March 24, 2006
Source: U.S. Army MWR
Written by Tim Hipps – USACFSC Public Affairs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Soldier deployed in Iraq discovered the beauty of digital photography and dominated the 2005 All-Army Photography Contest.
Sgt. Nicholas Sendelbach mail ordered a digital single-lens-reflex camera from New York to the Middle East and all but swapped munitions for lenses to document his Army unit’s humanitarian missions.
“I would either shoot with my machine gun or my camera, whichever was useful at the time,” he said.
Sendelbach, a 27-year-old chemical operations specialist stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., earned seven awards totaling $1,500 as the most-decorated contestant in the Army’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation-sponsored event. His other two entries received honorable mentions.
Master Sgt. Clayton Wolfinbarger of U.S. Army Garrison-Michigan at Selfridge won three first-place awards. Richard Bumgardner of Heidelberg, Germany, claimed a pair of firsts and two seconds in the civilian division.
Sendelbach cherished shooting from atop Humvees, where he had a 360-degree view of Iraq and its people.
“I was constantly taking photos on every mission,” he said. “My company commander took notice and eventually the battalion commander took notice and they wanted me to make a slide show.”
That project, combined with video footage, earned Sendelbach first-place honors in the short-film category of the 2004 All-Army Photography Contest. Shortly thereafter, he was assigned to chronicle Soldiers building schools, power plants, and hosting neighborhood advisory meetings.