Ron Hawkins shares a moment at the Lions Veterans Memorial with an unexpected friend.

Ron Hawkins and turtle

On a cloudy and windy day, Woodbury paramedic Ron Hawkins spent time at the Lions Veterans Memorial.

“It was the day before Memorial Day, and I was enjoying the beautiful memorial by myself until I noticed the turtle appreciating the area as well,” Hawkins says.

Hawkins is a hobbyist photographer, and his favorite subjects include landscapes and animals, both of which he happens to feature in his winning photo. “The turtle wasn’t too shy about me momentarily getting up close and personal, and by lowering my angle I was happy to include a little bit of the memorial, which honors our veterans,” he says.

In the past 20 years, Hawkins has embraced photography as a way to take and retain memories of events his family and friends are involved in, as well as events related to his job as a paramedic. More recently, Hawkins says he has fostered an appreciation for natural landscapes, the beauty of sunrises and sunsets, animals in their natural environments, and the changing of the seasons.

“I experiment in trying to get a unique angle or a different perspective to turn an average photo into a more striking image,” Hawkins says. Although this photo was taken with an iPhone 6, Hawkins owns a couple of other cameras, including a Canon Powershot and a Sony Cybershot. “But it’s convenient to utilize the iPhone, and I’m amazed at some of the quality photos that can be taken with it,” he says. When it comes to editing photos, Hawkins occasionally uses the app Snapseed to lightly adjust the color or the sharpness of an iPhone photo.

This photo received an honorable mention in the City Landmarks category of our 2017 Focus on Woodbury photo contest.