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7-year-old is photo winner

At 7, Eliana White has already grasped a key element of photography.

"I spot things that some people might not see, and I like to take pictures of those things," she says. A recent result: Eliana, a Cornelius Elementary student, was selected the overall winner in the Cornelius Today photo contest with the picture above, taken at the Cornelius Veterans Monument. Keenan Bushinski, 18, of Cornelius won in the 13-18 category.

Eliana says her father, Nick White, took her to the monument and the fire station to take pictures for the contest at sunset. "I thought of taking a picture of the flags there when I saw the wind blowing them around," she says.

She says she's been taking pictures ever since Dad and her mom, Kalyana White, got her a camera for Christmas last year. She has also taken pictures with a Nikon camera her father got in the spring. "I take a lot of pictures of my little brother and sister, who are twins. ... My dad always lets me use the big Nikon, even though he is scared I am going to drop it!"

Her contest win came as a total surprise.

"My dad told me to come look at the picture of the girl who won the contest," she says. "When I saw that it was my flags picture, I almost cried!!! I had to run and tell my mom to come and see. I was so happy and excited."

Eliana's days are full with school and her other interests -- among them painting, drawing, singing, dancing, piano, swimming and tumbling.

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