PHOTO CONTEST 2023 Professional / Hobbyist Winners, Finalists and Semifinalists






Morning Glow
First Place   |  Morning Glow
Manatee Springs State Park  |  Landscape
John Hootman

"Getting up early in the morning is essential to capture the wildlife here. It is always a big inspiration for my photography, and this morning proved to pay off big. As the sun ascended, the combination of the fog and sun created a near-picture-perfect combination that stopped me in my tracks. The photo was taken as I walked back down the boardwalk at Manatee Springs." - John Hootman



Blue Grace
Second Place  |  Blue Grace
Ichetucknee Springs State Park  |  Waterscapes
Curt Mason

"Each time I swim in the Ichetucknee Blue Hole, I feel as though I've pulled back the curtain for a fleeting glimpse of an alien world. I get an elated sense that I've just witnessed a precious secret of the universe that most will never see, but all should. Words do it no justice. There's no more inspiring place to bring a camera than our Florida Aquifer." - Curt Mason



American Alligator
Third Place |  American Alligator Chill
Myakka River State Park  |  Wildlife
Beverly Eaton

"The "American Alligator Chill” photo is of a gator I frequently take photos of at Myakka River State Park.  He has such a personality and was lovingly named “Snapper Jack".  During lower waters, he likes to rest up on a little exposed island at Fisherman’s Loop.  Don't often get to see him in full form, but on this overcast day, he was gracious enough to sit for a pose." - Beverly Eaton



Lazy Days
Honorable Mention  |  Lazy Days
Silver Springs State Park  |  Park Adventure
Arnett Luce

"My inspiration was a simple back to nature and unplug from the outside world kind of week. My husband and I decided to explore Silver Springs State Park as a camping destination and to take in the beauty of nature. In addition to camping, this park is so unique because it offers manatee, monkey, and bird sightings throughout the park. It also offers hiking and water activities for the entire family. I wanted to capture the essence of the beauty and people enjoying the activities in a calm peaceful manner. I believe this image captures both." Arnett Luce 



Little Loney Toad Resting on a Bed of Moss
Finalist  |  Little Loney Toad Resting on a Bed of Moss
Blue Spring State Park  |  Details and Small Things
Gabriel Casanova

"I took this photo on a Saturday afternoon after deciding I would only take my macro lens on a nature walk. After being patient and looking around every little space and corner the trail had to offer, I found this little toad resting on a bed of moss. I have found that being in nature’s presence teaches us how to truly be still." - Gabriel Casanova



Rock Springs
Finalist  |  Rock Springs
Rock Springs Run State Reserve  |  Landscape
Jack Cooper

"I've been going to Rock Springs ever since I was a child and have always thought it had some of the most beautiful and unique scenery in Florida. The crystal clear water streams out of a cave, meanders down to a swimming area and beyond.  Along the way there are some sand ponds where you can stand and feel the water coming up out of the ground. After I retired a couple of years ago I decided to continue what I love, taking photographs of the beauty of nature and Florida, my home." - Jack Cooper



Beautiful Camping on St. George Island
Finalist  |  Beautiful Camping on St. George Island
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park | Camping
Jack McMullen

"It was such a joy for us to stay at St. George Island State Park for a week, just a few yards away from its miles of beautiful and unspoiled beaches!  The campground and the surrounding area were incredibly peaceful, and we plan to return again every year.  I felt that this photo captured the essence and beauty of this gem of a state park!" - Jack McMullen



Bears will be Bears
Finalist  |  Bears will be Bears
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park  |  Wildlife
Jay Staton

"Bears will be Bears" was captured on a motion activated camera setup I built. I placed it on a small game trail deep in the Fakahatchee swamp. I had seen this mother bear and her cub in the area a week prior and thought this would be the perfect place to set up a camera and 2 external flashes. This image was taken 2 days later.  Unfortunately, they returned 5 days later and mama bear destroyed my camera. " Jay Staton



Dawn Patrol
Finalist  |  Dawn Patrol
Sebastian Inlet State Park  |  Park Experiences
Rick Tucker

"I had decided to go photograph the sunrise on the beach and while watching all the people fishing, I noticed this lone surfer walking up and stopping to survey the conditions. When I look at all the people fishing, there is that energy of the crowds and trying to find a space to fish and then when I look at the surfer... that all seems to melt away into the background, leaving a sense of solitude, an ocean of possibilities. " Rick Tucker










