IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest Highlights

IFWTWA wishes to congratulate the 2022 Photography Contest winners. There were 119 entries, 109 from IFWTWA members and ten from non-members.  In this post, we share every winning image and the story behind each photo. The 2022 Photography Contest consisted of seven categories: Food, Nature, Wine & Spirits, Night, Portrait, Urban Landscape, and Landscape.

Best In Show – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

Todd Montgomery received Best in Show honors in the IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest for his photo entitled: Bruma Winery Sculpture, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, taken in October 2022.

Bruma Winery Sculpture, pond, and 300-year-old Baja Oak tree are built above the wine cellar.  The image captured sunset highlighted by smoky clouds from wildfires near the Bruma Winery in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja, Mexico. Artist and architect Alejandro D’Acosta created the sculpture. Its meaning is to reconnect to our roots, to reconnect with nature.  The winery is totally organic and has a resort and five-star farm-to-table restaurant: Fauna.

Todd Montgomery took the photo with an Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max mounted on Monopod and edited in Apple Photos, full frame.

Bruma Winery Sculpture, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. October 2022.
Bruma Winery Sculpture, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. October 2022. Photo by Todd Montgomery

Landscape Category – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

Best In Show came from the landscape category.  The Best in Show photograph tied for first place with another photo in the landscape category. Listed here are all the winners of the landscape category.

First Place in Landscape

Sensario Pre-dusk By Cori Solomon

While on a trip to Paso Robles, I took this photo, Sensario Pre-dusk. One of the highlights of this trip was visiting the Sensario Field of Lights, the awe-inspiring exhibit in Paso Robles by the artist Bruce Munro. I wanted to capture the essence of the 15-acre park before dusk. I felt a sense of serenity as I glimpsed at the rolling hills dotted with oak trees. As I strolled the paths, I could see the fiberoptic balls that reminded me of flower buds, and I commenced to take this image which evoked the feeling of calm in the fields of Paso Robles.

Cori Solomon used a Nikon Camera to take this photo.

Sensario Field of Lights in Paso Robles at pre-dusk
Sensorio pre-dusk in Paso Robles. Photo by Cori Solomon

Second Place In Landscape

Two images tied for second place in the landscape category.

The Golden Hour on Playa Espadilla by Sharon Kurtz

I arrived at my hotel late afternoon on Costa Rica’s Western Pacific Manuel Antonio coast in February 2022. Wasting no time, I went to the gorgeous beachfront for a leisurely stroll along Playa Espadilla’s soft, golden sand.

Families were on the beach enjoying the last rays of daylight and playing in the surf when I caught this mother-daughter silhouetted against the setting sun at the golden hour, a magical time of day.

I took the image with my iPhone 12 Pro Max. The golden light cast a captivating shadow and added drama to the stunning sunset. I feel the photo captures the essence of Costa Rica and tells a story of family time at the beach. The simplicity of the silhouetted pair holding hands infuses the image with emotion and has a sweet innocence.

I am a travel writer and use my photos in my articles. As an amateur photographer, I’m always trying to up my game and learn from others who are more experienced than I am. I travel with a Fuji Mirrorless X-S10 camera, but I often use my iPhone to capture candid shots. I strive to create images that connect with viewers and tell a story, focusing on compositions that draw the eye into each photograph.

The Golden Hour on Playa Espadilla with two people walking the beach Sharon Kurtz
The Golden Hour on Playa Espadilla Photo by Sharon Kurtz

This is Alaska Landscape by Rose Palmer

A fly fisherman at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park, Alaska, tries to get a catch, but the salmon swim around him, giving him the slip.

