The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has announced the winners of the ninth annual Uniquely Alleghany! calendar photo contest.
Over 100 entries were received from local photographers. Locals, visitors, amateurs and professionals were invited to enter the contest.
Each photographer was permitted to enter up to seven images, and all entries were eligible for the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize entry is included on the cover with a small bio about the photographer who received a cash award.
“With 2020 being such a challenging year for most, it still gave area photographers and residents a chance to get outdoors and take some amazing photos of the Alleghany Highlands,” said Josh Taylor, photo contest coordinator for the chamber.
“We not only use these images in our annual calendar but in other promotional aspects such as the Alleghany Highlands Visitor Guide, the Alleghany Living, ads in major magazines and much more,” Taylor added. “You can be a photographer or just someone who enjoys getting outside and taking photos of scenic areas with an average camera, we welcome everyone to participate.”
The winners were announced Thursday, Nov. 12 at the Alleghany Highlands Visitors Center.
Darren Seay was again named the Grand Prize winner with his image entitled “Falling Spring After the Storm”, an image of the Falling Spring falls with a colorful sunset in the background.
Darren has been a resident of Allghany Highlands his entire life. He grew up in South Covington where he enjoyed the great outdoors. His dad, Bert, gave him a small 35mm camera he got from the mill as a safety prize.
It was just a simple little camera, nothing fancy. Darren would take it with him on his many outdoor adventures when he was a teenager.
He later bought a better 35mm camera and started doing some wildlife photography. When the digital age came, Darren bought a Pentax digital SLR camera and a good landscape lens.
Digital really got him hooked on photography and opened a whole new world for him.
He has met a lot of great photographers and learned many new things in the recent years. Most of all, he has some awesome Facebook friends and family who keep him going with their “likes” and comments.
Darren works at WestRock and lives in Covington with his wife Pam and his son Brandon.
The following photographers won the 12 monthly spots: Chuck Almarez, Tripp Curry, Gavin Dressler, Donna Rhodes and Angie Hinebaugh, one image each; Darren Seay and Beverly Bowers, two images each; and Jada Callender, three images.
With many incredible photos submitted, thumbnail images within each month were again included to further show what makes the Alleghany Highlands Uniquely Alleghany!
These thumbnails are from photographers Jada Callender, Beverly Bowers and Tripp Curry, one image each; Gavin Dressler, Angie Hinebaugh and Darren Seay, two images each; and Bonnie Keyser, three images.
Each year, the Chamber also picks an image to use for its Christmas card. This year the honor went to Angie Hinebaugh for a photo of a snow-covered Cowpasture River with a scenic mountain backdrop.
“The calendars have been very popular the past eight years and make great Christmas gifts,” said Teresa Hammond, executive director of the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. “The 2021 calendar is printed and ready to be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce office/Visitors Center at Mallow Mall/Highland Centre — 110 Mall Road in Covington.
“We thank our community for their continued support of this project,” she added.
The calendars sell for $10 each and can be shipped with an additional shipping and handling fee.
Please call the Chamber at 962-2178 if you would like to have your calendars shipped.
“Don’t forget to start taking photos now for next years’ contest,” Taylor said. “The Alleghany Highlands is a four season destination and we enjoy having them all represented in the calendar.”
GRAND PRIZE PHOTOGRAPH — This image of Falling Springs falls by photographer Darren Seay was the grand prize winner in the ninth annual Uniquely Allleghany! calendar photo contest, sponsored by the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. The photo is featured on the cover of 2021 calendar. (Photo Courtesy Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism)
WINNERS — The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism has announced the winners of its ninth annual Uniquely Alleghany! calendar photo contest. Winners were announced during a ceremony held Thursday, Nov. 12. Winners include, front row from left: Angie Hinebaugh; Beverly Bowers; Bonnie Keyser; Chuck Almarez. Back row: Josh Taylor, photo contest coordinator; Tripp Curry; Darren Seay, Grand Prize winner; Jada Callender; Gavin Dressler. Not pictured: Donna Rhodes. (Photo Courtesy Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism)