Photo contest award winners get dirty

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The winners of the Saugerties Public Library’s photography competition, titled “Down and Dirty,” have one thing in common: all carry a camera wherever they go.

“My camera is small, and it fits right in my pocket,” said first place winner Annie Hoffstatter. “It’s great to work with a digital camera, because film would be too expensive.” Her camera is a small Canon.

The library generally holds two competitions a year—one summer theme and one winter theme, said interim library director Tiffany Lydecker. The first place winner receives a $25 gift certificate to a local business; this season’s is to the Partition Street Wine Shop. The competition drew approximately 25 entries from 14 different photographers. Each photographer may enter two pictures, but not all do, she said. Lydecker is looking for suggestions for this winter’s competition, and asked that members of the public with suggestions call her at 246-4317.

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Hoffstatter described the shoot for her prize-winning photo. “I had the camera on the ground, and since the camera doesn’t have a viewfinder, I took pictures from a few different angles, then played them back on the camera,” she said.

On her way home from the library recently, she found a flock of turkeys on her driveway, and got another great shot, she said.

Hoffstatter takes pictures primarily for her own interest and pleasure, she said, though she uses her pictures for personalized greeting cards for the major holidays, family events and photo contests.

Hoffstatter took early retirement from the Postal Service after 23 years of working in post offices in Mount Marion, Kingston and other local offices.

Elaine Sapunarich earned an honorable mention for her shot of Canada geese on West Camp Rd. “I didn’t have a picture for the contest, but I had my camera with me and when I saw these geese, I knew this fit the theme.”

A favorite subject is flowers, Sapunarich said. She takes them through the year, in the various seasons. “I have a frame that holds three pictures, and I change them regularly,” she said. “I also give photos as gifts, and take photos when the family gets together.”

While Sapunarich’s daughter is fully grown, she has hundreds of pictures of her childhood, Sapunarich said.

Sapunarich is a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid, and as it turned out, she was at work when the library held its awards reception.

Keith Kopycinski’s two children are involved in sports, and the camera records their games, including all the team members. At the end of the season, “I usually put together a slide show, and put them on a disk and give them to the kids,” he said. He uses a Canon Rebel, and the winning picture was taken with a 70-300 mm lens. “It’s a great camera, but I think a Nikon or any camera by a major manufacturer will take good pictures,” he said.

The subject of Kopycinski’s library entry picture, which earned an honorable mention, is his son, Nick, sliding into second base in a baseball game. He was 16 at the time; he’s 19 now.

Sports are a big part of their family; in addition to baseball, Nick plays soccer. Kopycinski’s 13-year-old daughter plays softball and volleyball, and Kopycinski himself played football, basketball, soccer and hockey in his youth. Don’t look for his name in the Saugerties High School record book; he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.

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