Amusing Monday: Nature photos that take you away

A new collection of inspirational nature photographs has been compiled for the 2010 photo contest sponsored by National Wildlife Federation. The winners, just announced, touch you with their beauty, emotion and sometimes humor.

Natasha A. Svoboda of Columbus, Ohio, won first place in the division called Connecting People with Nature, Amateur, as part of the National Wildlife Federation's photo contest. (Click to enlarge)

The photo at right was taken by Natasha A. Svoboda on a rainy day in Ohio’s Whetstone Park. Svoboda took this picture of her sister looking at tadpoles swimming in small pool of water. The photo, which captured first place in the division called “Connecting People with Nature, Amateur,” demonstrates that stunning images may be all around us if we take time to look. Judges liked the “contrast between the lavender umbrella, dress and flowers and the brilliant green foliage” that takes on an “almost painterly composition.”

It is but one of the 32 wonderful winning photographs featured in a slide show in the online version of National Wildlife Magazine. Editors also are planning a slideshow of honorable mentions from the 50,000 entries received last year.

If you love nature photographs as I do, there is another contest worth watching. The Nature Conservancy has announced the finalists of its annual contest, and there is still time to vote for your favorites. Go to the “2010 Finalists” page to view the thumbnails, click to enlarge (I prefer the Flicker image), and then vote on the page “You Be the Judge.”

By the way, past winners from both contests can be viewed on the two websites mentioned above.

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