The Editors:

Northwest Dentistry congratulates all the participants in the Twelfth Annual “Art of Dentistry” Photo Exhibition at this year’s Star of the North Meeting, April 28-30. This year’s meeting offered three categories for judging: Nature, People, and Travel. The attendees at the Star of the North Meeting then voted one of the three first-place winners as “Best of Show”. Our “Gallery” again applauds the continuing growth of the exhibition and the depth of talent among our members. We would present them all if we could. 

Editor’s Note: Mr. Jay White was voted “Best of Show” for his photo “The Young and the Old”.

What’s life without a few surprises, so imagine ours when we discovered a small missing detail about “Mr.” Joseph Wolf, 2010 Best of Show winner in the Star of the North photo exhibition. “Must be a dental student,” we said. “Cool.” This year Mr. Wolf won another SON photo honor. Yup, said the SSC, he is a student. A high school student. Joe was 15 when he won Best of Show! So this year, we thought a small intro to our Gallery feature was in order, along the lines of “Meet your competition”. Hold on to your camera bags, guys. Mr. Wolf is at the door. The Editors

NWD: Does this talent run in the family?

Joseph: Yes, — my mom’s dad did a lot in college. That got her started, and she got me into it. Then came the contests. I was nine or ten when I first held a camera, and I won my first contest at ten. I got Grand Champion at the Pine City County Fair for a picture of my uncle standing at the barn door holding a pitchfork in the early morning when the harvest was just planted.

NWD: Do you have a favorite?

Joseph: My MDA Best of Show — it is all about the heart of Minnesota and its family farms and what we do up here. 

NWD: You mentioned other competitions …

Joseph: I won a Grand Champion at the Image Regional Seven-County Art Show up here — I’ve won a few times. The Pine City and Wright County fairs; the State Fair – my Best of Show went Grand Champion there. I like to see how people react to my work — what they like, and what I can improve on.

Judy (Joe’s mother):He went to Europe last year and came home with 1,500 pictures. We instill in him to be adventurous, and to explore his interests; we try to open doors for him to experience different things. Joe doesn’t brag; he’s too busy doing. He just uses a point-and-shoot camera, and he only tweaks a little, almost nothing. He will run an image in black and white, color, or sepia-tone just to see what works the best. He has “the eye”; it’s just natural. And it pays for his trips. 

NWD: Is this a potential career?

Joseph: I’d like to work for National Geographic, travel, take pictures, write articles. I’ve done some photojournalism for local papers, and I won a 4H award for one of them. So yes, it’s there.

NWD: Do you have a dream photo op?

Joseph: People and cultures all over the world, that interaction.

NWD: Were you surprised with the Best of Show?

Joseph: Yes I was surprised! Just — wow. The SSC had called my mom, but she didn’t tell me. So we walked onto the Exhibit Floor, and there it was. I love to come to Star of the North to the Keynote address; I’ve done it for the last five years.

NWD: What part of your life is this?

Joseph: Now it’s just a hobby, but it could turn into the center during or after college.

NWD: Do you study?

Joseph: Yes, we have lots of books, and I look for ideas and inspiration about every aspect. I also have two mentors: Joe McDonald in Delano, and Joe Morton on the East Coast, a friend of my mom’s through Toastmasters.

NWD: What is your favorite compliment?

Joseph: To overhear people who don’t know I’m there saying nice things, and to have people actually pay money to buy one of my pictures. But this is always going to be a part of me no matter what. 

"Great Egret Displaying on Nest"

First place, “Nature” category

David Klein, D.D.S.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

This aptly named Great Egret was photographed in St. Augustine, Florida in April 2010 in a large rookery where a variety of herons and egrets were nesting. It is displaying its breeding plumage to attract a mate to its nest.

"Flight to France"

Second place, “Nature” category

Joseph Wolf

Duluth, Minnesota

“Being in the right place at the right time sometimes helps when you’re shooting.  Last summer I participated in a performing musical tour through Western Europe. I rode a ferry from London to Paris by way of the English Channel. This is where I captured the image of birds in flight. No special camera or lens was used. It was pure serendipity to have captured their flight.”