Alaskan Landscape with fly fisherman
This Is Alaska. Photo by Rose Palmer

Third Place In Landscape

Peggy’s Cove By Debbra Dunning Brouillette

This image was taken in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada, on an excursion from a Holland American Canada-New England cruise in June 2014. The world-famous Peggy’s Point Lighthouse is nearby. While visiting this picturesque fishing village, I was captivated by the reflections of the clouds, boats, and houses in the water of this narrow inlet on the eastern shore of St. Margaret’s Bay. I feel a sense of peace and tranquility whenever I look at this image, capturing a moment in time.

The photo was taken with a Nikon D3000, Lens: 18-55mm

Peggys Cove Debbra Dunning Brouillette
Peggy’s Cove. Photo by Debbra Dunning Brouillette

Honorable Mention In Landscape

Reflections of Hoover Dam by Jennifer Coleman

This photo was taken from a glass kayak with Vegas Glass Kayak in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River near Boulder City, Nevada. We were lucky enough to have glass-like conditions on the water that day!

Reflections of Hoover Dam
Reflections of Hoover Dam. Photo by Jenn Coleman

Food Category – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

First Place In Food

Small Barn Temecula Food by Jim Farber

The Small Barn, Temecula, California. The Small Barn is a Temecula treasure. Dishes are all prepared with a sense of culinary artistry. Here a steaming pot of Thai-flavored broth is poured over an arrangement of a scallop and beautifully arranged edible flowers.

Smalll Barn Temecula Food by Jim Farber
Smalll Barn Temecula Food. Photo by Jim Farber

Second Place In Food

Lobster Roll by Linda Stewart

When company visits me in Southern California, we often head to the beach and one of my favorite restaurants, Lobster West in Encinitas.  Their lobster is sourced directly from Maine.

The photo was taken with an iPhone.

Lobster Roll
Lobster Roll. Photo by Linda Stewart

Third Place In Food

Two images tied for third place in the food category

Fried Artichokes by Jeanine Consoli

Lucille Pizza & Wine Bar is now one of my favorite restaurants on Main Street in downtown Sarasota, Florida. We stopped in at the end of an incredible three-week trip last winter, hungry for pizza, but we discovered Lucille’s was much more. The restaurant focuses on “clean, organic, and locally sourced ingredients along with plant-based meats and dairy.” A vegan pizzeria? Yes, but the restaurant offers both vegan and traditional versions of pie. Although the pizza is excellent, the starters inspired me. This appetizer of fried artichokes was rustic and reminded me of meals from my trips to Rome, Italy. The crisp, fried artichokes, accompanied by a swath of black garlic truffle mayo, elevated this dish to another level. The combination of artichoke and the garlicky truffle mayonnaise on my fork made the perfect bite.

The photo was taken with an iPhone 12.

Fried Artichokes With Black Garlic Truffle Mayo At Lucile Pizza And Wine Bar Sarasota by Jeanine Consoli
Fried Artichokes With Black Garlic Truffle Mayo At Lucile Pizza And Wine Bar Sarasota. Photo by Jeanine Consoli

Third Place in Food

Luxury Holiday Panettone by Athena Lucero

I either felt unworthy or too cheap to pay the high price for panettone I saw sitting so regally on top of a cheese case at Claremont Cheese Cave in the college town of Claremont, California. The yeast-leavened brioche-like bread is a national treasure of Italy made at Christmas time. Invented in 15th-century Milan, its dome-like top resembles the cupola of a cathedral.

Unlike mass-produced versions of the tall bread often sold in supermarkets, a “proper” panettone takes around 36 hours to make, plus time for preparing the starter culture or lievito madre. The elegant bright red box encasing the lofty loaf had scrolly gold lettering. Traditional panettone is studded with sultanas and candied fruit, but this one was made with sour cherries and balsamic cream that would have been a crime to resist. I happily put down $50. Before cutting into the pillow-soft Milanese Christmas bread, I grabbed my camera to memorialize this event. But slicing it with a knife was impossible. Instead, my guests and I pulled apart exquisite stretchy pieces with our fingers – that brought us to our knees.

The photo was taken with a Pixel 6 Pro.

