Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog 2018 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest Winners

2018 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest Winners

Posted by Teddy Wingo at Jan 04, 2019 06:00 AM |
Filed under:

Check out the winning images from our 2018 photo contest.

Wow! Our 2018 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest showed us just how incredible the landscapes, trails and people are in Washington. This was our biggest contest to date, with nearly 8,000 photos entered across all five categories. Our new Instagram category was also a huge hit, and it was great to see so many photographers sharing their images with us. 

Northwest Exposure is more than just a photo contestit's a way for us to share your memorable moments on trail with other hikers. Your photos allow us to create colorful and informative resources, and our how-to's and trail features wouldn't look the same without the photos hikers enter in the contest. That's why we encourage everyone to enter the contest no matter how you capture moments on trail. Past winners (even grand prize winners) have been taken on everything from DSLRs to camera phones. Everyone has a shot at awesome prizes.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest this year. We loved looking through all the entries, though narrowing them down to 16 winners was certainly difficult. We hope you enjoy the winning photos below, and we look forward to seeing your entries starting on August 17 this year!

Grand Prize - hope Black

Photo by Hope Black

Our grand prize winner this year is the result of a chance meeting. Hope Black was on her way up to Camp Muir when she met Sushank (pictured). They encouraged each other along the trail, all the way up to camp. During a break for a snack, Hope noticed the amazing reflection of Rainier and the surrounding peaks in Sushank’s glasses. She captured the moment beautifully.

“One thing I love about this picture is the fact that the viewer can see, reflected in my friend’s eyes, what we were looking at as we hiked.”

1st Place, Trailscapes - Brian Smith

Photo by Brian Smith

Brian Smith describes the landscape around Mount St. Helens as one of his favorite areas to visit because of its sheer beauty and the history surrounding it. Brian spent this particular evening photographing the paintbrushes around the trails as the sun set.

“These trails are the gateways to so many peaceful and beautiful places in the PNW.  Whether I capture a cool shot or not I just enjoy being out there.”

2nd Place, Trailscapes - Laura jacobsen

Photo by Laura Jacobsen

Laura and her husband spent one day in late July braving the summer wildfire haze at Mt. Baker. They did an overnight at Park Butte, a normally popular trail which was quiet and still that particular morning. After snapping this image, Laura, was reminded of just how we, as hikers, are a part of something much bigger.

“I like how my husband is a small part of the scene. It reminds me how small humans are in comparison to nature.”

3rd Place, Trailscapes - RAFAEL REESE

Photo by Rafael Reese

On this particular morning at Talapus and Olallie Lakes, Rafael brought along his mother and her close friend to introduce them to the trails. As they stopped for a break around the halfway point to Talapus, Rafael saw this as the perfect opportunity to work on honing his skills behind the lens.

“While I usually bring my tripod along for landscape work, this was actually taken hand held and low to the ground - one of those ‘this might create an interesting point of view’ type of shots.”

1st Place, Flora and Fauna - Andrew Rossi

Photo by Andrew Rossi

This trail in the Enchantments is especially important for Andrew. It is the place where he proposed to his now fiance — only hours after taking this photo. Keeping the proposal a surprise was a challenge for Andrew, as the couple shared the weight of their gear, including the ring.

“I even had it hidden in her pack at times without her knowing! Luckily, it worked out pretty well.”

2nd Place, Flora and Fauna - DANNY GRIESMER

Photo by Danny Griesmer

Danny was out walking his dog one evening in April when he discovered that the area he had selected was a nesting ground for Western Screech Owls. Though he didn't get a good shot that night, he returned the next day to the Sammamish River Trail with a little bit more light in the sky to capture this winner.

“Trails are important to me because they allow me to easily access the beautiful terrain we have in this state.”

3rd Place, Flora and Fauna - KELLY VANDELLEN

Photo by Kelly Vandellen

Kelly vanDellen is a resident of Athens, GA but on a trip to Mount Rainier he was lucky enough to meet one of the park's resident foxes. This particular fox is known to researchers in the area. After posting the photo to Instagram, Kelly was contacted by the Cascades Carnivore Project. One researcher had recognized this mother and identified her to Kelly.

“This fox's name is Whitefoot and she was taking the kill back to her den for the kits that we saw playing along the road earlier in the day."

1st Place, Trail Family - SiDNEY SPENCER-MYLET

Photo by Sydney Spencer-Mylet

Sidney loves hiking with her friend, Ruwida, in the fall. Students at Curtis High School in Tacoma, Sidney and Ruwida take every opportunity they have to spend time outdoors, even if it is a short urban trek. As a member of the Curtis High Photography Club, mixing hiking and photography is a perfect blend of hobbies for Sidney.