"Wood Duck Reflection"

Third place, “Nature” category

David Klein, D.D.S.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

This handsome fellow was photographed on a trip to New Mexico in November 2010, complete with some elegant fall colors to add warmth to the reflection. “Catching the water drip from its bill was a bonus,” Dr. Klein told us. Its colors make this one of his favorite birds to photograph, “although they are very wary and spook easily”.

"The Young and the Old"

First place, “People” category

Jay White

Bloomington, Minnesota

Visiting the ancient ruins of Angkor Thom in Cambodia, Jay was camera-ready when this boy was lifted into the frame by his parents. The boy is looking down at mom and dad, but the “Old Face” is looking at the boy. “I saw instantly the obvious contrast in the two images and felt it was a commentary on the struggles we have today all over the world.”

"Going to Market"

Second place, “People” category

Jay White

Bloomington, Minnesota

The city of Gyanste is located at 13,050 feet elevation 254 km southwest of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital. The city is famous for KumBum, a multi-layered stupa in which sits a giant statue of Buddha. In front is a large market plaza with beautiful wild flowers and wonderfully picturesque mountains all around. The Tibetan people are very colorful as well. This family was on the way to market, the child’s beautiful red blanket in high contrast to the turquoise earrings and texture of his mother’s jet-black braided hair and rosy cheeks. “It demanded a picture,” said Jay. “Everywhere I looked there were people living their lives as best they could. Getting it all in a picture is a challenge.” 


Third place, “People” category

Matthew Vaillant, D.D.S.

Red Wing, Minnesota

“Ava and Drew are the youngest and oldest of my three children. Drew has always been very good with little children, and though his first sister was born when he was 17 months old, he was older when Ava arrived, and he quickly became very involved in caring for her and very attached to her. They got along very well, and he looked out for her - that is, of course, until she got older and started getting into his stuff. I was lucky to get this entirely spontaneous picture of Ava’s first noogie, courtesy of her brother. It was the capture of a moment — I had just gone for a shot of my dog after she had chewed up my Father’s Day present, a baseball glove from my kids.” And so it goes. 

"Wyoming Ranch"

First place, “Travel” category

David S. Linde, D.D.S.

Prior Lake, Minnesota

Last summer I traveled to Wyoming to take photos of the Grand Tetons. This one was taken shortly after sunrise on the ranch where I stayed. Hay had just been mowed and baled. The photo always gives me the feeling of the vast open spaces which are typical of most ranches out west. There was no real agenda for this trip, but we found so much to do and see, hiking around lakes and climbing trails to spectacular lookouts and waterfalls … We drove trails as far as we could go, and all in all took advantage of the three spectacular months of summer that precede the nine of bitter winter the residents have to survive.

"Temple Steps Monk"

Second place, “Travel” category

Jay White

Bloomington, Minnesota

“Anhkor Wat, a temple complex in Anghor, Cambodia, is the world’s largest religious building. Built in the early 12th century, it is still in use today. Dug out of the jungle, much of it is still to be uncovered. Walking along an outer wall, we entered a gate, came around a small building, and in front of us stretched this very steep, high, wide stairway that lead up to a doorway. A temple monk sat in the doorway contemplating life in his beautiful saffron robes, the color set off wonderfully by his olive skin and the gray temple stone. There are thousands of Devatas (guardian spirits) hand carved into the stone on both sides of the doorway and all about the temple. Not one of them is duplicated. The tread of each step is less than half the length of a foot, which makes for a very unstable climb, but we did it. I’m sorry to report our monk spoke no English, and I, of course, was a language handicapped American.”

"Autumn in Denali Park"

Third place, “Travel” category

Cheryl Wittsack

Norwood-Young America, Minnesota

“This picture was taken in Alaska’s Denali Park in September 2010,” Cheryl told us. “Mount McKinley never became visible during our seven-hour tour of the park due to the low cloud-cover and mist, but we enjoyed the beautiful autumn scenery and many of the animals that roam the park. I felt this photo truly captured the splendid autumn colors and beautiful views. I would highly recommend a trip to Alaska that includes land and sea. It is breathtaking.”