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RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 15) – Wildlife in North Carolina magazine is proud to announce the 2007 photo-competition winners, now on display in the January issue and at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.

Raleigh resident Ed Ziegler’s image of a school of white mullet in a wave at Emerald Isle captured grand prize honors and the cover of the magazine.

Thirty-one award winning pictures from the third annual competition are on exhibit through March 31 at the museum. A gallery of winners is also posted on the Commission’s Website at Welcome to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Developed through a partnership of the magazine and the museum, the competition is intended to promote high-quality nature photography and identify talented wildlife photographers working in North Carolina.

Ziegler was walking on the beach at Emerald Isle the week after Labor Day 2007, looking for birds to photograph. As he gazed out into the rolling waves in the early morning light, he realized that he could see schools of fish moving down the beach as each wave peaked. "The waves were alive with fish," he said. Ziegler took photos of the migrating white mullet for a while, producing a photograph that clearly shows the fish “surfing” down the beach in a green wave backed by a blue-green sea.

In the competition's third year, 1,019 photographers submitted 5,484 photographs, including 136 young shutterbugs in the two youth categories. The most popular subject was Birds (907 entries), followed closely by Invertebrates (884) and the landscape category, Peaks, Valleys and Plains (810). Wild Plants received 773 entries and Reptiles
& Amphibians 543, rounding out the top five categories.

“The photos entered exceeded expectations again this year,” said Wildlife in North Carolina editor Greg Jenkins. “We hope that seeing the winning pictures will inspire people to learn more about nature photography and to enjoy North Carolina’s many wild places.”

Competition judges included Wildlife in North Carolina Art Director Victoria Cumbee; the magazine’s photographer, Melissa McGaw; Mike Dunn, coordinator of teacher education for the museum; and professional wildlife photographer F. Eugene Hester, a perennial winner in the Outdoor Writers Association of America photo competition.

The competition was sponsored by Great Outdoor Provision Co. greatoutdoor.com. For details about and directions to the Museum of Natural Science, visit North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
 

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I was in Emerald Isle not long after the Grand Prize photo was taken and witnessed the same phenomenon with the baitfish in the crests of the wave like that. It was amazing.

That was my first trip to that area, I was wondering how common it is for fish to be visible in the waves like that?
 
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