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Jan 14 2020

Picture Wild Montana Countdown: Third Place

“A Moment of Affection” by Ben Wickham

We're continuing to countdown to the grand prize winner of the 2019 Picture Wild Montana Photo Contest. Our judges poured over 650 entries and whittled them down to four of their favorites.

The theme of this year’s contest was “People and Public Lands.” In an effort to highlight the connection that Montanans feel to our public lands and waters, we asked participants to submit photos that featured friends, family, or themselves enjoying everything our public lands have to offer.

Thanks to you, we were inundated with beautiful photos of outdoor enthusiasts exploring our wilderness areas, state parks, national forests, wilderness study areas, and other federal, state, and local public lands. 

Our guest judge Luke Duran, art director at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ “Montana Outdoors” magazine, is pleased to announce the third place winner.

Third Place: “A Moment of Affection” by Ben Wickham

Ben Wickham image of woman and dog skiing

A moment of affection skiing up the History Rock trail in Hyalite Canyon. (Ben Wickham)

From Luke Duran, guest judge:
“This beautiful photo really catches my eye. Unlike my other two selections, this image focuses more on emotion and experience rather than the landscape itself. But the public land space is still present and inviting. I like the high contrast of the snowy ski trail and the dark shapes of the surrounding forest. The skier and her dog are illuminated by beautiful sunlight, greatly warming a frosty winter scene. Falling snowflakes create a dazzling sparkle and magic to the joyous moment. The subjects are in perfect focus, creating an attractive depth of field. I love the warm furry colors of the dog, the spot of blue on the ski boots, and the fuchsia and copper colors of the skier’s apparel and backpack. Great photo, it captures the theme perfectly, and is a nice reminder that there are a myriad of opportunities for people in Montana’s public lands throughout the year.”

To see more of Ben Wickham's work, check out his Instagram.

Are you inspired to plan a trek of your own on Montana's wild public lands with your favorite furry sidekick? Check out hikewildmontana.org for an interactive map of over 300 trails submitted by our dedicated supporters. 

Plan Your Next Adventure

We’re counting down to the first place photo announcement by sharing the other winners, one by one, each day through Thursday.  Thanks to everyone who submitted a photo this year. We’re always thoroughly impressed by the quality and variety of photos.


- Keely Damara, communications coordinator

Keely Damara
Communications Coordinator

Keely provides communications support for our chapters, programs, and campaigns and manages our social media channels. In her free time, she enjoys fly fishing on Montana's scenic rivers, hiking, camping, and exploring public lands in her home state.
Email Keely