Skip to main content

Past Winners

Learn more about the prize-winning photographers of the Showcase competition and their work.

Each photographer’s winning photo is featured here with their website for more information. Their work was also featured in the NANPA blog with “How I Got the Shot” stories.

Photo Courtesy © Belinda Bridwell

Showcase competition winners

The Top 26 is comprised of a Best in Show winner for each of the six categories, a First Runner-Up for each category, and two Judges’ Choice winners in each category except Macro/Micro/All Other which has four.

Click each winning image or portfolios to view as a larger size.

2023 Birds Category

Best in Category

Scott Wolff

I was fortunate to have had a father and uncle who got me outdoors at a very young age and fostered my appreciation for the natural world through canoeing, camping, hunting, and backpacking experiences. I am a recently retired M.D. (a biologist gone bad). High on my list of passions are conservation and wilderness experiences. I’ve been doing photography since I was a teen, jumping into the digital pool about 15 years ago.

First Runner-Up

Angela McCain

I am a rheumatologist and avian photographer who finds nature to be the perfect antidote for the challenges of medicine. The intense concentration required by photography blocks (almost) every rival thought. Originally, I was drawn to birds because they were a readily available subject when my time was limited. But their beauty and diversity captivated me and I came to respect the evolutionary solutions to their own unique challenges.

Judges’ Choice

Kevin Lohman

Kevin Lohman is a nature photographer living in Santa Cruz, California. He makes wildlife and landscape images with Nikon and Sony mirrorless cameras, and edits them on a Mac computer using Adobe Lightroom. His educational background in marine science heavily influences his photography, and his career at a technology company has made him comfortable managing digital images. Lohman is a member of NANPA, and has had images recognized in various photo contests including previous NANPA Showcase competitions, Audubon Photography Awards, and he is currently a finalist in the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Judges’ Choice

David M. Young

David M. Young is a New England-based photographer who thrives on finding and capturing the beauty of nature. Through his own personal journey, he has found how nature can nourish the spirit and renew a sense of connection to the world. By patiently observing and being fully present in the outdoors, one can discover unseen treasures and serendipitously encounter magical moments that can enrich and transform the soul. Young hopes that his photography can provide a glimpse of that beauty, and become an inspiration to seek out, appreciate, and protect the natural world.

2023 Mammals Category

Best in Category

Craig A. Elson

Craig A. Elson is an award-winning American photographer based in Los Angeles, California, who has traveled to more than 60 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean over the past 30 years. He is focused primarily on wildlife, landscape, and aerial photography and is happiest when shooting in golden light anywhere in Africa.

“I love photography because, for me, it is the perfect marriage of art and science, the creative and the technical – it forces me to use both sides of my brain while in the world’s most interesting, beautiful, and wild places to capture both fleeting and timeless moments. What could be more fun and more challenging at the same time for someone with a serious case of wanderlust?!”

First Runner-Up

Vicki Jauron

Vicki is an award-winning wildlife and nature photographer currently living in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Her goal is to ignite a passion in others for enjoying and preserving our natural world and animal friends. Her images have won awards in leading international and national competitions and can be found in magazines, educational materials, advertisements and books. She is most proud to have images support major conservation efforts such as Remembering Wildlife, Prints for Wildlife and The New Big Five. She has also authored two children’s books to engage young readers in the need to protect shore birds.

Judges’ Choice

Belinda Bridwell

I have lived all of my life in East Tennessee. After retiring from a career in information technology, I took up photography. I tried many types of photography, but after a trip to Big Bend National Park in 2016, I discovered that photographing nature, especially birds, was my passion. My goal is to capture amazing experiences in nature and to share those experiences with others. By sharing this work, I hope others will connect with nature.

Judges’ Choice

Corey Raffel

I am an amateur wildlife photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. My favorite subjects for photographs are parrots in the wild. My interest in wildlife photography began in 2016 when I went on a trip is see parrots in the wild. One of the great things about looking for wild parrots is that you see lots of other animal subjects while looking for the birds, and I am quite content to photograph any animal that I see. Thus, I also spend lots of time looking for and taking photos of almost any wildlife. I am a neurosurgeon by profession. This means that I am very demanding of precision and am quite intolerant of sloppiness and errors. Thus, I really strive to take images that I call “scalpel sharp”, rather than “tack sharp”! Taking pictures of animal displaying typical behavior is a goal for much of my photography.