Panettone_ Bread _Food_A.Lucero
Panettone. Photo by Athena Lucero.

Honorable Mention In Food

Mexican Fiesta Kitchen party by Lori Sweet

Sour cream, salsa, colorful red and orange peppers, along with bright and vibrant, zesty limes, complement a weekend Mexican meal. The plate they are served on highlights the colors I associate with Mexico. Delicioso!

The photo was taken with an iPhone 11 Pro Max

Colorful Mexican Fiesta Kitchen Party
Mexican Fiesta Kitchen Party. Photo by Lori Sweet

Ooey Gooey Avo Toast by Therese Iknoian

We enjoyed breakfast on a fall day when visiting the Eagle Café at Pier 39 in San Francisco. As I sat outside, the morning sun provided perfect lighting. I positioned my smartphone and then stabbed the soft-poached egg on my toast to let it ooze out.

This photo was taken with a Samsung Galaxy S20.

Ooey Gooey Avo Toast-Iknoian
Ooey Gooey Avocado Toast. Photo by Therese Iknoian

Good Morning Brunch Board by Stacey Wittig

Ancient City Brunch Bar, St. Augustine, Florida. Taken during a Media Trip with Florida’s Historic Coast.

Good Morning Brunch Board. Photo by Stacey Wittig

Nature Category – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

First Place In Nature

Queen of the Mara By Michael Hodgson

The sun was setting in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, as we spotted several lions in the pride moving through the tall grass. I talked with our driver and told him the shot I would love to get, and he positioned me perfectly so I could get low and shoot the lioness as she crested a low rise and headed directly toward the camera. Handheld. Sony a9; FE 200-600mm lens; 1/1000 at f/6.3

Queen of the Mara
Queen of the Mara. Photo by Michael Hodgson

Second Place In Nature

Chestnut Horse, Scaly Mountain, NC by Linda Stewart

I was drawn to this sleek chestnut horse, grazing in a pasture near Scaly Mountain, North Carolina, while attending the lovely autumn wedding of the son of dear friends.

Linda Stewart took the photo with an iPhone.

Chestnut Horse, Scaly Mountain by Linda Stewart
Chestnut Horse, Scaly Mountain. Photo by Linda Stewart

Third Place in Nature

Pastoral Isle of Skye By Lisa Morales

Sheep dot the pastoral vistas on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, United Kingdom

Photo taken with a Sony A7riii, 24mm, f18 ISO 100

Pastoral Isle of Skye with Sheep Lisa Morales
Pastoral Isle of Skye. Photo b Lisa Morales

Honorable Mention

Bear Watching by Rose Palmer

People visit Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park in Alaska to see bears. The bears are used to people, but they have the right of way. Boardwalks and platforms make observing the bears in their natural habitat easy without disturbing them.

Bear Watching_Nature_RPalmer
Bear Watching. Photo by Rose Palmer

Wine & Spirits Category – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

First Place in Wine & Spirits

Lavender Martini by Linda Stewart

I created this lavender martini with gin, Green Chartreuse, lemon juice, and lavender simple syrup for my Cocktail Corner column on Life-Uncorked.  The photo was taken with an iPhone.

Lavender Martini by Linda Stewart
Lavender Martini. Photo by Linda Stewart

Second Place in Wine & Spirits

Two images tied for second place in the Wine & Spirits Category.

Bottles on a Wall by Michael Hodgson

Colorful alcohol and spirits bottles on display behind the bar in the iconic Redwood Room inside The Clift Hotel in San Francisco. Handheld. Sony a9; FE 24-70mm lens; 1/100 at f/2.8

Colorful Redwood Room bottles in San Francisco
Colorful bottles on display behind the bar in the iconic Redwood Room inside The Clift hotel in San Francisco. Photo by Michael Hodgson

Second Place in Wine & Spirits

Wine Tasting at Epoch Estate Wines by Athena Lucero

This elegant wine tasting in the modern yet rustic setting at Epoch Estate Wines on historic York Mountain in Templeton, California, was epic in the most poignant way. Before our tasting began, natural light from outside captured textures of wood and pebbled leather and highlighted delicate flowers, colorful wines, and condensation on a glass of water.

