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(Photo by Connie DeLong)

(Photo by Connie DeLong)

(Photo by Cathy Pennington)

(Photo by Cathy Pennington)

Pictured above are the winners in the Artesia Public Library’s recent New Mexico Faces, New Mexico Places photography contest and exhibit.

Above, the stalactites and stalagmites of Carlsbad Caverns are silhouetted in “An Eerie Glow” by Connie DeLong, finalist in the New Mexico Place category.

At left, a burrowing owl warily eyes the camera in “You Lookin’ at Me?”, a photo by Cathy Pennington and finalist in the New Mexico Face category.

Pennington, a longtime resident of New Mexico who graduated from Artesia High School, loves the outdoors, camping, hunting and, now, photography. She says she used photography as an outlet for her emotions during the slow decline of her husband of 46 years, who passed away in June 2014. She shares her love of photography with several family members, who all have different styles.

“You Lookin’ at Me?” was taken April 30, 2014, while Pennington was running her husband’s oil lease. The owl was captured sitting outside his burrow with a Canon EOS 60D, shot at 1/400 sec., f/7.1, 200mm, ISO 100.

DeLong is a 30-something transplant from Michigan who has lived in New Mexico with her family since 2011. She has a love for photography and the outdoors, which she hopes to eventually turn into a professional career. She is a homeschool mother with three active children and is looking forward to exploring more of the state.

“An Eerie Glow” was taken in May 2015 at the Caverns. DeLong says as she was walking through the caves, she wondered what they were like when first explored and says she wanted to capture how eerie the caverns still are in places.