Above, ‘Corinth Sheep’ by James Napoli, last year’s Best in Show Winner. Photo courtesy of Gurwin Jewish

Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack invites all amateur photographers, including students, to submit entries for its 25th Annual Photo Contest sponsored by The Tiffen Company of Hauppauge.

Winners of the unique contest have the distinct honor of not only receiving recognition for their work, but the privilege of helping to enhance the lives of the 460 residents that call Gurwin “home,” as winning photographs are permanently displayed in the Center’s renowned Tiffin Gallery and throughout the facility for the enjoyment of residents, staff and visitors.

Nearly 1000 submissions are received each year from across the globe and are judged by a panel of professional photographers who choose the winners based on clarity, composition, subject matter and suitability for display at the Center. Grand prize and honorable mentions, as well as Best-In-Show and Runner-Up winners are selected in each of 12 categories: Landscapes, Travel, People, Pets, Children, Wildlife, Nature, Still Life, Altered/Enhanced, Student, Long Island/New York and Action/Sports. In addition, a panel of Gurwin residents weighs in on their favorites, choosing “Resident Selection” winners from among the entries.

“Our annual Photo Contest is a unique opportunity for our schools, local camera clubs and other members of the community to touch the lives of our residents,” said Stuart B. Almer, Gurwin’s President and CEO. “Their beautiful photos add a feeling of vibrancy to the facility; both residents and staff are eagerly awaiting this year’s crop of winners.”

Every submission is a “winner” in the sense that those not selected for a prize are repurposed by Gurwin’s staff for programs that benefit the residents. Prints are used as reminiscence aids, for visual stimulation and for art therapy, providing a source of comfort and inspiration, specifically for those residents in the Center’s Memory Care Unit and Adult Day Care Programs.

Winners are selected and notified in May. A reception at the Gurwin Center for winning photographers will be held in June where they will receive their cash prize, award certificate and/or crystal trophy. Deadline for submissions is April 16.

Photographers may submit up to seven printed color or black and white 8×10 or 8×12 photographs for a fee of $5 per entry. Entry forms are available for download online at or by calling the Gurwin Public Relations office at 631-715-2568.

HARBINGERS OF SPRING Ann Moran of Sound Beach recently discovered these snowdrops popping up in her front yard. She writes, ‘Some of my plants in the yard are telling me that spring is not far away. I’ll believe it when I see it!‘

Fun fact: Snowdrops were named after earrings not drops of snow. In the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries women often wore dangly, white drop-shaped earrings known as ‘eardrops.’ Some other common names of snowdrops are Candlemas bells, white ladies, Little Sister of the Snows, snow piercers, dingle-dangle and flower of hope.

WINTER’S GRIP Karen Brett of Sound Beach snapped this photo on March 7 after the Nor’ easter. The heavy wet snow bent the evergreen branches in her neighbor’s backyard, causing them to droop. She writes, ‘It looks like aliens trying to climb over my fence! Just a little bit scary.’

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Wendy Mercier of Rocky Point recently captured this image of a male cardinal hanging out on a fence in her backyard using a Cannon Powershot. During winter, the songbird will fluff up his down feathers in order to trap warm air next to his body and keep cold air from reaching his body.

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Wendy Mercier of Rocky Point recently captured this image of a blue jay in her backyard using her Canon Powershot. A frequent visitor to the bird feeder, the songbird seems to enjoy having his picture taken. ‘This guy loves the camera,’ said Mercier.

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Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station took this surreal shot of Crystal Brook Hollow Road as it snakes south along Mount Sinai Harbor on Jan. 11. He writes, ‘Low lighting required a handheld exposure of only 1/30sec. Walking along the road this day proved to be too much of an adventure as you can see the normally narrow shoulder was snow covered, and the occasional car passed too close for comfort. We wisely retreated back to our car.’


Margo Arceri of Strong’s Neck snapped this photo of two Betsy Ross flags flying at the grave site  of Patriots Selah and Anna Smith Strong at St. George’s Manor Cemetery in Setauket on a chilly Jan. 30. This version of the United States flag, rumored to have been created by Betsy Ross, was used from 1777 to 1795 and has 13 stripes with 13 stars in a circle all facing outward to represent a new constellation.

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Jay Gao of Stony Brook captured this stunning image on the morning of Jan. 30 using a Nikon 5500 camera. He writes, ‘It was snowing heavily this morning. While shooting the cardinal taking  shelter under the bush in my backyard, a white-throated sparrow flew into  view and I fired the camera instantly.’

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‘I could see the beautiful reds and orange from my kitchen window,’ writes Collette Huber of Strong’s Neck before taking a walk down to Conscience Bay and capturing this gorgeous sunset on Jan. 25.

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LEISURELY FOG Arthur Bell of Huntington Bay submitted this photo of the Huntington Lighthouse from Wincoma Beach. He writes, ‘[My family] loves hearing the Huntington Lighthouse horn on foggy days. On Jan. 12, we walked down to the beach to see what the fog looked like over the bay.’

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