A female hooded merganser flies low over the water with her wingtips touching the surface of the water.
A Moment on the Wing Taken from a floating blind in an Ohio lake, this female hooded merganser took to the sky. Not before giving some beautiful reflections of her wingtips across the water. © Jordan McLeland/TNC Photo Contest 2023


The Nature Conservancy Announces Ohio Winners of 2023 Photo Contest

Wildlife, people and landscape images reflect Ohio’s varied beauty.

Media Contacts

The Nature Conservancy in Ohio (TNC) today announced the winners of its 2023 local Photo Contest. This year, Ohio was just one of three states to offer a statewide photo contest alongside TNC’s global Photo Contest.

“Ohio’s photo contest revealed an impressive range of images. From wildlife to waterfalls to people, plants and breathtaking vistas, a diversity of photographers captured the abundant beauty of the Buckeye State,” said Bill Stanley, state director for TNC in Ohio. “Seeing the images has reaffirmed for me that nature’s magnificence comes in all shapes, sizes and locations, and importantly, that our efforts to protect it are more urgent than ever. Thank you to everyone who submitted images and shared your view of Ohio. Your contributions will help us tell the story of Ohio’s heritage and what’s at stake as we work toward a sustainable future for all.”

This year’s local winners are:

  • Grand Prize Winner: Jordan McLeland, “A Moment on the Wing”
  • Wildlife Winner: Eric McBride, “Whitetail Fawn”
  • Landscape Winner: Rachel Kuhen, “Tuck in for the Night”
  • People and Nature Winner: Lily Rice, “Why We Wander”

The winning images can be viewed on the TNC Ohio website.

In their own words, the photographers caption the winning images:

“Taken from a floating blind in an Ohio lake, this female hooded merganser took to the sky. Not before giving some beautiful reflections of her wingtips across the water,” said Jordan McLeland, winner of the Grand Prize.

“A whitetail deer fawn lies curled in the grass waiting for its mom to return.” Photo taken in Cleveland, Ohio by Eric McBride, who captured the winning image in the Wildlife category.

Rachel Kuhen describes the winning shot in the Landscape category: “As the sun started to set in the Cleveland metroparks, I captured this photo of a few mushrooms the grew from under the moss.”

“My partner, Zana Coltman, in side profile on a double exposure of Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park,” explains Lily Rice, winner of the People and Nature category.

Judges for the local 2023 Photo Contest included Coyote Peterson, Emmy award-winning host of Brave Wilderness, Jeni Britton, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Alexis Nikole Nelson (aka blackforager), an American forager and internet personality, and TNC staff.

The grand prize winner receives $500 and category winners each receive $250 along with a TNC gift package.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on X.