2017 Windland Smith Rice Awards

winner | GRAND PRIZE

African Lionesses

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

By Lakshitha Karunarathna of Sri Lanka

Canon 5DS R; 400mm ƒ/2.8L IS II USM lens at 400mm; 1/320 sec at ƒ/7.1; ISO 1600; Wimberley gimbal head; bean bag from vehicle.


Brown Bear Cubs

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA

By Ashleigh Scully, at age 15, of New Jersey, USA

Canon 5D Mark III; 500mm ƒ/4L IS II USM lens; 1.4x III extender at 700mm; 1/200 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 200; Gitzo tripod; Wimberley head.

Highly honored | youth


Reticulated Giraffes

By Piper Mackay of Long Beach, California, USA

Canon 1D X; 500mm ƒ/4L IS USM lens; 1.4x extender at 700mm; 1/800 sec at ƒ/7.1; ISO 500; hand-held with Visual Echos panning plate on Molar bean bag from vehicle.

highly honored | african wildlife


Kermode Bear

Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada

By Daisy Gilardini of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Nikon D3S, D4, and D5; 80-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 and 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 lenses; Gitzo Mountaineer CF tripod; RRS ball head; and hand-held.
Watch her video: Spirit of the Forest

highly honored | conservation story

winner | OCEAN VIEWS

California Sea Lions

Santa Barbara Island, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, California, USA

By Andrew Sallmon of San Diego, California, USA

Canon 5D Mark III; 8-15mm ƒ/4L Fisheye USM lens at 15mm; 1/250 sec at ƒ/11; ISO 320; Sea&Sea UW housing and YS-250 strobes (2).

highly honored | ocean views


Cave Diver

Anhumas Abyss, Bonito, Brazil

By Marcio Cabral of Brasilia, Brazil

Canon 5DS R; 8-15mm ƒ/4L Fisheye USM lens at 10mm; 5 images; 1/40 sec at ƒ/4.5; ISO 400; Ikelite UW housing with 8” dome and strobes (2).

highly honored | outdoor adventure

winner | BIRDS

Western Grebes

San Diego, California, USA

By Thanh Tran of Westminster, California, USA

Canon 5DS R; 500mm ƒ/4L IS II USM lens; 1.4x III extender at 700mm; 1/1579 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 125; Gitzo tripod; Markins Q20i ball head.

highly honored | birds

winner | WILDLIFE

Bengal Tigers

IUCN Status: Endangered

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India

By Rahul Sachdev of Pune, Maharashtra, India

Canon ID X; 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens at 400mm; 1/1600 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 1600; hand-held with Toehold Dimbu bean bag.

Highly honored | wildlife


Polar Bear and Cub

Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada

By Ying Gu of Shenzhen, Guangdong Sheng, China

Canon 1D X; 200-400mm ƒ/4L IS USM lens; 1.4x extender at 560mm; 1/2000 sec at ƒ/7.1; ISO 320; Gitzo tripod; Sachtler head.

highly honored | polar passion


Colima Volcano Eruption

Comala, Colima, Mexico

By Sergio Tapiro Velasco of Comala, Colima, Mexico

Canon 6D; 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L USM lens at 195mm; 8 seconds at ƒ/2.8; ISO 3200; Canon timer remote controller; Manfrotto Befree tripod.

highly honored | landscapes


"Starling and Falcon Dance"

Northern California, USA

By Nick Dunlop of Sebastopol, California, USA

Panasonic TM700; Sony FDR-AX1; Canon C100 Mark II; 500mm ƒ/4 and 55-250mm ƒ/4 Stabilized Canon lenses; Bogen and Gitzo tripods and hand-held. Producer-Director: Nick Dunlop using Final Cut Pro X; Music: Musicbed.

highly honored | nature in motion

Kenya By Aaron Baggenstos

Humpback Whale Breach By Beau Pilgrim

Polar Bears By Hank Perry

Bonaire's Shallow Seas By Jennifer O’Neil

The Adirondacks: An Autumn Odyssey By Joe LeFevre

Drone Art: Conquer the Arctic By Nansen Weber

Created By


Top image © Massimo Ghelfi / Nature's Best™ Photography. All Rights Reserved. No use without permission of photographers. Portrait credits: Isuru Ranasinghe, Gerry Scully, Jonathan Kaelo, Ron Clifford, Marcio Cabral (self-portrait), Allison Vitsky Sallmon, Christine Tran, Anuja Sachdev, Qian Zou, Valente Rosas, Michelle Dunlop.

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