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  • Alyce Bender

Review of 2022: Top Images


Impressionistic abstract image of an evergreen tree created using intentional camera movement | A. Bender Photography LLC
Happy Holidays and here's to a creative New Year!

Here we are at the end of the year - 2022 - and I am not sure if it has felt like a long or short year. The last several months have passed quickly but if I think back to say this past June, it does feel like a long time ago. Safe to say it has been a weird year in my books what with things like being in Yellowstone as, in a historical moment, closed due to extensive flooding; finally catching Covid after avoiding it for so long; checking off a life long dream of seeing orcas in the wild; and falling in love with the Costa Rican rainforests.


For those who are number and stats driven here are a few of my photography related statistics for 2022 (as of the publication of this article):

Countries Visited: 2

States Visited: 14

National Lands Visited: 22

Flights Taken: 16

Miles Driven (excluding rentals): 19,760

Webinars/Seminars Given: 20

Tours/Workshops Lead: 14

Shutter Clicks (est) : 41,570

Images Developed: 810*


*I still have just over 18,000 images from the last couple months that I am still going through so this number is not fully reflective of the final number of images edited from those clicked off this year.


Do any of these numbers surprise you?


Between all of that, I have had a bit of time to enter some contests. Here are some of the results of those efforts from over this past year.


Professional Photographers of America International Photographic Competition 2022

A total of three images Merited.

All images entered must be presented with a digital matting as PPA considers this to be one of the twelve elements of an image. I share them here as they were entered.


"Winds Whisper" received a general merit.


"Line in the Sand" received Image Excellence.


"Rapid Progression" received Showcase standing and will be published in the PPA Showcase Ed. XXV


North American Nature Photography Association 2022 Showcase

One image placed in the Top 100


Four images placed in the Top 250


Share the View Contest

One image placed in the Top 250


Bird Photographer of the Year

Three images were shortlisted.


Minimalist Photography Awards 2022

"Curves" received an Honorable Mention


Wild Art Photographer of the Year -So this contest does ten months of topic contests rather than having photographers submit to a bunch of categories all at once. I kind of like that method. It is an international contest as well, so entries come in from all over the world.


Two images were Commended (Space & Abstract)


Seven other images made the Top 100 in three categories (Light, Eyes, and Abstract)


Natural Landscape Photography Awards

Two images made the Final Live Judging Round which was only two percent of all entries.

The second image "Winter's Contrasts" will be featured in the Natural Landscape Photography Awards book that will be published and on sale in early 2023.



Speaking of publications, one of my monarch images has been used in Monarchs in Butterfly Town, U.S.A. Pacific Grove, California, a book compiled by Patricia Hamilton and published by Pacific Grove Books.


The National Wildlife Federation included my image "Snowy Courtship" in their holiday card offerings this season. For those that want to support the NWF and stock up for next year you can find them for purchase here on the NWF website.



And the Audubon of Kansas has utilized images of the endangered lesser prairie chicken that I donated to create vehicle decals for their SUV, bringing additional awareness of this and other Kansas species to the general public while on the road.


Audubon of Kansas Ford Bronco with decal graphics of Kansas species including lesser prairie chickens.
Audubon of Kansas Ford Bronco with decal graphics.

Overall, I think it has been a very productive year. But the thing that brings me the most joy out of all of it is the time and relationships I get to make in the field with friends and supporters like you. It amazes me every day I am able to connect with so many wonderful people from all walks of life who share the passion for photography and nature. So thank you all so much for another wonderful year and I look forward to meeting and seeing more of you in the field in 2023!





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