The winners of the eighth Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge Photo Contest were recently announced. The purpose of the contest is to increase awareness and appreciation for the plants and animals that live on the refuge.

Ribbons were awarded to the first, second and third place winners in each of four categories in two divisions. A best in show was also announced.

This year there were 24 photographers that entered the contest. In 2016, about 26 photographers took part in the contest.

“Three hundred images were entered this year,” Friends of Hagerman President Sue Malnory said. “There was no limit to the number of images you could enter.”

Taking top honors was Denise Remfert. She won best in show, as well as first place in the advanced division of the artistic category. Her photograph was titled, “Dinner for Two.”

Bob Brown won first place in advanced flora macro with his photograph “Big Eyes.” Alan Daniel’s “Wildflowers” earned a first place ribbon in advanced landscaping and Aaron Hamilton took a first in advanced wildlife with “Young Buck in Sunflowers.”

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” Malnory said. “Each photo tells a mini story about Hagerman NWR, whether it is a particular bird in his habitat, a single insect or plant, or an expansive landscape.”

Malnory said that this contest can appeal to all types of photographers.

“I think people who are confident and competitive enjoy entering the contest,” she said “Some folks who are shy may have great photos but are hesitant to participate. We try to encourage everyone, from beginners on up, and that is why we created two divisions starting in 2016, one for beginner and intermediate and one for advanced photographers.”

In the beginner and intermediate division, John Garbutt’s “Ghost of Tom Joad” earned a first place ribbon for the artistic category. Julie Jones won first place Flora and Macro with “Flora & Macro 2.” “Sunset Rocks” brought first for landscape to Kim Morris. For the wildlife category, Jeff Gladden won a first with “The Watchman.”

Malnory said that for her, two very interesting images were black and white photos that placed in the beginner and intermediate division.

Evan Simmons’s “Harris Trail Impasse,” took third in beginner and intermediate, artistic and showed a spider on its web, blocking the trail,” she said. “The other black and white photo earned first place in beginner and intermediate, artistic for John Garbutt and depicted a curve in the railroad track that passes through Hagerman.”

Additional winners in advanced were: second place Dana Crites in the artistic category for “Hagerman Oil Boomer Sunset”, and third place Bob Brown for “Neon Thistle.” For advanced flora and macro, second place went to Aaron Hamilton for “Blue Dasher” and third went to Mike Sweatt for “Mixed Company.” For Advanced Landscape, second place went to Bob Brown’s “Sunrise Over Hagerman,” third went to Carl Hill for “Foggy Sunrise.” Laura Cooper took second place in advanced wildlife with “Eastern Kingbird” while Bob Brown earned third with “Breakfast.”

Additional winners in the beginner and intermediate division were: second place Kristy Beam with “Pale Yellow Petals” in artistic, and “Harris Trail Impasse” by Evan Simmons got third. For flora and macro, Kristy Beam’s “Resting Lady on a Warm Afternoon” earned second place and third went to George Mason for “Fritillary.” Barry Burkhardt took second place in landscape for “Sunset 2” while third went to “Like a Stone” by John Garbutt. For beginner and intermediate wildlife, “Mallard in Trees” by Kim Morris earned second place and “Sunrise Song” by Jeff Gladden earned third place.

Judges for the contest were Courtney Anderson, Laurie Lawler and Tom Judd.

In addition to the annual competition, the Friends of Hagerman also sponsor the Nature Photography Club which meets each month on the refuge. The next meeting will be held at 1 p.m. the fourth Saturday of the month. For more information on the club email or visit