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September 16, 2013

Annual Oklahoma Tree Photo Contest growing

NORMAN — Photographer Charrie Shockey loves her art. Shockey is especially fond of taking nature photographs. That passion led her to enter the Annual Oklahoma Tree Photo Contest put on by the Norman Park Foundation.

“It was my first year to enter any photography contest,” Shockey said. “I was flabbergasted to win first place for black and white.”

The contest is a relatively lucrative one, with $3,000 in cash prizes awarded. First prize wins $500, 2nd prize $150 and 3rd prize $100. Photographers may enter three pictures for the entry fee of $25 in four categories: Professional Color, Professional Black and White, Amateur Color and Amateur Black and White.

An independent panel of judges determines prize winners.

For Shockey, creating photographic art is about bringing joy to herself and others. She said she enjoys the calm and peace of landscape. Shockey lives in Ardmore and has been a professional photographer for the past five years. She has been a photographer for 10 years.

Last year, Shockey also won the cover of the 2013 Oklahoma Living Calendar with a wildflower photo of a wildflower — Antelope Horns.

“Recognition helps you do better the next time around,” Shockey said. “You’re always trying to better yourself. If you get a win, it justifies what you do.”

Norman photographer Debra Van Swearingin has entered the annual photo contest for several years. Last year she won two prizes, second place and third place in the professional black and white category.

“I feel like color is an every day thing,” Van Swearingin said of her love for black and white photographic art. “Black and white photography gives a touch of vintage.”

One of her entries, “Road into the Unknown,” has an aged look.

“I love the nostalgic feel of images,” she said.

The tree photo contest is perfect for Van Swearingin because she shoots a lot of trees.

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