Grand prize: This photo of Tatoosh Ridge by Yuriy Garnaev was the overall contest winner.

Grand prize: This photo of Tatoosh Ridge by Yuriy Garnaev was the overall contest winner.

Six classicly Northwest snaps from Washington’s backcountry trails

Here are the winning photos from the Washington Trails Association’s 2020 Northwest Exposure contest.

  • By Erika Haugen-Goodman Washington Trails Association
  • Sunday, January 10, 2021 8:22am
  • Life

By Erika Haugen-Goodman / Washington Trails Association

Many of us took to the trails with our cameras last year to find comfort and joy during a difficult time.

Washington Trails Association’s Northwest Exposure Photo Contest attracted 8,000 entries in 2020 in five categories, from which 16 winners were named. All of them capture the classic look of the Pacific Northwest.

We’d like to thank each and every photographer who took the time to enter the contest. We post your photography throughout the year on the WTA’s website, while providing the best possible resources for the hiking community. (We always give credit for the photos.) From mountains and forests, and waxwings to deer, you help show us how wonderful Washington’s backcountry trails can be. That’s no small feat! So thank you. We look forward to seeing your entries for this year’s contest.

Without further ado, here are the top photographs from the 2020 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest.

Grand prize: This photo of Tatoosh Ridge by Yuriy Garnaev was the overall contest winner.

Grand prize: This photo of Tatoosh Ridge by Yuriy Garnaev was the overall contest winner.

Grand prize: Yuriy Garnaev

Garnaev captured this photo of Tatoosh Ridge with Mount Rainier visible in the backdrop. In the fading evening light, he raced up the ridge to snap this photograph using two bracketed images to expose for the sky and landscape.

“I moved to this corner of the country a few years ago because I was really drawn to the stunning landscapes it has to offer,” he said. “All of the trails that we have here have allowed me to spend so many weekends exploring the incredible mountains, forests, and coast of the Pacific Northwest. I’m very grateful for them, and really admire all of the hard work people have put in to build and maintain them!”

First place, Trailscapes: Ginalisa Andree’s photo from Tank Lakes won top honors in the Trailscapes category.

First place, Trailscapes: Ginalisa Andree’s photo from Tank Lakes won top honors in the Trailscapes category.

First place, Trailscapes: Ginalisa Andree

This quick snap of Tank Lakes was taken on Andree’s phone, as she was heading back to her tent after waking up to catch the sunrise. It’s all the proof you should need that cellphones can take award-winning photos.

“After my cataract surgery eight years ago, I intend to see as many beautiful places as I can while my eye sight is still OK,” she said. “Trails give me a sense of affinity to Mother Nature, and it also allows me to forge a deeper connection with my inner self.”

Flora and Fauna, first place: This photo of a Bohemian waxwing eating rose hips by Janet Bauer landed her first place in the Flora and Fauna category.

Flora and Fauna, first place: This photo of a Bohemian waxwing eating rose hips by Janet Bauer landed her first place in the Flora and Fauna category.

First place, Flora and Fauna: Janet Bauer

With a 400 mm telephoto lens, Bauer nabbed a close-up of a Bohemian waxwing in its natural habitat. She watched and waited in the snow to get this shot. Waxwings eat almost exclusively fruit in the winter, relying on the berry-producing shrubs that grow in lowland woodlands.

“Luck prevailed, and I was able to closely watch and photograph waxwings as they flitted around the shrubs devouring frozen rose hips,” she said. “I stayed with them until the afternoon light was disappearing and my fingers were numb from the cold. On my way home, I marveled at how nature often delivers beautiful gifts when you least expect them.”

First place, Trail Family: Takahiro Shigemitsu took a selfie with his pack llama on the Pacific Crest Trail. It won him first place in the Trail Family category.

First place, Trail Family: Takahiro Shigemitsu took a selfie with his pack llama on the Pacific Crest Trail. It won him first place in the Trail Family category.

First place, Trail Family: Takahiro Shigemitsu

Shigemitsu is a member of Pass to Pass, a hiking group that raises awareness for Parkinson’s disease. In 2020, they transported their gear on the Pacific Coast Trail with the help of pack llamas. Every hiker in the group wore masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — even the llamas. Takahiro said the llamas are considered “trail family” for the Pass to Pass hikes.