2023 ‘Scapes Category

Best in Category

Ian S. Frazier

Growing up on the East Coast I dreamed of the iconic landscapes of the West. This led me to move to California after college and explore immense photographic opportunities. Currently, I live in San Diego and am still passionate about documenting the beauty of the natural world.

First Runner-Up

Gero Heine

Gero Heine headshot, photo credit Natalie Wollmann

Originally from Germany, Gero Heine’s early experiences roaming the Black Forest and exploring the Alps and Dolomites sparked a lifelong passion for wilderness and wildlife. Upon moving to Santa Cruz as a high school student, Gero became an avid surfer, further connecting him to nature through frequent encounters with the abundant marine life of Monterey Bay. In the decades since, Gero has photographed all over the world. He is engaged in conservation efforts and has participated in a lion research project. For the past 16 years, his work is exhibited in art shows, festivals, and galleries across the Western U.S. Gero’s work has won numerous awards, including the Wildlife category of Nature’s Best Magazine’s prestigious Windland Smith Rice International Awards and a North American Nature Photography Association Top 10 Award (2011).

Judges’ Choice

Don Larkin

Headshot of Don Larkin

I am a self-employed architect during the week and a nature photographer on the weekends. My wife and I live in the Seattle area where we enjoy hiking and photography in the Pacific Northwest. I first fell in love with nature photography as a student in architecture school where it made a creative escape from my studies. In the years since, experiencing the outdoors and photographing nature has remained an important part of my life. I strive to find art in all types of nature, from the elegant form of a bird in flight to the sculptural display of a wave.

Judges’ Choice

Ron Santini

Ron has over 20 years of experience capturing the natural world of stunning landscapes, enchanted waterfalls, and wildlife in their natural environments. His training is a combination of both formal and informal classroom instruction, and in-the-field workshops where he has refined his photographic skills. This training has resulted in numerous local, regional, and national photographic awards.

2023 Altered Reality

Best in Category

Thomas Yackley

Thomas Yackley Headshot

Award-winning photographer Thomas Yackley’s lifelong fascination with the printed image began when he joined his high school newspaper staff in 1973. He’s been shooting digital and developing with Photoshop since 1999. He is a member of Georgia Nature Photographers Association, Southeastern Photographic Society, and North American Nature Photographers Association. He has over thirty years high school music teaching experience and five years teaching photography. Digital photo painting, compositing, and photo encaustic are among his favorite techniques. The natural world is a major theme in his images. Besides shooting landscapes and wildlife, Yackley enjoys leading photo workshops and teaching photo classes through his website. Along with his wife, Robin, he is Co-Artistic Director of the Alpharetta Community Chorus and leads the Park Place Social Singers.

First Runner-Up

Lois Hild, DVM

From the age of five when I started taking blurry pictures of wildlife (mostly squirrels and chipmunks with the occasional moose or bear) and as through the years our family traveled to most of the national parks in the western US, wildlife was always my favorite subject. My dad and I would process our film in the darkroom he had fashioned in our bathroom.

Undergraduate, veterinary school, and starting a family filled most of the time for a number of years. Then in 2011 I went on safari in Kenya and my passion was rekindled. I now travel to Kenya as often as possible where I have a small safari company. I really enjoy sharing my passion with my guests whether they are point and shoot novices or highly skilled photographers. I love wildlife photography for the places it takes me in nature, its role in conservation, and for its ability to engage both sides of my brain.

Judges’ Choice

Wendy Kaveney

I have always enjoyed photography and have been a professional photographer since 2002. I enjoy traveling, seeing new places with fresh eyes, and I am constantly seeking new perspectives through my camera lens. I am particularly drawn to wildlife and the natural world, enjoying the challenge and the photographic process to make the most unique images I can.

I currently live in Carmel, Indiana, and have been a member of NANPA since 2004. My images are represented in the Jaynes Gallery at The Danita Delimont Stock Photography Agency and have been published nationally and internationally.

