National Park Trips Media has announced the 2017 winners of its annual National Park Photo Contest, sponsored by Tamron. Three grand prize winners were chosen from a pool of 2,000 submissions—the most competitive group of entrants yet.
Each winner will receive his choice of Tamron lenses, either the SP 15-30MM F/2.8 Di VC USD ($1,299 value) or SP 150-600MM F/5-6.3 Di VC USD ($1,069 value).
“Every year, I say that this year’s entries are the best so far, and that’s never been more true than with our 2017 submissions,” says Rob Wood, executive director and publisher for National Park Trips Media. “I was blown away by the quality and how photographers were able to capture these really special and rare moments.”
In the Wildlife category, Roger Twilley, 60, of Tulsa, Okla., won for “Brown bear.” Twilley captured this image of a mother grizzly in Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park while on a guided trip he won from another photo contest. “Most people picture grizzly bears as mean, but she looked more at ease and relaxed,” Twilley says of his winning photo. “This was my first time seeing a grizzly bear out in the wild. It was unbelievable.”
In the Landscape category, Matt Meisenheimer, 27, of Janesville, Wis., received first prize for “A beautiful night at Ruby Beach,” showing a coastal cave at sunset in Washington’s Olympic National Park. He was lucky to get the shot—in between frames, he had to wipe saltwater spray off his lens. “It was a fun night,” he says. “I’ve been to a lot of national parks, and I really don’t think there’s a better area than the Pacific Northwest.”
In the Night Skies category, Tony Prince, 59, of Yucca Valley, Calif., for “The Milky Way rises boldly over Arch Rock,” shot at California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Prince lives close to Joshua Tree and visits often but spent months planning for this shoot. He waited until he knew the sky would be perfectly clear, then stitched together 18 separate images to capture the whole sky. “I just love the Southwest’s deserts, canyons, and super clear skies,” Prince says. “I can’t get enough of it.”
“In all three categories— wildlife, night skies, and landscape —the winners’ images had that x-factor, wow-factor,” Wood says. “In fact, we had so many of those truly exceptional images that I wished I could award multiple grand prizes per category. Photography is such a powerful way to connect with nature and our national parks and you can see that come through in the entries. It makes you feel good to know that something you’re doing is helping others foster a love and stewardship for National Parks and the outdoors.”
The winning images will be featured in the 2018 National Park Journals hitting newsstands beginning in late fall, and 48 honorable mention winners will receive certificates and be featured on National Park Trips Media’s websites.
“Documenting our parks and sharing it with the world through contests like this, as well as through social media, books and framed photos, is important,” says Stacie Errera, Tamron’s vice president of marketing & communications. “It reminds us to work hard to keep our planet healthy. And these images move us to want to explore the national parks again and again.”
For more information or to enter the 2018 photo contest, visit nationalparktripsmedia.com.