Tim Alms of Red Wing is the winner of The Catholic Spirit’s latest photo contest for his colorful picture of St. Columbkill church in Belle Creek. [Interestingly, St. Columbkill is one of the parishes in the archdiocese selcted by the Archdiocesan Plan for merger into nearby Holy Trinity parish].
Judges from The Catholic Spirit photo staff proclaimed Alms’ shot “clearly a winner” among 154 entries in the “Minnesota’s Most Photogenic Catholic Church” photo contest, sponsored by Lifetouch, producers of parish pictorial directories. Alms wins the $100 top prize.
The judges noted, “This photo incorporates a beautiful blue sky and white puffy clouds against the warm-colored brick of this gorgeous church. A simple composition, yet very effective. Taken at exactly the right time of day, it looks like a postcard. Well done!”
When he entered this photograph, Alms noted, “I was married in this church 22 years ago. We have just found today that the church will be closing and merged with Holy Trinity in Goodhue. This was the 150th anniversary of the church; very bittersweet.”
Second place went to Nick Werner of Hastings for his aerial photo of St. John the Baptist church in Vermillion, where he said he’s been a member since he was born.
The judges said, “This aerial view is unique, creative and dramatic. The beauty of this church really stands out against the green foliage, with a dark vignette adding a nice touch and enhancing the view of the church.”
Werner pointed out that he digitally enhanced the shot “to make it look as if it were a painting of the church.” His efforts earned the second-place prize money, $50.
“I was able to capture this image by going flying with my uncle on a mid-summer night around 7 p.m.,” Werner explained. “I caught this image quickly since we really couldn’t stop, and just love how it turned out.”
Two third-place winners
There was a tie for third place, with the $25 prize going to both entrants.
While a number of photographers sent in photos of St. Mary church in New Trier, judges said the best was by Brenda Beissel of Hastings. They commented: “This simple, yet effective composition captures the beauty of this rural church, highly visible to those who drive through New Trier. The positioning of the elegant front of the church and the surrounding elements of trees, sky and clouds is wonderfully done. And, the lighting makes the colors rich and vibrant.”
Also a third-place winner was Mary Spychala of Rice for her photo of St. Patrick church in rural Sauk Rapids in Minden Township in the St. Cloud diocese.
“Another well-done aerial view,” the judges said. “This photo includes the broad, rural landscape that surrounds the church. Its simple, unspoiled beauty makes you want to pay this church a visit.”
Spychala’s entry explained that the shot came about because of more than a bit of luck.
“My grandmother, Caroline Neumann, was married (at St. Patrick) and is buried in the cemetery. My parents, Rose and Al Jackels, were married here. I took this picture from a hot air balloon ride that I won in a contest. I use a 35mm zoom camera. This was very exciting as in a balloon ride you go where the wind takes you, so to be where we spent summers as children and my mother grew up was a very happy day.”
All 154 entries can be viewed on TheCatholicSpirit.com HERE.
In addition, the best of the entries will be showcased on the web soon in a multimedia production, also on TheCatholicSpirit.com. A photo of the winner and a Lifetouch representative will appear in the Dec. issue.