Stunning Snapshots: Share the Experience Winners

A 2015 photography competition inspired shutterbugs to capture some of the best sights in our national parks.

THERE ARE VACATION PHOTOS... snapped solely for social media, and photos you take to remember how to get to a remote destination, and photos that will eventually become your mom's screensaver. In short, not every picture that comes to final fruition will serve the same end purpose, which is fitting, since photography itself is as multi-layered as a strata-amazing cliff face. Snapping a photo of a sign, to remember where you parked, is different than turning your lens toward a canyon with the hopes that the result might be accepted for publication. For example, the...

SHARE THE EXPERIENCE photography competition, which just revealed the winners of its 2015 snapshot spectacular, asked "amateur photographers" to "...share their favorite views, moments, and adventures from America's national parks and public lands." That's a clear and tempting directive, and those photogs went to happy work, eventually submitting more than 15,000 photographs in all. Eleven winners have been chosen, and you can eye/admire them all at the National Park Foundation site (the NPF was a sponsor of the contest, along with ACTIVE Network and Celestron).

WHAT PARKS ARE IN THE MARVELOUS MIX? Joshua Tree, Inyo National Forest, and Death Valley are the California entries, while several more parks beyond our state borders have a powerful presence on the victory list. Each photo has its own short story of how the magic moment came about, too. Want to take a quick visual vacation? Or ponder what you might photograph if you enter the 2016 contest down the road? Inspiration, bugs, Mt. Whitney, Big Horn sheep, and nature at its breath-taking-est begins here.

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