The competition awarded three top winners, winners in five categories and two fan favorites, selected by members of the public, who voted through the foundation’s website. You can view the full collection of winning photos and read comments from the photographers on the National Park Foundation Blog.
“All the photos are beautiful. But my favorite aspect of the contest is the interviews we do with the winners, hearing about the special moment they captured and why it was important to them, ”Shafroth said.
Take a look at the winning photos below and get inspired to submit your own photos for the National Park Foundation’s Share the 2021 Experience Photo Contest, with co-sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton, the entrepreneur and partner of the Recreation.gov platform. The grand prize for the winning image is $ 10,000, followed by $ 5,000 for second place and $ 3,000 for third. Winners also receive outdoor amenities provided by Celestron, Hydro Flask and Osprey Packs, hotel packages offered by Historic Hotels of America, and an annual pass to National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands.
Prizes will be awarded to three top winners, two fan favorites and winners in five categories. The categories are Adventure and Leisure, Outdoors for All, Historical and Cultural, Scenic, Seasons and Landscapes and Wildlife. Visit sharetheexperience.org to learn more about the contest, including how to submit an image, the full list of prizes and rules. You can also follow @NationalParkFoundation on Instagram for inspiration in your photos.
The 2020 grand prize winning photo, taken by Mark Gruenhaupt, captures the Milky Way above a camping area in the San Juan National Forest in the southwest corner of Colorado, taken in July 2020 during the pandemic of COVID-19. “With so many negative things associated with this year, I thought it was appropriate to share something beautiful and positive from this time,” said Gruenhaupt.
A photograph by Rudi Jensen took second place. It shows his brother walking to the shore of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, with over 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline in Michigan’s upper peninsula.
Third place went to Kathy Ritter for her photo of a multicolored sky reflected in the water of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The Apache-Sitgreaves covers over 2 million acres in east-central Arizona, with some 30 lakes and reservoirs and over 1,000 miles of rivers and streams.
The winner in the Scenic, Seasons & Landscape category was John Vermette, showing a starry sky at Natural Bridges National Monument in southeast Utah. Natural Bridges was the first international dark sky park certified by the International Dark-Sky Association.
The winner of the Urban Playgrounds category was David Caldwell, for his photo of the Golden Gate Bridge taken in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco.
“This photo is just fun, happy and a little silly,” says Madi Lynch of her winning photo in the Friends, Family & Fun category. It reminded her of “the little moments in life that can take you through anything.” The photo, showing someone sledding down the dunes, was taken in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado.
History and Culture winner Jennifer Rasmussen said her photo of the Stones River National Historic Battlefield in Tennessee had sparked a sense of hope in uncertain times.
“This photo reminds us of two things,” she says. “The Civil War Supply Wagon reminds us of what our country has endured throughout its history. We always have a way to persevere, learn, change, and get stronger through it. Second, the sunset. Sunsets, in all their beauty, are a time to reflect on the events of the day, while remembering that a new day comes with a story to write.
Taking this photo of a mother bear and her three cubs at Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska was a special moment for Tom Fenske, winner in the Wildlife category.
“It was a very difficult process to select a photo for this contest as most of my best images were taken over the past decade and on public land. This photo is from 2019 during my first trip to Katmai National Park and Preserve. It was an unforgettable experience and certainly a highlight of the decade, ”said Fenske.
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be contacted at email@example.com