Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Dawn Wilson

2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Scapes. "Aerial View of Cook Inlet, Alaska" © Dawn Wilson.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Scapes. “Aerial of Cook Inlet, Alaska” © Dawn Wilson.

How I Got the Shot

I always remind my group to keep their cameras out during our flight to or from Lake Clark National Park — you never know what you might see. On my last trip, as I sat in the back of the plane, I noticed the windows were especially clean. I pulled out my camera and started looking for interesting patterns in the deltas where braided rivers ran down from glaciers into Cook Inlet in southwest Alaska. I loved the browns and blues in this scene high above a river’s outflow.

What I Used

This shot was taken handheld with the Nikon D4s with a Nikkor 16-85mm lens. It was photographed through the window of a Havilland Beaver, a great plane for flying into Lake Clark National Park. The settings were 1/200 sec at f6.3 and at 38mm.

About Me

I am a full-time professional nature photographer specializing in photographing the wildlife of high latitudes and high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains and Alaska. I live in Estes Park, Colorado, just minutes outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, where I spend an abundant amount of time photographing the wildlife, such as elk, moose, pika and bighorn sheep. I have been taking pictures ever since I was a child but I took a serious turn in 2007 and then went pro in 2010, growing my business on a part-time basis for a few years before going full time in 2013.

My Photographic Journey

My interest in nature photography really bloomed after moving to Colorado from New Jersey in 2002. I knew I always enjoyed the outdoors but the lifestyle is very different in New Jersey than Colorado. Once I lived in a place where I could immerse myself in the outdoors, I found my interests in animals (I wanted to be a veterinarian growing up; it was the reason I wound up living in Colorado, too) really grew thanks to the abundance of wildlife we have in Colorado.

NANPA and Me

I joined NANPA in 2014 shortly after going pro as a way to connect to others in the field of nature photography. I have served on the marketing committee for several years, oversee the NANPA Twitter page, and currently serve on the Board of Directors. I had one image previously included in the top 250 images for Showcase. This is my first featured award.

Learn More About Me

My NANPA Portfolio is http://www.nanpa.org/events/showcase/about-nanpa-showcase/2020-top-24-showcase-dawn-wilson/
Follow Dawn on Facebook @dawnwilsonphotography, on Instagram and Twitter handles at @dawnwilsonphoto. She’s on Flickr under DawnWilsonPhotography and YouTube under Dawn Wilson.