SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) congratulates the winners of the 2022 Outdoor Photo Contest. The contest asked New Yorkers to capture the beauty of outdoor New York and its natural beauty.

Photos were judged on the following criteria: originality; artistic composition; technical quality; and whether the photograph showcases the best of New York State Parks camping and outdoor activities. The grand prize winner, Wendy Bouchard, comes from Schenectady and is congratulated for “Bear Mountain Bridge Sunrise” taken at Bear Mountain State Park.

While no photos from the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes won the top prizes, several were included in the list of highlights the Parks and Rec Department released. Among them include a dramatic shot of the waterfall at Watkins Glen State Park, a campsite at Allegany State Park, a snowy overlook at Taughannock Falls, a nighttime campsite and an autumn overlook at Letchworth, as well as another camping shot at Watkins Glen.

Grand Prize Winner: Bear Mountain Bridge Sunrise by Wendy Bouchard (Courtesy: NYS Parks)

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid states, “With more than 6,000 stunning images entered into this contest, it’s clear that visitors to our parks enjoy their time in the outdoors with family and friends, and are happy to share those special memories,” “Congratulations to our winners and all participants who showcased their artistry, perspective and generosity documenting the very best of New York’s natural settings and the fun adventures they discovered along the way.”

Other local photographer, Courtney Bradt of Amsterdam won a prize in the Views & Vista category for “Sunset at the Ruins” taken at Crown Point Campground. The prize packages include a grand prize of a $1,000 REI gift card, one 4-person tent, a 2023 Empire Pass and a $250 NY camping gift card. Six individual category winners each receive a $250 REI gift card, a 2023 Empire Pass, and a $100 NY camping gift card. The winning images will be featured in the 2023 New York State Camping Guide and, together with other entries, will be used in statewide promotions on social media, websites and in print publications, and highlighted through seasonal marketing campaigns.