Friday, November 21, 2003

Photo brings out splendor of lit-up river, Tall Stacks

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Roger Backer used his 4x5 view camera to make the winning Light Up photo at Tall Stacks.
(Tony Jones photo)
Roger Backer describes his dabbling in photography as "a hobby that's getting out of control."

But it does have rewards - like the $1,000 award the 45-year-old Bethel resident won for one of his photographs in the Light Up Cincinnati photo contest.

Backer captured first place in the amateur category with a photo of the Cincinnati riverfront on Oct. 16 during the Tall Stacks Music, Art & Heritage Festival. His prize-winning photo also has been selected as the holiday card for the office of Cincinnati City Manager Valerie Lemmie.

Backer, a machinist, got hooked on photography about 15 years ago. He was deer hunting when a black bear emerged from the woods. Backer used his small pocket camera to snap what he thought would be a great photo. But for some reason, Backer said, the photos didn't come out. Disappointed and not wanting to miss another such opportunity, he upgraded to a 35mm camera and has been snapping photos regularly ever since. His winning Light Up photo was taken with a 4x5 view camera from Newport.

The past two years Backer won in WEBN radio's fireworks photo competition, and eight years ago he was a winner in the Light Up contest.

J. Miles Wolf won the $1,000 first prize in the professional category for a bluish-purple panorama of the Cincinnati riverfront.

David Williams' photo of fireworks over Tall Stacks from Newport earned second place in the professional category. Tim Zimmer's view of Light Up from Devou Park in Covington captured second place in the amateur category. Both received a $500 prize.

Light Up Cincinnati showcases the "Midwest's most majestic skyline." The contest was presented by CincyTechUSA, the high-tech growth initiative at the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce.

Raymond L. Buse II, the chamber's manager of public relations, said Light Up photo contests are held when there is an event that "brightens up the skyline."


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