The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
EcoWatch's Best of Summer Photo Contest Winners Announced
Summer has officially come to an end. Luckily, EcoWatch is here to keep its memory alive by sharing the winners of our "Best of Summer" photo contest.
For our third ever photo contest, we at EcoWatch broke the competition into two parts: one Judges' Choice, selected by a talented team of activists, photographers, adventurers and influencers, and one EcoWatchers' Choice, selected by readers like you!
The winner of the "Best of Summer" Judges' Choice award is ... Raymond Paul Freitas, for his Late Summer View of the Milky Way over Bodega Head, California.
Late Summer view of the Milky Way over Bodega Head, California.
"I love Milky Way images," Freitas said of the piece, "so I am always searching for stunning locations to photograph. I thought this coastal setting would be a perfect backdrop."
Freitas' photo was chosen by an accomplished team of judges: activists and filmmakers Gary and Sam Bencheghib, wildlife photographer Anthony Bucci, award-winning photographer and expedition leader Amos Nachoum and zoologist, activist and social media Influencer Margarita Samsonova.
Samsonova called the winning picture "stunning."
"I know how hard it is to shoot stars and edit pictures like that. The colors and clarity here are amazing. Winner shot!" she said.
Bucci, meanwhile, praised Freitas' technique.
"The photographer didn't over edit this image while post processing it. I like the crop used in the post processing," he said. "The colours and overall composition of this image keeps pulling me back to view it. I think overall the photographer spent some time to properly setup his camera and chose a decent foreground to break up the Milky Way."
Freitas is retired and lives in Santa Rosa, California. His favorite summer activities are landscape photography, pickleball and hiking.
And now the photograph voted for by you, our readers. The winner of the "Best of Summer" EcoWatchers' Choice award is … Michael Pizzi, for this majestic photograph of Yosemite Valley.
"Spirit of the Valley" at Yosemite National Park, California.
Michael Pizzi / Vibes and Horizons
"This was my very first time at Yosemite Valley, and it did not disappoint! The rock formations completely blew me away, the sunsets filled up the entire sky, and the wildlife seemed indifferent to my presence," Pizzi told EcoWatch of the moment he took the photo. He has since been back to the iconic national park several times.
But even before that first visit, Pizzi had long been drawn to the valley by the writings of John Muir and the photographs of Ansel Adams. He hopes to inspire other nature lovers in the same way.
"My goal here, and in every photo, is to bring the beauty of a location to people who have not yet had the privilege of experiencing it themselves," Pizzi said. "Hopefully viewers are motivated to make the trip to Yosemite, and join the fight to protect these places for future generations."
Pizzi lives in Los Angeles, where he runs Vibes and Horizons LLC, a scuba-diving travel agency, underwater photography sales platform and environmental blog. His favorite summer activities are scuba diving and exploring the ocean.
"On the weekends, you can usually find me out in The Channel Islands and occasionally down in Baja Mexico," he said. "Feel free to shoot me a message to go diving!"
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A jury in Missouri awarded a farmer $265 million in a lawsuit that claimed Bayer and BASF's weedkiller destroyed his peach orchard, as Reuters reported.
A coalition of local and national groups on Friday launched a legal challenge to a Louisiana state agency's decision to approve air permits for a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group plans to build in the region nationally known as "Cancer Alley."
Well, he told us he would do it. And now he's actually doing it — or at least trying to. Late last week, President Trump, via the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management, announced that he was formalizing his plan to develop lands that once belonged within the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in southern Utah. The former is a stunningly beautiful, ecologically fragile landscape that has played a crucial role in Native American culture in the Southwest for thousands of years; the latter, just as beautiful, is one of the richest and most important paleontological sites in North America.
Hundreds of thousands of mussels that cooked to death off the New Zealand coast are likely casualties of the climate crisis.