Judges’ Choice

Charles Needle

Charles Needle is an award-winning, Colorado-based, fine art nature photographer, author, speaker and workshop leader with a unique eye for design and artistic interpretation. He specializes in creative macro and Impressionistic photography and has more than 20 years of full-time teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad.

A popular conference and camera club speaker for more than two decades, Charles has authored three cutting-edge instructional books. In 2018 and 2021, Charles earned honorable mentions in the Macro and Visual FX categories of the prestigious Annual International Mobile Photography Awards Contest. He was also a semifinalist in the 2014 Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards photo contest. A charter NANPA member, Charles has also been a Showcase Competition award winner for 15 years.

2023 Conservation

Best in Category

Elizabeth Yicheng Shen

Elizabeth Yicheng Shen (illustration)

I’ve always had a soft spot for all kinds of animals. Before getting into photography, I used to ask myself, for a super introvert like me, what else I could do for the animals? If animals and Mother Nature could talk, what would they say to us? What would they want us to know? The answer to my own quest came in 2019. I want to be the voice of the voiceless. Be their voice and tell their stories through my photography. Wildlife photography has been my passion since then. I’m an amateur wildlife photographer and a finance professional. I was born in Taiwan and live in California with my 5 rescued bunnies.

First Runner-Up

Jann Ledbetter

I am a passionate nature and wildlife photographer … with the emphasis on passionate! I love photography and have my camera in hand every day. Wildlife photography requires me to slow down, pay attention and be present, while being out in nature is always restorative. If I come home from an outing with a good photo, that’s a bonus. Whether exploring near my home on Whidbey Island in Washington, or traveling elsewhere, I am always on the lookout for “the presence of wonder.”

Retirement has given me the freedom to unleash my curiosity and delve into learning more about nature and conservation. I volunteer with several local organizations aligned with these interests and values.

I feel moved to share my nature and wildlife photos with the hope that they will inspire others to notice and appreciate the beauty around us and, in turn, to take good care of the Earth.

Judges’ Choice

Brennon Hensley

Brennon Hensley works as a wildlife photographer based in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. He travels fulltime to reach remote areas of the outdoors in order to capture images of wildlife. He uses his background and expertise in wildlife rehabilitation and veterinary nursing to ethically capture photos of wildlife in their natural habitat. His focus in the field is to minimize his presence while monitoring the facial and body mannerisms of his subjects in order to capture their full essence and emotion. He hopes to bring awareness to the animals he photographs in a way that drives others to help conserve and protect not only the animals, but also the ecosystems which they call home.

Judges’ Choice

Nicollet Overby

I believe a picture can speak a thousand words, and I strive to use my camera as a voice for nature. The addition of a small zoom lens to my equipment in 2014 completely changed my life and expanded my world. Now, by focusing on my knowledge of ecology and animal behavior, I continue to capture unforgettable moments through a long lens, while allowing nature to continue undisturbed. My goal in photography has always been to inspire others to become more connected to nature and conserve our planet’s amazing biodiversity, by offering unique perspectives into the lives of all creatures.

2023 Macro, Micro, & All Other Wildlife

Best in Category

Mark Drawbridge

I am a marine biologist who has worked for a non-profit research organization in San Diego for more than 30 years. My love of nature started early growing up in New England and spending time outdoors fishing and hiking. For me, the joy in nature photography is as much about the experience and the physical and mental benefits of being out in nature. I enjoy the challenge of capturing images that are unique and dramatic even if the subject matter is common. While images that fill the frame with the subject can be great, I often find myself photographing environmental portraits. Becoming truly proficient in photography and the digital darkroom will likely be an endless pursuit for me, especially as digital technology continues to evolve. This challenge, coupled with the endless creative opportunities that photography offers as an art form, makes it a wonderful and rewarding pursuit!

First Runner-Up

Jennifer Idol

Jennifer Idol, an expert in diving, design, and photography, connects people to the natural world. She showcased local waters in her book, An American Immersion, a quest in which she became the first woman to dive 50 states. She’s published in DIVER, SCUBA Diving, and Alert Diver. She is also recognized as a PADI® Ambassadiver (2017 and 2018) and is an Explorer’s Club Fellow. Jennifer helps others experience wildlife encounters as an expedition leader for trips with Big Fish Expeditions that include whale sharks, sperm whales, humpback whales, and tiger sharks.

