PIPESTONE — Carter Kracht, 17, of Edgerton signed up for a beginning photography class at school last year.

He never imagined that just months later, one of his photos would win the county fair's 4-H reserve champion ribbon.

"The class was really laid back," Kracht said of his photography training. Students were able to borrow high-quality cameras from the school in order to capture the best possible images.

The subject of Kracht's ribbon-winning photo is a light bulb he found in a campground shelter. Kracht said he shut all the doors and windows, turned on the lights and got really close to the bulb. The finished image shows the electric current passing through the filament inside the bulb.

Kracht would like to take more photography classes and keep learning the art. Going into his junior year at Edgerton High School, he is taking ag classes and woodshop, so he won't have room in his schedule for photography again until his senior year.

In the meantime, Kracht will continue to practice photography on his own. He enjoys taking sports pictures, and in his capacity as the reporter of his local FFA chapter, Kracht photographs Edgerton FFA events. He intends to take on more leadership responsibilities in the coming school year.

Kracht was also part of the Edgerton FFA meats team that competed at the state convention in May and won seventh place overall.

Active in 4-H since second grade, Kracht understands what it's like to compete in county fair events. He shows pigs and calves — a fitting match for him, having a father who manages 250 to 300 angus cattle and custom feeds pigs.

Kracht said the best part about 4-H is that "we get to do fun stuff." He gets to spend time with other youths who share his interests and experience. Among other benefits, 4-H made it possible for Kracht to try his hand at competing in a new skill.

Kracht looks forward to continued involvement in both 4-H and FFA.