75th Anniversary Photo Contest

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Published on: Sep. 17, 2012

Seven photos were selected out of 13,000 in this contest to celebrate Missourians’ love of nature and their ongoing role in supporting conservation.

Passing judgment is hard. That was the consensus of the three judges who sifted through nearly 13,000 images to select the best in each of the seven categories of the 75th Anniversary of Conservation Photo Contest.

“The entries were both impressive in quality and the number of entries was pretty amazing,” said contest judge James Fashing. “Missouri is blessed with many excellent photographers, beautiful wildlife and wild places.”

Entrants submitted photos in seven categories: Birds, insects and spiders, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, plants and fungi, habitats and landscapes, and outdoor recreation activities. A panel of three judges then selected their favorite image from each category. Those seven images were then posted on the MDC website for the public to vote for the “Best of Show.”

“In the end, this contest was not really about awarding great photos,” said MDC Art Director and contest judge Cliff White. “Rather, it was about engaging people in the outdoors and conservation. If these photos help inspire folks to get outside, then we have succeeded.”

Those seven selected images now appear on these pages, and all of the entries can be seen at

Best of Show/Best of Habitats and Landscapes - Howell Island Conservation Area in St. Charles County, by Ryan Campbell of Webster Groves

Campbell called this photo a “happy accident.” He had planned to go out to Howell Island with a friend to get shots of the Missouri River. “We were disappointed when we discovered that high water was blocking the access to the island,” said Campbell. “Determined to make something work, we started shooting in an area of driftwood along the eastern back of Centaur Chute, which separates the island from the mainland. As the sun headed closer to the horizon, the sky exploded with all of the color you see in the photo.” Campbell said he started seriously pursuing photography as a hobby about seven years ago.

James Fashing: “The composition of this image was striking. The subtle palate of colors worked well to make one beautiful scenic image. The sky really made this shot.”

Jason Jenkins: “The Missouri River flows for more than 540 miles across the Show-Me State, but it’s often overlooked as a subject by photographers. This image did a terrific job of illustrating

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