Balloon Reflection, Photograph by Ian Beckley, Honorable Mention in the Experiences category. 

We are pleased to present the winners of the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photography Contest in the Experiences category. The winning images reflect the wonder and beauty in the land, people, and experiences all around us.

The Apple and a Prayer, Photograph by Joaquin Martinez, New Mexico Magazine

1st Place:

The Apple and a Prayer, Joaquin Martinez

First place winner Joaquin Martinez, of Santa Fe, explains how he got his winning shot. "My daughter Luna, pictured, asked for a snack so we stopped to take a load off and she sat where you see her to enjoy her apple," says Martinez. "I sat on an old log and started telling her the story about La Virgin de Guadalupe, Adam and Eve, combining other old stories and sharing how important it is to be kind, loving, and to learn as much as we can about everything. As she was trying to make sense of my ramblings, she kept looking up as I told her these stories and I got this photo."

The Heart of New Mexico by Gerald Guss, 2nd place winner of 20th annual photo contest

2nd Place:

The Heart of New Mexico, Gerald Guss 

For Las Cruces photographer Gerald Guss, New Mexico is all about hot air balloons. The colors, patterns, and logos make for eye-catching photos, and the excitement of the Albuquerque's Annual International Balloon Fiesta is the perfect backdrop. "When you think of hot air balloons one place comes to mind, Albuquerque! Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a one-of-a-kind event that everyone should experience, not just New Mexicans," says Guss. "This balloon screams New Mexico through and through!"

Blue Hour at White Sands, Photograph by David Turning, New Mexico Magazine

3rd Place:

Blue Hour at White Sands, David Turning 

A visit to White Sands National Park is always a magical experience. For Las Cruces photographer David Turning, a visit to the park at sunset is the perfect time to capture the magic. Just before the park closed for the day, Turning thought he was done shooting until he turned around. "I had just taken what I thought were my last images, packed up and started walking back to my vehicle when I turned and looked one more time," says Turning. "I quickly went back to the spot I was photographing and took this image—then the race was on to get back to my vehicle and out of the park before closing time."

Balloon Reflection, Photograph by Ian Beckley, New Mexico Magazine

Honorable Mention: 

Balloon Reflection, ​Ian Beckley

Albuquerque photographer Ian Beckley captured this atmospheric hot air ballon image just after sunrise."I had just been wandering around just before the sunrise and found myself in the southwest corner of the park where I came across these pools of water sitting there," says Beckley. "I started to walk away because I thought they would be too small to take photos of, but then the sun rose and lit up the sky with oranges and pinks. I ran back to the pond and threw on my widest lens (16mm) and got as low as possible. My camera was basically sitting on top of the water when I grabbed the photo. The color then faded just as fast as it came. Right place, right time!"


Read More: Winners fo the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year

Read More: Winners to the 19th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year | Experiences

Read More: How to Photograph White Sands like a Pro