorable Mention: Lunch, by Dave Anderson, The Look, by Andy Butler and Pagosa Flower, by Fred Guthrie.

In the category for Creative images, Bill Milner received First Place for his image Rodeo Paint. The Second Place image was Aspen Haze, by Andy Butler and Third was awarded to Bill Milner for Thousand Island Paint. Three images tied for Honorable Mention: Pagosa Fly by Fred Guthrie, Turquoise Crack, by Liz Mockbee and Twilight Ice, by Dave Anderson.

Bill Milner’s image Funny Mbazi was winner in the People class. Second prize was awarded to Liz Mockbee for Slot Canyon Explorer, and Third went to Chris Roebuck for Magic of Fire-Controlled Burn. Bill Milner also received Honorable Mention for his portrait Lachu Maya Rai.

Congratulations to the all the winners! Thanks to everyone who entered the contest, the contest committee, judges and everyone who helped make our 2019 Digital Photo Contest a success!

“Wild Orchid Man” Screening for July Photography Club Meeting

Tasmanian Devil
Tasmanian Devil, © Darryl Saffer

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will meet at 6 pm, July 10, at The Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis Street. Our speaker this month will be Darryl Saffer, presenting his film The Wild Orchid Man In The Devil’s Realm . 

Join us for socializing at 6 pm, followed by a brief business meeting and presentation at 6:30 pm. Anyone interested in improving their photography is invited to attend, whether a novice or experienced photographer.  Club members may bring up to 10 photos on a thumb drive to share with the group after the presentation, if time permits. 

The Wild Orchid Man In The Devil’s Realm is the fifth film in the Wild Orchid Man series. The series is sponsored by the Sarasota Orchid Society as part of their education program. The films are travelogues focusing on the flora and fauna in the ecosystems that support rare and exotic orchids.  Locations for the films have ranged from the swamps of Florida to the tundra of Manitoba and from the Peruvian Andes to the island of Tasmania.

In making The Wild Orchid Man In The Devil’s Realm, world renowned orchid taxonomist and artist Stig Dalström and award-winning filmmaker and composer Darryl Saffer traveled to the Australian island of Tasmania seeking the strange plants and legendary animals that inhabit this land. While stunningly beautiful, this land has a dark and tortured past. It is now striving towards a more enlightened cultural and environmental future.

Darryl Saffer is a filmmaker/photographer/composer and was the audio/video producer for Mind Magic Productions (RMC Interactive). There, he composed the soundtrack and edited the video (live action and animation) for the Jane  Goodall environmental adventure CD-ROM Jubilee’s Journey. Darryl studied and taught classical composition with the goal of composing film music. He became so interested in the process of filmmaking the he began shooting his own films of his favorite subject – nature.

His camera has focused on such diverse subjects as orcas off the coast of Vancouver Island, public housing in Florida and cosmic theory. Darryl documented a botanical expedition in the cloud forest of Venezuela, produced the CD-ROM Tales Of Titans – The Amorphophallus titanum in North America and his film, Myakka River State Park is part of the permanent exhibit at the South Florida Museum.  Saffer produced, photographed and edited the Education Channel’s award-winning programs for the Florida Field Journal and is now shooting and editing episodes of The Field Journal in Colorado. 

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club promotes educational, social and fun interactions between all who enjoy making and viewing great photography.  Membership is just $25/calendar year for individuals and $35 for families. To join or renew, fill in the application form and mail it with a check for your dues to the address shown on the form, or bring it to one of our meetings. For more information about the club, see our website at

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