Grand Prize

Christmas morning on the Merced, Yosemite National Park. © Leah Horstman

“I was having a tough time this past Xmas as my daughter and son-in-law had recently been recommishioned to Japan. Alone at the holidays, I headed to Yosemite on a last minute whim. With no available accommodations, I decided a tent would be ok, and got everything set-up in camp just as a strong storm rolled in. Over a foot of fresh snow fell that cold Xmas eve. I woke before dawn, still fully dressed and very cold. It was still dark out, but I could see the stars and the gleam of new snow. I headed a short distance down the road and pulled off at the bend in the Merced. Setting-up my tripod just as the first signs of light began to fill the valley, this was my Christmas morning scene. For me, this is more than just a captured moment, it is the moment my heart felt healed and full.”

Camera details: Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 16-35mm f/4 / Lee filter system f/20 15 sec ISO 100




Dancing at the Edge – In north Florida © Jennifer Adler

“Nature means freedom; it gives us the ability to fly. The air-clear water emanating from the region’s freshwater springs is a welcome break from the oppressive summer heat, as well as an invitation to soar in the treetops. Late one Sunday afternoon on my friend’s birthday, we drove out to Ichetucknee Springs State Park (Fort White, FL, USA) for a celebratory swim. We arrived at the end of the day when most people were just leaving the park and ended up being the only 2 people in Blue Hole, a 40-foot deep spring a quarter mile walk into the woods. The 70-degree water felt icy cold as compared to the 100+ degree heat, but it was incredibly refreshing. Leaving the above-water world behind, I dove deep into the spring, looking up to see this view that truly encapsulates my feelings when underwater.

Camera details:  Nikon D800, f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO 1000



Second Runner-up

Dandelion dew drops © Lea Foster

“This is a dandelion at seed stage with water droplets all over it. I photographed it one evening as it was a very light misting rain–no sun at all. I laid flat on the ground on my right side–the green in the photo is from back ground foliage as I photographed this dandelion in one of my perennial gardens. I normally photograph the insects in my gardens but in the Indiana Spring season not much is out yet—so I was a bit bored and looking for something to photograph when I thought about the dandelions. I was amazed at how the droplets just clung to the dandelion—who would have thought!”



People & Nature

Taking in the starry night sky © Luke Mattson

“I decided to do a sunset hike up to Heather Lake near Mt. Pilchuck and stay the night. It was a beautiful 75 degree evening, which is rare for the month of May in Washington. When I reached the lake after sunset, I found the perfect spot on the water to set up camp and take in the starry night sky. Nearby was a large boulder in the shallows I was able to climb onto by following stepping stones from the shore. After setting my shutter on a timer, I hopped across the stones, scrambled up the rock, turned on my head lamp, looked up at the stars, and let my camera do the rest of the work.”



People’s Choice & Young Photographer

Loveable harbor seal © Ashley Tubbs

“This image was captured at the Barnegat Lighthouse jetty in New Jersey. Though I had seen several harbor seals swimming around earlier in the day, I was ecstatic to see this chubby little guy sitting on the rocks! I sat on a rock far enough away to not bother him, but close enough to where he was interested in what I was doing. I sat with him for at least 30 minutes taking photo after photo, really enjoying my time with him! Even though he looks like he is holding his belly and laughing at something funny I just told him, he was actually just doing a big stretch. I eventually left him to finish sunning himself on the rocks and enjoy the rest of his day!”

Camera details: Canon 7dii with the canon 400mm f5.6 lens. Shutter speed 1/640 and ISO 250.





Storm over the Great Salt Lake, Utah © Michael Christoff

“On Mother’s Day weekend a large storm rolled into Salt Lake City. All I wanted to do was to get out and find the sun. I drove west towards the Salt Flats near Wendover. I spent the day discovering the diverse landscape. Salt. Water. Clouds. Mountains. I returned to Salt Lake City during the golden hour and made a stop at the Great Salt Lake near Saltair. An amazing show of light and shadow was taking place. I took over 200 shots in that twilight hour. I settled on ‘Storm at the Great Salt Lake’ for its lines, light and textures along with the central focus of Antelope Island in the distance. I love John Muir and thought of this quote: ‘In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.'”