Epoch’s tasting room is the reincarnation of the former York Mountain Winery – at one time one of the longest continuously running wineries in the United States. Its complete restoration pays tribute to eminent Polish composer and pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, who performed around the U.S. during the early 20th century. In 1913, after discovering Paso Robles and its natural beauty that reminded him of his home country, he purchased 2,000 acres of land (Paderewski Vineyards). He planted Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, which he brought to York Mountain Winery and transformed the grape juice into award-winning wines. The internationally renowned pianist was also a politician and became Poland’s first prime minister in 1919. That explained the grand piano I spotted by the staircase.

Epoch purchased Paderewski Vineyard in 2004 and York Mountain in 2010. Today Epoch shares this region’s legendary history, where views of lush rolling hills so beloved by Paderewski still exist.

The photo was taken with a Pixel 3 XL

Wine Tasting at Epoch Estate Wines A.Lucero
Wine Tasting at Epoch Estate Wines. Photo by Athena Lucero

Third Place in Wine & Spirits

Ice Glass Martini by Rose Palmer

Just outside Fairbanks, Alaska, sits the Chena Hot Springs resort. One of the “cool” activities here is to have an apple martini in a glass made of ice at a bar made of ice.

Ice Glass Martini by Rose Palmer
Ice Glass Martini by Rose Palmer

Honorable Mention in Wine & Spirits

Lomita Winery, Baja, Mexico wine tasting by Todd Montgomery

Wine tasting set up for our group at Lomita Winery. All whites. Lomita Winery attracts many tourists traveling around Valle de Guadalupe.

Todd Montgomery took this photo with an Apple 12 Pro Max on a monopod, wide angle.

Wine tasting set up at Lomita Winery in Baja, Mexico
Wine tasting set up at Lomita Winery in Baja, Mexico. Photo by Todd Montgomery

Night Category – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

First Place in Night

Romance Under the Stars by Jim DiLillo

I thought about setting up this photo for over a year. The opportunity finally arose at Mono Lake in California. I stopped along the way to purchase a folding table, chairs, and plastic wine glasses. This scene is illuminated by an electric candle, backlit by a remote electronic flash and starlight. The exposure was 1/30 seconds, during which time the models sat motionless.

This photo is not a composite but a single in-camera exposure.

Romance Under the Stars Jim DeLillo
Romance Under the Stars. Photo by Jim DeLillo

Second Place in Night

Mardi Gras in Lafayette, Louisiana, by Jim Farber

Mardi Gras in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was a chilly night as the Queens Parade float glided down the main street of downtown Lafayette with revelers tossing handfuls and handfuls of beads. Our hosts provided an assortment of festive finery, including this stylish alligator hat! While we were in Lafayette, Anthony Bourdain stayed at the same hotel covering the Mardi Gras for his series, “Parts Unknown.” We had a nice conversation over early morning coffee before heading out to do our jobs.

Tossing beads during a nightim scene at Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras at night. Photo by Jim Farber

Third Place in Night

Two images tied for Third Place in the Night category.

Circles of Light by Therese Iknoian

I was still a relative novice at night and astrophotography when I attended a Mid Coast, Maine workshop to photograph lighthouses. At the Pemaquid Lighthouse near Bristol, I wanted to take a stab at a first attempt at so-called “star circles.” After taking a lot of time to set up the exposure, I let the camera run for 1 hour and 20 minutes using an intervalometer to take 20 4-minute exposures. I then changed the exposure for the flashing light so it was not so blown-out. The magic happens in post-processing when you “stack” all of the exposures to get the circles, then you use a masking technique to layer the less-exposed lighthouse beam onto the stack.

