Photo Contest Winners: Nature and Wildlife
Thank you to everyone who entered and participated in the first Trailspace member photo contest. It was great fun to see so many pictures from our talented members. We had 227 entries in the contest and nearly 4,000 votes by members.
Here are the top-voted winners, out of 61 entries, in the Nature and Wildlife category, including the grand prize winner (top-voted overall), along with some words from the photographers about themselves and their photographs.
Grand Prize Winner &
First Place - Nature and Wildlife
"Freeze" by Scott McWatty (squatty)
About Scott: I grew up in South Carolina, where I live now. I'm 35 years old and married to a wonderful wife that is so supportive of my love of the outdoors. We have a beautiful daughter, who I can't wait to take along with me on my adventures. My love of the outdoors came as a child from my involvement in the Boy Scouts. I'm also an avid hunter and love to pursue waterfowl, upland game, and wild turkey.
I have always had an interest in photography, but never really pursued it until three years ago when I bought my first Digital SLR camera. I remember having cameras as a kid and liked taking pictures, but nothing compared to the National Geographic images I'd admire in the subscription my grandparents gave me for Christmas. I've basically self taught myself through a lot of trial and error and help from several generous souls on some online photography forums. I shoot with a Canon 40D, and use either a 100-400mm L or 300mm L lens for wildlife and a 17-70mm lens for landscapes.
About the photo: My main interest in photography is wildlife, specifically birds. Back in March, I took a hunting trip with one of my good friends down to South Florida for Osceola Turkeys. This particular morning, I stayed back at the car to listen for other gobblers since I had already harvested my bird. There was quite a bit of dead pine snags in a field. As the sun rose I noticed many woodpeckers and other birds around. They seemed pretty tolerant of me being relatively close. I grabbed my camera out of the car and slowly worked my way to the pine snag in the picture. Two Red-Bellied Woodpeckers kept using that one tree. I just stood there hoping they would return.
Well, as with most wildlife photography, I got lucky. One of the birds returned and started working the pine snag and landed on the branch to the right. He pecked away a few times. Then I noticed a sudden movement in the bird that signaled to me that he was about to fly off. I hit the button and snapped this shot. It was one click and not what some folks would call a "spray and pray" capture. I was truly lucky! My timing was just right and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and blessed by Mother Nature. The bird instead of flying literally just jumped from that branch to the tree and I just happened to freeze the moment of him in between the two.
I didn't even realize I had captured the shot until 10 or 15 minutes later. I was going back through the shots in my camera and saw it. I knew I had captured something special, but never did I imagine that it was something that would win a photo contest. I'm truly honored.
Second Place - Nature and Wildlife
"Mother Raccoon and Baby" by Heidi Beaudoin (Heidi Tibbetts)
About Heidi: I was born and raised in the country in Alton, N.H., where I now live with my husband. I enjoy walking and hiking in the woods, photography (obviously), collecting old and new cameras, and animals. I have three dogs, two miniature donkeys, and a goat that I love to go on walks with. I have worked as a nurse for a cardiac office for the past 14 years. I love my job. I enjoy going up north for hikes and walks.
About the photo: My photography background is pretty simple. I have enjoyed taking pictures since I was small, and basically do it as a hobby. I have four digital cameras and three film cameras. I have done a few weddings. I also make photo cards with a lot of my pictures. I took my coon picture with my Kodak p880 in August of 2008, here on our property, where there is an old vacant house.
Mumma raccoon moved in up in the attic that spring and had four babies. I would sit and watch her some evenings from the ground. She would come out to eat about the same time every night. One evening she was looking out and one of her babies popped his head out. He wanted to see what was going on too. Not soon after that day, she moved them out. She returns every year.
Third Place - Nature and Wildlife
"Mountain Goats of Glacier National Park" by Lisa Seino
About Lisa: I am a 47-year-old wife, mom, and grandma, and have lived my whole life in Southern California. I am a full time office manager for our dental practice. After being indoors all week, my husband and I really look forward to enjoying outdoor activities on the weekend. I love to camp, hike, canoe, and am hoping to do some rock climbing in the future (something my husband has always enjoyed). I really love the National Parks and hope someday I can say, "I have visited every National Park in the U.S. and Canada." I took a photography class in the 8th grade and have enjoyed photography as a hobby ever since. I usually always have a camera with me.
About the photo: This photo was taken in June of 2005 while visiting Glacier National Park. A funny story about these critters, my husband had never seen a mountain goat in the wild. While we were hiking in Glacier National Park with our two youngest children, my husband said, "I hope I get to see a mountain goat this trip."
Right then, my daughter said with a quivering voice, "Daddy, ...what's following us?" There they were, five feet behind us. It was so amazing to see and photograph these beautiful mountain goats. This photo was shot using my Canon EOS Digital Rebel.
Congratulations to our wildlife and nature winners, Scott, Heidi, and Lisa! They each win a gift card to an outdoor retailer of their choice.
All images entered in the Trailspace photo contest are copyrighted by the photographer.