Ice breaks at dawn at Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Abraham Lake Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada ©: Ying Han

2018 Photo Contest

Your Pictures: The Beauty of Winter

One of the greatest gifts nature gives us is variability. The same park, the same trail or the same backyard can look completely different depending on the seasons, the weather or even ecological processes.

One of the more dramatic examples of this variability is what happens to landscapes when extreme cold rolls in. Our 2018 Photo Contest participants shared 57,489 photos from 135 countries. Thousands of them involved winter scenes. 

As winter in the Northern hemisphere comes to an end, here are some of our favorite depictions of a frozen world. We appreciate all who braved the elements to capture these:

Kellie Netherwood

Whooper swans find a small section of water on a frozen lake in Hokkaido, Japan. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Whooper swans Whooper swans find a small section of water on a frozen lake in Hokkaido, Japan. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Kellie Netherwood

Ajinkya Sawant

"Though we were surrounded by stunning vistas, this image stood out to me because of our relative insignificance to the vastness of nature."

A backpacker attempts to ascent Panorama Ridge in Canada's Garibaldi Provincial Park. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Backpacker at Panorama Ridge A backpacker attempts to ascent Panorama Ridge in Canada's Garibaldi Provincial Park. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Ajinkya Sawant

Alan Howe

Mount Hood visible from Tom Dick and Harry Mountain after a winter storm at sunrise. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Mt. Hood from Afar Mount Hood visible from Tom Dick and Harry Mountain after a winter storm at sunrise. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Alan Howe

Allison Smith

"Without the natural world around us, we would not be able to exist. I find it amazing what can be found in nature, if you simply take the time to look."

A squirrel in the photographer's backyard in the winter in Quebec, Canada. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Squirrel in winter A squirrel in the photographer's backyard in the winter in Quebec, Canada. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Allie Smith

Celine Pollard

"I am passionate about wildlife and nature and because I have grandchildren, I want them to experience the beauty of animals and their surroundings as I have!"

Freezing cascades at Elbow Falls in Alberta, Canada. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Elbow Falls Freezing cascades at Elbow Falls in Alberta, Canada. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Celine Pollard

Debbie Bradley

Frozen plants after a big freeze. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Frozen Plants Frozen plants after a big freeze. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Debbie Bradley

Ben Strauss

"Getting the last of winter shots in before summer hits and melts all of the mountain lakes. While the ice is beautiful, it’s been a long winter and I’m ready for warm weather!"

Colorado's Lake Haiyaha, known for its vibrant blue ice. This photo was submitted to The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest.
Frozen Lake Haiyaha Colorado's Lake Haiyaha, known for its vibrant blue ice. This photo was submitted to The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest. © Ben Strauss

Erik Mandre

"Sometimes winter shows its beauty. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time."

A white-tailed eagle during a snowstorm in Hiiumaa Island, Estonia. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
White-tailed eagle in storm A white-tailed eagle during a snowstorm in Hiiumaa Island, Estonia. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Erik Mandre

Lance Gilliland

Coyote in Yellowstone National Park
Coyote in Winter Coyote in Yellowstone National Park © Lance Gilliland

Thea Martin

Going in the winter time [to Yellowstone] is better than I could've imagined...I caught this guy with my 500mm lens so I could get the detail but respect his space.

A bison covered in snow in the Hayden Valley area of Yellowstone National Park. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Bison eye A bison covered in snow in the Hayden Valley area of Yellowstone National Park. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Thea Martin

Terry Cervi

Grist mill in West Virginia's Babcock State Park near the end of winter. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Glade Creek Grist Mill Grist mill in West Virginia's Babcock State Park near the end of winter. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Terry Cervi

Thomas Janik

A state forest in western New York in the middle of winter. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest.
Winter Forest A state forest in western New York in the middle of winter. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 Photo Contest. © Thomas Janik