A Magnificent Juvenile Queen Triggerfish 15′ deep, Roberta’s Reef, Cozumel, Mexico © William Goodwin

“The trigger fish family all are able to lock the enlarged first dorsal fin spine by pressing the second spine int a groove on the first spine to erect it, and that is seen here. I spotted this young Queen Trigger fish, Balistes vetula, in the water column several meters above the bottom where it was calmly being cleaned by a posse of yellow wrasses. The location was about five meters deep at Roberta’s Reef (a spot I know well having dove there from shore many times during a long stay on the island) off the coast of Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The late afternoon sun gave a perfect light for an ambient light only image. It’s an honor to have my image selected by the Nature Conservancy, an organization that for 50 years has worked hard to protect the environment of the state I love and call home, Colorado. I especially feel gratitude for the extensive work the conservancy does in protecting the oceans by using committed scientists and policy experts and wisely involving stakeholders at all levels.”

Camera details: Sony Nex 5N camera and a Sigma 60mm lens with no strobe. Settings were: f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO100, 350dpi.



Nature in Cities

Sunset Kayak on Seattle’s Lake Union © Michael Gabbert

“Living on a houseboat in Seattle has its advantages! As the sun dipped beneath Queen Anne Hill and the cirrus clouds lit up with the sunset, I hopped in my kayak and paddled to the center of the lake to soak it in. With a slight breeze sweeping north to south, the lake transformed itself to reflect a pattern reminiscent of wind swept dunes across its surface level.I soaked up the remaining minutes of these beautiful colors until I began paddling back home in what would become a night-veiled sky.”

Camera details: Canon EOS Rebel 3i, ISO 1600, f/5, 1/5.


Breaking through the Akule school, free-diving in Kailua Bay, Big Island, Hawaii. © Bo Pardau

“There is a large resident school of Akule (Bigeye Scad) that live in Kailua Bay on the Big Island and quite often we free-dive it for photo-ops. I went out this day in May 2016 with a local snorkel guide. The sandy bottom here is about 35 feet and model and photographer are free-diving.”

Camera details: Canon 7D Mark II with Tokina 10-17 fisheye lens, ambient light, ISO 320, f 10, 1/250 sec, 17mm in an ikelite housing.





Skimmers at Work Viera Wetlands, Viera, Florida © Dennis Govoni

“Taken at the Viera Wetland in Viera, Florida near sunset. Viera Wetlands is a water reclamation site in Brevard County well-known for attracting birds and other wildlife. A small flock of Black Skimmers were feeding in one the the major pools during the still of the evening.”







When I first set up my Facebook Photography account, I was obviously looking for good photographers I could associate with.  You have met several of these photographers on my Friday “Special Edition” feature on my blog.  I looked at “Jug”, thought the name was different, and then took a look at his photography, and was very delighted in his work.  I found someone who was really dedicated to photography, and that is what is way fun about Jug.  There are several groups of photographers who have pages, in which they can post their photos and their feelings, and that is where I was invited to.  So, I “liked” his photo page and have been a fan of Jug for some time.  The fun part of developing my Photographic Facebook account was I was finding all these great  photographers from all over the world.  So far I have highlighted Photographers from France, Spain, Portugal, and even the United States, but, this time I find Jug from Algeria.  From looking at his pictures, it is a very beautiful country.  I am glad he has a camera and can share his world with the rest of us.  I am glad to call Jug my friend.  And here is some photos, and some more information about JUG:

Simply titled:  “Windows”

My name is Jugurtha Ferradji, I was born in 1997 in Algiers ,capital of Algeria.

I’m Berber(Kabylian), native of Tizi-ouzou in Kabylia (north of Algeria)

Surrounded by my brothers and sisters, I lived in Bouira (one hundred miles east of Algiers),

where I did my schooling.

Since my childhood, the image was for me a magical world, the Black and white especially, fascinated me .

But this world, full of imaginary, remains unknown for me.

In 2012, I met my brother in law, a photographer himself ; thanks to him, I finally realize my dream, To belong to the world of photography.

Without hesitation, he guided, advised  and helped me to understand and to use my first camera. Nikon D80…

Then, I did my photography studies and after two years, I had my Diploma, I worked in the same time in a photo studio.

