ISLANDS 22nd Annual Photo Contest Winners And Finalists

We asked for your best island photos. You offered a staggering 10,696 images. Was it your love of the islands, their sunsets, beaches, colorful locals and coastlines? Or did prizes like a Tahiti cruise play a role? No matter, we thank you. All of you. Now, let's hear from the winners...

First Place Phil Nelson
Kuamoo Bay, Hawaii "My wife, Marilyn, and I were driving toward Kona on the Big Island when she saw the tops of waves and some mist off in another direction. So we took a side road to get as close as we could, and then walked on a footpath toward the coast. This is what we found. Waves were blowing in and crashing on the rocks. I'm standing on a jetty, looking back toward the shoreline, without a tripod. We'd been to the island a few times but had never seen this. I don't know if I could ever find it again. In fact, had we come upon this scene 30 minutes later, it probably wouldn't have gotten our attention." Tech: Nikon D700, 28-55 mm lens, F2.8/4.0 at 1/8000th Prize: Five nights for two at Outrigger Reef on the beach in Waikiki, plus two round-trip airline tickets on Hawaiian Airlines Return to Main Page | Phil Nelson
Second Place Heather Moore
Harbour Island, Bahamas "This man spent 20 minutes showing my son and me his church and sharing island history. We'd just met him on the street. A total stranger. He was so passionate, so proud and engaging that my 4-year-old son couldn't stop listening. The man was happy to let me shoot a few frames with my film camera. Yes, film. I've tried the digital route but don't like how images look, nor all the computer work. With film, it's straightforward. My dream job is one day to be a travel photographer. I've never sold an image, but that doesn't stop me from pretending I'm on assignment when I travel, always looking for things to cover." Tech: Contax 645, 80 mm lens, F2.8 at 1/1000th Prize: Seven nights for two at Ottley's Plantation on St. Kitts, including daily breakfasts, a dinner at the Royal Palm and spa treatments Return to Main Page | Heather Moore
Third Place Michael Aldridge
North Shore, Kauai "It sounds cliche, but in a place like Kauai, seeing things in the moment is far more spectacular than capturing them on camera. For me, this taro field was an exception. A morning earlier I saw a guy planting in this field. That's what pulled my attention toward the glassy water and backdrop. I knew I'd have something special by shooting the field at just the right time. So I went to the same spot early the next morning. Walked maybe 100 feet off the main road and snapped the shot. By the time I drove away, the water in the field looked like mud." Tech: Leica M8, 28 mm lens, F22 at 1/20th (on a tripod) Prize: Four nights for two in an oceanfront junior suite at Cap Juluca Resort, including daily breakfasts, a round of golf and a signature Juluca massage Return to Main Page | Michael Aldridge
Artistic Merit David Watersun
Great Barrier Reef, Australia "These Australian pelicans are mesmerized by a few fishing boats close by. Fishermen toss out their extra bait at the end of each day, and these pelicans know the routine. I'd spotted them earlier on the horizon — a blurry flock of pink feathers in flight. Suddenly, they dove toward a small harbor nearby. About a hundred of these amazingly colorful birds were sitting in the water in perfect symmetry, waiting patiently for the bait buffet. I call the image 'Captive Audience.'" Tech: Canon EOS, 80-200 mm lens, F11 at 1/250th Prize: One workshop at the Maine Media Workshops, plus a photo prize pack Return to Main Page | David Watersun
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Reader's Choice Winner **JESSICA VELTRI **Kailua, Oahu "There are a couple of mistakes in this image at Lanikai Beach. First, those are my footprints in the sand. I didn't do that on purpose. I'd gotten there before 6 a.m., when nobody was around to mess up the beach (being in the Army, I know how to get up early). When I saw my own footprints through the lens, I just decided to frame them. Also, in my excitement to get out the door and use my new camera, I forgot the clip for my tripod. So I had to hold it by hand. Somehow it all worked to my advantage in the end. The picture has a natural look, which makes it more special. Whenever I see it, I can feel the spirit of Hawaii, and my feet in the sand." **
** | Jessica Veltri
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Reader's Choice Winner **BRET WEBSTER **Fakarava, Tahiti "This wonderfully aged pier seems to go on forever. It actually leads to the most distinctive feature of the Society Islands: an outer ring of reef. On this day, you could pretty much point your camera anywhere and shoot a postcard. But the contrast of this bleached pier with that placid blue water made me reach for my wide-angle lens. It helped enhance the pier's leading lines and created a three-dimensional quality I love. The effect mkes me feel like I'm stil standing right there." **
** | Bret Webster
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Honorable Mention **JOE ENENBACH **Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos | Joe Enenbach
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Honorable Mention **BILL LEHMAN **Melekeok, Palau | Bill Lehman
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Honorable Mention **SCOTT HANFT **Kee Beach, Kauai | Scott Hanft
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Honorable Mention VARUN BAKER Havana Cuba **
** | Varun Baker
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Honorable Mention **ERIN DE SANTIAGO **Taroko Gorge, Taiwan | Erin De Santiago
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Honorable Mention NICOLE ANDERSON Bali, Indonesia | Nicole Andersen
ISLANDS 2011 Photo Contest
Honorable Mention CODY SPINADEL Oahu, Hawaii **
** | Cody Spinadel