She’s also a core team member and experimental diver for Avelo and created the photography, videography, and all communications for this new dive system. The Avelo System is a revolutionary approach to scuba diving that consists of a Hydrotank and a Jetpack.

Judges’ Choice

Alexandre Andes Gascon

Alex is a macro photographer currently based in Miami, Florida. He has a multidisciplinary background in anthropology and entomology. As a photographer, his goal is to document invertebrate diversity and present insects in a charismatic way.

Judges’ Choice

Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell Headshot. Photo credit: Gary Campbell

Karen Campbell combines her passions as a naturalist and macro photographer to capture nature interactions in her yard and protected habitats. She got serious about macro photography in 2009 with a goal of documenting bees that had discovered their 4-acre native plant restoration. With new discoveries through her lens, she expanded her goal to include pollinators and their relationships with plants. And then to all arthropods, plants, and fungi. She participates in community science projects, and her image catalog now includes several thousand species of plants and arthropods.

More recently, Karen transformed her photographic style to be more creative, providing better eye appeal to share our tiny wildlife and their environment for others to discover. She uses photojournalism to share the stories of her subjects in articles, blogs, and social media posts. Through this work, Karen hopes to encourage people to create and protect native habitat in their own yards and communities.

Judges’ Choice

Dee Langevin

I am a retired analytical chemist with a passion for nature and wildlife photography. I became serious about photography when I retired in 2006 and have enjoyed traveling the world, capturing the beauty I find. I love being outside in nature, photographing anything from macro subjects to expansive landscapes. I am a PSA member with a GMPSA distinction and compete and judge in local and international competitions. I have exhibited in a number of museums and venues in the mid-Atlantic region and enjoy sharing my joy of photography through photo presentations around the US.

Judges’ Choice

Luke Roman

Luke Roman is a wildlife and conservation photographer based in Toronto, Ontario, with a passion for macro photography. Trained as a biologist, he is captivated by the ability to create larger than life images of the world’s smallest flora and fauna. His photographs seek to reveal the tangled web of interactions these species participate in and the human driven threats to their biodiversity. Current projects include working with native pollinators to demonstrate their integral roles in both ecology and agriculture.

See the Top 100 Images from 2023

Check out A Visual Feast: 2023 Showcase Top 100 Nature Photos

See the Top 100 Images of 2023
Ice Bear! As the temperature drops an Alaskan brown bear becomes engulfed in ice. Kodiak, Alaska, 2023 Showcase Top 100, Mammals © Jennifer Smith

Kodiak, Alaska, © Jennifer Smith

2022 Birds Category

Best in Category

Jeremy Burnham

Jeremy Burnham’s passion for wildlife photography stems from his appreciation for nature and his love of the outdoors. As a child, his grandfathers taught him about the plants and animals they encountered. His father hiked the Rocky and Smoky Mountains with him and educated him about the impact of outdoor activities on mental and physical health. These formative experiences molded his belief in the harmonious and synergistic relationship between humans and nature. It is this emotional connection between people and the natural world, Jeremy aims to recreate with photographs.

As a sports medicine surgeon, he finds the attention to detail and respect for nature fundamental to surgical care also transfer readily to wildlife photography. Jeremy hopes his photography can provide even a small glimpse into the beauty and wonders of the great outdoors which Muir eloquently referred to as “varied expressions of God’s love” and “a window opening into heaven.”

First Runner-Up

Cameron Azad

I’m a career Financial Advisor for a large Swiss bank and a hobbyist nature photographer. I do most types of nature photography, including storms, weather, infrared, birds, landscape, and wildlife, but my first love is underwater. I think underwater nature photography is the most challenging, due to the difficulty in capturing light through the filter of water.

Judges’ Choice

Brian Caldwell

Photographer, musician, emcee, tour guide, engineer, conservationist, surfer, windsurfer, mountain biker. Take your pick. Having grown up in Glasgow, Scotland, Brian now lives on Lake Hodges in Southern California where he has been for the last 30 years. An avid outdoorsman and nature enthusiast—and having run the Lake Hodges Aquatic Center and Concession for 12 years—Brian is the ultimate Lake Hodges local. He’s comfortable on both sides of the camera, whether playing music live to eight million people worldwide from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas or 1-on-1 in his boat with clients at the Lake. Coupled with his understanding of photography, light, and grebe behavior, Briant is THE guide when in pursuit of the shot at Lake Hodges. You can usually find Brian walking the shores of Lake Hodges with his two best friends: his wife Kim and his dog Angus.

