A couple of months ago, I interviewed a terrific young local man, Barrett Hedges, who is a nature photographer. Barrett had a photo entered in an Energizer contest and was chosen as a finalist for his picture of a bear. Well…..drumroll please…..his photo was chosen as the Grand Prize winner! Here are the deets about this amazing guy and his amazing picture. Read about him in this press release excerpt, then go see the winning photo for yourself!
TENNESSEE man NAMED GRAND PRIZE WINNER
IN ENERGIZER ULTIMATE PHOTO CONTEST
Young Photographer to receive “Ultimate” Prize from National Geographic and Energizer
ST. LOUIS (Nov. 4, 2010) – At age 24, Barrett Hedges from Tullahoma, Tenn., can now count himself among the ranks of internationally-acclaimed photographers. In December, Hedges will see his photo appear in the pages of National Geographic magazine in an ad for Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries. Hedges’ photo beat out more than 14,000 other entries to take the top spot in the 2010 Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest with National Geographic. In addition to seeing his photo published, Hedges’ “ultimate” prize also includes a 9-day National Geographic Expeditions sailing trip for two to the Greek Isles.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Hedges. “Being selected as the winner of the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest is a huge step forward in pursuing my passion for photography.”
In April, Energizer and National Geographic launched the third annual Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest, which brings together the world’s premier resource for photojournalism with the company that makes the world’s longest-lasting AA and AAA batteries for digital cameras and other high-tech devices. Aspiring photographers were asked to submit an entry in one of six thematic categories: animals/wildlife, nature, travel, people/cultures, weather and – a brand new category for 2010 – action/energy.
National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson returned for the third year to serve as the contest judge. Richardson reviewed the 14,000 entries, and in August he named two Category Finalists in each of the six categories. Then, he went back and re-examined the 12 finalist photos and selected Hedges photo of a charging brown bear, submitted in the action/energy category, as the Grand Prize Winner.
“What a tough decision! Every one of the 12 finalists is worthy of honor, and every one could have been the winner,” said Richardson. “But after hours of pondering and weighing the decision, I kept coming back to that great Brown bear, charging straight at us with all the energy of a freight train. Face to face with a force of nature, the image carries us into another world, at once frightening and magnificent.”
Hedges has a history with wildlife photography. After graduating from college in 2008, he went to work with national parks in Alaska, where he enjoyed getting the chance to photograph bears in their natural environment.
“When photographing wildlife, you never know what each day will bring,” said Hedges. “That unknown drives me to go out and take pictures day after day.”
For additional information on the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest and to see Hedges’ photo along with the finalist photos, www.nationalgeographic.com/lithium .