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2015 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest Winners

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Jan 08, 2016 03:25 PM |
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The 2015 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest showed us some of the best photos we've seen in the 13 years the contest has been running.

The 2015 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest showed us some of the best photos we've seen in the 13 years the contest has been running. We received over 1,800 photos showing off coastal sunsets, expansive mountain views, and hikers enjoying the vast number of trails Washington has to offer.

While it was tough narrowing down such a huge number of photos to just a handful of winners, we're happy to announce the winning shots for this year's contest below.

Grand Prize: Quade Sheehan (Port Angeles)

2015 NWX Grand Prize - Quade Sheehan
Grand Prize winner from 2015. Photo taken by Quade Sheehan from Grand Pass, Olympic National Park.

"The trail is where we find ourselves. The trail takes us to refuge, fuels our passions and connects us to nature. It is the trail where adventure begins."

On photography: "Not only do I want to remind myself of many amazing moments, I also want to be able to convey just how an experience made me feel. I want to share those feelings with other people and let them experience what I did. There is no better way to feel more in the moment; than by doing what you love. If my photography gets people excited or motivated, then I have succeeded."

1st Place, Trailscapes: Alyssa Tidwell (Monroe)

2015 NWX 1st Place Trailscapes - Alyssa Tidwell
1st Place, Trailscapes. Photo taken by Alyssa Tidwell from Mount Si.

"Whether I need to break away, get a change of scenery, feel inspiration or fuel my adventurous side, trails are my escape. They symbolize what I stand for; balance, preservation, adventure and love for the outdoors."

On photography: "The outdoors is refreshing and rejuvenating. It fuels my desires for travel, planet conservation, beauty in its most natural form, solitude and connecting with my roots. I'm passionate for the outdoors, so I feel the need to visually capture the magnificence before my eyes. Outdoor passion led to my outdoor photography passion, so in essence it means everything to me combining the two greatest passions in my life."

2nd Place, Trailscapes: Jared Gunderson (Lynnwood)

2nd Place Trailscapes 2015 NWX - Jared Gunderson
2nd place winner in the Trailscapes category of the 2015 contest taken by Jared Gunderson from Hidden Lake Lookout.

"Without trails I wouldn't be able to see a sunrise like this one. Having only avid adventurers and outdoor lovers by my side just makes everything even better."

On photography: Taking pictures of the outdoors has ruined everything else in my life. When I'm in school I think of where I want to go next. When I'm at work I constantly talk to my co-workers about my adventures. A sandwich at home doesn't taste the same when you've eaten one after an exhausting hike. Even going for a run is disappointing when you aren't surrounded by looming mountains. Outdoor photography is an addiction that I never want to give up.

3rd Place, Trailscapes: Maxime Prat (Seattle)

3rd Place Trailscapes NWX 2015 - Maxime Prat
3rd Place, Trailscapes. Photo taken by Maxime Prat from Granite Mountain.

"Trails are to me a great way to, all at the same time, disconnect from the crowded life, get a great workout, and discover beautiful and truly humbling places only your feet can reach."

On photography: "To me it is a very personal way to remind myself and show others what the outdoor experience felt like. On the spot, it also requires me to focus (no pun intended) on what I am doing and dive into my own world. And, being from France, this also creates great advertisement for my folks to come and visit me in the US!"

1st Place, Hikers in Action: Adam Raymaker (Poulsbo)

1st Place Hikers in Action NWX 2015 - Adam Raymaker
1st Place, Hikers in Action. Photo by Adam Raymaker from Grand Ridge.

"Trails are important to me because they allow me to share beautiful places with the people I care about."

On photography: "Not only is taking photos outdoors a personal record of my time shared with others in any given environment, but it's also done with the intent to inspire others to go out and do the same. I love sharing my work, and I just get super excited to do it. So if I'm inspiring even just one person to get outside, it'll feel like a success."

2nd Place, Hikers in Action: Justin Alaniz (Moses Lake)

2nd Place Hikers in Action NWX 2015 - Justin Alaniz
2nd Place, Hikers in Action. Photo by Justin Alaniz from Independence Pass, Mount St. Helens.

"There has yet to be any other place where I can find the peace that being on a trail provides.  It is unmatched."

On photography: "It's so much more than showing others what I saw.  It reminds me of how little we really are and how we are part of something so much bigger.  Being outside and photographing these experiences reminds me of the richness of being outdoors, despite the weather.  No matter the heat, the rain, the snow or wind - I've yet to experience nature on the trails and come home wishing I had not."

