When perusing the hundreds of entries for our 2020 photo contest, I kept looking for that one image that made me say “Wow!” I knew that would be our grand prize winner. The choice was easy—the massive scale of the ice compared to the tiny bicyclists at the toe of Knik Glacier, coupled with the clarity, color, and an “only in Alaska” vibe jumped out at me in Dan McDonough’s photo. Winners in each of the other categories—adventure, Alaskan life, scenic, and wildlife—piqued our interest for various reasons. We liked unique vantage points, action captured just so, attention to technical detail, and creative use of light or motion.

Cameras today are so sophisticated that, except for the pros, most of us have no idea what the majority of the settings on our models even do. We point; we shoot. We get what we get. The camera as a tool can be used to least or greatest advantage. But cultivating a “good eye,” for composition, lighting, timing, etc., as well as actively searching for new ways of showing a subject, is the foundation on which good equipment rests. Skills take practice, often years of field work, experimentation, paying attention to weather or time of day. Taking classes from a professional photographer helps speed up the learning process. 

An excellent photo, though, is an excellent photo, and whether made by mostly chance, mostly experience, or a combination of the two, we are happy to share your best work here. 

~ Susan Sommer, editor

2020 Photo Contest Winners


Photos depicting an active pursuit in Alaska: ziplining, exploring ice caves, heli-skiing, hiking, biking, bird watching, flight seeing, rafting, running, sport fishing, etc.

Alaskan Life

Photos representing Alaskans and/or their way of life, traditions, culture, or authentic “only in Alaska” moments.


Photos emphasizing the landscape and scenery of Alaska with or without the human element.


Photos of animals native to Alaska (not including images of animals in captivity).

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