Judges’ Choice

Dana Henry

I started photographing nature “for real” in 2007— bought a Panasonic point-and-shoot to take along on a climb of Mt. Rainier. From then…I was hooked! I shoot both wildlife and landscapes, though I’m most drawn to wildlife.

2022 Mammals Category

Best in Category

Tom Ingram

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have always had a special connection with nature and conservation. While in college, I spent a summer as a Hot Shot firefighter and fell in love with photography while carrying a Pentax K1000 in my backpack photographing the wildfires. As life would have it, I ended up graduating in accounting and spent 20 years in corporate finance and business, and only recently have been able to dedicate myself to photography. My initial passion began with a quest to photograph all North American breeding birds but has since expanded to photograph mammals and landscapes. As a conservationist at heart, I hope my photography can inspire others to preserve our natural habitat for all the living creatures that depend on our stewardship.

First Runner-Up

Celia Kujala

Celia Kujala is an international award-winning wildlife and underwater photographer. From the moment she saw California sea lions for the first time at the Prospect Park Zoo when she was fourteen months old, she felt a special bond with them. However, it wasn’t until she got scuba certified and started underwater photography in 2017 that she found her true calling. She is currently working on a project called Seal Peace about all the species of pinnipeds in the world. Through her photography she hopes to engender an appreciation for each individual species as well as their diverse environments and the challenges those environments are facing. A researcher by trade, she strives to learn everything she can about her subjects in order to most accurately and intimately tell their stories.

Judges’ Choice

Anita Ross

In 2019 we spent a lot of time with the Topi pride in the Mara. On a rainy day we knew exactly where to find a lion called Doa that spent most of his time with this pride. Our guide told us as soon as he licks his paw, he will shake his head so be ready. Sure enough to my surprise that is exactly what happened.

I was born and raised in Southern California. I took up photography upon retiring in 2012. I tried different types of photography, but I quickly fell in love with wildlife. It’s been such a wonderful journey discovering all the different creatures in our world and how amazing and different they all are.

Judges’ Choice

Jennifer Hadley

The bears “dancing” in the forest was taken as I was leaving the area. It was getting quite dark and the last rays of sun were casting their light to the end of this “tunnel” area that is heavily forested and quite dark. I was photographing another pair of bears that were close to me but kept looking back at the beautiful light being cast behind me. Suddenly something caught my eye and I spun around to see two young bears run out onto the path far into the tunnel. I only had a split second to catch the moment and the bears were quite far. At first I was really disappointed that the distance and darkness would make for a useless photo but once I got home and started looking at it, the scene and story it told became magical. Two young bears “dancing” in the forest at dusk when they thought no one was around.

2022 ‘Scapes Category

Best in Category

Greg Vaughn

Greg Vaughn is a professional photographer specializing in recreational travel and the natural world. Greg is the author of the award-winning guidebooks Photographing Oregon and Photographing Washington, and he leads photography workshops as a member of the Muench Workshops pro team.

First Runner-Up

Robb Hirsch

Biologist by training, naturalist by heart and photographer by passion, Robb Hirsch has an intimate relationship with the natural world. This connection was established early during childhood visits to Yosemite, forging a bond with this magical place. Following an undergraduate degree from UC Irvine, he began a career as a field biologist, working on projects for California State Parks, USGS, and several private firms. His love for traveling and exploration led him through Africa, Central America, and the Western United States.

Photography was originally a means to document his work and travels but became the focus. His photography has been featured in international competitions, calendars, magazines, and gallery showings. He leads customized, small group photography workshops in Yosemite and surrounding Sierra Nevada. Robb’s book, The Nature of Yosemite: A Visual Journey, published in 2019 by the Yosemite Conservancy combines imagery of the park with text teaching about the natural history.

