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.

Congratulations, everyone!


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.

See the other winners in Outdoors Landscape and People Outdoors. Next week, we'll share some of the other images that were worthy of Honorable Mentions.

All images entered in the Trailspace photo contest are copyrighted by the photographer.

Filed under: Contests


0 reviewer rep
148 forum posts
April 21, 2010 at 6:57 a.m. (EDT)


0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts
April 21, 2010 at 8:44 a.m. (EDT)

The raccoon faces charmed me to no end, but I have to admit the bird frozen in time is an essential example of what still photography can do like no other medium. Great stuff!

10 reviewer rep
193 forum posts
April 21, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. (EDT)

Congrats all! To my brother an extra special congrats, I knew you had a special shot with the woodpecker the first time you showed it to me.

1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts
April 21, 2010 at 9:27 a.m. (EDT)

Excellent shots all three!

I loved the raccoons & the goats,and yes the Woodpecker freeze is amazing.

I wish I could capture the rogue Pileated Woodpecker that loves to bang my chimney cap early in the mornings.

Good work guys!

82 reviewer rep
311 forum posts
April 22, 2010 at 10:28 a.m. (EDT)

What can i say!All three are great.The raccoons make me smaile and the bird shot rocks.I see a lot of mountain goats here in the pnw but this one is very nice also.Thanks to all for shareing their photos.

0 reviewer rep
15 forum posts
April 22, 2010 at 9:38 p.m. (EDT)

Thank to all those of you who voted for my submissions. It is truly an
honor to be recognized by strangers who like what they see in my work. Also I would like to thank Trailspace for putting on the contest. There were some really great entries and I am honored that out of all the entries my work was worthy of your votes. Thank you!


0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
May 14, 2010 at 6:45 p.m. (EDT)

I thought i heard something :)

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