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Thank you to all the photographers that shared their best photo showing any individual form of life in the Living Creatures Photo Contest with chances to win a Canon EOS 70D or Nikon D5300 (winner picks the prize!).

"There were so many wonderful finalists for the Living Creatures photo contest, that I had to go back many times through the images and confirm the ones that made me stop and take notice. I was looking for technical excellence in both the capturing of the image with the camera and post processing skills. Also, I was looking for an image that matches the title, and for eye-catching images that tell a story. Here are my Grand Prize Winner and several Runner-ups that checked off all those things I was looking for. Congratulations and thank you to everyone that submitted your images!" - Laurie Rubin

A special thanks to friend and professional photographer Laurie Rubin for her collaboration as a guest judge in this photo contest. Laurie is an international award-winning photographer specializing in wildlife and nature photography. Her passion for photography as well as a career working for software companies, has combined her talents for teaching and sharing photography, from capture to post-processing. She currently has one of her prints displayed at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

Grand Jury Winner

"As I was scrolling through the list of finalists, I kept stopping at this one and I wanted to spend more time, looking at the layers of penguins, mountains, skies and colors. This speaks to me as a winner for the “Living Creatures” photo contest because of the composition (the adult penguin in front really grabs your attention, and then your eye moves through the hundreds of penguins leading you further into the image until you reach snow covered mountains and then finally, the blue skies with a layer of clouds). It is a truly a wonderfully captured photo of “Living Creatures”. Congratulations!" -Laurie Rubin

Runner Up

"I just love the eye-to-eye perspective of this little chick, bravely walking beside its parent with confidence and strut in it’s step! The gesture of the foot above the ground, ready to take that next step is a great moment to stop the action. It is such a story-telling image and it brought a smile to my face." -Laurie Rubin

Runner Up

"There are some lovely curves in this image with the stem being bent over from the weight of the birds along with the muted tones and stop action of the wing of the bird. This photo is like a piece of fine art... delightfully pleasing to the eye and the heart in so many ways." -Laurie Rubin

Runner Up

"Here is an example of what looks like a living tree, with feathers that camouflage this owl so that most passerbyers might not even notice. It was captured really well by getting in close/cropping to the head of the owl and emphasizing the blending of the feathers into the bark of the tree and the beautiful green eyes which match the background. I had to look twice at this image! Well done!" -Laurie Rubin

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