Tag Archives: photo contest

Amusing Monday: Vancouver, B.C., youth takes three photo awards

Liron Gertsman, 17, of Vancouver, British Columbia, surprised even the judges in Audubon’s annual photo contest. Liron submitted the best photo among youth entries, according to the judges. But beyond that, he was awarded the only two honorable mentions given in his division. The judges themselves were unaware of the trifecta until the winners were tallied.

Grand prize winner: Great gray owl by Steve Mattheis, 2018 Audubon Photography Awards

“Judging is anonymous, so we had no idea that Liron swept the entire youth category, not only the winning image but also two honorable mentions,” Sabine Meyer, one of six judges in the contest, said in an email. “His photos exhibit quite a sophisticated and mature eye, and he is very deliberate in his image making – blurs, extreme close up, monochromatic palette with a backlit bird.

“He is not afraid to push the conventions of classical bird photography aside and invent his own visual vocabulary,” she said. “It’s rare, at any age! I look forward to seeing what he produces in the years to come and hope that other young photographers get inspired and pick up an interest in birds and bird conservation.”

Youth winner: Cobalt-winged parakeets by Liron Gertsman, 2018 Audubon Photography Awards

A sweep in one category has never been seen before in the nine years of the Audubon Photography Awards.

The grand prize winner in the contest is Steve Mattheis of Jackson, Wyo., who submitted a photo of a great gray owl taken in Teton County, Wyo. The professional winner is Gary R. Zahm of Los Banos, Calif., whose photo of a group of black-necked stilts was taken in a wetland in Merced National Wildlife Refuge in California. The amateur winner is Diana Rebmanof Burlingame, Calif., who photographed a long-tailed tit in Akan-Mashu National Park in Japan.

Information about all the winning photos, including the honorable mentions, can be seen on the webpage “The 2018 Audubon Photography Awards.” A display of the Top 100 photos in the contest include seven more noteworthy submissions by Liron Gertsman, a recent graduate of Point Grey Secondary School in Vancouver.

Youth honorable mention: Bald eagle by Liron Gertsman, 2018 Audubon Photography Awards

The top 100 includes many stunning photos, including these from Washington state residents:

  • A western grebe taken at Ocean Shores by professional photographer Tim Boyer of Bellevue,
  • A golden-crowned kinglet taken at Cottage Lake Park near Woodinville by professional photographer Jacob McGinnis, a resident of Woodinville,
  • An American robin taken by amateur Joanie Christian near her home in Colville, Wash.

Liron’s winning photo captures a group of cobalt-winged parakeets in a national park in Ecuador, according to a story written by reporter Dan Fumano of the Vancouver Sun. To get the shot, Liron ventured deep into the Amazon rainforest.

Youth honorable mention: Fawn-breasted brilliant by Liron Gertsman, 2018 Audubon Photography Awards

“The parakeets are super-shy,” Liron was quoted as saying. “One twig snaps and they’re all gone … But after five hours the first day, and five hours the second day, on the third day after about three hours, the magic finally happened.”

Liron’s photos can be viewed on his website Liron Gertsman Photography, including a special presentation of his visit to Ecuador. Liron is scheduled to attend the University of British Columbia, where he will study science.

More than 8,000 photographs were submitted in the ninth annual Audubon Photography Contest. The winning photos and honorable mentions will be featured in “Audubon” magazine and “Nature’s Best Photography” magazine. They will also be part of a nature photography exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Amateur honorable mention: Wood duck by Scott Suriano, 2018 Audubon Photography Awards

This year, the contest celebrates the many birds protected under the 100-year-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act, called the most important bird conservation law by Audubon officials, who have launched a campaign to maintain the law against attacks from the Trump Administration and some members of Congress.

The Department of Interior announced last year that it would no longer enforce incidental takes of birds, giving more leeway to kill birds as part of power line installations, oil spills and other industrial operations, according to Audubon officials.

Sarah Greenberger, Audubon’s vice president for conservation, said a broad effort to undermine numerous environment protections includes a target placed on the bird-protection law.

“There have been a number of attempts to weaken the law,” she said. “And some industries would rather be free of the requirements … But a vast majority of Americans support the MBTA. There is a hundred-year record that proves it is possible to have robust economic activity and environmental laws.”

