More than 100 photos are included in the exhibit, at least one from every person who entered the “Walker 24/7: A Week in the Life of Walker County” photography contest last fall.
The Walker Area Community Foundation, which hosted the contest, received more than a thousand entries from amateur as well as staff photographers.
Eleven different winners were selected in five categories, which included adults, kindergarten through 5th grade students, 6th through 8th grade students, 9th through 12th grade students and cell phone photographs.
The grand prize winner was Ron Richardson, who documented a Celebration Service at Jasper’s First United Methodist Church.
Local attorney and photographer Pat Nelson described the photo as “a keeper” and “National Geographic quality” during a short awards presentation on Tuesday.
The photo was featured prominently in the winter edition of “Walker Magazine,” which was distributed throughout the county earlier this month.
“The minister joked about it. He said, ‘I know a lot of you folks never thought you would be a centerfold, but there you are,’” Richardson said.
He added that the church with its familiar stained glass dome was a natural setting to take such a beautiful photo.
Richardson’s personal favorite among his submissions was a silhouette of his wife during the worship experience. However, it was his photo of the Celebration Service that wowed the panel of judges.
“I really wanted to get something of the congregation and the church to show the tradition that’s there in the building and the contemporary nature of the service,” Richardson said.
Other winning entries depicted Cordova’s devastated downtown, a morning at Jack’s restaurant, homecoming week at Curry and Cub Scouts learning the Pledge of Allegiance.
Nelson noted during Tuesday’s reception that all of the submissions were impressive.
“Walker 24/7” was based on a series of books titled “A Day in the Life” that were published several years ago.
“They had Pulitzer-prize winning journalists. We didn’t quite have the same caliber of photographers on hand, but we got just as good results,” Nelson said.
There are plans to publish a “Walker 24/7” coffee table book in the future using photographs submitted for the contest. Nelson said he also hopes the contest can become an annual event.
The “Walker 24/7” photo exhibit is open through March 22 at the Bankhead House and Heritage Center.
The hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is free.