Many of us have experienced a great deal of change and uncertainty in 2020. Familiarities and routines were broken; challenges and difficulties arose. The images submitted to this contest are examples that prove that while the world may be turned upside-down at times, the beauty and authenticity of the great state of Nevada can never be hindered, and those who capture these traits in visual form will never be discouraged.

The artistic expression displayed on the following pages is relentlessly passionate.

We thank our readers and anyone who submitted photography to this contest for trusting our judgement in selecting the images we feel best represent each category. It’s no easy task. But just like the unwavering persistence that all of us display in 2020, we’ll continue to highlight the beauty of this state, despite whatever challenges come our way.

©Robert Rollins

Robert Rollins, 1st place: Robert Rollins is this year’s first-place winner of the Great Nevada Picture Hunt. “High Rock Canyon is a remote area located in the Black Rock-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, located north of Gerlach. I had previously made three attempts to access the area and photograph images to include the extreme weather as it moved through the canyon, but was forced to abandon due to flash flooding. On my fourth attempt, I asked my fellow adventurer Loren Johnson, who I often tease about being a “weathered fashion model,” to climb the hillside along the canyon wall and just enjoy the view so I could photograph him to illustrate a sense of scale of the towering canyon wall behind him.”

©Liz Huntington

Liz Huntington, 2nd place:  “As it was in the olden days here in northern Nevada, the Borda family have kept the Basque tradition of sheep herding alive for more than a century. On their way to new pastures, it is an annual tradition to move the animals through the streets of historic Dayton and it is quite a fascinating sight to behold. Hundreds of sheep clogged and moved through the streets of the old town as the sun rose, carefully controlled by shepherds and their working dogs.”


©Bruce McDaniel

Bruce McDaniel, 1st place: “The single jack world championship is held every Nevada Day. This is Tom Donovan’s body, hand, and hammer. He has won the contest several times. Single jack involves strength, skill, endurance, and tenacity. It also takes grit and determination to swing hard at a silver-dollar-sized piece of steel in the middle of your hand with a four-pound hammer. The event is timed at 10 minutes per contestant, and the deepest hole bored into the rock with hammer and chisel wins.”

©Eleanor Preger

Eleanor Preger, runner-up:  “On this particular evening, we came across one of my favorite sound art cars—Mayan Warrior from Mexico City. You always see many participants enjoying the music and dancing. It happened to be parked next to one of my favorite art installations named “In This Lifetime I Will Always Find You,” by artist Michael Benisty from New York. It was a magical moment during the golden hour.”


©Robert Petersen

Robert Petersen, 1st place:  
“I was driving by S-Line Reservoir when I drove by this heron standing proudly on the ‘No Hunting’ sign. I quickly made a careful and quiet U-turn and slowly drove toward the heron. Using my car as a blind, I was able to fire off about 10 photos before the heron flew away. The sign said ‘No Hunting;’ it didn’t say ‘No Photos.’” 

©Dinorah Arambula

Dinorah Arambula, runner-up: “It was a beautiful morning here in Las Vegas, and I decided to do a short hike to Muffin Top Hill near Red Rock with my friend Estrella. On our way up, close the overlook, there was a cairn. We were walking by when my friend saw the lizard on top of the cairn. I grabbed my camera, switched the lens, and started taking pictures from different angles. The lizard was just posing for my camera.”


©Gretchen Baker

Gretchen Baker, 1st place: “My friend Jenny and I wanted to capture the Milky Way over Stella Lake during the new moon in June 2019. The problem was that it was very cold and wet. The trail was still snow-covered and had snow drifts 2-to-3 feet high in places. So, we put on Yaktrax traction cleats and hiked over slippery snow to get to the lake. When we got there, we saw it was completely frozen over. It was so much fun hanging out at the lake under the magical sky.”

©Robert Petersen

Robert Petersen, runner-up: “I made this photo at Harmon Reservoir in Fallon. It was a beautiful early morning filled with drifting fog. I believe the structure sticking out of the water is an irrigation gate thrown away long ago. My tripod is almost completely submerged in the water so that the camera could be just above the surface.”  


©Gabe Arbillaga

Gabe Arbillaga, 1st place: “Once we arrived at Metropolis, I was stunned by how beautifully eerie the front of the old school building was. It was a cool early spring day and the clouds behind the old school front were adding so much mystique that I just had to try to capture the magnificence. I feel that shooting the image in black and white really gave the scenery a more desolate and mysterious feel.”

©Wally Hawkins

Wally Hawkins, runner-up: “When the ‘shut down’ happened, I couldn’t lock down 24/7; it was causing me some emotional issues…So I did what I do when I need an escape; I went out to shoot pictures. This image was taken in April at 6:30 p.m., when usually that street is bumper to bumper. This is a very busy area, with craft beer restaurants, bars, clubs, and many other types of businesses.” 


©Norm Craft

Norm Craft, 1st place: “I’d spent the day up in Ryholite and decided to take the long way home to Las Vegas through Amargosa Valley and Pahrump. As the sun got lower in the sky, I was hoping to get to Death Valley Junction in time for a nice sunset shot of the old hotel there. My plans changed when I came across Big Bovine just inside the state line, greeting travelers next to the ‘Welcome to Nevada’ sign. The sunset backlight makes her appear as majestic as any giant fiberglass Holstein could hope.”

©Gretchen Baker

Gretchen Baker, runner-up: “It had been stormy all afternoon, and right after dinner the storm stopped. I suggested to my family that we drive up the mountain, even though it was still cloud-covered, and they agreed. As we were driving, the clouds started clearing, giving us peeks of mountains. I saw this tiny puddle and ran over, hoping it might be big enough for a reflection. Fortunately, it was, and the sun came out, giving a gorgeous sunset echoed by the reflection.”


©Jenna Garrison

Jenna Garrison (age 16), 1st place: “While exploring some hidden hiking trails with my friends, we stumbled upon this beautiful little pond. The water was so still you could see the reflection of the clouds perfectly. That was when I decided to lay down in the grass and snap this photo.”

©Kaleigh Taylor

Kaleigh Taylor (age 9), runner-up: “During a family camping trip over Memorial weekend, my Dad and I were sightseeing in Cave Valley looking for things to take pictures of when we saw this cool old cabin snuggled in with the trees.”


Because you made us laugh … Judging the Great Nevada Picture Hunt can be stressful. The competition is fierce and passions and opinions run deep, resulting in many hours spent debating and choosing the winners. This year, one photographer made our judges laugh with the sense of humor in her submissions, so I could not resist giving her an “Honorable (Humorous) Mention” page for her cleverness and creativity. –Kippy

Tara Klaas, honorable (humorous) mention: “Laughter and fun are the essence of my life as it counters life’s obstacles. I enjoy taking pictures as it allows me to interact with nature. Nevada is home to the infamous 1952 Ely Nevada UFO Crash and Area 51, and adding the alien model to my pics adds a creative, fun, and humorous element to my content while promoting the beauty and mystique of Nevada. My family members often model, participate in the fun, and support my goofy ideas. It’s an ‘out of this world feeling’ to get a laugh, chuckle, or smile from a viewer. If you’re ever in downtown Ely, look up as you may see some far out Elyens at the headquarters of K Files Nevada.” @KfilesNevada #KFilesNevada

But wait! There’s more!

We want to hear what YOU think.

Nov. 1-30 you can vote for your favorite photos at

But you can only vote once per category, so choose carefully!

The winning photos will be printed in our Winter 2021 issue.

Good luck! It’s harder than you might think…

Every voter with a verified email address will be entered into a drawing for a free one-year online subscription to Nevada Magazine!

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