Best Readers' Photos of 2013

Our 24th annual reader photo contest wowed us with stunning images that capture island life. From 2,000-plus entries, here are the best.

Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Scrub Island, BVI

READERS' CHOICE WINNER: Randy Busch, Scrub Island, BVI

“I kept telling myself that photography is just my hobby. With doors off the helicopter, we saw pretty much the whole British Virgin Islands chain that day, but the colors of Scrub Island stood out. Plus those red rooftops on Marina Cay cut so perfectly into the island. I leaned out the window to try to get the perfect shot, trying hard not to let the camera shake, emphasizing that word hobby.” Shot with: Canon T2i, 11-16 mm lens
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | St Kitt's Sunset

ARTISTIC MERIT: Katherine Gendreau, St. Kitts & Nevis

“I actually lived the island dream on Nevis, if only for a few months. My husband was in medical school there, and we lived around the corner from Lover’s Beach, Nevis’ best sunset spot. From here, it’s a direct shot across the water to St. Kitts. On this night I was moved by the colors meeting the clouds as a storm rolled in. Timing was everything.” Shot with: Canon 7D, 10-22 mm lens > Prize: One-week at Maine Media WorkshopsKatherine Gendreau
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Iceberg

THIRD PRIZE: Eric Lew, South Georgia Island

“I was belowdecks, seasick, on a four-week expedition to the deep south — the one known for icebergs, not magnolias — when the captain yelled for me. The iceberg we faced rose 250 feet over the water. ‘It must be a small piece of Berg B15, the largest berg recorded,’ he said. Small piece? Turns out the mother iceberg was bigger than Jamaica.” Shot with: Sony A77 DSLR, 16-50 mm lens. Prize: Five-night stay at the Westin St. JohnEric Lew
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Santorini

SECOND PRIZE: Yen Baet, Santorini, Greece

“You wouldn’t know it, but it was windy when I shot this scene in the town of Oia. Everyone went home after sunset but I stayed, hiding behind a castle’s wall. I had a hunch twilight would deliver that famous Santorini blue-and-white scheme. To hear the wind along the coast, the homes seemed to cling to the cliffs. But here they look still, as if they’re a part of that mountaintop.” Shot with: Nikon D700, 24-70 mm lens > Prize: Five-night stay at Maui’s Aston Kaanapali ShoresYen Baet
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Maui, Hawaii

GRAND PRIZE: Deborah Kolb, Maui, Hawaii

“My No. 1 goal during this trip to Maui was to capture a powerful shot of a fire dancer. So I researched how to shoot fire motion before I left — a high ISO and a shutter speed that would minimize motion blur. Everything came together. A beach performance with perfect evening light. My newly learned techniques. And the fact that he didn’t mind posing.” __Shot with: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24-70 mm lens. __ Prize: Seven-night Tahitian cruise for two with Paul Gauguin, plus airfare __ _ _Deborah Kolb
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Palua

READER'S CHOICE: Palau by Paul Bullen

Paul Bullen
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Iceland

READER'S CHOICE: Iceland by Hayden Adams

Hayden Adams
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Big Island

READER'S CHOICE: Big Island by David Concepcion

David Concepcion
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Kauai

READER'S CHOICE: Kauai by Tracey Rabjohns

Tracey Rabjohns
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Bocas del Toro

READER'S CHOICE: Bocos del Toro by John McKean

John McKean
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Borneo

READER'S CHOICE: Borneo by Peter Demarco

Peter Demarco
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Galapagos

READER'S CHOICE: Galapagos by Joanne McCorkie

Joanne McCorkie
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Maui boats

READER'S CHOICE: Maui by Todd Kawasaki

Todd Kawasaki
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Java

READER'S CHOICE: Java by Helminadia Ranford

Helminadia Ranford
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Maui, Hawaii

READER'S CHOICE: Maui by Cynthia Hedgecock

Cynthia Hedgecock
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Maui whale

READER'S CHOICE: Maui by Joshua Munns

Joshua Munns
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Maui waterfall

READER'S CHOICE: Maui by Todd Kawasaki

Todd Kawasaki
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Maya Bay Thailand

READER'S CHOICE: Maya Bay, Thailand by Karin Whitehead

Karin Whitehead
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Nevis

READER'S CHOICE: Nevis by Katherine Gendreau

Katherine Gendreau
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | San Blas

READER'S CHOICE: San Blas by Joel Duncan

Joel Duncan
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Newfoundland

READER'S CHOICE: Newfoundland by Rita Hansen

Rita Hansen
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Oahu

READER'S CHOICE: Oahu by David Concepcion

David Concepcion
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Oahu by Jess Moss

READER'S CHOICE: Oahu by Jess Moss

Jess Moss
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Sandy Spit BVI

READER'S CHOICE: Sandy Spit, BVI by Jane Mottern

Jane Mottern
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Santorini

READER'S CHOICE: Santorini by Yen Baet

Yen Baet
Islands Magazine Photo Contest | Travel Photography | Tahiti

READER'S CHOICE: Tahiti to Rich Cardoza

Rich Cardoza