2016 Annual Islands Photo Contest Winners

We asked you to hit us with your best shots, and you delivered. It was a tough job judging more than 1,600 entries for the 27th Annual Islands Photo Contest, but we were inspired by your creativity. Here are the winning photographs.

Take a look at the 2015 Photo Contest Winners.

Iceland | Islands photo contest
Grand Prize: Jesaca Lin, Iceland “It was a February day at noon, which is a popular hour at the geothermal spa Blue Lagoon, but you never would have known that. I crouched down low to be eye level with the figures. The thick steam made it tricky to photograph, so I had to wait. A man stood up, and the steam finally cleared enough to show his silhouette.” SHOT WITH: iPhone 6, edited with the Moldiv app PRIZE: Four-night stay for two at Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji EXPERT TIP: Find a unique perspective. When it comes to travel photography, sometimes it seems like we've seen it all. Ask yourself: How can I shoot it differently?Jesaca Lin
Bora Bora | Islands Photo Contest
Second Prize: Nicole Tessieri, Bora Bora "We were honeymooning at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa and had just finished an amazing couples massage. While sitting in the outdoor Jacuzzi, the clouds parted, and it was so beautiful I had to grab my camera. I went with a low ISO to try to pull in the color, and I set the aperture to f/8 to get a good depth of field without risking too much camera shake from a slower shutter speed." SHOT WITH: Canon EOS 7D, EF-S 10-22 mm lens PRIZE: Five-night stay at Aston Kaanapali Shores EXPERT TIP: Pay attention to the light and how it changes. Stay patient, and be ready to shoot when it gets good.Nicole Tessieri
Bali | Islands Photo Contest
Third Prize: Wolfgang Michel, Bali “My wife and I were with a hiking group that had just climbed Mount Batur’s summit to watch a spectacular September sunrise. A large gang of Balinese macaques was jumping around trying to pick our pockets, but one decided to model for us instead. He sat there looking straight at me, as if to say, ‘Come on, take my picture!’ He was perfectly illuminated by the rising sun, and I had little time to get the shot — conditions changed by the second.” SHOT WITH: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-P50 PRIZE: Four-night stay at The St. James's Club Antigua EXPERT TIP: Always be prepared: Sometimes it's those spur-of-the-moment shots that turn out the best.Wolfgang Michel
Kauai | islands photo contest
Artistic Merit: Patrick Kelley, Kauai, Hawaii “This abandoned sailboat drifted through the Hawaiian Islands on its own until it finally came to rest in Moloaa Bay. There it rests on its side, broken and torn, yet still seeming to dream of one last voyage. I arrived just after the sunset. As the full moon began to rise, I ran about 50 yards into the ocean. I weighted down my tripod to keep it from moving when the waves came in and used a 13-second-long exposure to capture this image.” SHOT WITH: Nikon D800 PRIZE: One-week tuition to Maine Media Workshops EXPERT TIP: For night photography, shine a bright flashlight on your subject to help the camera auto-focus. When you have focus confirmation, switch the camera to manual-focus mode to lock in that setting.Patrick Kelley
Bahamas | Islands Photo Contest
Reader's Choice: Ryan Davis, Paradise Island, Bahamas “A year prior to this photo, my adopted son Gabe had both of his legs amputated due to a birth deformity. My family took a trip to the Bahamas in December to celebrate how tough he had been. We had just taken him out of his wheelchair so he could play in the water with his brother, and I grabbed my GoPro and started to snap pictures on the burst setting. I knew as soon as he got in the water, he would show off his huge smile.” SHOT WITH: GoPro Hero3 PRIZE: $200 gift certificate from Salt LifeRyan Davis