Cameron Teller's patience paid off as he captured this touching image of a mother polar bear and her cub along the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. "This was my first time and I was amazed; I fell in love with the area,” said Teller of the six-person Alaska tour to see northern lights and polar bears. “We stayed a couple of days in a village in the refuge where bear’s frequented this part of the landscape. Moments with mothers and their cubs were just perfect; especially this shot as the cub reached up to his mother.” He also experienced some incredible northern lights displays and explained that it was "one of those spiritual moments I'll never forget. I was expecting slow movement, but it was like billowing curtains of light." Photography is a hobby for Teller and he is a frequent visitor to our nation's federal lands. "I have been looking on the Recreation.gov website for some commercially-guided trips," said Teller. "I love that site." And we love your photos Cameron. We hope to see more.
This year’s second place winner, Eric DaBreo, has a passion for photography fueled by the sky. “For me sky is a big deal when I take pictures. To me, more or less, the sky is about half the picture.” In this award-winning shot taken in San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Eric was in search of that perfect sunset. We think he got it. “I think the first time I went to the Presidio was for a school field trip. I had just gotten it (Nikon camera) as a gift from my parents. I was really into photography so I was making a lot of trips back to San Francisco because I was really into city-scapes and the nighttime lights. In this instance, we went down to the beach to shoot the sunset.” Eric’s skills as a photographer are self-taught, relying on trial and error to capture breath-taking moments. “I do a lot of long exposure photography. You’re kinda capturing time. It shares the experience a little bit better.” We look forward to more of these stories from Eric. This summer his plans include several trips to Lassen National Park – day hiking and backpacking, camera at the ready.
Jordan Moore and his wife fell in love with Yellowstone during their vacation in the fall of 2013, so much so that they revisited the next spring. It was then that the clouds parted as they were making their way around a lake and as a bison was walking along the shoreline. "I was using a telephoto lens and took several shots and this was the best one," Moore explained. "I am from Texas and used to cattle, but the bison were something completely different." Moore is new to photography and his first visit to Yellowstone sparked his new passion. "I did not really do anything with a camera before that September trip," he commented. Moore learned a lot in a short time with his "entry-level" camera and explains his philosophy on capturing a great shot "it's all about light and composition." We look forward to seeing more of Moore's images as he and his wife set out on their next outdoor adventure.