We invited photographers to submit work that captures the essence of what it means for humans to live within the natural world and how nature reflects the influence of our human communities. In this watershed moment, when what it means to live in the natural world is fundamentally changing, we asked photographers to imagine the many ways that humans and wildlife are intricately tied together in this special region.
Thank you to all who participated.
Title: Stay In Your Lane
Photographer: Kate Ochsman
“I spent the better part of 2020 driving through Yellowstone, my new home, and photographing and enjoying this mesmerizing place. As happens in life, each day presented newness. ‘Stay in Your Lane’ is a trifecta in rarity: the first being that everything in Yellowstone is green, the second is that there are absolutely zero people or cars in this stretch of prime Lamar land, and the third is that there is just a single bison cow without her herd. Knowing that the moment would pass in the blink of an eye, I stepped out of my vehicle, safely ducked low in the middle of the road, and made a few images. The metaphor of a single bison cow on her own, on the road, resonated with me. Coexistence is not only possible when respect prevails, but it’s essential.”
Judge’s commentary: This image was chosen for many reasons. Not only is it visually compelling, beautifully shot, and well processed, it also successfully merges the theme of human-wildlife coexistence within the larger landscape. It tells a story and speaks to a positive sentiment for the future. Scenes like this aren’t very common anymore, what with the increased human presence in the GYE.
Title: Don’t Fence Me In
Photographer: Scott Crisp
“I have traveled the route between Dubois, WY and Jackson, WY for 30 years. This moment stands out in many wildlife scenes observed over years.”
Judge’s commentary: We thought this was a very interesting image, as it tells a story within a compelling landscape. The grizzly bear is having to climb over a fence in order to use its own habitat, and as humans we often do not think about the impact we have on the wildlife around us, and how much we make them adapt to us and our lives instead of accommodating to their needs.
Title: Curious Neighbor
Photographer: Jackson Doyel @kroshack
“Living at the forefront of a national forest offers many amazing human-wildlife interactions. This past winter we were lucky enough to find a pine marten frequenting our firewood stockpiles to look for mice. Upon opening the window to get a better look it approached me with curiosity, snuffling the air. I could see the intelligence in its eyes, like it was cautiously studying me and my intentions. After the marten modeled for some photos, it felt confident enough to approach the window frame, peering into my bedroom. Once satisfied with what it saw it hopped back down onto the wood, scaled the cabin wall, and vanished as silently as it had appeared. We know this marten, it’s our curious next-door neighbor. What an honor to capture such a rare and inquisitive animal.”
Judge’s commentary: This Pine Marten image is photographically a strong and beautiful image, and it also demonstrates how people and wildlife coexist more peacefully, perfectly fitting in with our human-wildlife coexistence theme.
Title: Hello In There!
Photographer: Naomi Heindel
Judge’s commentary: This image was chosen for its creativity with the Human-Wildlife coexistence theme, and was the only image to have someone directly engaging with an aspect of wildlife in the GYE. We liked the curiosity of the child peering into the hole, as well as the composition of the photo.
Title: Authorized Personnel Only
Photographer: Kate Ochsman
Judge’s commentary: The irony in this photograph and it’s subject matter really play off of each other well here, and adds a different twist to our Human-Wildlife coexistence theme. The questions that arise from this image are a perfect sounding board for how do we coexist with the wildlife around us in the GYE.
About the Judges
R.J. Turner is an award-winning photographer, who combines her love for the natural world with her photography to help bring change across continents. As a conservation photographer for over a decade, she has worked in Kenya, Uganda, Southern Africa, and Wyoming. R.J. is the Photographer-in-Residence at NRCC.
Tim Miller is a born and raised Jackson native and works as a full-time photographer. He is passionate about the outdoors and is willing to drink any coffee, no matter how bad or how late in the evening. Wyoming has a deep impact on how Tim sees and photographs the world and has left him indelibly marked with a profound gratitude for the natural world.