Patrick Greenabaum and his wife, Brenda, of Cogan Station, were visiting the Lycoming County Rotary Club's Balloonfest last year when Patrick saw a great photo opportunity - one that has since won a first-place award in a local contest.
The hot air balloons that were being prepared to take flight were being inflated and the fire made them glow against the night sky.
He snapped some shots and went on to enjoy the event.
"Although we had been to this event in the past, we had never been to the balloon glow before, so taking pictures of the balloons at night was a first for me," Greenabaum said. "At first, we were too far away and the pictures were too dark and out of focus, so we moved up close to them and the shots came out great!"
Because the event took place in Lycoming County - one of the counties in the PA Wilds - Greenabaum decided to submit them to a photo contest he saw on a flyer at the Williamsport Visitor's Center.
Pennsylvania Wilds Marketing Corp. had organized the Pennsylvania Wilds Photo Contest. It was open to amateur and professionals alike, through Oct. 31.
More than 2,700 photos were entered in the contest in six categories: scenic, wildlife, outdoor recreation, events, our towns and professional.
Greenabaum entered four photos under "events."
"I thought it was a unique community event and the balloon glow looked so awesome with the balloons all lit up at night," he said.
Only 12 winners were chosen, and Greenabaum was one of them.
He said he didn't think his photos would win. He and wife were just there that day to enjoy the events, take a few shots and have some good food.
"I was very surprised and excited one of my pictures won, especially because I waited until the last two weeks of the contest to enter about 10 pictures," Greenabaum said. "The contest ran for a whole year, and you could only enter one picture per day. I couldn't wait to tell my friends and family."
Greenabaum doesn't consider himself a professional photographer. He said he just enjoys taking pictures of all kinds of subjects and events.
"I wasn't taking pictures specifically for the contest. I take my camera wherever I go and take pictures. I did think that if any pictures I took throughout the year were really good, I might enter them," he said.
"Visitors are continuously discovering new sights in the region and their photographs really bring the magic of the Pennsylvania Wilds to life," Dave Morris, president of the PA Wilds Marketing Corp., said in a news release. "We thought this was an excellent way to showcase the region truly from our visitors' points of view."
The Pennsylvania Wilds includes 12 1/2 counties - Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren and part of Centre.
Each category has one grand prize winner and one runner-up. The contest was judged by a panel of Pennsylvania Wilds artists and individuals who are involved in the arts.
The winners received prize packages consisting of items from around the PA Wilds region, ranging from overnight stays to admission tickets.
"I have also won an overnight stay in the PA Wilds region and gifts, to be announced. The pictures could also be used for future education, promotional and exhibition purposes," Greenabaum said.
The photographs were professionally printed, matted and framed for the winner's reception, which was held Jan. 12 at Winkler Gallery in DuBois.
All of the winning photos can be seen at the following website: www.pawilds.com/photocontest.