This year, we held our sixth Virginia Master Naturalist photo contest, with categories for "Virginia Flora (Including Fungi)", "Virginia Fauna", "Virginia Landscapes and Habitats", and "Virginia Master Naturalists in Action". We received 75 entries from 20 different VMN chapters across the state. Each chapter could submit only one photo per category, and chapters were allowed to design their own processes for choosing which photos to send. Many chapters hold their own internal photo contest, often having members vote to choose the submissions.
The 2018 contest was coordinated by Maria Cannata, a member of the VMN-Central Rappahannock Chapter and a talented photographer herself.
The contest winners were announced on September 17, 2018 at our statewide conference. Winners received lovely certificates as well as bragging rights and the opportunity for many more folks to see their fantastic photos. Maria congratulated everyone who submitted photos, whether just to the local chapter contests or to the statewide contests as well.
Damon Green - Virginia Flora (Including Fungi) Category
Damon Green studied Fine Art and Graphic Design at Thomas More College and Photography at Northern Virginia Community College. He has had his work published in the Washington Business Journal, The Northern Virginia Review, Cincinnati Enquirer, CityBeat (Cincinnati). Currently, he is a senior web designer/developer at Northern Virginia Community College.
Michael Bedwell - Virginia Fauna Category
Michael Bedwell has been interested in photography since his middle school days when he got his first camera, an old school Werra Mat 35 with a Carl Zeiss Lens. Now retired and living in beautiful Highland County, Virginia, Michael has ample time and opportunity to stalk beautiful images. He has won numerous ribbons at the county fair, honorable mentions and a first place in the Scenic Virginia contest, and an honorable mention at the Bath County Art Show. He is a regular contributor to the blog site seehighlandcounty.org and the local chamber of commerce.
Helen Rice - Virginia Landscapes and Habitats Category
The need to capture what is happening in the world around me has driven my need to carry my camera over the past 40 years. From Nome, Alaska to Guam in the South Pacific to the Eastern seaboard and returning to the Pacific Northwest from whence the journey began. My choice of subject is eclectic from baby toes to the raw beauty of Denali in the Interior of Alaska. If I had to choose, the raw honesty of the outdoors strikes a chord with my soul. The intensity of raging fires, the churning of the ice at breakup and the sweet softness of falling snow. I came of age with my photography as the digital age entered; it allows me to switch from black and white to brilliant color in the blink of an eye. Do I have a preference? No, it is all about attempting to capture what I am seeing.
Patrick Cardamone - Virginia Master Naturalists in Action Category
Pat lives in Southern California where he has been actively involved in the entertainment business since age 10. His years of experience both in front of and behind the camera make Pat the perfect choice to judge the Master Naturalists in Action category. He intuitively understands how action can be portrayed in an image.
And, the Winners!
All the winning photos are viewable below. Click on the gallery thumbnails for each photo to see the titles, photographers, and placement.