Local photographer a finalist for state award

Local photographer a finalist for state award
Leslie Meyer’s captured the first snow of the year on camera. Now her photograph “Early Morning on the Farm” is up for Missouri Department of Natural Resources title. [Leslie Meyer]
Dave Faries

Early morning on the farm generally involves some form of physical labor. For Leslie Meyer, however, it’s the title she gave to a photograph that is in the running for a statewide award.

The Benton City resident’s “Early Morning on the Farm” depicts a warm glow sifting through the dreary gray of a winter dawn. The eye is drawn from the stubble of a past harvest through the present – marked by a silo rising from the fog – to the promise of the coming day.

“It was the first snowfall of this year, which is always pretty,” Meyer said. “When I took my children into school that morning, I noticed this gorgeous fog that covered the horizon. So, I ran home, grabbed my Nikon and headed back up the gravel road, stopping to take frame after frame of different scenes that stood out.”

The one she selected for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Photo Contest was her favorite from that morning’s shooting spree. The image was selected by a panel of judges as a finalist in the Natural Resources category. More than 600 images were submitted in three categories, all highlighting the state’s varied landscape. In addition to Natural Resources, the judging categories included Unique Places and People Enjoying the Outdoors.

Fifteen finalists were selected in the latter two categories. There are 13 up for the Natural Resources award.

Judging is based on subject matter, composition, artistry, drama and technical excellence. Meyer is a veteran photographer known for family portraits, senior photos, sports and events through Leslie A Meyer Photography. She also contributes images to The Ledger.

Meyer says she enjoys nature photography and captures the outdoors through her lens as often as possible. While many photographers are drawn to scenes with brilliant color – the scarlet and bright orange hues of sunrise or sunset on a clear day, for instance – Meyer’s image showcases the appeal of nuance.

“I love how the fog illustrates the true height of the silo, the gorgeous pink of the sunrise and the various shades of blue in the snow,” she observed. “To me, it captures how even in the darkest times, we can still find and appreciate the beauty of nature that's around us.”

Meyer was elated – perhaps a bit awestruck – when she learned her photo was in the finalist pool. There is quite a bit of talent on display, so a win would be an impressive achievement. Yet she is not concerned with the outcome.

“I’m just honored to be a finalist,” Meyer said. “It’s nice to receive that validation, especially in a statewide contest such as this one.”

This is the seventh year the Department of Natural Resources has run the photo contest. Winners will be announced in December.


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