Photo captures a snowy slice of life |

Photo captures a snowy slice of life

Connie Petty is not a professional photographer, but the notion appeals to her.

The Nevada Irrigation District employee already is a pretty good amateur. At the recent Nevada County Fair, Petty won four ribbons for two photographs: Each photo received a best-of-show and first-place award in its category.

One shot is of downtown Grass Valley in a snowstorm, which caught the eye of NID Assistant General Manager Tim Crough, who used to work for the city.

“He thought it would be nice for City Hall, and (City Administrator) Gene Haroldsen liked the picture, so I presented it to the City Council,” Petty said.

“I actually saw it at the fairgrounds and said ‘Boy, what a beautiful shot,'” Mayor Gerard Tassone said. “Tim’s the one that got it going after that.”

Now it graces the wall of City Hall in the long hallway leading to the business counter.

“I’ve done photography ever since I was a teenager,” Petty said. “It’s just something in my family. We have pictures going back to the turn of the (20th) century.”

The other winner was in the Fair category, a smile-rendering portrait of her granddaughter, Kaela Marie Smith, with her face painted.

For Petty, photography and family are integral.

“Dad was a photographer, and he gave me a camera when I was a teenager,” Petty said. “I went from a Brownie to an Instamatic, and in 1976, I went to Europe with an Instamatic, which was just a crime.”

Some years later, her former husband gave her a 35-mm Pentax.

“I went to school to learn how to use it,” Petty said. “It helped me develop an eye for photographs. Before that, it was just snapshots.

“I take a lot of pictures, and I have thousands at home,” Petty said. “Two years ago I got a digital. I had to, because I was buried by pictures and negatives.”

Petty doesn’t miss the film and developing.

“I love the difference, being able to look at the picture immediately and then being able to put it on the computer and play with it,” Petty said. “Last winter, I took an Adobe Photoshop class and it helps. If you take a picture that needs to be enhanced or straightened, it’s so easy to make them look as good as when you took them.”

When there isn’t snow on the ground, “I love taking pictures of grandkids and family and people I know because it makes great gifts,” Petty said. “But I do have them tired of me taking their picture all the time.”

Petty also loves landscapes.

“I just went to British Columbia, and I took 2-1/2 gigabytes of photos. It’s a beautiful place.”

Recent trips and awards also have her thinking long term.

“What I would love to do is travel and do photography and do something with my photos,” Petty said. “I want to see the whole world and capture it in photographs.”


To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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