Camera & Lens: Sony a6600 / 16 mm lens (effective 24 mm) / ISO 200, 20 @ 4-minutes, F/2.

Circles of Light_Nighttime_IknoianT
Circles of Light. Photo by Therese Iknoian

Third Place in Night

Fairmount Empress Hotel by Lori Sweet

The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, was built in the early 1900s and named after Queen Victoria. It is often called Canada’s Castle on the Coast. The hotel has been serving afternoon tea since 1908. Here it is reflected in the waters of Victoria Harbour.

The photo was taken with an iPhone 11 Pro Max

Fairmount Empress Victoria B.C and its reflections in the Victoria Harbor
Fairmount Empress Victoria B.C. Photo By Lori Sweet

Honorable Mention in Night

Neon Dragon by Jeanine Consoli

During a ski trip last December to Ogden, Utah, we spent the evening exploring historic 25th Street. This Neon Dragon, nicknamed “Blade Runner Dragon,” decorated Star Noodle, a Chinese restaurant operated by a Japanese family, the Ryujins. The family came to Ogden and assimilated as a part of the melting pot hailing from the railroad days. When the restaurant closed in 2007, the dragon went into storage.

In 2015 after some restoration, it returned to its original home– a beloved throwback to the city’s railroad history. When Union Station opened in 1869, Ogden became a bustling town, but 25th Street had a dark side. Along the road, steps from the station, one could find a plethora of illegal activities, such as gambling (among other pursuits). Because of its lawlessness, locals called it Notorious Two Bit Street and Electric Alley. Today, art galleries, world-class restaurants, and eclectic shops occupy the original facades from those wild western days.

The photo was taken with an iPhone12

Neon Dragon On Historic 25th Street Ogden, Utah
Neon Dragon On Historic 25th Street Ogden, Utah. Photo by Jeanine Consoli

Portrait Category – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

First Place in Portrait

Two images tied for first place in the Portrait Category.

Contemplation by Therese Iknoian

While on a safari to Kenya, we visited a Masai village where we were entertained and shown the Masai people’s traditions and dances. We broke into small groups and were taken into mud huts. My group of four stood elbow-to-elbow in this tiny, very dark hut trying to obtain a good shot of the two warriors in the dark. A tiny window provided the only, and yet perfect, stream of light for mysterious illumination.

This photo was taken with a Sony a7c / 39 mm / ISO 12800, 1/30th, F3.5

Contemplation. Photo by Therese Iknoian

First Place in Portrait

The Warrior in Shadow & Light by Michael Hodgson

A Maasai warrior listens to his friend speak to our small group about life as a Maasai as we sat inside their hut. Light streams in from a small hole in the wall providing the only illumination of the scene and a wonderful shadow cast on the wall.

This photo was taken with a Sony a9; FE 24-70mm lens; 1/80 at f/2.8

Masai warrior sitting in shadows and light
A Maasai warrior sitting om shadows and light. Photo by Michael Hodgson

Second Place in Portrait

Roadside Crafts in Copper Canyon, Sonora, Mexico by Jim Farber

I took this photo while on an IFWTWA train trip through Copper Canyon. During the excursion, we encountered this native woman selling her crafts by the side of the road with the canyon’s grandeur beyond.

On the Rim of Copper Canyon:Enviromental Portrait: JimFarber
On the Rim of Copper Canyon: Environmental Portrait. Photo by Jim Farber

Third Place in Portrait

Pokot Elder by Jim DeLillo

This photo was taken on a safari in Kenya, Africa, with the available light in a small thatched hut. I crawled through a narrow entrance and sat on the floor. The light bounced off the dirt floor to illuminate this Pokot Elder woman. The Pokot People live in West Pokot County and Baringo County in Kenya.

I hand-held this exposure at 1/8 sec.

