Thank you to all the photographers that shared their best photos showing wildlife in winter landscapes in the Wildlife In The Snow Photo Contest with chances to win a Polaroid Cube and more!

"Once again I am honored to have been asked to judge a ViewBug contest "Wildlife in Winter".  Not sure why I get myself into this as it is incredibly tough selecting just a few from so many amazing images.  Some of the things I was looking for was story telling, action, connection, in addition to composition, sharpness and exposure.  I think you are all winners for getting out in adverse conditions and capturing the images you have.  I love photographing in just such conditions as the rewards can be well worth the effort and frozen fingers and toes.  So, here are my choices..." - Laurie Excell

A special thanks to our friend and professional photographer Laurie Excell for her collaboration as a guest judge in this photo contest. Laurie Excell is founder of Excellent Photo Adventures, author of several highly informative books about composition and wildlife photography and has been a presenter at Photoshop World several times. Laurie has received numerous awards for her photographic excellence and her teaching skills; she is a highly sought after speaker and an acclaimed wildlife photographer based wherever her trailer is currently parked. Laurie leads Excellent Photo Adventures throughout North America and beyond, taking small, intimate groups to amazing photographic locations-such as Alaska to photograph coastal brown bears, Yellowstone, in all seasons, to capture the wildlife and landscape at their best, to Tornado Alley to chase super-cells and to many other amazing locations.

Grand Jury Winner

"I love the way the great grey owl seems to materialize out of the snowy, grey background.  The photographer captured a decisive moment with the wings spread and just a bit of curl to the tips.  I really like the eye contact with the gorgeous yellow eyes amidst an almost monochromatic scene.  The use of a fairly wide aperture and the snowy weather really draws my eye to the subject and eliminates any distracting background.  The falling snow enhances the image.  I feel a connection with the subject.  It can be difficult focusing at a subject moving directly towards the camera let alone with the falling snow.  Congratulations and very well done Harry." - Laurie Excell

Runner Up

"This image is not only an excellent image of wildlife in winter with great composition using the s-curve of the tracks in the snow and the high key effect, but it also depicts the struggle that wildlife faces in severe weather.  The snow is perilously deep in this image.  I am drawn to plight of the lone bison making it's way through the very deep snow following a path made by countless other bison trying to survive a worse than normal winter.  This image in one click tells a very sobering story of the difficulties wildlife faces in the winter.  Congratulations David on an excellent image." - Laurie Excell

Runner Up

"Once again I like the curving bank of snow leading through the image.  I love the reflection of the polar bear as it looks for prey in the water and the blue of the water along with the snow enhances the feeling of cold.  Excellent handling of the exposure capturing just a bit of detail in the snow and yet maintaining the creamy color of the polar bear.  Once again I feel the plight of our wildlife's struggle to survive in the current climate with melting ice caps forcing polar bears to go farther afield in search of food to survive. This image beautifully captures a majestic creature in it's environment.  Congratulations Kris on an excellent image." - Laurie Excell

Runner Up

"This image certainly depicts wildlife in snow...literally covered in snow.  I really like how the snow almost, but not quite, obliterates the marking of the tiger.  There is enough of it's stripes to know what the subject is and it enhances the eyes staring into my soul.  I felt a little shiver of awe an fear when I first saw this image.  The expression on the tiger's face is wonderful.  I love the in your face effect of the close up composition.  Very nicely done Cobble-Art" - Laurie Excell

Runner Up

"I love the way CreativeArtView captured the action in this image with the snow being kicked up by the horses hooves, the mane and tail flying freely and the muscle definition of an athlete.  I like how the dark background makes the horse stand out and the shallow depth of field softens it so that it gives a sense of place without distraction.  I also love the blue eye of the horse.  Even though it is small in the overall frame I saw it instantly.  The exposure is well done capturing a white subject in snow.  Great stop action image CreativeArtView " - Laurie Excell

Amateur Winner

"I chose this image because it made me happy.  I love how all four of the squirrel's feet are off the ground.  The face and whiskers are sharp and there is enough area around the subject to not feel crowded and yet convey the environment.  The choice of shutter speed captured the squirrel in mid-air and the exposure shows the texture of the snow and the detail in the subject.  This is not only well done but, simply a fun and whimsical image Sandy." - Laurie Excell

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