FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - A Fort Wainwright family member was among the winners of the 2010 Army Digital photography contest. Lilianna, the spouse of Tommy Moon, 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, received honorable mention with her photo Classic Beauty, one of several photos she entered in the contest.

"I entered the allowed limit in every category," Moon said. "I figured my chances would be better if I submitted some of my better pictures in each division."

The photo that won honorable mention at Department of the Army level was of an old pickup truck that she says is well known in her neighborhood on South Post.

"During the warmer months, the owner parks it in the lot adjacent to Southern Lights Chapel--and it's very hard to miss. On the day I took the picture, the sky was overcast and grey, which really made the truck's color stand out. It occurred to me that it was such a great contrast to the tone of the day and I positioned myself at an angle to capture the clouds in the background."

Moon said she doesn't know the owners, but the day she processed the picture she thought about giving them a copy for their collection. "I have yet to thank them for the photo opportunity."

Moon's original artistic outlet was painting, but she says it was too messy and hard to do once she had children. Her husband gave her "a point and shoot" for her first camera, which she says he had to "encourage" her to use, but once her first child was born she was "hooked". Her husband recently surprised her with a DSLR Canon Rebel, which she says she has not mastered yet.

Her favorite things to photograph are her children, closely followed by her dog. Plus "creative photography really draws my attention," Moon said. "The natural beauty of Alaska, it just begs to be photographed."

Recently, she started a 365 project, which Moon said pushed her to search for photo opportunities everywhere. "The project basically involves taking a picture a day for one year, supposedly to improve your photographic "eye" and document a year in one's life."
She took it on thinking it might keep her busy during her husband's deployment.

Moon has three photos on display at the post library. "Two are pictures of my husband's "bird," the Kiowa Warrior OH-58, and the other one is a black and white which captures the first snow of the year falling on the pond in front of Northern Lights Chapel."

Moon was not the only member of the Fort Wainwright military community who submitted photos to the contest, according to Linda Ezernieks, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation arts program manager, who coordinated the contest at Department of the Army level.

Spc. James Masker, 176th Signal Company, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, said he was excited to find out that five of his nine entries advanced to the Department of the Army level, especially since he had just recently taken up photography.

Michelle, wife of Staff Sgt. Shawn Rule, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, had six entries that made it to Department of the Army Level. Most of the photos she submitted were of her two children, her favorite subject to photograph, but she also enjoys taking pictures of scenery and wildlife.

Pfc. Jennifer Gibson, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade and Spc. Scott Samson, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division both submitted three entries. One of Samson's entries, "Like a Rain Forest," made it to the final rounds at Department of the Army Level.

"The judges had a tough time," Ezernieks said, adding that it was an honor for them to make it to the final rounds with so many other excellent entries.