By Karen Schwartzman
Jimmy Ramsey wasn’t expecting to snap anything extraordinary when he wandered the Appalachian Quilt Trail this past January. He was simply taking his mother along on one of his photo hunts, on a different part of the trail that usually didn’t produce his favorite pictures. He certainly wasn’t expecting to shoot the winner of the 15th annual Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Photo Contest.
“It was a happy accident,” Ramsey says. “I usually only take pictures of the non-commercial barns.”
This happy accident involved an old barn-turned-winery, a Nikon D90 and a perfect patch of sky with a little rustic appeal for added effect.
“It just had character. The color and texture of the barn, and the sky behind it just made the whole thing pop,” says Ramsey, describing his experience. A month later, Ramsey stumbled across the photo contest, submitted his photo, and today he’s the grand prize winner.
Ramsey picked up photography as a hobby two years ago and has been snapping pictures ever since. He spends five days a week either shooting or working on photos, though he isn’t a professional. Ramsey never took classes or received any formal training; he taught himself all the tricks. “It’s my passion,” he says.
There was plenty of passion to go around this year, and with more than 1,800 photos submitted, this proved to be the contest’s biggest year. Winners were chosen in three categories – Tennessee Barns, Childhood Memories and Rural Living – by a team at Journal Communications in Franklin, the publisher of Tennessee Home & Farm.
The following photos were selected as winners. You can also check out a number of pictures worthy of honorable mention in additional slideshows.
Don’t lose focus – the 2011 photo contest will be begin again in our Spring issue, which will include an entry form and all the information you need.