11 Amateur Photographers Win National Parks Photography Contest

Grand Prize Winner: Yang Lu (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area)
A dramatic sunrise in a remote location at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah is the grand prize winner of the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest, hosted by the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, ACTIVE Network and Celestron. This winning picture captured by Yang Lu of El Segundo, Calif., will be featured on the annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

According to a release, the annual contest encourages amateur photographers to share their experiences by submitting their favorite views, moments, and adventures from America’s national parks and public lands.

Second Place: Koustubh Kulkarni (Joshua Tree National Park)
ACTIVE Network, a leader in cloud-based "Activity and Participant Management" and data solutions, is powering the Share the Experience photo contest for the fifth year. More than 15,000 photos were submitted with more than 650,000 photo views over the course of the contest, which ran from May 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015.

Second place went to Koustubh Kulkarni of Johnson City, Tenn., for his photo along the 49 Palms Trail at Joshua Tree National Park in California. The shot catches five Big Horn sheep, looking almost posed, against a vibrant orange, yellow, pink, and blue sunset.

Third Place: Sarah Gustafson (Death Valley National Park)
Third place went to Sarah Gustafson of San Francisco, Calif., for her self-portrait on the salt flats of Death Valley National Park in California.

People can view all 11 photos and get the inside scoop about these special moments from the photographers on the National Park Foundation’s blog. You can also follow @GoParks and @Share_the_Experience on Instagram for more park photos.

Fan Favorite: Matthew Sorum (Yellowstone National Park)
The grand prize for the winning image is $10,000, followed by $5,000 and $3,000 for second and third place, in addition to outdoor gear provided by Celestron, hotel packages courtesy of Historic Hotels of America, and an annual Federal Recreational Lands Pass. There are also prizes for fan favorites and the following six category winners:
  • Adventure and Outdoor Recreation
  • Historical and Cultural
  • Scenic, Seasons, and Landscapes
  • Every Kid in a Park
  • Wildlife
  • Night Skies
Fan Favorite: Heather Martin (Mt. Whitney, Inyo National Forest)
The 2016 Share the Experience photo contest, sponsored by the National Park Foundation and ACTIVE Network in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and Recreation.gov, is now accepting entries through Dec. 31. Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreational lands, showcasing the more than 500 million acres of federal lands and drawing entries from all across the United States. For a full listing of prizing and rules, or to submit a photo, please visit www.sharetheexperience.org.

Scenic, Seasons and Landscapes Winner: Steve Ancik
(Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area)
Share the Experience is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark. Launched in March 2015, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque is a public awareness and education movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to connect with, celebrate, and support America’s national parks and community-based programs. Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial and setting the stage for the Service's next 100 years, #FindYourPark invites people to discover and share their own unique connections to our nation's natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Night Skies Winner: Erik Fremstad (Badlands National Park)
As part of its commitment to the National Park Service Centennial and strengthening our national treasures for the next 100 years, the National Park Foundation offers many ways to support America’s national parks. From national park-inspired gear, to commemorative coins, to its $350 million Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, there are a variety of unique ways to honor and protect the legacy of these special places.

Source: Press Release