Judges’ Choice

Hector D. Astorga

Hector D. Astorga is a full-time wildlife photographer based in South Texas. His love of nature and the outdoors began as a child in his native country, Honduras. He is the ranch manager at the Santa Clara Ranch, a photography ranch that hosts wildlife photographers from all over the globe. He leads and conducts photography tours and workshops at multiple locations in North, Central, and South America, Scandinavia, and Africa.

Judges’ Choice

Alice Cahill

I am a photographic artist based on the Central Coast of California in Morro Bay. I am inspired by all the wildness, colors, designs and moods of the natural world. I believe that nature is a healing force and a refuge from the chaos of daily life, and I strive to share that feeling in my photographs. Most recently, I have taken to exploring the wonders of the night sky.

Since I first became interested in photography in 1993, I have been honored to receive a number of awards for my photography including wins in Nature’s Best International Photography contest, Audubon, and multiple NANPA Showcase contests.

2022 Altered Reality

Best in Category

Wendy Kaveney

I currently live in Buckeye, AZ and have been a member of NANPA since 2004. My images are represented in the Jaynes Gallery at The Danita Delimont Stock Photography Agency and have been published nationally and internationally. I also co-lead photography tours to Namibia, allowing me share my passion for photography with others.

First Runner-Up

Cheryl Medow

Santa Barbara artist and nature photographer Cheryl Medow creates images that entice the viewer to enter the natural world and envision her wild birds, in imaginary and real environments. Using classical and contemporary tools, Medow layers her photographs to create visual narratives.

Medow studied ceramics at the Chouinard Institute and received a BA in Art from UCLA, concentrating on life drawing. She studied printmaking at Hand Graphics in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and digital printmaking with Mac Holbert and John Paul Caponigro in Santa Barbara.

Since first exhibiting her work in 2006, Medow has received many accolades and her work is held in numerous private collections. In 2018 her work was featured in NANPA Expressions journal for Best in Category and Judges’ Choice Awards. In 2019, ZOOM magazine #256 published her work in English and Italian. Her prints are sold through PDNB Gallery, Photographs Do Not Bend, in Dallas, Texas.

Judges’ Choice

Dave Hattori

I am an avid nature photographer based in Apex, North Carolina, who loves to spend time outdoors exploring new places and observing wildlife. After a professional corporate career, I am now focusing on more creative endeavors, dedicating a good deal of my time to photography and photo art. The photo art that I create, based on images that I have captured with my camera, allow me to use my imagination and creativity to express the beauty, mystery, and humor I find in my subjects. I enjoy learning new techniques, improving my craft, and exploring more of our amazing natural world as I continue my photography journey.

Judges’ Choice

Sylvia A. Hosie

I am a fine art photographer living on the Oregon Coast. My work includes nature, travel, and equine images. The American West, its history and legacy, are of particular interest. I am represented in two Oregon galleries.

2022 Conservation

Best in Category

Edgar Molina

I am a photographer living out of Oakley, California, with my wife and three fur babies (Biscuit, Bruce, and Marshmellow). I purchased my first camera in 2017, a Fuji X-T2, as an attempt to identify a creative outlet and photograph family functions. I quickly realized that I was a terrible people photographer but thankfully found refuge in photographing nature-related subjects.

Photographing landscapes and cityscapes taught me the basics, such as camera settings, composition, and light. But, I didn’t identify my passion and love for photography until I started photographing wildlife subjects in my local area. Most of my workdays days are spent staring at a computer screen, so getting out in nature and observing all of its critters has been an absolute joy.

First Runner-Up

Corey Raffel

Corey Raffel is an amateur wildlife photographer who entered the hobby in 2016. His favorite subject for photos is parrots in the wild. One of the great things about photographing parrots is that as one wanders around looking for them, one encounters lots of other wildlife! Parrots have more endangered species than any other large family of birds. Corey supports parrot conservation organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of the Macaw Recovery Network. Despite his interest in parrots, Corey is actually very happy to photograph any wildlife that he encounters, and he spends plenty of time looking for subjects close to home. Prior to retirement, Corey was a neurosurgeon, so he has a built-in desire for perfection. Thus, he strives for really scalpel-sharp (not tack-sharp) images. He is greatly looking forward to spending more time capturing images during retirement.

