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Otsego grad's photo of canyon catches eye of Smithsonian Magazine PDF Print E-mail
Written by RACHEL GAST, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:03
Otsego High School graduate Jason Hatfield has garnered the attention of the Smithsonian Magazine.
His photograph of Bryce Canyon renders the night sky in deep blues complemented by the green of the pines and brown canyon walls.
Hatfield had traveled to Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park to photograph last May's solar eclipse.  He had not originally planned to take any photographs that night.  He had just "happened to be there."
He is modest about his entry to the Smithsonian Magazine. "I'm just happy to be included" in the contest.  "I feel the image really conveys the sense of travel in America.  If you think my photo is the best in the travel category, by all means vote for it."
About 8,000 people arrived at Bryce Canyon National Park last May to watch the solar eclipse.  Among them was Jack Garrett, the man at the bottom of Hatfield's photograph.
In November, the contest judges will pick a winner from each of the 5 categories and an overall grand prize winner.  The Smithsonian Magazine also has a Reader's Choice Award.
Local residents can vote for Hatfield's image by going to www.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest then scrolling down to click on the "Announcing Our 2012 Finalists!" button.  There, the person must click on the Travel tab to find Hatfield's photo.
Hatfield hopes that people "vote for whichever image they feel is best, because there are a lot of excellent photos" entered in this year's contest.  
Hatfield has been a photographer for almost six years. He now owns Mountain Sky Photography and primarily photographs nature scenes.
During Mountain Sky Photography's first year, Hatfield had to work in retail-the electronics section.  Starting out, he photographed "people and the occasional wedding."
His only formal training was a black and white film class at Otsego High School.  In the class, he learned shooting, processing, developing and print-making.  He is a strong proponent of the digital camera, explaining that his "contest image would have been a lot harder to produce with film."
"Film used to have better quality if you were comparing 35 millimeter cameras," Hatfield says. "But digital allows larger prints with higher resolution and allows you to take pictures in lower light."
Hatfield has been featured in the Associated Press and used his primary equipment, a Sony A900 and Zeiss lenses, for his contest entry.
Visit MountainSky-Photography.com to see more of Hatfield's work.

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