Wilkin County 4-H youth wins statewide photography contest

Melea Carter's photograph of a cloud being caught in a jar. Her photo, along with one other Minnesota youth, was chosen to win in the Minnesota 4-H Photography Scavenger Hunt contest among over 340 participants. 

Even though there is no Wilkin County Fair this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the county’s 4-H extension is being creative to give local youth safe, at-home activities.

Across the state, over 340 Minnesota youth 4-Hers entered their photographs in June’s 4-H Photography Scavenger Hunt. Two winners were chosen: one youth from Douglas County and Melea Carter, 14, from Wilkin County.

Carter, who will be a ninth grader this coming school year at Campbell-Tintah, put pillow stuffing in a jar and captured a photo as if she was catching a cloud in the jar.

“I converted a couple of different ideas into that,” Carter said. “That was the photo that if I was going to win, I probably would have picked that one to win.”

Youth participants were able to use their creativity and imagination by finding ways to take interesting photographs of the 25 items listed.

“She is a very creative girl. She has not always been into photography but she’s always crafting and creating something,” Stephanie Carter, Carter’s mom, said. “(4-H) gives her a chance to do something that she wouldn’t otherwise do and she gets to see the fruits of her creativity.”

Melea Carter enjoys being a 4-H member and has been involved in the club for five years. Typically the summers mean being involved in the Wilkin County Fair, she said this summer is going to be somewhat of a break.

“My favorite part of being in 4-H is that I like doing service projects and stuff for the fair,” Melea Carter said. “The service project is where we do stuff for the community like picking up stuff or planting flowers around the communities.”

The 4-Hers were given a list of 25 items to photograph as many as they can such as a sign of spring, favorite meal and a closeup of a flower. Carter chose to photograph and submit all 25 items.

“The photographs were varied and gave the photographer the opportunity to use their imagination when taking them,” said Monique Stelzer, University of Minnesota Wilkin County Extension educator.

The two participants who captured the most creative and unique photograph received a $25 gift card for Shutterfly. Everyone that participated in the scavenger hunt had their names put into a random drawing for a gift card of $10 for Shutterfly and 15 randomly drawn members were chosen.

The Minnesota 4-H Photography is now holding an Elementary Photo Contest which will be held from July 1-15. The 4-H youth members will be submitting their best three images that highlight one of the following: light, color, composition, leading lines, depth of field and shutter speed.

To view the slideshow of past and future photo contests, visit the Minnesota 4-H Photography Facebook page.

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