Yesteryear at Dudley Farm


Semifinalist  |  Yesteryear at Dudley Farm 
Dudley Farm Historic State Park Name  |  Sightseeing
R. J. Alder



Aloong the River Sink Trail
Semifinalist  |  Along the River Sink Trail
O'Leno State Park | Trails
Cole Barlow





Semifinalist  |  Cannonball!
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park | Park Experiences
Jennifer Conklin



Under the Anghinga
Semifinalist  |  Under the Anghinga
Silver Springs State Park  |  Wildlife
Nicholas Conzone



Skimming Amongst
Semifinalist  |  Skimming Amongst Danger
Myakka River State Park | Birds
Jonathan Crossman



Snail Shade
Semifinalist  |  Snail Shade
Myakka River State Park | Details and Small Things
Beverly Eaton



Semifinalist  |  Pathfinder
Withlacoochee State Trail | Waterscapes
Christain Faircloth



Standoff on the Pairie
Semifinalist  |  Standoff on the Prairie
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park | Park Adventure
Marie Finnegan



Fine Dining on St. George Island!


Semifinalist  |  Fine Dining on St. George Island!
Dr. Julian G Bruce St. George Island State Park | Birds
Robin Francis



Pink Beauty


Semifinalist  |  Pink Beauty
Honeymoon Island State Park | Birds
Robert Gloeckner





Semifinalist  |  Bubbles
Honeymoon Island State Park | Wildlife
Tiffany Grandstaff



Path to Adventure
Semifinalist  |  Path to Adventure
 Myakka River State Park | Park Adventure
Kayla Guzman


Veggin' Out
Semifinalist  |  Veggin' Out
Blue Spring State Park | Wildlife
Bill Hawthrone



A Beautiful Site
Semifinalist  |  A Beautiful Site
Gasparilla Island State Park | Landscape
Alison Horton



The Kiss
Semifinalist  |  The Kiss
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park | Wildlife
Olga Ihnastsenka



Stars Welcoming the Morning Sky
Semifinalist  |  Stars Welcoming the Morning Sky
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park | Night Skies
Chrissy Martinez



Eagle Nest
Semifinalist  |  Eagle Nest
Savannas Preserve State Park | Landscape
Sara Meliza Diaz



Overseas Railway Sunset
Semifinalist  |  Overseas Railway Sunset
Bahia Honda State Park | Waterscapes
Mark Mitter



Scudderia Cuneta on Feay's
Semifinalist  |  Scudderia Cuneata on Feay’s Palafox
Seabranch Preserve State Park | Details and Small Things
Angel Ohler
Surface Tension
Semifinalist  |  Surface Tension
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park | Details and Small Things
Joseph Ricketts



Semifinalist  |  Lanternflies
Blue Spring State Park | Details and Small Things
Laura Serdiuk



Jetty to the Horizon
Semifinalist  |  Jetty to the Horizon
St. Andrews State Park | Landscape
Nick Shirtzinger



Sun Dew Closeup
Semifinalist  |  Sun Dew Closeup
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park | Plants and Flowers
Margare Shoemake



Stepping Back in Time.
Semifinalist  |  Stepping Back in Time
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park | Sightseeing
Elizabeth Shultz



The First Time
Semifinalist  |  The First Time
Savannas Preserve State Park | Landscape
Lisa Silk



The Milky Way Over Kissimmee Prairie
Semifinalist  |  The Milky Way Over Kissimmee Prairie
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park | Night Skies
Anthony Sleiman



Semifinalist  |  Float
Crystal River Preserve State Park | Waterscapes
Jenny Sloan



Cucumber Beetle
Semifinalist  |  Cucumber Beetle
Myakka River State Park | Details and Small Things
Estelle Spradlin



Endangered Hunter
Semifinalist  |   Hunter
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park | Wildlife
Jay Staton



Florida's Oldest Attraction
Semifinalist  |  Florida's Oldest Attraction
Silver Springs State Park | Park Experiences
Jeff Talbert



Fishing at Dawn
Semifinalist  |  Fishing at Dawn
Big Talbot Island State Park | Park Experiences
Shane Tierney



Semifinalist  |  Wave
Sebastian Inlet State Park | Waterscapes
Rick Tucker



Pleasant Surpise
Semifinalist  |  Pleasant Surprise
Wekiwa Springs State Park | Wildlife
Jim Uhing



Reaching For The Stars
Semifinalist  |  Reaching For The Stars
Colt Creek State Park | Night Skies
Ben Wilder



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