Celebrate the Adventure
These 7 hot shots snapped up our photo-contest prizes.
OUT OF DARKNESS came light. The fire surged up, and Dennis Kuba waited, adjusting the settings on his recently purchased Sigma DP2 digital camera.
Kuba didn’t know what to expect from the flag retirement ceremony that July night at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. Just that the 500 Scouts and Scouters would have a “campfire” hosted by the camp’s rangers.
He was working with available light, and the Sigma’s 24.2 mm lens (equivalent to a film camera’s 40 mm) doesn’t offer a zoom. But after the rangers gave a talk, Kuba aimed from 30 feet back and snapped four quick frames as the campers silently saluted.
“I had maxed out the film speed, maxed out the aperture, and it was just a matter of getting the right exposure,” he recalls. “I realized that since I was going to have to hand hold the camera, the best I could do was a about a quarter of a second.”
Out of darkness came light: a perfectly composed image of a single dramatic Scouting moment. Another thing Kuba didn’t know was that he had just taken the Grand Prize-winning photograph in Scouting magazine’s 2010 Celebrate the Adventure photo contest.
As a Boy Scout, Dennis Kuba never made it past First Class. But when his son, 15-year-old Star Scout James, got involved with the program, the elder Kuba returned to the fold. “To recapture my youth, if you will,” he says. Then the assistant Scoutmaster of James’ Troop 602 in Newhall, Calif., spotted our call for entries last year in the magazine and rushed to enter.
Rushed? Well, Kuba won First Place in our 2006 contest with an action photo of a whitewater rafting trip by Troop 602. Full disclosure: The former vice president of Advanced Technology at The Walt Disney Company once worked as a photographer for a California educational-media company. Good genes, too. His Japanese-American grandfather operated a photography business in Salt Lake City in the early 1900s.
“I deliberately bought a small camera that has a full-size light sensor so that I could take shots like this,” Kuba says. “I wanted something that I could take everywhere and wouldn’t limit me when the scene got dark. It’s such an honor to be selected. You guys must have some very good pictures from photographers in other troops.”
As a matter of fact, we received more than 400 entries from adult volunteer leaders across the country, which made for some tough calls by our judges—the editorial and design staffs of the magazine. But Kuba came out on top.
He uses his photos to advance Troop 602’s recruiting and retention goals. “You know, Scouting is rich as a photographic subject. We generally do a little slide show after our activities, and we post them on our Web site (troop602.net). And when we have new people come over, we show them highlights of the things we’ve done in the past. I want to let people know what kind of experiences they can have in Scouts.”
All of the winners will receive BSA Supply Group gift cards: Grand prize, $400; First Prize, $300; Second Prize, $200; Third Prize, $100; Honorable Mentions, $25. Check out the winning photographs from past contests at scoutingmagazine.org.