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Photo contest conjures up picturesque memories 

I ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD to the Kentucky Living Photo Contest to see our commonwealth through the creative lens of the thousands of entries. 

This collaboration with photographers across Kentucky is so consistent with the values and spirit of the electric cooperative program. Each photographer brings his or her own life experience, talent and unique perspective, and we all benefit as we share and appreciate these images. 

The annual photo contest is personal to me as it makes me think of my dad, the late Danny Perry, who inspired my love of photography and art. 

In my adolescence, I competed in photo competitions in eastern Kentucky, taking photos of barns, fields and houses and many other things. Dad and I took photos of football and baseball teams, and he enjoyed capturing images of me on the golf course, like the one above. 

Dad set up a darkroom in our basement, where we worked together with the film negatives, chemicals and a printing machine. It was old school. We had to put light through the negatives onto a piece of photographic paper, using a series of special chemicals to get the photo to appear, then a cleaning bath to produce our own prints.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing the image you have on a negative brought to life in these chemical baths in a darkroom. With film, we didn’t really know what we captured through the lens until that moment. 

When you take photos with a film camera, you have to be observant through a small viewfinder. You have to focus: not just the literal focus of the camera lens, but the mental focus of deciding the interesting part of the image you want to capture. 

Film was expensive back then and you usually had 24 to 36 exposures per roll of film, rather than the unlimited number of images you can capture today with a digital camera. Dad and I even shot a few weddings. Think about the stress of being hired to capture the lasting memory of a lifetime but with a limited number of exposures. 

This is another reminder for me of our electric cooperative program. The reliability and safety of your electric service depends on your co-op’s attention to detail and professional preparation. Co-ops don’t leave it to chance. 

I still enjoy taking pictures today. I have about 20,000 photos on my phone. A lot of sunsets, sunrises and things I find inspirational. As you look through the winning photos, I would love hearing from you about your favorites. 

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