Jon Kolbrek’s Award-winning Photo

Maple Grove Days' fireworks display promises to be better than ever.
This photo by Jon Kolbrek placed first in the events category of the 2012 Focus on Maple Grove photo contest. This year's photos can be submitted online starting August 1.

Serenity has a way of always being closer than you think. The small duck pond featured in Jon Kolbrek’s photograph is peacefully tucked behind a local Maple Grove neighborhood, surrounded by houses and trails. “It’s a place where my kids and I ride our bikes to see ducks and geese,” Kolbrek says of the view captured in the photo that won first place in the Nature category of Maple Grove Magazine’s first Focus on Maple Grove Photo Contest. “When I took the picture, it was one of the first rides of the year to see what was going on at the pond.”

Once Kolbrek and his kids hopped off their bikes, he immediately started snapping photos. With the texturing of the weeds against the smoothness of the water, Kolbrek knew he found an angle that he liked. And his recently-purchased wide-angle lens was just what he needed for his Nikon-D80 to capture the entire scene.

Even though Kolbrek didn’t originally take the picture thinking it would be published, he liked it for its sentimental value. “It reminded me of something I do with my kids,” he says.

Kolbrek doesn’t consider himself as an artist, but he likes the way the colors complement one another, as well as the sense of balance in the photo and how it ties into what Kolbrek calls “the whole balance of life.” 

“You try to frame up a photo that’s really going to mean something to you,” Kolbrek explains. “I like the pond because amidst life, which can be busy and kind of stressful…it’s a fairly peaceful place within a city that’s very active. It reminds me when I’m in the middle of my day and things are a bit crazy that there’s more to life than just that.”