Hoax photo contest produces fascinating pictures

Normally, it's not a good idea to fool around with photographs, such as digitally enhancing the pictures to include monsters, dinosaurs or spiders.

But that's exactly what

Sequim students were encouraged to do as part of a Hoax Photo Contest sponsored by the Sequim Library.

About 20 young people stepped up to the challenge of snapping a photo somewhere in Sequim and enhancing it to reflect a Halloween theme.

Library patrons were invited to vote for the top three photos based on the imagination the photographers used. The winners were recognized and awarded their prizes last week by Sequim's mayor, Laura Dubois.

First-place winner Laura Garrison, a homeschooled 13-year-old, took a photo at Railroad Bridge Park and added an image of a monster under the bridge and a smaller image of a sasquatch coming off the bridge.

Laura was not sharing any secrets as to how she came up with the idea or how she managed to make the photo look so realistic.

She did say she was going to enjoy the top prize of an MP3 player, however.

Third place went to team Hayden Crane, 9, and Christian Diaz, 10, both students at Greywolf Elementary School.

The two worked together to create a photo of Lake Crescent with a flock of spiders flying over the water.

Again, the two were pretty quiet about their project. Hayden did say he thought the photo looked a bit scary. Hayden and Christian will share a gift certificate to The Buzz and already were trying to decide what flavor ice cream they might want.

Jed Mooney was the second-place winner but he was out of town when the awards were handed out. Jed's photo featured a dinosaur grazing in a hay field, something you don't see every day in Sequim. Jed's prize was a digital camera, which means there might be a few more creatures found in fields in and around Sequim.

The contest, sponsored by the library and the Friends of the Sequim Library, was part of national Teen Read Week. Held the week of Oct. 12-18 this year, Teen Read Week is a national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The idea behind the initiative is to read for the fun of it. Using that, local libraries are encouraged each year to come up with a creative project for teens in their community.

According to Keitha Owen, branch manager of the Sequim Library, the digitally enhanced photo contest idea came from Loren Corder, reference librarian and schools coordinator.

"It was a fun project and we congratulate the winners and their parents," Corder said at the awards ceremony.

As for next year's project, Corder is thinking about that.

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