“I was thrilled that I won,” said McCary, who also garnered third place for a photograph of Kennedy gravestones at Friendship Cemetery. “I love coming to Cartersville to take pictures. It’s a beautiful town. It’s got a lot of Americana from different eras, like Red Top Mountain and Lake Allatoona kind of remind me of the ’50s. Then you still have the old iron bridges standing from the ’30s and the furnace from the Civil War and things like that. It’s just a beautiful place to come take pictures. It almost has everything.”
A resident of Rome, McCary captured the sunrise image with a digital camera about 6:30 a.m. on May 26.
“I like taking pictures around lakes, and I had been looking for a place around Lake Allatoona for a while and that just seemed like a perfect spot,” he said. “It had the island over there on the left and then the bridge over on the right to frame the shot in and then the rocks in the foreground to give it a little bit of interest.”
Drawing 88 image submissions, the contest was judged by Kathy Lyles, marketing chairwoman for CVB Board of Directors; Neil McGahee, celebrated photojournalist and Oskar Barnack Award winner; and Connie Salter, Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development information specialist.
“The lake is probably our single biggest attraction in terms of numbers of people [visiting] that area,” said Regina Wheeler, deputy director for the local CVB. “But they liked how he had chosen to kind of frame out the photograph. ... The sun was just uniquely framed right in the center and it got the rays of the sun on the horizon. So I would say that’s probably what set it apart [from the other] ... great images.”
Along with McCary’s images, the contest recognized four other photographers: Nancy Floyd, second place for Duck Derby image; Charity Chastain, People’s Choice for sepia photograph “In the Valley;” Clara Williams, honorable mention for a close-up image of spinning at Civil War Comes Alive!; and Robbie Hicks, honorable mention for her sunflower photograph, “Boot Scoot’n Bumble Bee.” Along with certificates, some of the awards received Visa gift cards in the amounts of $100 for first place, $50 for second, $25 for third and $25 for People’s Choice.
“The purpose [of the contest] was to capture new and fresh images of our local area and to be able to use those in marketing efforts of the CVB, which could include but would not be limited to having them portrayed here in our Visitor’s Center on our screens out front, in brochures and in websites, Facebook, of course, and then also sending them to other publications and people who write feature articles and things like that on us for use to support what they’re writing,” Wheeler said. “So they could definitely be printed nationally. So it’s quite an honor, and there’s a lot of uses.”
To view all of the contest’s top images, visit the CVB’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/VisitCartersville.