“Trails, especially in the backcountry, bring out the ‘generosity and loving kindness’ side of me,” he said.

First place, Hikers in Action: This photo by John Duong of a photographer in action at Hidden Lake Lookout won top honors in the Hikers in Action category.

First place, Hikers in Action: This photo by John Duong of a photographer in action at Hidden Lake Lookout won top honors in the Hikers in Action category.

First place, Hikers in Action: John Duong

Here’s a rare one. Duong captured a photographer in action on an August hike up to Hidden Lake Lookout.

“I love that feeling when all these things that are typically out of your control come together to make a perfect moment,” he said. “In this instance, the clouds parted, the sun was setting above the Cascades, highlighting the layers of rugged mountains, and making Mount Baker glow in the distance. It’s in these moments where you want to capture that feeling so you can relive it one more time.”

First place, Instagram: This photo by Umesh Pandit shows her daughter just after spotting a deer at Olympic National Park. He took first place for it in the Instagram category.

First place, Instagram: This photo by Umesh Pandit shows her daughter just after spotting a deer at Olympic National Park. He took first place for it in the Instagram category.

First place, Instagram: Umesh Pandit

It doesn’t matter how old you are — there’s something special about spotting wildlife when you’re out in nature. By the expression on her face, you can tell that Pandit’s daughter was thrilled to see a deer at Olympic National Park.

“Olympic National Park is so beautiful to go out with family,” he said, “especially with kids so that we can see wild flowers, deer and some short hiking.

Washington Trails Association promotes hiking as a way to inspire a people to protect Washington’s natural places. Learn more at www.wta.org.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Carrie Compton clips leaves from the plants for sale at Houseplants Galore on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The great indoors: Houseplants to bring in a touch of spring

At Houseplants Galore in Everett, discover rare and beautiful plant specimens grown with care.

Cameron Hewitt
Switzerland's Lauterbrunnen Valley looks pastoral but it hides a powerful dose of natural wonder.
Rick Steves’ Europe: In the Swiss Alps, the laws of nature rule

The travel guru learned to respect the power of nature in the shadow of Switzerland’s towering Jungfrau.

Inside Elle Marie Hair Studio in Smokey Point. (Provided by Acacia Delzer)
The best hair salon in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied. Here are the results.

For more than a thousand years, Czech leaders – from kings and emperors to Nazis, communists, and presidents – have ruled from Prague Castle, regally perched on a hill above the Vltava River. Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli
Rick Steves’ Europe: History lives in Prague and its hilltop castle

It’s one of Europe’s best-preserved cities, having been spared from last century’s bombs.

Alarm clock in the middle of the night insomnia or dreaming
Trouble sleeping? Try these tips for getting a good night’s rest

Many adults turn to sleep aids, including alcohol, to help them rest, without realizing that their hectic lifestyles may be contributing to their sleeplessness.

The Stumbling Fiddler Band is scheduled to perform March 3 in Everett. (Photo provided by Port Gardner Bay Music Society)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with music by the Stumbling Fiddler Band in Everett.

I was charged an extra $250 for a mistaken car rental upgrade

When Leah Page picks up her rental car from Thrifty, it charges her a $250 upgrade fee. Can it do this without her permission, and how can she get a refund?

Naomi Jacobson as Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer in "Becoming Dr. Ruth" at Village Theatre in Everett. (Auston James)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

“Becoming Dr. Ruth,” which tells the sex therapist’s amazing back story, is now showing at Village Theatre in Everett.

Market for sale plants. Many plants in pots
Snohomish Garden Club plans annual plant sale

The event is scheduled for April 27 at Swan’s Trail Farms. Proceeds will go to scholarships.

Start planting now so you can stop to smell your own roses all summer long

Late winter to early spring is perfect for planting roses. And with so many varieties to consider, there’s no time to waste.

Over 200 years, the magic lantern transformed into an educational peacock

Regarded as magic in the 1650s, this device was refined into the more scientific sounding sciopticon by the mid-1800s.

The 2024 Mazda3 hatchback. (Mazda)
2024 Mazda3 adds a Carbon Turbo trim and more safety features

The charismatic compact is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.