The Peristyle caught the eye of Donaldsonville shutterbug Dylan Barbier this spring on his first visit to New Orleans City Park.
And in turn, Barbier’s photograph of the structure, framed by dramatic clouds, captured first place overall in the Spirit of City Park photo contest.
Barbier, a chemical plant operator, spends his days off roaming South Louisiana, cameras in hand. He enjoys shooting plantations, sunsets and Catholic churches.
Heavy weather is a plus: “I walk outside, and the first thing I do is I look at the clouds,” he said.
But that’s just the start for the color-saturated images he likes to create, Barbier said.
“I take more than one photograph ... and I layer them on top of each other,” he said. “I’ll take three exposures. I shoot with a tripod. I might lay my camera on the ground, then hold my breath ... I get a photo that’s a little overexposed, a little underexposed.”
Sandwiching the images in a special computer process created the richly textured Peristyle photo.
The contest — City Park’s first — pulled in more than 470 entries, park officials said. Photos shot in the park between April 1 and May 31 were eligible.
Categories were animals, people, trees, recreation/sports, art/architecture, and flowers/plants.
“They were very, very good pictures,” said judge Kerri McCaffety, a writer and photographer whose lavish coffee-table books include “Obituary Cocktail” and the recent “City Park New Orleans.” “The hard part was eliminating stuff.”
Ashley Haberkern and her husband, Erik Haberkern, were escaping the Chicago cold to visit Erik’s New Orleans family at Easter when she snapped a photo of the couple’s toddler daughters in the park.
“I was so excited to go down to New Orleans and get some beautiful pictures after our horrible winter,” said Ashley Haberkern. “Field of Flower Kisses,” with Persephone, 3, nuzzling Sanara, 18 months, took first place in the contest’s “People in the Park” category.
Judges awarded a first, second and third prize in each category. There will be an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Morning Call coffee shop in the park. The winning photographs will be exhibited at Morning Call during July.