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Camera Ready

Nature operates on its own schedule but these photo contest winners were waiting

3rd place, landscape

3rd place, landscape "Seascape" by Louis Lower

Some photographers went for the big picture and others focused on the small stuff, but a common trait among winners of the Pelican Island Preservation Society’s photo contest was patience.  

Nathan Adams was on his daily walk combing the beach for something to shoot when he noticed the interesting way a wave kicked up over a tiny shell. So he readied his camera — and waited. An hour later, he got the shot that would become the contest’s best-in-show winner, which he called “Seeking Shelter.” Ted Schultz, winner of first place in the wildlife category, is another photographer who visits the waterfront every day, camera in hand. “I keep watching and watching until some action happens,” he says. So when a dolphin with a fish-eating grin jumped out of the water in pursuit of a delicious airborne snook, Schultz snapped. Thanks to the quick reflexes of both photographer and subject, the moment — and the snook — was captured. 

The photo contest raises funds for the Pelican Island Preservation Society, which supports Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and other national refuges in their efforts to conserve habitat and wildlife. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for manatee, mangroves and salt marshes and is home to some of the healthiest sea grass in the Indian River Lagoon. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which provides nesting beaches for 15,000 to 30,000 sea turtles annually, is co-managed by the Pelican Island Refuge complex.