Winners of Mass Audubon’s 2014 Annual Photo Contest Announced
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA— Now in its fifth year, Mass Audubon’s annual photography contest, Picture This: Your Great Outdoors, has evolved into a “must” for hundreds of photographers eager to express a love of nature through their images. And with more than 2,000 photos submitted since the contest began April 1, judging so many top-quality entries was especially challenging.
But after reviewing each photo, judges chose Arindam Ghosh of Framingham as the 2014 Grand Prize Winner for his picture of a male mallard duck, wings spread and seemingly standing on water.
A 30-year-old software engineer from Framingham, Ghosh got his championship image while observing ducks in the aptly named Waterfowl Pond at Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. He’s been taking pictures as a pastime for five years, but the Mass Audubon contest was the first he has ever entered.
Photographers could enter a total of five images among six categories: People in Nature, Birds, Mammals, Other Animals, Plants and Fungi, and Landscapes, All photos for the contest—divided into “18 and Older” and “Under 18” age levels—were to be taken only in Massachusetts or at Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Camp in Rindge, NH.
Ghosh was chosen as Grand Prize Winner from a pool of a dozen winners representing the individual categories. His image was voted best in the “18-and Older” Birds category. Another six photographers were chosen for Honorable Mention.
As photographer of the Grand Prize winning photograph, Ghosh will be awarded a $250 gift card to be redeemed at a Mass Audubon shop or wildlife sanctuary. Also, his photo will be published in an issue of Connections, Mass Audubon’s member newsletter. The other winners will be awarded $100 Mass Audubon gift cards and Honorable Mention photographers will receive $50 gift cards.
While his mallard looks to standing on the pond surface, “I just got several shots of the duck as it rose up to shake off water,” Ghosh revealed. “The ducks I usually see are just floating on water or swimming slowly, and I was looking for more action than what we see all the time.”
Ghosh joined Mass Audubon last year, and said he’s been visiting as many of the respected conservation organization’s wildlife sanctuaries as he can. Two of his favorites are Waseeka, located in Hopkinton, and Broadmoor, located in South Natick.
Mass Audubon President Henry Tepper noted the photography competition helps members and the broader public to understand that a healthy environment is important to our collective quality of life.
“Not only is Picture This: Your Great Outdoors an extremely popular photo contest but it has become a fun and meaningful way for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to connect with the natural beauty of the Commonwealth,” Tepper said.
For a complete list of winners, Honorable Mention awardees, and their images, please visit www.massaudubon.org/picturethis.
Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.
Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at www.massaudubon.org.