A person riding a horse in a field.
The Scout A lone cowboy surveys the sky as a powerful summer storm gathers above the Kansas Flint Hills. The Flint Hills provide some of the world's last large tracts of tallgrass prairie. The rains that come each summer ensure the grass is renewed for the millions of cattle that graze upon it. © Mark Clarke/TNC Photo Contest 2022

2023 Photo Contest Winners for Kansas

See the beauty of Kansas through local photography

The 2023 Photo Contest is now closed.

Thank You For Showing Us Your Best Shot

The Nature Conservancy's 2023 Photo Contest is now closed for submissions. We are pleased to share the following winners from Kansas.

2023 Kansas Photo Contest Winners

First Place

Dale Stephens, Dancing Prairie Chickens

Two birds with wings in the hair jumping  from snow covered ground.
Dancing Prairie Chickens Dancing Prairie Chickens // Two male greater prairie chickens dancing in Smith County Kansas in late March after a dusting of snow. © Dale Stephens/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place

Bruce Hogle, Planned Burn at Chase State Fishing Lake

Flames from a prescribed fire are reflected in a lake.
Planned burn at Chase State Fishing Lake This is the late evening on 17April2014 at the Lake with the planned pasture burn creeping along the ridge of the hill at the end of the lake. The evening was cool and got downright chilly by 1:30 AM when we finally quit photographing. Driving back from a ranch outside Elmdale, I spotted the red glow which looked like there might be a chance it would be reflecting in the lake, and it was! © Bruce Hogle/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place

Lisa Grossman, Fall Camping on the Kaw

Aerial view of tents on a sandy river shore.
Fall camping on the Kaw Fall camping on the Kaw // This is a drone shot of a Friends of the Kaw kayak/camp trip on a huge sandbar we call the Oasis, downstream from DeSoto, Kansas. The September morning fog over the river was incredible. © Lisa Grossman/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Judge Jim Richardson's Choice

Phil Frigon, Spring Grass Burning Season in Kansas

A person on horseback riding through smoke.
Spring grass burning season in Kansas. Spring grass burning season in Kansas. // Captured 4/8/17 at Flying W Ranch near Elmdale, Kansas. © Phil Frigon/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Judge Meleda Wegner Lowry's Choice

James Claassen, Stocking Up For Winter

A male deer with velvety antlers stares out from a field of sorghum.
Stocking up for Winter © james claassen/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Judge Douglas Spale's Choice

James Claassen, Playing with Your Food

A bird perched on barbed wire has an open mouth about to catch an insect.
Playing with your food Playing with your food // With the bugs so plentiful due to the rain this summer, there was time to get in a little play before enjoying the meal.  Taken this summer in Meade County, Kansas. © james claassen/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention

Jim Griggs, Bull Elk Sunrise

Silhouette of a bull elk during sunrise.
Bull Elk - Sunrise Bull Elk - Sunrise // Bull Elk silhouetted against the morning sky with the sun peeping over the horizon - Maxwell Wildlife Refuge © Jim Griggs/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention

Matthew Gerlach, Equine Cave Painting

Aerial view of three horses in a field, casting shadows that resemble cave paintings.
Equine Cave Painting Equine Cave Painting // Several years ago wild horses were introduced into the Flint Hills of Kansas. This photograph was one I had thought I would like to attempt to capture, an overhead shot with the shadows creating an obvious shape to identify the animal. I see a cave painting of horses in the image, giving a nod to the original heritage of this land. © Matthew Gerlach/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Kansas Judges

Meet the Judges

Kansas Prizes

Kansas Prizes

  • 1st Place

    One First Place winner will receive a private lesser prairie-chicken viewing for six people at Smoky Valley Ranch in April 2024.

  • 2nd Place

    One Second Place winner will receive one-time night access to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park for sky viewing or photography for six people in 2024.

  • 3rd Place

    One Third Place winner will receive a private guided daytime tour of any Kansas preserve for six people in 2024

Aerial view of green grass covered hills in the spring.
Flint Hills Aerial of the Flint Hills in the Beaumont area, north and east of Wichita. © Jim Richardson