Best Scenic Photographer

If a picture is worth a thousand words, all three of the Chippewa Valley’s favorite scenic photographers succeed in capturing our attention in nanoseconds with shots that may have taken hours of meticulous planning. First-place finisher Mike Howard of Chippewa Falls is known for his vivid scenes of bridges, sunrises, and sunsets that at times resemble Maxfield Parrish paintings. Eau Claire’s Tina Ecker, who came in second, can always be relied upon to find that unique view through an icicle or a spray of pine needles, and is often featured on local news for panoramas of Eau Claire’s rooftops and skyline. Third goes to Eau Claire’s Tim Abraham, known for capturing extraordinary shots in and around the Valley, including exploding fireworks on New Year’s Eve, a crisp fall day at a cemetery, and a mill in Augusta. — Barbara Arnold