By DAVID SCHOLZ
Martinez resident Gina Rubino, a budding photographer in her own right, was honored recently with being named the runner up, not once, but twice, in a photo competition organized by the Contra Costa Election Department.
“This was very shocking when I found that I was second,’’ said Rubino. “It was the first time I had ever applied (for a competition).’’
The competition was held to find photos that would grace the covers for the Election Department’s Sample Ballots for the June Primary Election and the November General Election.
Paul Burgarino, Community Education and Engagement Specialist for the County Elections Department, said the competition attracted 45 “really high quality and quite impressive’’ entries from around the county in a bid to engage the public and promote civic involvement.
Michael M. Cohen, of Walnut Creek, earned the coveted space for the June sample ballot, and Silvia Ledezma of Richmond, submitted the winning cover photo for the November sample ballot.
Rubino described herself as a hobbyist when it comes to photography and it is something that she has always wanted to do. Like so many others, she noted using her cell phone to take those quick snaps of things that catch her attention, such as graffiti art or run-down buildings. Except she noted she will go back later with a camera to try to recapture those artistic images that stick in her mind.
“I like to take photos outdoors and [taking photos of] things that strike me as odd,’’ she said.
A consultant with Aetna Insurance, Rubino has a craft hobby on the side. With her love of photography, she is hoping to cultivate that hobby into a side business.
For her successful photos for the Election Department competition, she used a Nikon D3300 model camera and put the setting on black and white because that is what the competition wanted for all entries.
Photography is an activity that Rubino definitely plans to do more of in the future. She is especially interested in old buildings and barns that are falling down.
“I am fascinated with history,’’ she said, adding that capturing those images will preserve it.