Go to Audubon’s website to learn more about the campaign to maintain the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Amazing image of gray herons comes after
much experimentation

I can always count on the annual National Wildlife Photo Contest to provide some amazing water-related photos — and the 2014 contest was no exception.

This is the 44th year for the contest, sponsored by National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation. This year’s contest attracted more than 29,000 entries, according to a statement accompanying the winning photographs.

herons

The winner of the Grand Prize, Hungarian photographer Bence Mate, spent 74 nights in a blind over a period of several years to figure out how to capture this remarkable image of gray herons in Hungary’s Kiskunsag National Park.

By experimenting with his camera gear, he was able to capture a clear image of the birds and water in dim light, while also showing us the stars, which were not in the same depth of field. His home-made equipment was able to achieve good exposure throughout the scene.

“I made the photo with a fish-eye lens that was less than a meter away from the closest bird and had to be careful not to scare the herons with noise or light,” he was quoted as saying.

The birds kept moving during the 32 seconds that the shutter was open, “and they created interesting forms in front of the starry sky,” he noted.

frog

I like the whimsical appearance of this bullfrog, captured by Cheryl Rose of Hopkinton, Mass., as she explored Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary in Central Massachusetts. The water seems to wrap around the log, becoming part of the sky with clouds in the distance.

“There were so many frogs in this pond,” she said, “but this one gave me the perfect pose.”

The photo won second place in the Other Wildlife category — a category for something other than birds, mammals, baby animals and backyard wildlife.

First place in the Baby Animals category went to Nathan Goshgarian of Woburn, Mass., who watching as this mallard duckling leaped at flies swarming over Horn Pond in his city.

ducks

“It had the incredible ability to select a single fly from the seemingly random movements of the swarm and launch itself out of the water,” he said.

Check out 17 stunning photographs, with comments from the photographers, on the National Wildlife website.

Amusing Monday: Amazing nature photos from around the world

Some of the best photographers in the world contribute to National Geographic magazine. So it’s no wonder that a photo contest sponsored each year by the publication draws in some incredible photographs.

Last year, more than 7,000 entries were submitted by amateur and professional photographers from 150 countries, and I would expect an equal number this year. The deadline has passed for submissions in 2014, and the winner of the $10,000 grand prize plus several runners-up will be announced later this month.

For now, with permission from National Geographic, I’d like to share 10 water-related images from a gallery of the judges’ favorite photographs for 2014. To see more pictures, visit National Geographic’s Photo Contest 2014 Galleries.

When Gregory Lecoeur jumped into the Salish Sea near Vancouver Island’s Race Rocks, the water was cold, visibility was poor and the current was strong. When he sensed shadows moving about him, he slowed his movements. Soon, curious Steller sea lions were trying to play with his camera and nibble his fingers.
When Gregory Lecoeur jumped into the Salish Sea near Vancouver Island’s Race Rocks, the water was cold, visibility was poor and the current was strong. When he sensed shadows moving about him, he slowed his movements. Soon, curious Steller sea lions were trying to play with his camera and nibble his fingers.
Rick Loesche caught this decisive moment in the life of a crab, which was about to be eaten on Sanibel Island, Florida.
Rick Loesche caught this decisive moment in the life of a crab, which was about to be eaten on Sanibel Island, Florida.
Dave Kan was finishing up a photo shoot in Queensland, Australia, when a kangaroo appeared out of nowhere and bounded across the edge of a lake on the Noosa River, as if the animal were walking on water.
Dave Kan was finishing up a photo shoot in Queensland, Australia, when a kangaroo appeared out of nowhere and bounded across the edge of a lake on the Noosa River, as if the animal were walking on water.

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Amusing Monday: Contest compiles amazing photos

An amazing collection of wildlife photographs came together in the 2009 contest sponsored by National Wildlife Federation. These are pictures that touch you with their beauty, inspiration and humor.

Grand Prize, Amateur, 2099 National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest. Minke whale by Steffen Binke

The photo at right shows a minke whale descending the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. The picture, by Steffen Binke, won the Grand Prize in the amateur division.

To see a slide show of all 32 winners, visit the Web site of National Wildlife magazine. I hope you can take a few moments to enjoy them.

Other entries were so good that the magazine put together a slide show of 60 honorable mentions that are worth seeing.

If you are a photographer interested in entering the 2010 contest, you will find information on the online magazine’s Web pages.