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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Lisa Britz and Bridget Lanier won first place awards in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s inaugural ButterflyFest Pollinator Photography Contest. Britz, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., won the adult category for her photo “Pollen Plunge.” Lanier, of Bradenton, captured the top spot in the junior category for “A Buzzy Pollinator.”

The Florida Museum announced the winners Oct. 24 during an awards presentation at this year’s ButterflyFest. The museum will display the winning photographs in the Central Gallery through Nov. 30 and online on the ButterflyFest web site, The Gainesville Sun also published the winning photographs in the newspaper Oct. 25 as part of its sponsorship of the contest.

Nearly 90 photographers from Florida and other states submitted more than 200 entries in the competition.

Val Oppenheim and Brian Denny won second and third place, respectively, in the adult category, while Collin Kane and Joshua Martindale placed second and third in the junior division. Dan Rountree (adult) and Karlee Hawkins (junior) were awarded honorable mentions.

Britz was awarded $100 for her photograph, and Lanier received $75. Second and third place winners received museum gift shop certificates and Butterfly Rainforest exhibit annual passes. Honorable mention winners received a museum gift bag.

University of Florida News Bureau photographer Ray Carson, Santa Fe College photography professor Ray Hale and Gainesville Sun video and photojournalist Tricia Coyne served as volunteer judges.

Editors: Story can end here.

“I love photos of butterflies, and I’ve entered a few photo contests before, but this is my first prize in awhile,” said second place winner Oppenheim. “I’m very excited to win an award for my photo.”

Oppenheim said she has been a photographer for 35 years and has worked to refine her skills with a digital camera for the last 10 years

Junior category honorable mention winner Hawkins said she enjoys taking pictures of butterflies, flowers, her sister and her puppy. She applied knowledge about color saturation in digital photographs that she learned through a school science project to compose her winning image.

“It only took one shot to get the butterfly picture I wanted,” Hawkins said.

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2009 ButterflyFest Pollinator Photo Contest Winners:

Adult Category
1st Place – Lisa Britz (Lee’s Summit, Mo.)
2nd Place – Val Oppenheim (Gainesville)
3rd Place – Brian Denny (Gainesville)
Honorable Mention – Dan Rountree (Gainesville)

Junior Category
1st Place – Bridget Lanier (Bradenton)
2nd Place – Collin Kane (Gainesville)
3rd Place –Joshua Martindale (Buford, Ga.)
Honorable Mention – Karlee Hawkins (Newberry)

Writer: Patti Nunez
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,