Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sparks resident wins Nevada Magazine’s 2010 Great Nevada Picture Hunt

A year after a Texas man won the grand prize in Nevada Magazine’s annual photo contest, a Sparks resident has delivered the gold back to the Silver State.

Sean Kukowski, who captured a thrilling 2009 summer lightning storm over the Reno area, is the Grand Prize winner of Nevada Magazine’s 33rd annual Great Nevada Picture Hunt—the feature story in the publication’s September/October 2010 issue.

The winning image (above), titled “Reno Lightning,” was taken from a hillside off of State Route 445, known as Pyramid Highway. “This storm took me by surprise,” Kukowski says. “It had some of the most impressive lightning I have ever seen.”

In addition to the Grand Prize, photographers were judged in five different categories: City Limits, Wide Open, Adventure, People, and Events. All the 2010 category winners are Nevada residents, including Las Vegas’ Bill Gerrard, who won the City Limits category and took Runner-Up in Events. Gerrard’s winning photo is of the tram that connects CityCenter to other Strip resorts.

Ellen Sargent, from Indian Springs, swept the People category with sepia images taken at the Overland Ranch in Ruby Valley. The subject of the winning image, Len Wines, was captured during his final branding at the 137-year-old ranch. The Runner-Up image is that of Len’s grandson, Pat, from the same branding.

Other winners are Reno resident Michael Horsley (Wide Open, “Incline Night Shot”) for his nighttime winter overview of Incline Village; Reno’s Krista Williams (Adventure, “Hidden Beach Paddle Surfers”) for her intriguing photo of two paddle surfers taken from the shore of Lake Tahoe; and Ralph Willits of Las Vegas (Events, “Shot Show”) for capturing a leaping dog at an annual hunting and outdoors trade show.

To view the winning images, pick up the latest issue (at right) at national bookstores and where magazines are sold in Nevada, or visit Look for an ad in a future 2011 issue covering rules of submission for the 2011 contest, or check back regularly at

Also in the September/October issue, Nevada Magazine highlights some of the state’s more accessible ghost towns, visits Virginia City’s Mackay Mansion Museum, Lake Tahoe’s Thunderbird Lodge, and Reno’s Freight House District, covers two fabulous Fallon restaurants, and continues its Tour Around Nevada in Boulder City.