San Juan photographer Chad Lyons wins Hawaii magazine photo contest

Top photo, photographer Chad Lyons and his Pentax 645N camera. Middle photo,
Top photo, photographer Chad Lyons and his Pentax 645N camera. Middle photo, 'Kauai Salt Pond Beach.' Bottom photo, 'Lady Netting Crayfish.'
— image credit: Chad Lyons

Photographer Chad Lyons of Friday Harbor won a photo contest sponsored by Hawaii magazine. His photo is featured in the February issue of the magazine.

Lyons won first place in the Kauai category; three other photos made it into the top 40. There were more than 2,500 entries.

You can see his photos on

Lyons and his wife, Michelle, moved to San Juan Island Sept. 1 from Ohio with their black Lab mix, Baxter.

"We came here for a major lifestyle change," Michelle said. "We picked San Juan Island for many reasons, but mostly for the natural beauty that would inspire Chad's artistic talents."

Lyons has a BFA in illustration; he attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. for two years and finished at Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio. He also received training at the Ohio Institute of Photography, Dayton, Ohio.

"He is talented in several genres, including painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media and photography," his wife said. "He is a conceptual artist, always coming up with new ideas. He has recently been focusing on photography, as it allows him to combine one of his other great passions, nature."

After working for several years as a commercial artist, Lyons left the field to work at UPS and focus solely on fine art. He and his wife purchased The Hamburger Wagon, a famous eatery founded in 1913, but after seven years of seven-day-a-week work schedules, they sold the business to, as Michelle said, "focus on what really matters to us."

"We yearned for a simpler lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of suburbia and the rat race. We hope to start a family soon, and think this will be a wonderful place to raise our children. We are settling in to our new life here, enjoying several plays and musical performances and exploring all the nooks and crannies of the island. We are looking forward to becoming active members of the community."

Lyons shoots using a Pentax 645N camera. "I prefer using traditional film-based cameras over digital," he said. "I plan on getting some of my photographs together for a possible show in the near future. And I hope to meet other artists in the community to organize a life drawing group and find models."

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