For "Golden Feather," Dorner spent the summer—every morning before dawn, every night around sunset—observing a family of great horned owls near her home.


Golden Feather, Pam Dorner

"After watching a great-horned owl family near home, I became familiar with their hunting habits. The father owl loved to hunt for bugs on woodpiles at dusk. I realized there was an opportunity for backlighting. This took weeks of waiting for the perfect conditions. One night looked promising, so I set up a distance away so as to not disturb the papa owl if he did come. After some time, he flew on the woodpile. As I was watching him look for bugs, there was a flutter in a tree near me. It was the mother owl. She peered around the tree at papa then looked back to the nest where her two owlets were patiently waiting to be fed. It appeared as if she  was trying to figure out if she could see the nest from papa owl’s vantage point. She ultimately chose an almost perpendicular woodpile with a better view of the nest. Then I had a decision to make. Both owls were hunting on woodpiles with backlighting potential, but I couldn’t photograph both of them from the same spot and I didn’t want to move around too much, which would disturb them. I decided to photograph the mother owl as this was unusual behavior for her. She sat on the woodpile for a long time just looking around and I worried that the light would be gone soon. Just as the last light was fading, she flew away. At that moment, one of her feathers fell to the ground catching the last bit of light on the way down." —Pam Dorner

2024 New Mexico Magazine Photo Contest winner Jim Shepka with his image "Hard Days Ride."


Hard Days Ride, Jim Shepka

"I was fortunate to be at the stables of the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort when a group of staff and volunteers returned from an evening ride. It’s a rare thing when timing, circumstances, and lighting all come together, but even more special to be in the position to take advantage of the opportunity to capture moments like this." —Jim Shepka

People category winner Chanel Flores with "Within Reach."


Within Reach, Chanel Flores

“My style of photography is candid, and I hope to capture the real emotions of my subject. After an hour’s shoot with the boy and his mom, we came across this pear tree, where at least a hundred fruit had fallen to the ground. Stepping ever so carefully, he looked up. The pear was one of those last ones on the tree within his reach. He plucked it proudly and took a huge bite.” —Chanel Flores

"White Sands" by Richard Larsson won 1st place in the Landscapes category.


White Sands, Richard Larsson

"About a mile hike into the park, capturing the curve of a wind swept dune hidden amidst a sea of gypsum sand." —Richard Larsson

1st place winner in the mobile category, "Glowing Grace," by Shirley Estes.


Glowing Grace, Shirley Estes

"The photo Glowing Grace is of my 20-foot tepee on our property in Ruidoso. This photo was taken when my husband and I went out to watch the blue moon rise on August 30, 2023. We started a fire inside the tepee to stay warm and relax, until the moon became visible. I went outside to take photos of the moon, but the fire pit and the reflection of the moon had caused an almost surreal glow coming from the tepee, so I started photographing the tepee instead. The photo was taken using my iPhone 14 Pro with no filters." —Shirley Estes

1st place winner in the Nightscapes category, "Bluff Springs," by Richard Larsson.


Bluff Springs, Richard Larsson

“It was a very cold late-night drive into the forest to photograph the frozen waterfall under the midnight stars. On this February evening, temperatures were below freezing. It was quite a dark and lonely night, with only the stars to keep me company.” —Richard Larsson

1st place winner in the Animals category, "Fire and Ice," by Pam Dorner


Fire and Ice, Pam Dorner

"This sandhill crane is doing his best dragon impersonation a cold, January morning in central New Mexico. I spent the first months of the year hoping to photograph sandhill crane breath in backlit conditions. I quickly realized this was going to be tougher than originally thought as certain conditions had to be in place to capture this. First, it needs to be cold, with very little wind and full sun to light up their breath. I also needed a dark background. One morning the stars aligned, and I was able to capture this sandhill crane in the midst of preflight calls. The light gave the impression this crane was breathing fire." —Pam Dorner

People's Choice winner, "Folklorico," Cosetta Lewis.


Folklorico, Cosetta Lewis

"Sophia, my little folklorico dancer, shows off her skills in her traditional costume." —Cosetta Lewis


For the eighth consecutive year, Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography, in Carrizozo, will host an exhibit featuring the winners. The opening weekend, January 27-28, includes artist appearances and refreshments. As the largest photo gallery in the state, Tularosa Basin Gallery features the work of more than 40 New Mexico photographers Friday through Sunday and by appointment.