Spooky fog photographed over a Winfield farm captured the grand prize for a 54-year-old Winfield man in this year's sixth annual Carroll County Sun Amateur Photo Contest.
The color photograph, taken by Thomas E. Shamberger, also received first place in the scenes category for the largest share of the $1,400 in prizes.
By a unanimous decision, the judges chose his picture over the 122 entries submitted by county shutterbugs this year.
"A haunting and almost eerie mood is created by the early morning mist," the judges said. "Everything came together for the photographer -- light, weather, the color of the sky -- and was captured in a magical moment."
Shamberger has earned $350 in savings bonds for his efforts, $200 for the grand prize and $150 for the first-place citation.
The number of entries again increased this year -- up 15 from the 107 submitted last year. Unfortunately, however, five entries were disqualified since they were smaller than the 4-by-6-inch size requirement.
First-, second-and third-place winners, along with an honorable mention, were identified in each of the four categories: scenes, animals, people and youths under age 16.
In addition to the $200 grand prize bond, first-place entries receive $150, second-place winners receive $100 and third-place citations receive $50.
Judges for this year's contest were Suburban Editions Photo Editor Linda White, Carroll County Sun Assistant Editor Mark Fleming and Carroll County Sun Editor Edward H. Shur.
Here's a close-up look at the other shots in our photo album: *Scenes, second place -- Edward E. Bloom, 45, of Mount Airy, won for his color shot of a barn scene off of Gillis Road.
"This pastoral, rural scene follows practically all the classic rules of composition," said the judges of the photo taken last July.
*Scenes, third place -- Joanne P. Bayline, 27, of New Windsor, was recognized for her misty morning photo captured last fall in the valley.
"Although this print was slightly dark, a tranquil feeling is evoked by the use of subtle color," the judges said.
*Scenes, honorable mention -- Pamela D. Sorensen, a 35-year-old Sykesville resident, caught the morning sunshine through a tree in her front yard for this recognition.
Of the photo shot in early June, the judges said, "An interesting use of light -- sometimes breaking the rules pays off."
*Animals, first place -- "Let Me Out," by 58-year-old Grace Shriver of Westminster, captured the plaintive look of a cow peering through a barn window.
"Well-composed, well-lighted and well-framed," said the judges. "The photo shows not only the animal, but its environment."
*Animals, second place -- Marlon W. Smith, 24, of Westminster, shot this picture of a mother duck with her babies at the Westminster Community Pond in June 1989.
"A wonderful moment as the mother duck tries to corral the last of her brood," the judges said.
*Animals, third place -- Susan M. Klingenberg, 19, of Hampstead, photographed this kitten sitting in the snow in December 1989.
"Contrast makes the shot," said the judges. "A technically well-executed photograph."
Klingenberg received an honorable mention last year for her shot of a kitten climbing in a bunch of bushes.
*Animals, honorable mention -- Finksburg resident Irene M. vandenBerg, 33, caught two English pointers relaxing last June in this picture.
"A nice portrait," said the judges of "Casey and Bie." "The shot evokes a warm and friendly feeling."
*People, first place -- This portrait of a country girl drinking a '90s Coke was shot by Carolee D. Giles, 18, at the Carroll County Agricultural Center last July.
The judges said they liked the effective use of black and white in the Westminster resident's photograph.
"The subject matter (a soft-drink bottle contrasting with the old-time buggies) makes this picture a winner," they said.
*People, second place -- Lois A. McGinnis, 31, of Westminster, caught this holiday photo of a girl carving out a pumpkin last fall.
"A nice, unposed portrait of a child engrossed in scooping out her Halloween pumpkin," the judges said. "A good use of color."
*People, third place -- "Fun Time," by Robert H. Schlottenmeier, 61, captures a child playing last October in her back yard.
"Effective framing makes this portrait," said the judges of the Finksburg resident's work.
*People, honorable mention -- Karen A. Duncan of Sykesville photographed this pair at her home last May.
"The low angle makes for a nice perspective on a boy and his dog," said the judges of the young man hugging his cocker spaniel.
Duncan received second place in 1985 for her people shot of two boys on a ride at the Sykesville firefighters' carnival.
*Youth, first place -- Kelly D. Owens, 16, of New Windsor, shot this picture of Derek Pollard last November.
"Technically well-executed, it is sharp and well-lighted," the judges said. "A nice moment showing the young child's discovery of the piano."
*Youth, second place -- Westminster resident Lisa E. Wagner took this picture of a mill near Taneytown in July 1989.
"A lovely rural scene, well-composed and executed," said the judges of the 12-year-old's photograph.
*Youth, third place -- A 6-month-old dalmatian named Spectacular Gem comprises Hampstead resident Jason D. Well's photograph shot last June.
Of the 9-year-old's photograph the judges said, "A spotted dog and a spotted ball -- an interesting juxtaposition."
*Youth, honorable mention -- Jeff A. Williams, 13, of Manchester, photographed this "Country Postcard" last March.
"A nice scenic with lovely light," the judges said. "However, it would have worked better as a horizontal photograph."
The judges said they were pleased with the quality of entries this year and look forward to an even bigger contest next summer.