Southwest Metro Photo Contest

Photo Contest: Eden Prairie’s Christine Neff Kojetin Captures Autumn at Parley Lake Winery and Deardorff Orchard in Waconia

Photos by Eden Prairie’s Christine Neff Kojetin have graced our pages many times in the past, illuminating some of Minnesota’s most striking landscapes and scenery. This shot taken at Deardorff Orchards and Vineyards highlights the serenity of Minnesota’s transition to winter.

Making a trip to Parley Lake Winery and Deardorff Orchards has become a family tradition for Neff Kojetin and her family. The winery and apple orchard has become one of their favorite places, she says.

Photo Contest: Chaska’s David Schmidt Captures a Moment at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

On a typical afternoon, David Schmidt can be found blazing one of many trails near his Chaska home. One particular morning in late 2014, he was running along one of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s trails when he decided to stop for a moment.

Schmidt says he often takes time during his runs to pause and listen to the sounds of nature. He felt there was something compelling about what he was seeing and hearing. “It had just snowed and there was no one else around,” Schmidt says. “It was relaxing, really serene.”

Photo contest winner: Fire & Ice by Christine Neff Kojetin

Eden Prairie’s Christine Neff Kojetin captures a fiery performance at last year’s Ice Castle in Miller Park in Eden Prairie.

Last year, winter enthusiasts flocked to Eden Prairie to explore the Ice Castle at Miller Park. There was plenty of opportunity for photos, especially during the performances of “Insphyre,” featuring a group of fire-wielding entertainers who were regular fixtures at the Ice Castle.

However, few photos capture the intimacy and contrast that photographer Christine Neff Kojetin was able to do one night in March.

Southwest Metro 2015: Photo Contest Winners

The 2015 Southwest Metro photo contest has come to a close and the results are in! Many thanks to our loyal readers who participate in the photo contest by submitting their beautiful snapshots of our community, and by voting online for the Reader's Choice award.

The contest includes two different awards:

Deb Zeller Shows the Beauty of Deer Run

When it comes to snapping a great photo, there’s little that can deter Deb Zeller, a Victoria artist by trade and photographer by hobby. She shot “The Walk Along Deer Run 10th Tee Box with Chevalle in the Background” in the midst of last year’s long winter. “It was a beautiful day, and I was experimenting with my new fisheye lens,” she explains, referencing the curved piece she attaches to her Nikon D7000. It allows Zeller to capture photographs that allow for peripheral views on either side of the central focus.

Southwest Metro Photo Contest Winner Gretchen Docter

When 16-year Eden Prairie resident Gretchen Docter snapped this photo of her dog, Bear, on the southwest side of Bryant Lake one February morning in 2013, she didn’t realize she’d be earning a place in Southwest Metro Photo Contest history. She was merely intent on capturing her favorite subjects—wildlife and landscapes.

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