Announcing the CPAWS Fall Photo Contest Winners

October 27, 2021

We were blown away by the stunning images that captured the natural splendour of our province for the CPAWS Manitoba Fall Colours Photo Contest!

It was a lot of fun going through the hundreds of submissions by 102 people and a real struggle to pick winners from so many memorable and creative photos. But after blind rankings and much debate, we are pleased to present our three winners and some impressive honourable mentions.

There were so many great entries that showcased the province’s beauty, and we’ll continue sharing your submissions on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Keep reading to hear how the photographers captured their award-winning shots!

Top 3 Photos Selected by Our Judges

We love getting to explore Manitoba through your eyes. That’s why we’ll be hosting more photo contests throughout 2022. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out on the chance to participate. 

1st Place Animal Category: Pelican at Matheson Island, by Mary Lou Milhausen

“Bird photography can be very challenging. This photo was shot up at Matheson Island. This is the second year I have gone there primarily to photograph eagles in October. There are also plenty of seagulls and pelicans to photograph as well. Matheson Island is such a great place to capture these birds. This image was part of a series taken on a Sony A7III with a Sigma 100-400 mm lens, settings 1/1000 sec, f6.3, ISO 400, 400 mm.”

A pelican swallows a fish while on a lake in Manitoba.

Pelican at Matheson Island, by Mary Lou Milhausen

1st Place General Nature Category: Spider Web in Brandon, by Tara Kurtenbach

“I really enjoy nature photography — the world is such a beautiful place. One morning, I noticed how thick the fog was, so we took a walk down by the Assiniboine River in Brandon with our dog. That is where my husband spotted the spider web. Even amongst old farmery equipment along the riverside, where I wouldn’t normally look, you can capture great photographs. I always try to practise different compositions — it can help make a photo so much more interesting!”

A spider web on old farm equipment in Brandon, Manitoba.

Spider web in Brandon, by Tara Kurtenbach

1st Place People in Nature Category: Wekusko Falls, by Tayler Kittle

“I wanted a photograph that portrayed the sheer beauty and raw nature of northern Manitoba, all while putting into perspective the size and might of Wekusko Falls. In doing so I found a spot next to the falls where I could stand. Normally, this rock that I stood on is fully submerged underwater, but with the water being so low this year, I seized the opportunity at hand to stand there. (I do not recommend standing near the water’s edge, as rocks are very slippery and the current of the river is very strong.) I set up my camera and tripod on a cliff across the falls from where I was standing, made my lighting adjustments, then I went back by the spot under/next to the falls to capture the photo of myself.”

A person stands near Wekusko Falls in Manitoba.

Wekusko Falls, by Tayler Kittle

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few other photos that stood out to our judges.

Pembina Valley Provincial Park, by Lu Wang

A grandmother and grandchild walk through a forest in Pembina Valley Provincial Park in Manitoba.

Pembina Valley Provincial Park, by Lu Wang

FortWhyte Alive, by Margarita Andrea Mahor

Birds flying over water at sunset at FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg.

FortWhyte Alive, by Margarita Andrea Mahor

Brandon, by Romel Bermudo

A tunnel of trees in fall in Brandon, Manitoba.

Trees in Brandon, Romel Bermudo

Screech owl, by April Stampe

A screech owl in a tree in Manitoba.

Screech owl, by April Stampe

La Barrière Park, by Julie Navitka

A child stands in a forest in La Barrière Park in Manitoba.

La Barrière Park, by Julie Navitka

Young buck in Assiniboine Park, by Debbie Ristimaki

A young buck looks through trees in Assiniboine Park.

Young buck in Assiniboine Park, by Debbie Ristimaki

Photo Contest Prizes

The top three photographers received a $75 Atmosphere gift card and a CPAWS Manitoba Keep Manitoba Wild T-shirt.

Josie Brendle was selected for the random draw among all entries, and Michelle Caragos was selected for the random draw for people who also posted their entries on Instagram with the hashtag #CPAWSFallPhoto.

Here’s what they won:

  • Random draw for all entries: CPAWS Manitoba Keep Manitoba Wild T-shirt
  • Random draw for those who post entries on Instagram with hashtag #CPAWSFallPhoto: CPAWS Manitoba Hudson Bay long sleeve shirt

Plus, the first 25 people who entered the contest received a CPAWS Manitoba Keep Manitoba Wild sticker or magnet.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more CPAWS Manitoba contests on the horizon.

Outdoor Fun with the CPAWS Manitoba Nature Club

This contest is part of the CPAWS Manitoba Nature Club, which has three main components: Outdoor Learning, Outdoor Fun (contests fall under this), and Speaker Series.

Our Nature Club is designed to help Manitobans get outside, make new friends, and learn about the wonders of nature.

Click here for the full Nature Club event listings.

This contest is possible thanks to the generous support of The Winnipeg Foundation and the Conservation Trust, a Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Initiative delivered by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.

Help Keep Manitoba Wild


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With your help, we can protect half our lands and waters for future generations of people and wildlife.