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Every year, the creative team members at Saltscapes pore through hundreds of submissions for our annual amateur photography contest. As always, we had our work cut out for us in all four categories. The stories behind the finalists were charming, funny, and poignant. We appreciate everyone who entered.

For our 2023 contest, we’d like to throw out a challenge to amateur photographers in P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador: we didn’t have a lot of entries from folks in those provinces and we know there are all kinds of talented shutterbugs throughout our region. As one of our winners said in an email, “We’re so fortunate to live in an area that offers so many photo opportunities.”

This year we saw many top-notch photos taken with mobile phones, proving that the photographer’s eye is the most important tool.

Here, then are the picture-perfect winners for our 2022 contest, and with our heartfelt congratulations to all; and equally huge thanks to White Point, CAA, and Ivan’s Cameras for sponsoring the prizes.

Grand Prize Winner

Right of Way

Tod Slone, Barnstable, Mass
Camera: Canon EOS 6 with EF 24-105 lens

After more than a decade of exploring the East Coast each year in spring and summer, retired college professor Tod must be an honourary Atlantic Canadian. He especially loves Newfoundland and Labrador’s outports and abandoned communities, where he took this photo. Tod was taking an evening stroll in Francois, N.L., an isolated outport on a fjord, a 4.5-hour ferry ride from Burgeo on the mainland, when he encountered these chickens on the boardwalk. They weren’t afraid of him and he took a few photos, hoping they’d look at him. Our team loved the landscape and the humour in the fearless chickens.

Uniquely Atlantic Canadian

First Place

Close Encounter

Kevin Power, Halifax, N.S.
Camera: Nikon D5500 with Nikor 70-300 lens

This high-energy photo seems to encapsulate our region. Kevin, a retired school principal, took it during Chester Race Week. “I was out in my brother’s boat and caught these two Bluenose-class sailboats as we were motoring close to one of the islands off Chester,” he recalls. “There was a nice wind and a bit of a foreboding sky.”

Honourable Mention

Gold River Sunset

Barbara Ann Schoemaker, Vancouver, B.C.
Camera: Samsung Galaxy A32 phone camera

Barbara and her husband keep their cutter rig sailboat at Gold River Marina and will soon be heading back to Nova Scotia for more great sunsets. “It was a magic hour sunset moment that just became deeper and richer in color as the sun set. The sunsets in Nova Scotia are incredible … this photo is only one of many I took last summer.”

World up close

First Place

Work-Life Balance

Nicole Brannon, Dartmouth, N.S.
Camera: Canon 90D with 100 mm macro lens

Nicole is a fulltime social worker and mum to two amazing teens plus two bonus sons from a recent remarriage. “I captured this photo at my mother’s favourite park, Sullivan’s Pond, in Dartmouth,” she says. “She passed away from pancreatic cancer and I often take photos there to feel close to her. The bee balancing on top of a globe thistle symbolized the importance of work-life balance — both for me and the bee.”

Honourable Mention


Mark Lawson, Lower Prospect, N.S. 
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T7

Mark and his wife are fortunate to have the ocean right in their backyard. When he took up photography as a hobby after retirement in 2021, his son gave him a photographer’s glass orb as a present, and on a sunny July afternoon, Mark set up his camera on the tripod, placed the ball on the railing and took several shots. He was pleased with this one, as was our team. 

Landscape & Nature

First Place

Notre Dame

Mike Rushton, Cocagne, N.B. 
Camera: Canon R6 with 16-35 lens 

Mike is director of a non-profit organization called the Friends of the Kouchibouguacis that performs Atlantic salmon population and habitat recovery work on both the Kouchibouguacis and Kouchibouguac rivers in Kent County, N.B. “This photo of the old Notre Dame bridge has always stuck out as a cool piece of history,” he says. “Capturing the winter scenery and the setting sun made for a nice composition.” 

Honourable Mention

Morning in Nain

Peter Lewis, Wellington, NS
Camera: Panasonic DMC-Z60 

Mike says, “My wife and I were visiting Labrador and travelled on a return trip along the coast on the ferry from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Rigolet, Makkovik, Natuashish, and Nain. The stopover was about three hours, so we walked around the community and this view was so beautiful I caught it, and many others on the trip.” 

People & Folks

First Place

Mirror Image

Christie Ellen, Grande-Digue, NB
CameraNikon D610 with 35mm lens 

Copywriter and content strategist Christie says she decided to move to the beach in 2019 after treatment for breast cancer. She bought her first DSLR camera after the diagnosis. “I realized just how important it was to document as much about my life as I could, so my kids and the East Coast landscape are what I love to capture the most,” she says. 

Honourable Mention

Lupine Season

Johanna Rosolen, Kentville, NS
CameraNikon 611 with Sigma 35mm lens

Johanna is a fulltime early childhood educator. “Seeing lupines grow on the sides of the road and in the country, always signifies the start of summer to me,” she says. “I took this photo of my daughter Katia last year holding these beautiful lupines.” 

Staff Picks

Dragonfly on a rake

Traci Cameron, Halifax, NS
Camera: Canon 6D with 70-200mm Lens

Pediatric nurse Traci took this photo in her backyard several summers ago. “I was gardening and as I reached for the rake, I spotted this adorable dragonfly,” she says. “I ran for my camera, which is always nearby. Photographing all creatures great and small has been therapeutic throughout my life.” 

Lichen Universe

Jon Flanagan, Moncton, NB
Camera: Samsung Cellphone

Musician Jon has lived in New Brunswick his entire life and getting out into nature is something he’s done since a child. Of this photo of lichens on a rock in Hillsborough, N.B. ,Jon says, “What drew me to that photo is just the beauty of how small and intricate nature can be. 

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