“Trails provide me with a lot of peace and tranquility in my life, by allowing me to slow down and thoroughly enjoy my surroundings.”

2nd Place, Trail Family - MUSHTAQUE SILAT

Photo by Mushtaque Silat

Mid-week hikes in the I-90 corridor have become a staple for Mushtaque Silat and friends during recent years. Though they had hiked this particular trail many times before, one April evening they made a sunset trek up Mount Si and Mushtaque was able to capture the group in a perfect silhouette.

“This picture on Mt Si is on a rock formation that I call the portrait rock. It provides the perfect background for silhouettes as the sun is setting.”

3rd Place, Trail Family - Kelly Selzler

Photo by Kelly Selzler

Kelly Selzler and her family spent Labor Day weekend at a friend’s cabin near Packwood. Kelly had previously ventured all across Mt. Rainier National park but had never visited the Grove of the Patriarchs before this trip. Her three year old daughter, Mallory, Loved running across the suspension bridge and Kelly saw it as the perfect opportunity to capture Mallory’s joy.

“What I love about this image is that my daughter was having so much fun out in nature. I have spent so much of my time in the outdoors, so it’s meaningful to me to be able to share this experience with her.”

1st Place, Hikers in Action - Ryanne Leavitt

Photo by Ryanne Leavitt

You are never too old to enjoy the beauty of nature and there is no better feeling than enjoying it with the ones you love. On this particular day in March, Ryanne and her folks ventured to Frenchman Coulee. When they arrived, however, they realize that the trail was too rocky for safe passage and decided to hike down the old Vantage Road toward Echo Basin instead. As she approached the sand dunes, Ryanne, turned around and admired her parents comradery.

“I turned around to tell them we had reached the dunes.  Before I opened my mouth, I just watched them, and the sight of them coming up the sandy hill made my heart happy.”

2nd Place, Hikers in Action - Astrid Bowden

Photo by Astrid Bowden

Astrid and friends were making their way around San Juan Island when they came to the loop at Lime Kiln State Park. The path down to the beach was a rocky one and little jumps between boulders were required all the way. Astrid recognized this as the perfect opportunity to capture the route in action.

“I saw a spot where I could get right in between those two rocks and asked my friend to jump across. I had to get real low to the ground because I wanted the rocks in the foreground to appear huge and out of focus to draw the eye to my subject.”

3rd Place, hikers in action - Rahul Kashikar

Photo by Rahul Kashikar

Seeing the alpenglow on the side of a mountain first thing in the morning is always a special sight - but witnessing this beautiful light phenomenon while ascending Mount St. Helens makes for a special experience. At 5:02am, Rahul Kashikar snapped this shot as they climbed upward as part of a training regimen in preparation for summiting Mount Rainier at a later date.

“When the sun popped up from behind the mountain the light was absolutely magical,” Rahul said. “This was my first time above the clouds, on my feet, at that elevation. It was also my first snow hike and I came back with lifetime memories.”

1st Place, Instagram - Jacob Mchenry

Photo by Jacob McHenry

On an early August morning, photographer Jacob McHenry set out to High Rock Lookout with his girlfriend to take in the sunrise. The original plan was to set out with friends on the moderate hike to enjoy the sunrise as a group, but the irresistible pull of cozy sleeping bags in the early morning was too strong for the rest of the cohort.

"Growing up with the privilege of being raised in and near the outdoors my entire life, I now find that sharing the outdoors with inner-city youth with the Seattle ICO (seattleicoadventures) volunteer group, my way of showing a whole new generation the same wonderful world.”

2nd Place, instagram - Chelsea Peterson

Photo by Chelsea Peterson

Yellow Aster Butte had been on Chelsea Peterson’s camping list for a long time and she saw this trip as not only an opportunity to check an area off of her list but also a chance to practice shooting at night. It was around midnight in mid-July when she decided the timing was right.

“This is looking south from the basin below the Butte, towards Tolmie peak. We lucked out with an entire basin full of snow fields and slowly melting tarns, which were incredible to walk around.”

3rd Place, instagram - gary anderson

Photo by Gary Anderson

Gary was nearing his destination on the way up to Granite Lakes when he noticed a furry friend perched on a rock. With few other hikers on the trail that day, Gary took the opportunity to break and take out his camera, shooting from a distance with a telephoto lens.

“Wildlife photography is my passion. When a pika or any other creature, large or small, makes an appearance, I will interrupt my hike for as long as needed to work towards capturing the best possible photo (while respecting the animal's space).”

Thank you to the contest sponsors for providing prizes for the winners and supporting our work. The 2019 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest will kick off on August 17, 2019. We hope to see your photos then!