CM2 Nature Photography Contest looks for God on the Hilltop

A flower used for practice photos.

CM2 is having a nature photography contest: “Where Do You See God on the Hilltop?” The CM2 photography contest is due by Oct. 31. The top three winners will receive gift baskets. The group wants pictures that are close to your heart and bring you closer to nature and your spirituality.

Diann Nickerson, the campus minister, said, “I would like to encourage anyone to submit a picture that reminds them of peace, spirituality, grace, etc. You did not have to attend the workshop to submit a picture. There are numerous places around campus to seek peace, tranquility and commune with God. Take advantage!”

You can take pictures with your phone or camera, and you can send as many photos as you want, one at a time, to Nickerson’s email at [email protected]. With each picture, you must provide your name, a title that sticks and a description. Photos submitted have to be a minimum of 300 DPI and in JPEG format. Pictures with inappropriate content, such as nudity, violence or human rights and environmental violation, will be erased.

The judges will include faculty and staff. All photos will be displayed in the Student Union from Nov. 1 through Nov. 5 for voters. The winner will be revealed on the WLU Campus Ministry website and their social media. There will be no revote, and the winning photos will be hung in the Interfaith Chapel as well as shown on West Liberty’s social media.

On Sept. 28 at 6 p.m., Daniel Caron presented an interactive program in the Interfaith Chapel explaining the importance of experiencing spirituality in nature. The program included getting out phones and taking pictures as well as Caron showing his own photography. Caron also provided tips for making average photos into art pieces. For portrait examples, go to You can see his speeches at

Caitlin Reynolds, culture news writer and broadcast major, said, “The most important thing that I took out of the workshop is that beauty is everywhere and sometimes we don’t stop to look at it. Life goes on without taking a break to look at nature’s sightings. I think what makes nature spiritual in my perspective is being close to God. I believe that every day God is trying to send you messages whether it’s from nature or from your mobile device. I’m a believer in God and feel his embrace every time I step out of the front door.”

Nickerson was also at the program as well. Nickerson said, “My big takeaway is that in order to really get some great pictures you need patience and the ability to be still and look for the small details. Our society tends to rush and zoom around all the time but sitting still, listening to your surroundings, deep breathing and relaxing can help you get a new perspective – which is really important in getting that great shot! There is such beauty and wonder all around us and knowing that God made the Earth just for us makes me feel connected. Being outside in the quiet, just yourself and the plants and animals helps me to reflect on all that we’ve been given by God. Being in nature brings me a sense of peace and well-being. The Native Americans held a special reverence for the earth and being outside and I think we could learn many lessons from them. Many cultures and religions have an expectation to take care of the earth so going out and experiencing it first-hand helps.”

For more information, go to the campus ministry or email Nickerson at [email protected].