Glen Maki of Wofford Heights, Calif., had a camera, a 210 mm lens and just enough time to press the trigger as the digital motor whirred quickly to capture a kayaker maneuver the waters at the Seven Teacups on the Sequoia National Forest.
“I was just taking a lot of pictures,” Maki said. “So when I decided to enter the contest, I had to enter the one I thought was the best. And it turned out pretty well.”
Maki’s fast photography work earned him top prize in the National Park Foundation’s 2011 Share the Experience photo contest. His winning photo will grace the 2013 Federal Recreational Lands Pass distributed to nearly 500,000 people. It is the first time a national forest will be featured on the interagency pass.
Maki, a captain with the Kern County (Calif.) Fire Department, also won a four day/three night trip for four people to a National Recreation Area of his choosing, a Magellan GPS, a REI gift card and a Federal Recreational Lands Pass.
The 2012 Share the Experience photo contest ended Dec. 31, but weekly winners voted on by the public included shots from the Chugach, Hiawatha and the Bridger Teton national forests. One of the most voted on shots in December included a photo from the Mount Evans Recreation Area on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado.
The contest encourages amateur photographers to explore the nation’s federal lands and share their experiences by capturing and submitting their favorite shots. The winner will receive $15,000 with the winning image featured on the 2014 Annual Federal Recreation Lands Pass; second prize is $10,000; and third prize is $2,500.
Photos must be taken on federal lands or historic sites managed by participating agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service. Contest guidelines and information about how to enter or how to vote for the fan favorite is on the Share the Experience website.
If you don’t have time to enter this year’s contest, you have an entire year to prepare for next year’s contest.
More than 14,000 photos were submitted in the contest Maki won. Although he decided to enter the contest, he didn’t work at winning.
“I thought I would enter a picture just for the heck of it,” he said. “I didn’t think I had a chance."