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Picture this: Winning photo exhibition honours city’s centennial

Cathy Dobson Charlene Maginn grew up in Corunna but never went to see the sailboats leave for the annual Mackinac Race until two years ago.
Charlene Maginn’s grandchildren admire their grandma’s winning photo on display at the Lambton Mall. From left is Brianna Krumholtz-Daw, 8, Isaiah Blake, 3, and Angelica Taylor, 12. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

Charlene Maginn grew up in Corunna but never went to see the sailboats leave for the annual Mackinac Race until two years ago.

When she finally did she was bowled over by the majesty of hundreds of boaters making their way under the Blue Water Bridge to the starting line in Lake Huron.

As always, she had her camera with her.

“They say if you’re a photographer, look ahead and look behind,” she said. “That’s what I did and I saw all the boats coming under the bridge to join the others in the lake.”

She snapped for half an hour with her Nikon D7000 and fisheye lens, which resulted in a photo with dozens of yachts maneuvering the brilliant blue waters to Lake Huron.

The photo was one of 15 winners chosen in a competition to celebrate Sarnia’s 100th anniversary, now on display at Lambton Mall.

Like the others, Maginn’s image is blown up to a huge five-foot by seven-foot size. Together they are a montage of everything Sarnian, reflecting our city’s beaches, public art gallery, ties to the railway, Chemical Valley, the harbour and French fries under the bridge.

The Blue Water Bridge figures in three of the 15 photos.

“It’s our tribute to the centennial year,” said Lambton Mall’s Alex Kohut. “We knew there was a lot of talent out there, as well as a lot of beauty.”

The contest attracted about 175 entries, far outstripping the organizer’s expectations.

Some submissions were outstanding photographs but didn’t fit the contest’s criteria, which required them to capable of being blown up for the wall display, Kohut said.

The 15 winners, taken by 12 local professional and amateur photographers, were unveiled last week and will be exhibited for several years.

Three of the 12 photographers, including Jayne Primeau, Daniel J. Bellyk and Joe Brander, each had two winning entries. The other winners included Darren Metcalfe, Greg Drope, Rhonda Sutherland, Laura McLean, Crystal Rickard, Danielle Cooper, Alfonse Vanhooste, Tyler Branch and Maginn.

“I’ve been taking photos for 30 years and this is the first time I’ve won a competition, although I’ve been recognized by National Geographic,” said Maginn, who attended the unveiling with her husband, daughter and grandchildren.

“This is really rewarding.”

Apart from seeing their work on public display, each winner received $100 from the mall.

The Arts Journal highlights cultural activities of all kinds in Sarnia.  Got an idea?  Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.

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