Outdoors Blog

Stunning sunset takes 1st in Playing Outdoors photo contest

The Playing Outdoors/Idaho Camera photo contest winners (grand prize, first place, second place, third place and youth) and honorable mentions will be published in Tuesday’s edition of the Idaho Statesman.

We’re unveiling the winners online over several days.

Previously: Third place, youth winner, second place


First place: Darin Hlavinka

Hlavinka, 51 of Meridian, attended a Boise Camera Club workshop at Stanley Lake in September. He was among seven or eight photographers trying to capture the smoke-infused sunset created by the Pioneer Fire.

“I was trying something new,” he said. “I was doing a vertical-pano shot. ... I stitched those five shots together. I just wanted to try something different, learn something new. It was my first attempt at that.”

The coloring — particularly in the clouds — made the photo one of Hlavinka’s favorites.

He has emphasized photography the last four years. He took a class through the New York Institute of Photography in the late 1980s but drifted away from it.

“I run for a hobby,” Hlavinka said. “I’ve been doing that for over 20 years. I’m getting to the point where I can’t hardly do that anymore, so I had to find a new hobby. This is my new hobby.”

Judge’s take

“This picture just stood right out to me. I love the color in it. It just reflects what happened this summer. We had a lot of smoke. Beautiful reflections in the water. The technical aspects are sharp, very sharp, and not overdone, but perfect. And the composition is a beautiful panorama and it has a heck of a lot of impact.” — Max Burke, 30-year member of the Photographic Society of America

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