The February Open Photo contest was open to all Quail Creek residents. This was the second annual open contest that resulted in a very large submission of entries and resulted in two of the three winners being non-club members.In early January, First place winner and club member, Jeff Krueger took his first trip to Death Valley on a four day photo trip. He had to experience the sand dunes so he hiked out about a mile from the highway to catch the morning light coming over the mountains. Unfortunately it was a cloudy morning and with not apparant visible sunrise. Just after packing up to head back to the car the sun blazed through a hole in the clouds. Dropping down to get a steady grip on his camera Jeffgot a few shots completed before the clouds swallowed up the sun again.Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO 100, focal length 44mm, aperture 4.125, Aperture Priority, no flash, modified with Adobe Photoshop.Mike Tumchewics came in with a strong second place. Mike’s picture was taken near the Quail Creek Road Runner course in May shortly before sunset. He had gone to the area hoping that the sun would break through the clouds, making for a dramatic sky picture. He was lucky to capture the scene moments before the sun disappeared behind the hills far off on the horizon. The photo was completed using KD and post processing using NIK software and Aperture. Camera: Nikon D800, f/16, ISO 100, focal length 18 mm, exposure time unknown, Aperture Priority, no flash.Jeff Webster’s “Curve Billed Thrasher” was the third place winning photo. He was birding in Forida Canyon (near Madera Canyon), when he saw the thrasher perched on an ocotillo. It was around noon on a beautiful day. The bird was in a compelling pose and seemed to be asking to be photographed.Camera: Canon Power Shot SX 10, IS f/5.7, ISO80, 1/640 sec, focal length 100 mm, Maximum Aperture 5.03125, no flash, modified with Adobe Photoshop.Jeff Krueger’s first place winning photo will be on display at the entrance of the Madera Clubhouse Crystal ballroom for two months. A 16” x 20” print will be given to the winner. The Photography Club of Quail Creek has a monthly contest for its members and also schedules numerous planned field trips over the course of the year. The club meets the second Wednesday of the month in the Gold Room in the Madera Clubhouse at 6:30 pm.