Photogs, rejoice! We are most excited to announce and publish the winning shots of our first-ever photo contest. This initial contest was open exclusively to subscribers of our email newsletter, and this great community of fine folks didn’t disappoint. If you’d like to join the email newsletter, click here! We had no idea what to expect when we announced our foray into the photo contest game and were thrilled with the results: 10 photographers sent in 22 photos to be judged across our three categories: landscape, wildlife, and adventure. The contest served as a great dry run, and we look forward to building a bigger and better photo contest in the near future. We hope this contest inspires you all to get out and keep shooting photos of our wild and wonderful state.
The landscape category was pretty self-explanatory: we asked entrants to send us their most fantastical photos showing off West Virginia’s spectacular beauty. There were only two rules here: locations must be in West Virginia, and there couldn’t be any people in the images.
The wildlife category is for, you guessed it, photos of our amazing flora and fauna. Plants, bugs, and bears – it doesn’t matter. If it’s wild and it’s living, it was fair game (pun intended). Domesticated animals were not allowed, and just like the landscape category, no humans!
So, what about us crazy hominids that like to do radical activities in the great outdoors? We’re certainly worthy of being in photos, right? Cue the adventure category! This was for any photo showing human-powered adventure. Whether it’s a high-speed capture of a skier or biker, a photo of an angler casting in an idyllic mountain stream, or of adventurous souls being dwarfed by our big landscapes, we wanted to see it!
Winner winner, chicken dinner! No, the overall winner didn’t get a chicken dinner, but they did win a one-year subscription to the print magazine, our radical Floral Laurel t-shirt, and a sticker pack. The winner of each category got their choice of a one-year subscription to the print mag or a t-shirt. The runner-up in each category received our custom sticker pack. Without further adieu, here are the winners!
Grand Prize Winner: David S. Johnston
David’s photo of the full moon rising through the Gunsight Notch at Seneca Rocks is our overall winner. You can read about the mind-bending mathematical work that David went through to get this series of shots in our article about highlining at Seneca. Congrats on the killer shot, David!
Landscape Winner: Christina Petrilli
Christina’s capture of an early winter storm on the slopes at Snowshoe takes first prize for the landscape category. As avid skiers who are always ready for summer to be over, this one instantly stoked our excitement for winter. Think snow, Christina!
Runner Up: Jake Lloyd
Jake’s snap of some golden hour light illuminating the needles of pine precariously perched over the New River Gorge does a great job of capturing the fleeting feeling of being a thousand feet above one of the oldest rivers on Earth. Nice work, Jake!
Wildlife Winner: Jill Mullins
What else can you say about this photo besides one word: fierce! This capture of a hulking mountainbeast is not your average bear, and stole the show the second we saw it. Those red eyes, though! Congrats, Jill.
Runner Up: Sheila Jenkins
This pastoral photo of a dozing fawn was the perfect counterpoint to Jill’s big bear. We’re lucky to have so many excellent wildlife models here in the Mountain State. Congrats, Sheila!
Adventure Winner: Tanner Hensen
Tanner’s shot of a climber bouldering at Cooper’s Rock State Forest on the rim of the Cheat Canyon is adventure at its core. Solitude, scenery, danger, stillness, and motion all came together in this great snap. Nice work, Tanner!
Runner Up: Jill Mullins
Jill claims another win with this awesome evening tableau of whitewater rafting on the Lower New River. This is the final pool before the exciting Fayette Station Rapid (visible in the distance) and is the culmination of one of the best whitewater runs in the East. We love how those purples in the sky play against the bright colors of the flotilla.
Stay tuned for details on our next photo contest, which will reward winners with bigger prize packages and be features in an issue of our print magazine. Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter for details and other announcements. Congrats again to our winners, and happy shooting!