May 06, 2003 11:00 pm

ENTERPRISE — An environmental portrait of the Chief Joseph Days court has earned Walter Klages his highest recognition yet.

A dozen nationally sanctioned jurors from across the United States selected his portrait, "Royal Space," won the Kodak Gallery Award for best portrait in the Western States competition in Yakima.

It's probably the most impressive of all his court portraits made during the past 35 years, according to accolades of the jurors.

The awards earned, including the best of show second runner-up and the best group portrait, were presented to Klages, an Enterprise resident, during a ceremony at the competition.

The competition was open to professional photographers from six western states: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Hawaii.

The portrait will be displayed in Las Vegas in July by the Professional Photogaphers of America.

The CJD 2002 court of Jessica Kaasshan, Heather Marshall and Natalie Sores, were the subjects of the award-winning photograph.

The photograph was taken in the Imnaha Canyon, not too far down the canyon from the town of Imnaha, Klages said.