Allen wins photography competition

BLACKFOOT — Paul Allen stood admiring his work, cell phone camera in hand.
Allen's self-portrait won Superintendent John Hoobler's challenge in the Eastern Idaho State Fair photography competition this year.
Hoobler, who has been photography superintendent for 17 years, instituted the challenge this year.
Allen's portrait features him sitting in a chair in the middle of a grain field near sunset.
Hoobler said that although he came up with the idea of the challenge, he asked several people to judge the entries. Allen's photo scored high among all the judges.
"It's nice because it was well-rounded," Hoobler said of the competition. "It was pretty much an emotional judging."
Allen said he threw a chair into his car and traveled to a stubble field near home to snap his picture.
"Last year I did a 365-day project where I took a picture each day. After awhile I had to get pretty creative. I was just playing. I'm pretty happy with what I got."
Allen, a Department of Energy employee, said he has been taking photography seriously for six or seven years and has been entering the Fair the last three or four.
He entered several other pictures in the different categories but didn't do as well as he had hoped.
Allen's photos and approximately 2,000 other entries will be on display at the Fair from Saturday through Sept. 10.
For information on the Fair, go to