After that, I never left my camera.

And now, it’s with my D80, that I’m realizing my dream.

This looks like one of those dream places we all want to go to.

After that, I never left my camera.

And now, it’s with my D80, that I’m realizing my dream.

I’m very sensitive to the work of big photographers like : Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helmut Newton.

I recently discovered Steve Mc Curry’s photographies, and I like it !

With the Mediterranean sun and through my lens, I’m always trying to find a new opportunities,

to rediscover the world around us, and to share it with whole world.

Not too long ago, I did an article on how to be a good “Street Photographer”.  

As I was preparing to put this together for Jug, I realized that he is one

of the best “Street Photographers” I have seen in a long time.  Check out these

next two photos.  This is great street photography.  A pro at this for sure.

Je m’appelle Jugurtha Ferradji, je suis né à Alger en 1997.

De nationalité Algérienne, je suis Kabyle, originaire de la région de Tizi-Ouzou situé dans la Grande Kabylie.

Entouré de mes frères et sœurs, j’ai vécu à Bouira (à 100 Km à l’est d’Alger) où j’ai effectué toute ma scolarité.

Depuis mon enfance, l’image a toujours été pour moi un monde magique, le Noir & Blanc spécialement me fascinait. Mais ce monde, fait de tant d’imaginaire, restait malgré tout inconnu pour moi.

C’est en 2012, grâce à la rencontre avec mon beau-frère, photographe, que je réalise enfin mon rêve.

Pouvoir appartenir aussi à l’univers de la photo.

Celui-ci n’a pas hésité à m’expliquer, me conseiller et m’accompagner dans la compréhension et l’utilisation de mon premier appareil photo. Un Nikon D80 …

J’ai ensuite passé mon diplôme de photographie en travaillant parallèlement dans un studio photo pendant 2 ans.

Depuis je ne quitte jamais mon appareil photo.

C’est maintenant avec la complicité de mon D80 que je réalise mon rêve.

Je suis très sensible au travail réalisé par de grands photographes comme : Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson et Helmut Newton.

J’ai découvert récemment le travail de Steve Mc Curry, et j’adore !

Avec le soleil de la méditerranée, j’essaye à travers l’objectif, de chercher tous les jours de nouvelles occasions de redécouvrir le monde qui nous entoure afin de pouvoir le partager.


Jug has done something that I haven’t seen happen on Facebook before.  I am sure he has had his “Jug” page that everyone can go to, and see some of his great work he has done.  Then I asked myself, as I am sure he did, how dedicated are we to photography?  Well, Jug went and set up the ultimate “like” page, and he has quite a following, as this has been set up only since the beginning of 2016.  He has set up a “like” page titled 366 days photo  .  And has plans to put up a photo every single day of 2016.  So far, I am seeing the life of Jug, and his city and his surroundings.  He is doing a great job.  So, with this photographer, you have 2 pages to like in your Facebook account:  JUG,  And 366 days Photo.  So, everyone, please, you are invited to go and like these pages, become a fan of Jug.

I want to take a moment and thank JUG for allowing us into his life.  Your photography is great.

We are learning a lot more about you and your lovely country.

And it is great that you can take so many great pictures and share them with us and I invite all

who read this to “LIKE” your pages, so they can follow your growth in


Congratulations for being chosen to be on the Special Edition of this blog.  Your

skill in photography has put you in a special class.

Thank you Jug:  All photos taken by Jug Ferradjis.

He has some websites that I want you all to check out:

Please go to:
Recently a photographer friend of his has joined together to do a special photo special on HANDS:  A challenge to bring different photos of hands.  Check this out:

hands 1

Two great artists getting together and taking an amazing challenge of photographing things of hands.  You have to check it out.  Could you do something like this?  Join their like page, and see the rest of their challenges.

And one more Facebook page, just for fun…… where would you put your photos that you want to put all the fun, interesting photos that you have taken along your photographic career, silly ones, just for fun…. Here:

So, enjoy getting to know a serious photographer.  One who enjoys life as a photographer.  Although Jug and I are across the world from each other, we are certainly “photographic friends”.  Thanks Jug for your friendship.  Someday, we will meet in person, I hope.