A raven watching a group of naturalists watching the sunrise on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
A dramatic sunset at Saguaro National Park.
A “moonbow” captured near the base of Lower Yosemite Falls.
These were just a few of the more than 300 images Star readers shared in our 2014 vacation photo contest. And what they all had in common — each documented a special moment captured in a national park.
For this year’s contest we partnered with the Western National Parks Association, which plans to use some of the photos to promote visitation and ultimately to turn more people into advocates for the nation’s treasured parks. The nonprofit association may use readers’ photos in books, videos, trail guides, websites and in other ways that tell the story of our parks as it prepares for the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016.
“I think it’s incredible,” said Jim Cook, the WNPA’s executive director, referring to the “number of entries, the quality of the photos and the stories they told. I am really, really pleased.”
Rick Wiley, the Star’s director of photography, had the difficult and subjective task of selecting three standouts along with several honorable mentions. Readers also voted for their top three picks.
See the rest of the winners inside this section for more superb photos and Wiley’s comments.