Since first exhibiting her work in 2006, Medow has received many accolades and her work is held in numerous private collections. In 2018 her work was featured in NANPA Expressions journal for Best in Category and Judges’ Choice Awards. In 2019, ZOOM magazine #256 published her work in English and Italian. Her prints are sold through PDNB Gallery, Photographs Do Not Bend, in Dallas, Texas.

Judges’ Choice

Celia Kujala

Celia Kujala is an international award-winning wildlife and underwater photographer. From the moment she saw California sea lions for the first time at the Prospect Park Zoo when she was fourteen months old, she felt a special bond with them. However, it wasn’t until she got scuba certified and started underwater photography in 2017 that she found her true calling. She is currently working on a project called Seal Peace about all the species of pinnipeds in the world.

Through her photography she hopes to engender an appreciation for each individual species as well as their diverse environments and the challenges those environments are facing. A researcher by trade, she strives to learn everything she can about her subjects in order to most accurately and intimately tell their stories.

Judges’ Choice

Christina Selby

Christina Selby is a conservation photographer, writer, and nature guide who uses visual and narrative storytelling to enchant people’s hearts and inspire action for wild places and wild things. Christina is the author of the award-winning Best Wildflower Hikes of New Mexico (a Falcon Guide) and New Mexico Family Outdoor Adventures (UNM Press) as well as producer of the documentary film Saving Beauty.

Her work has appeared in publications such as: bioGraphic, Scientific American, National Geographic online, New Mexico Magazine, and Mongabay, among others. When she’s not searching for monkeys in the Amazon, tracking Mexican wolves in the Southwest, or wildflowering in alpine meadows, you can find her at home in Santa Fe or camping with her two boys, husband, and Great Pyrenees “Glacier” in the stunning landscapes of the Southern Rockies.

2022 Macro, Micro, & All Other Wildlife

Best in Category

Barry B. Brown

Barry B. Brown is an Ikelite Ambassador and Smithsonian Institution deep-sea photographer who has spent 15 years and 6,000 plus dives recording Caribbean life underwater. Now living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he travels back and forth to Curacao and Bonaire on a yearly basis hoping to find a new fish or creature each time.

First Runner-Up

Kevin Barry

Arriving just before sunrise, I headed down one of my favorite trails in the pine rocklands of Everglades National Park looking for something interesting to shoot. After walking a short distance, I came upon a group of Thorn Bugs on a branch of a small Wild Tamarind tree.

I am a south Florida native who travels to numerous locations in search of great shots and adventure. I have been a nature photographer for many years and love to photograph everything in the natural world, from the smallest of insects to the grandest landscape. My work has been widely published, and magazine credits include Blue Ridge Country, Defenders, Florida Wildlife, LIFE, Natural History, Nature Conservancy, Popular Photography, and Texas Highways.

Ultimately, I hope my photos inspire others to develop a greater appreciation of nature, and to care enough to want to save what remains of the real world.

Judges’ Choice

Alex Rose

Alex Rose is the Science Editor for Ocean Geographic magazine, and the Managing Editor for Ocean Geographic Explorers. Alex is also a professional photographer, violinist, Explorers Club Fellow, PADI Divemaster, and lover of all things aquatic. She founded ocean conservation company, Blue Ring, at the beginning of 2017 in an effort to create a new method of ocean conservation accessible to and inclusive of everyone. Rose is also a co-founder of Wave Film Fest, a Chicago-based video celebration of our world’s waters that saw its inaugural event in 2020, and is the Secretary of Deep Hope, a nonprofit founded by Dr. Sylvia Earle to build citizen submarines. Her driving goal is to find ways to protect our world’s precious marine habitats through diving, writing, photography, education, and research.

Judges’ Choice

James Zablotny

James Zablotny is an entomologist and part-time professional nature photographer living in Fenton, Michigan. Jim earned an MSc in zoology and doctorate in entomology from Michigan State University. While pursuing his college degrees, he also produced scientific and anatomical illustrations for several Zoology Department faculty members at MSU. He specializes in macro or close-up photography but also incorporates the photography of birds, botanical subjects, and occasional wildlife images in his portfolio.

Littleton, Colorado, © Jeffrey Goudy

See All the Highlights from 2022

Want to see even more from the 2022 Showcase Competition? Check out the 2022 Edition of Expressions.

Let's Go