3rd Place, Hikers in Action: Jeff Lewis (Bellingham)

3rd Place Hikers in Action NWX 2015 - Jeff Lewis
3rd Place, Hikers in Action. Photo by Jeff Lewis from Chain Lakes.

"As a parent, trails make the difference between getting my kids to the edge of the wilderness, and getting my kids INTO the wilderness."

On photography: "For me it started and remains a way to capture my own experiences and adventures and revisit them, evoking the original experience, rather than trying to tell a story to anyone else.  It's mostly a happy accident when somebody else finds my pictures enjoyable as well."

1st Place, Flora and Fauna: Ken Campbell (Port Angeles)

1st Place Flora and Fauna NWX 2015 - Ken Campbell
1st Place, Flora and Fauna. Photo by Ken Campbell from the Olympic Discovery Trail.

"Many people exercise with little secondary benefit. Washington trails provide me with the opportunity to view wildlife with a secondary benefit of getting exercise."

On photography: "It is my way of relating to nature and wildlife. I use my photographs to teach others about the world around us."

2nd Place, Flora and Fauna: Archana Bhat (Seattle)

2nd Place Flora and Fauna NWX 2015 - Archana Bhat
2nd Place, Flora and Fauna. Photo by Archana Bhat at Oyster Dome.

"Trails are where we as a family get centered. We can count on trails to be the place to get rejuvenated and reconnected with each other."

On photography: "In a small way it is part of my legacy to my children. Documenting the beauty of the places we hiked and traveled is giving us a chance to relive it years later."

3rd Place, Flora and Fauna: Terri Hoselton (Olympia)

3rd Place Flora and Fauna NWX 2015 - Terri Hoselton
3rd Place, Flora and Fauna. Photo by Terri Hoselton taken near Hole-in-the-Wall, Olympic National Park.

"Trails provide accesses to amazing places where one can just sit, be, and connect."

On photography: "When I hike with a camera, I look for a way to capture the essence or feeling of the place with the camera to share with those who could not be there with me. I try to look for the small things that get overlooked, in addition to the landscapes."

1st Place, Camp Life: Randall Hodges (Mukilteo)

1st Place Camp Life NWX 2015 - Randall Hodges
1st Place, Camp Life. Photo by Randall Hodges at a winter camp on Skyline Trail.

"I hike over a 1,000 miles a year, and need trails to get to the awesome locations I want to photograph."

On photography: "It is my life.. could not live without it! I try to share my spiritual connection with nature through my photographs."

2nd Place, Camp Life: Andrew Bertino (Seattle)

2nd Place Camp Life NWX 2015 - Andrew Bertino
2nd place winner in the Camp Life category taken by Andrew Bertino on Sahale Arm.

"I’m at my absolute happiest when I’m among the wild, beautiful places on this earth. So for me, trails are vitally important because they are literal roads to happiness."

On photography: "There are times when I'm outdoors that I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning. I'm downright giddy! I think landscape/adventure photography is an attempt to hold onto that feeling long after I've left the wild. You often hear that "pictures don't do it justice." Well, to a competitive and creative person like myself, that's the challenge that keeps me shooting."

3rd Place, Camp Life: Bob Riedlinger (Seattle)

3rd Place Camp Life NWX 2015 - Bob Riedlinger
3rd Place, Camp Life. Photo by Bob Riedlinger from the Lake Ingalls Trail.

"Trails are important to me because of the wonder places they lead to in the wilderness. They also help me get home."

On photography: "When I am awestruck by nature I want to share that feeling. Taking photos is my attempt to do that. I also enjoy the physical effort to get to a place and wait and be quiet. I realize I am a visitor and feel grateful when I'm in a world untouched by human's machines. Not everyone gets the opportunity to be in the wilderness. I hope that sharing photos of wild places will raise the awareness that they need to be protected."

1st Place, Fun on Trail: Stacia Glenn (Tacoma)

"Trails are where we learn how to treat ourselves, others and the world around us. They keep me grounded, focused, happy and grateful. It’s where the best memories are made."

On photography: "Taking pictures of the places I go is not only a way to hold on to my memories, it's a way to inspire others to get outside and see all this world has to offer. I find that when I have a camera in hand, I pay more attention to my surroundings and will notice details I otherwise might have hiked right past."

2nd Place, Fun on Trail: Jason Horstman (Kirkland)

2nd place Fun on Trail NWX 2015 - Jason Horstman
2nd Place, Fun on Trail. Photo by Jason Horstman at Park Butte.

"Trails provide access to some of the most beautiful and pristine landscapes in Washington, and make it possible to get outdoors and enjoy all the scenery this state has to offer."