Pokot Elder Jim DeLillo
Pokot Elder. Photo by Jim DeLillo

Honorable Mention in Portrait

Tom Bray by Todd Montgomery

Rock and Roll and Jazz trumpeter, Tom Bray, recording artist with CSNY, and Neil Young for over 20 years, plays a party gig in Temecula, California. The event was casual but semi-formal, and he was the only one in a tux shirt, which added “class” to his performance. The fog that night was heavy and cool.  I held the camera mounted on a monopod against my body to get the photograph. The picture is totally “in the moment.”

Todd Montgomery took the photo with a Nikon 7200, 18-140mm, ISO 800, Exposure 1/30.   Edit in Apple Photo.

Nighttime with TOM BRAY on the Trumpet. Photo by Todd Montgomery

Urban Landscape Category – IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest

First Place in Urban Landscape

Turret Stairwell by Cori Solomon

I took the Turret Stairwell photo when I visited Dierberg Star Lane Winery Facility in the Santa Ynez Valley. The grandeur of the property and winery reminded me of a Spanish Moor castle built against a hill. Inside the winery, the décor is French in style. The Dierbergs took nine years to build the winery, paying attention to every detail. The image looks down into the stairwell, giving one a sense of the thickness of the walls. These thick walls keep the winery cool.

Cori Solomon used a Nikon 5100 to take this photo.

Turret Stairwell Cori Solomon
Turret Stairwell at Dierberg Star Lane Winery in Santa Ynez. Photo by Cori Solomon

Second Place in Urban Landscape

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona by Jim Farber

For years I only saw the exterior of Antonio Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. The outside is spectacular, but this photo tries to capture the rapturous impact of the interior with its stained glass and sweeping pillars.

Sagrada Familia:Urban Lanscape:JimFarber
Sagrada Familia:Urban Lanscape. Photo by Jim Farber

Third Place in Urban Landscape

Two images tied for third place.

Cleveland Waterfront at Sunset by Lisa Morales

The sunset lights up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on the Cleveland waterfront.

This photo was taken with a Sony A7riii, 24mm, f8, ISO 200

Cleveland Waterfront at Sunset Lisa Morales
Cleveland Waterfront at Sunset. Photo by Lisa Morales

Third Place in Urban Landscape

Abandoned Chernobyl Pool by Therese Iknoian

Just prior to the Covid pandemic, I had the opportunity to visit Kyiv and spend four days in the Chernobyl zone, including one night of photography in the evacuated town of Pripyat. It was a moving experience – and I fell in love with Ukraine with the intent to go back. Then the war came. With the opportunity to return no longer possible, my photos from my time there have become all the more special. In this former swimming pool complex in Pripyat in Chernobyl, eerie clinking and dripping noises had us all on edge. 

This photo was taken with a Sony a6600 / 16 mm lens (effective 24 mm) / ISO 100, 25 seconds, F/3.5

Abandoned Chernobyl Pool-Iknoian
Abandoned Chernobyl Pool. Photo by Therese Iknoian

Honorable Mention in Urban Landscape

Relaxation Yurt by Lori Sweet

This yurt is one of several resting places at the Nordik Spa-Nature. The spa is the largest in North America. This resting place is perfect after visiting one of the ten distinctive outdoor baths. Nordik Spa-Nature, Chelsea, Quebec, Canada.

This photo was taken with an iPhone 11 Pro Max

Relaxation Yurt Nordik Spa
Relaxation Yurt Nordik Spa. Photo by Lori Sweet
Thanks again to all who entered the IFWTWA 2022 Photography Contest and congratulations to the winners!

Cori Solomon

Cori Solomon, an award-winning writer/photographer in Los Angeles, often travels with her dogs in tow. Her blog, The Written Palette, features eclectic articles focusing on travel, dining, discovering new wines, wineries, wine regions, art, and pets. Cori's background is real estate. As an animal artist, her articles utilize the art palette both visually and verbally.