The desire to capture a moment so it can last for all time must be a fundamental aspect of our nature.
As far back as we explore human history, we see the attempts to make time stand still, from anonymous cave drawings to the stunningly detailed photography of today.
Nature photography is many different things: the disparate disciplines of wildlife photography, landscape photography, and garden photography. One ought to include the tiny world of macro photography and the boggling expansiveness of night-sky image-making too. What unites them all is a fascination with the natural world and a desire to explore and understand its everchanging state.
Grand Prize Winner
Southern Peel Sound, west of Somerset Island, Qikiqtaaluk, Nunavut. We had picked up a science crew in Resolute and were heading down the Peel Sound to Franklin Strait. The bear came down along the starboard side of the ship and crossed in our broken track in the ice. It was such a clear day — the reflection of the polar bear is as clear as the polar bear itself. Gary Morgan Lower Sackville, N.S. Canadian Landscape
Showcasing and celebrating Canada’s vast and beautiful wilderness through the lens of the beholder.
WINNER. Moose Jaw, Sask. I was chasing this awe-inspiring storm, and after it passed overhead, I decided to check out one final location. As the sun poked out from behind the storm, this was revealed: an epic Saskatchewan prairie-scape framed by a majestic double rainbow perfectly framing a torrent of rain. It left me speechless. Michael St Laurent | Moose Jaw, Sask.
RUNNER-UP. Horsethief Canyon, Alta. I went there to take this specific image. I prepared for it in advance. I was looking for the best place to capture the sunset over this otherworldly place. It looks like an alien planet with the dramatic sky and sunset. Ferenc Cegledi | Chilliwack, B.C.
HONOURABLE MENTION. Ojibway Provincial Park, near Sioux Lookout, Ont. We were sitting around the campfire. I set up my camera on a tripod and took a few shots of the Milky Way. As I was reviewing them, I noticed the glow beginning in the bottom corner — northern lights! I quickly recomposed the shot. This was my first time seeing them. It was an experience I will always treasure. Cathy Swain St. Catharines, Ont.
HONOURABLE MENTION. Race Rocks Light I was on my first trip to the West Coast, and I was on a mission to get pictures of humpback whales and orcas. On a boat tour, we saw humpbacks and later visited Race Rocks lighthouse. On our way back, I turned around to find that the boat’s wake provided a great foreground. Callum Ramsay | Kanata, Ont.
Connecting with Nature
Canadians enjoying nature through exploration, relaxation, adventure, family and sport.
WINNER. Dome Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alta. Friends and I were wandering around the surface of the Dome Glacier looking for features to photograph. We came upon an opening in the ice that led onto a downward slope to the bottom of a crevasse — truly one of the most incredible environments I’ve ever had the chance to photograph. This self-portrait is taken at the bottom. I like the surreal, vulnerable feel of it and the sense of wonder. Paul Zizka | Banff, Alta.
RUNNER-UP. Shames Mountain co-op backcountry ski area, Skeena Range, Coast Mountains I have been enjoying the natural world for most of my life, but it’s only been the last 10 years that I started to get serious about the compositional and technical aspects of photography. It just seemed to be a natural progression to learn how to capture the world that I loved … and to share it with others. Richard Eckert | Terrace, B.C.
HONOURABLE MENTION. Île-Bonaventure, Percé, Gaspésie, Que. At the very end of our dive, as we were just starting our safety stop at five metres, a seal came out of the depths to check us out. I quickly swung my camera in his direction and caught the magic moment. The creature’s big “smile” seems to be saying, “Come play with me!” Dominic Loiselle | Otterburn Park, Que.
Exploring the breadth and beauty of Canada’s native plant life in all shapes, sizes, types and colours.
WINNER. Slopes of Mount Washington, Vancouver Island, B.C. This is a macro photo of a sundew plant capturing an ant, shot near the road up to Mount Washington. You see the world very differently when you look closely for small objects instead of looking at the big picture. Here you see a carnivorous plant species. Its leaves are covered with tentacles that produce nectar that attract insects. There is a powerful adhesive in this nectar which traps any unfortunate visitor. In this photo, you see an ant has just crawled onto the plant, the sticky substance visible on its forelegs as the plant starts to curl around and smother the ant. You may have walked past these small plants many times but never noticed them. Judy Johnston | Courtenay, B.C.
RUNNER-UP. Maplewood Flats, North Vancouver I was out for a walk after a rainfall. I was fascinated with how the waterdrops lined up on the lupine leaves like little diamonds, drawing your eye into the centre. I usually photograph wildlife. Janine Brooke North Vancouver
HONOURABLE MENTION. Alma, N.B. I was out specifically looking for spring ephemerals. We finally had gotten a nice evening with no rain in the forecast, and I had hoped to capture some native wildflowers (like this purple trillium, or “wake-robin”) during golden hour. Brittany Crossman | Riverview, N.B.
HONOURABLE MENTION. Location unknown I really like the bokeh in the background and the contrast of the dark tree branches with the different shades of pink. I also love that this photo was taken on an older crop-sensor camera. You don’t necessarily need the most expensive equipment to capture the wonders of nature in good quality pictures. Sierra Slogar | Ottawa
Focusing on Fauna
Capturing the stunning array of Canada’s amazing wildlife, from tiny bug to imposingly fierce mammal.
WINNER. Undisclosed location in central Ontario It is the dream of any wildlife photographer to encounter a Canadian lynx. I had the chance to see six in one shot. At the intersection of a snow road and a snowmobile trail, I notice from the corner of my eye a black spot in the distance. When we get closer, I realize it is a lynx, about 50 metres from me. I lie down in the snow with my 600 mm and wait. Then a small lynx comes out of the wood and joins him, then another and another and another! I have a total of six lynx in front of me. They get so, so close to me that I can’t take any pictures. After they pass, I try to follow, but the snow is so deep that I am up to my hips. The lynxes float away on the soft snow. Jean-Simon Bégin Quebec City
RUNNER-UP. Pictou, N.S. I saw this eagle walking — it was so different. It reminded me of Winston Churchill, so determined. I just kept taking pictures. Ellen Tramley Seymour Fredericton, N.B.
HONOURABLE MENTION. Near Havre-Saint-Pierre, Que. I had never seen puffins and had always wanted to. I heard that I had a good chance to see some in this area, so I drove about 20 hours to give it a try. I am glad I did. Hugues de Milleville | Etobicoke, Ont.
HONOURABLE MENTION. Our Pond Being forced to work at home and socially distance from others during the pandemic meant that I spent more time with nature and gave rise to my new passion for wildlife photography. Leah MacMillan Carleton Place, Ont.
Dedicated to illuminating the sometimes surprising, often delightful intersection of nature and our urban spaces.
WINNER. Backyard, St-Lin-Laurentides I wanted to highlight blue jays’ natural curiosity, so I planted my tripod and backup camera in the snow. I only had to wait a few minutes. I love the way it looks like they are trying to take a photo, and the colour, light and movement of it. Stéphane Dépelteau St-Lin-Laurentides, Que.
RUNNER-UP. Lower Mainland, B.C. I started photography as a means of coping with crippling depression that resulted from a traumatic brain injury. Getting out into nature, taking wildlife photographs — for me, it was just what the doctor ordered! Tony Dodge | Port Coquitlam, B.C.
HONOURABLE MENTION. Ottawa, ON. I was walking by the living room when I saw this squirrel intently looking at my decorative charm box adorned by two little cardinals which was sitting on the inside windowsill. It was so funny! My camera is always at the ready! Paula Brown | Ottawa, ON