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Montana Outdoors September-October 2015

In 35th Annual Photo Issue

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Like our readers, the staff of Montana Outdoors marvels at the talent, artistry, discipline, and creativity required to produce the remarkable images featured in this 35th edition of our annual photo issue. We wondered what it must be like for a photographer to have an image selected from the more than 2,000 submitted to us each year.

I made a few calls.

John Warner of Billings, 58 (see his photo on page 33), has worked as a photojournalist for the Billings Gazette and the Indianapolis Star during his 35 years as a professional photographer. “There’s something about being featured in a glossy, high-quality magazine like yours,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to be published worldwide, but when the Montana Outdoors photo issue shows up and I see one of my photos in there, I think to myself, ‘I’ve still got it.’”

Whitefish photographer Chuck Haney, 54 (photo on page 31), has published 15 books of photography and seen his work on more than 200 magazine covers nationwide. Why would he care whether his shot showed up in a state agency publication’s annual photo celebration? “I love your magazine,” he says. “It still means a lot to me to see one of my photos in among the best of the best that you run in your photo issue.”

News of being selected is even more exciting for younger, less-established photographers. Kelly Peacock, 39, manages a real estate office in western Washington and visits Montana any chance she gets. “I was thrilled,” she says of learning that her shot of a mule deer drinking from a river (opposite page) was picked, making it her first published photograph. “I love your magazine because it showcases the beauty of Montana,” she says.

For one photographer, having a shot selected for our photo issue actually reaffirmed a life decision. Six years ago, Helena photographer and fourth-generation Montanan Nicole Keintz underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. Surviving the traumatic experience emboldened her to make a major career move. “Ever since high school I’ve loved photography, but I was always too insecure to ever try it as a profession,” says Keintz, 37. “After my surgery, I realized that life is unpredictable and you often don’t get a second chance. But I did, and that inspired me to stop being afraid and embrace this thing I’ve loved for so long.”

Keintz’s impressionistic time-lapse photo of a flowering crab apple tree appears on page 18. “I want my photographs to show Montana in a whole new way, and this shot was the first time it all came together in the camera,” she says. “I can’t tell you what it means to me to share it with everyone else. I’m excited beyond words.”

As the people who get to show off the work of Nicole and other extraordinary photographers each year, we are too.

—Tom Dickson, Editor

ACI stampFor the past 12 years, Montana Outdoors has been ranked among the nation's top state conservation magazines by the Association for Conservation Information. In 2012, the National Association of Government Communicators awarded Montana Outdoors first place magazine. See our collection of award-winning stories. AWARD WINNERS >>

Get the latest news on Montana's wildlife, fish, and parks management, conservation issues, and endangered species in Montana Outdoors.This captivating color magazine provides an in-depth look at what's going on in Montana's mountains, rivers, reservoirs, prairies and forests. For a special website offer of just $12 per year, you'll get the latest information on Montana's trout rivers, elk management, state parks, wolf and grizzly delisting, and more. Plus you'll find recent updates on seasons, laws, and regulations, not to mention some of the best outdoors photography in the country.

Montana Outdoors is a bi-monthly publication of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of Montana's fish, wildlife, and state parks.

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