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Winners of RTK photo contest announced
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Evening Burn at Chase State Fishing Lake

Winners have been announced for the Ranchland Trust of Kansas (RTK) photo contest, which concluded Sept. 1.
Each summer from May to September, RTK invites photographers of all ages to submit photos that showcase the mission of RTK and Kansas’ ranching heritage. The mission of RTK is: “To preserve Kansas’ ranching heritage and open spaces for future generations through the conservation of working landscapes.”
Bruce Hogle of Overland Park was the grand prize winner in this year’s contest. His winning photo, titled Evening Burn at Chase State Fishing Lake, was taken during a prescribed burn in Chase County.
“After wrapping up a sunset shoot early in April 2015, two friends and I spotted a large red glow, not an uncommon sight in Chase County in the spring,” said Hogle.
This photo was unique to the panel of judges because of the reflection the fire makes on the water and the crisp, clear image Hogle was able to create with the rolling Flint Hills behind the lake.
“It’s not seen in this photo, but as a bonus that night the moon rose about 11 p.m. and added to other compositions. This was probably the best photo opportunity I’ll ever have,” said Hogle.
Hogle volunteers to take photos for the Kansas Land Trust, a partner of RTK’s.
“This has given me access to a number of conservation easements where I’ve sharpened my wide-angle, landscape skills,” said Hogle. “I love creating, then sharing images of Kansas, and particularly the Flint Hills, of scenes a lot of people have never seen except for maybe some cowboys on the back of their horses.”
Crystal Socha of Augusta was the Fan Favorite category winner with a record-breaking 323 votes on RTK’s Facebook page. Over 3,000 votes were cast for the Fan Favorite category, which included the top 25 photos chosen by RTK’s panel of judges. The Facebook album was able to reach nearly 27,000 Facebook users.
Additional winners in each category were: Landscape – Jason Ebberts of Overland Park; Livestock– Gail Griffin of Colby; People – Betty Morgan of Wichita; KLA Member – Kate Hagans of Utica; Youth – Ella Barrett of Grantville; and Honorable Mention – Tom Gossen of Wichita, Tony Ifland of Cedar and Carlton Heller of Emporia. All winning entries can be viewed on RTK’s website or Facebook page.
Prizes, sponsored by Wolfe’s Camera of Topeka, are awarded to the top 10 winning photos.
The photographs will be used, with the permission of the photographers, to promote Kansas’ ranching heritage and open spaces. They also will be featured on RTK’s website and social media sites.
RTK will have photo stationery cards for sale throughout the year featuring the 10 winning photos. Printed on premium cardstock, the folded cards are blank inside and come in packs of 10 with white envelopes. The cards can be purchased for $20 by contacting Samantha Weishaar at 785-273-5115 or
RTK is an agricultural land trust affiliate of the Kansas Livestock Association, with a mission to preserve Kansas’ ranching heritage and open spaces for future generations through the conservation of working landscapes.