Nature’s Color

The outdoors are saturated with vibrant colors.
Nature’s Colors photo contest winners and finalists

Grand Prize Alan Krakauer
Tundra Slumber
The Land of the Midnight Sun may be most famous for its big bears and immense landscapes, but sometimes it’s the small quiet moments that leave a lasting impression. One day in late August while hiking over the spongy Arctic terrain near Toolik Lake in northern Alaska, I found a sleeping red fox snoozing on a bed of vibrant late summer tundra. This is one of my all-time favorite photos in part because of the gorgeous fall-like colors, but even more because I’m not sure I’ve ever captured a picture of an animal that seems so at peace in its surroundings. I got my photos and continued on my way, and left the fox to its dreaming.
Canon 6D, Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L, ISO 800, Aperture f/5.6, Shutter Speed 1/500sec, No flash or tripod.
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Second Prize William Stekelberg
Lake Martin Great Blue Heron
The photo was taken from a small boat on Lake Martin, Louisiana, near the town of Breaux Bridge. I was attracted to the way the late afternoon light was illuminating the heron while backlighting the foliage, which was in its “fall color” stage. The image has been cropped a little for compositional reasons.
Nikon D850, Tamron 150-600mm G2, handheld.
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Third Prize Perri Schelat
Moth Confetti
I created Moth Confetti last Fall, while walking along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, a stretch that forms the southwest boundary of Glacier National Park. In the Fall the water gets low making it possible to get down in the river and explore amongst pools and rocks. I took a walk in the river, hand holding my camera, which allowed more artistic freedom not being attached to a tripod. I came across a small pool of water wedged in between two boulders full of dead months floating on top of fallen aspen leaves. It was an interesting intimate scene almost an abstract. The water was slightly moving, light was low and I was hand holding. I used an higher ISO to get a fast shutter speed, which was complicated by the need for a small aperture to get greater depth of field from corner to corner. It was a challenge to get just the right balance and the result I wanted. In the end the image really spoke to my current interest and exploration of smaller scenes, while taking time to be more thoughtful and introspective in the field.
Nikon D810, Nikon 24-70mm with VR on F16, 1/160, ISO 1600, 70mm focal length, Global RAW file adjustments made in Lightroom. Basic local adjustments made in Photoshop.
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Oracle by Abe Blair
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Red Legged Honeycreeper by Kevan Sunderland
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Nature’s Colors Photo Contest Winners and Finalists
more at Outdoor Photographer

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