On photography: "Taking pictures of the outdoors is a passion of mine, and really means being aware of your surroundings and the environment around you.  Knowing how to capture the landscapes around you while also respecting them is both a challenge and an art form."

3rd Place, Fun on Trail: Lauren Dawkins (Battle Ground)

3rd Place Fun on Trail NWX 2015 - Lauren Dawkins
3rd Place, Fun on Trail. Photo by Lauren Dawkins at Table Mountain.

"Trails bring things together. Not only do they connect one place to another, but they also help us connect with nature and other people, and that's when some of the very best memories are made."

On photography: "Nature is what inspired me to take up photography. The more time I spend outside the more amazing sights I see, and I love to share that with people. I want to capture these special moments to inspire myself and other people to get out and explore, and help preserve the incredible beauty of Washington."

For larger images, view the winning photos in the photo gallery.

Thanks to all of our fantastic sponsors for this year's contest, including Mountainsmith, BlackRapid, Pedco, and Mountaineers Books. To see what prizes the winners will be receiving, visit our prize page.

If you're preparing for the 2016 photo contest, check out these tips to snap a winning shot, and we'll look forward to seeing your entries starting on August 17!



Wow .... what a bunch of awesome pictures, they're all 1st place in my opinion !

Posted by:

"karlo" on Jan 11, 2016 09:23 AM

My Kind of People

Loved the photos, they are great, but especially loved the comments because they express how I feel about hiking, too. I can't wait for the next hike, and as the photos show, whether it is a well known hike like Mt. Si, or a hike deeper into the wilderness, it is good to get out there and use your foot power to reach the beauty that is out there in nature and along the way, discover things out about yourself, too.

Posted by:

K&C hikers on Jan 12, 2016 12:54 PM

Looking good......

I just wanted to mention how great all of the selections are from the photography contest. They showcase the joy of being out and about in Washington. Kudos all!

Posted by:

Rugosus on Jan 17, 2016 09:31 AM

3rd Place, Trailscapes

A more appropriate title for this great shot would be "Kaleetan Peak, from Granite Mountain".

Posted by:

Fred Beavon on Jan 18, 2016 10:30 AM

3rd Place, Trailscapes

Oops. Not Kaleetan Peak, but Mount Thomson.

Posted by:

Fred Beavon on Jan 18, 2016 01:03 PM

3rd Place, Trailscapes

But I doubt the picture of Mount Thomson was taken from Granite Mountain.

Posted by:

Fred Beavon on Jan 23, 2016 10:27 PM

Max Prat on 2015 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest Winners

Hi Fred,
Thank you for your interest in my picture! You are correct that the main peak in the picture is Mount Thompson. It has indeed been taken from the top of Granite Mountain, at the base of the lookout tower, looking North-East. The use of a telephoto (around 200mm focal length in 35mm equivalent) generally gives an impression of compressed distances: Mount Thompson is actually about two miles away, and roughly another two separate Mount Thompson from Snoqualmie Mountain, in the center-right background.
Hope this helps!

Posted by:

Max Prat on Jan 26, 2016 01:10 PM

3rd Place, Trailscapes

Thanks for the reply on your outstanding picture. It was a friend of mine that made me doubt from where the picture was taken.

Not that it matters, but, scrolled down, says "This peak is very often spelled "Mount Thompson", by the Montaineers, Beckey, and others, but it is named after famed Seattle municipal engineer R.H. Thomson, and the new USGS 7.5 minute map correctly spells his name."

Posted by:

Fred Beavon on Jan 26, 2016 02:07 PM

Max Prat on 2015 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest Winners

Thanks for the explanation. How ironic, on Google Earth I saw it spelled "Thomson", and thought it was a mistake :)

Posted by:

Max Prat on Jan 26, 2016 06:19 PM

3rd Place Trailscapes

WOW - that's all I can say. Reminds me very much of Ansel Adams' "clearing winter storm" at Yosemite. No offense to the other winners, they are all amazing, but I think the judges got this category slightly wrong. This shot is one of the greatest photos I have ever seen - congrats!

Posted by:

Dabears on Jan 27, 2016 04:42 PM

Really Spectacular Photos

There are some really spectacular photos here. Seeing these photos and reading the comments really captures my own thoughts and feelings about hiking. Andrew Bertino's comments for the 2nd Place Camp Life particularly resonate with me, well stated!

Now I'm fired up for my next round of hiking!

Posted by:

Go4Hike on Jan 29, 2016 06:06 PM