Montana Wilderness Association names photo contest winners

Swiftcurrent Falls on a Smoky Morning. (Xavier Springer/All Rights Reserved)

Xavier Springer’s photo, “Swiftcurrent Falls on a Smoky Morning” (above), taken during a bright orange sunrise in Glacier National Park, has been chosen as the grand-prize winner of the Montana Wilderness Association’s 2017 photo contest.

Springer, of Great Falls, was among the photographers who submitted more 1,000 entries in the association’s ninth annual contest.

Judge Luke Duran, art director at Montana Outdoors Magazine, sifted through all those entries and selected a first-, second-, and third-place winner in the photo category.

Grant Golden of Libby won second place for the lush “West Fork of Yaak Falls”:

The third-place photo was “Sullivan’s Knob Trail,” taken in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in south-central Montana by Kelly Wicks, of Glendive:

Eighteen videos were also submitted, and MWA stewardship director Matt Bowser did the judging on those. The grand prize was claimed by Colin Ruggiero of Missoula, whose time-lapse film “Montana” showcased the beauty of our state’s majestic landscapes.

Second place went to Bozeman’s Nick Garner, whose “Keep it Wild” film beautifully highlighted the rugged solitude of Montana’s wild places. In third place, Livingston’s Sam Saarel narrated “Our Beautiful Montana,” a tribute to Montana’s wild past, present and future.

First-place winners in both contests received a $500 prize. Second-place winners received a $250 gift card from the association’s partners at Kuhl, while third-place winners received a $100 gift card from Patagonia.

All winners also received a membership to Montana Wilderness Association. The details of the 2018 Picture Wild Montana contest will be announced later this year.

West Fork of Yaak Falls. (Grant Golden)


Sullivan’s Knob Trail, taken in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. (Kelly Wicks)