Canada’s best photos as we celebrate our 150th birthday

We’re running a year-long photo contest that shows off stunning photography. Here are each month’s winners of the readers’ choice and editor’s choice awards.


 

At 150, Canada merits the best possible photo album, and Maclean’s wants to capture the country in all its cultural and geographic glory. For each month of 2017, we’ll ask readers to submit photos based on a particular theme. We’ll publish the winning photos in our weekly tablet edition, and online every month. At the end of the year, a gallery show will exhibit all the winning work, and we will announce the single best photo of the year. You take the photos, and we’ll provide a national frame!

Here are the winners for each month, as well as a link to all of the finalists.

January: The Beauty of Winter

Capture Canada’s coldest season. A shot of a single drip of an icicle can be as stunning as a panoramic shot of a ski slope, but the scope of this challenge is up to you. Check out the month’s top 10 submissions.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Erik McRitchie

This was taken at Emerald Lake in BC, Canada in early December. It was a brisk -30c evening out. Pure stillness on the shores of Emerald Lake, unbelievably cold, and exceptionally beautiful.

“This was taken at Emerald Lake in B.C., Canada in early December. It was a brisk -30 C evening out. Pure stillness on the shores of Emerald Lake, unbelievably cold, and exceptionally beautiful.”

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Susan Robertshaw

A short eared owl in Delta, BC.

“The photo was taken at Delta, B.C., on a march near the ocean. I was with some friends who are photographers also and we had a great day…not because of the owls but because it was snowing and it was beautiful…we would wait for the owls to come near us…and take the shot…they were very active that day so it was pretty easy…I love these shots because if the owl stayed still long enough the snow would accumulate on their heads, face and their bodies…it was truly beautiful…I always shoot with a Canon 7d Mark II and a Canon 100-400 lens with a tripod…it is a great walking around set.”

February: Your dearest Canadian

Make someone look good. A grandparent, aunt, boyfriend, neighbour, pet dog—pick someone close to you, and take a portrait that brings out their best. Check out the month’s top 10 submissions.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Isaac Paul

The image of my dad playing saxophone was taken on a quiet Sunday at the funeral home in what we call the ÒAÓ room. It is our main chapel for funerals that are held at the funeral home and not a church.The colours that cascade over him are from one of four multi coloured stain glass windows throughout ÒAÓ room, its the best spot to sit, the combination of the warm sun and colour. (Photograph by Isaac Paul)

The image of my dad playing saxophone was taken on a quiet Sunday at the funeral home in what we call the ÒAÓ room. It is our main chapel for funerals that are held at the funeral home and not a church.The colours that cascade over him are from one of four multi coloured stain glass windows throughout ÒAÓ room, its the best spot to sit, the combination of the warm sun and colour. (Photograph by Isaac Paul)

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Sherry Galey

My grandson Declan and his family moved to Hay River in the Northwest Territories for a job opportunity. My husband and I (who live outside of Ottawa) took the opportunity to go visit them in August one year as a way to learn more about what they were experiencing in Canada's North as well as see more of the area ourselves. This particular photo was taken at the top of the Alexandra falls as Declan was skipping and throwing stones. I caught him with both feet slightly off the ground in a typical Declan gesture. (Sherry Galey)

My grandson Declan and his family moved to Hay River in the Northwest Territories for a job opportunity. My husband and I (who live outside of Ottawa) took the opportunity to go visit them in August one year as a way to learn more about what they were experiencing in Canada’s North as well as see more of the area ourselves.
This particular photo was taken at the top of the Alexandra falls as Declan was skipping and throwing stones. I caught him with both feet slightly off the ground in a typical Declan gesture. (Sherry Galey)

March: Unforgettable food

We aren’t picky. From a portrait of a cook to a scene at a potluck, from celery to cutlery, we welcome all photos related to this glorious word. Don’t forget markets, bakeries, farms—feel free to get outside your kitchen zone. Check out the month’s top 10 submissions.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Kailee Mandel

This photo was taken on queen st east, a little bit down the street from McDonalds! I was doing a project where I was dropping food on the ground and this one came out so perfectly :) I basically bought an ice cream, and dropped it as naturally as possible. and BAM! got this shot! (Kailee Mandel)

This photo was taken on queen st east, a little bit down the street from McDonalds!
I was doing a project where I was dropping food on the ground and this one came out so perfectly :)
I basically bought an ice cream, and dropped it as naturally as possible. and BAM! got this shot!
(Kailee Mandel)

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Ben Benvie

This image was taken during the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa, ON. Threading the frozen maple syrup on a stick through the small opening on Rachel's helmet was the quickest way for her to start enjoying this tasty treat. Everything was going well until it began to melt and clung to the wire cage! (Ben Benvie)

This image was taken during the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa, ON. Threading the frozen maple syrup on a stick through the small opening on Rachel’s helmet was the quickest way for her to start enjoying this tasty treat. Everything was going well until it began to melt and clung to the wire cage! (Ben Benvie)

April: Spring has sprung!

April is the coolest month. With pranks on Day One, petunias by the end, and Passover and Easter in between, April brings a cornucopia of photo potential. Get outside, if you please; get wet, if you dare. Consider cities unthawing, or nature, nurturing her offspring. Check out the month’s top 10 submissions.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Lenna Lalonde

The photo (attached and inline) was taken at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area on the Sheridan Creek (Mississauga, Ontario).  I sat on the rocks and the mouth of the creek for about an hour as the sun was setting and the swans were very curious swimming quite close to investigate.

The photo (attached and inline) was taken at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area on the Sheridan Creek (Mississauga, Ontario). I sat on the rocks and the mouth of the creek for about an hour as the sun was setting and the swans were very curious swimming quite close to investigate.

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Ayiaz Kaderali

The photo was taken the morning of April 6th, with my iPhone. ItÕs a view of the St. JohnÕs (Newfoundland) harbour from my office window, after several days of wintry cold weather. The strong winds had driven  Ôpack iceÕ into the harbour, and the harbour was completely covered with ice and frozen over. A Canadian Coast Guard  ice breaker was continuously breaking the ice to keep the harbour accessible to boats (see attached). There had been heavy fog for several days as well. Unexpectedly, one morning, the sun burned through the fog, melting the ice. As the fog lifted, it revealed the magnificent scene as captured.

The photo was taken the morning of April 6th, with my iPhone. ItÕs a view of the St. JohnÕs (Newfoundland) harbour from my office window, after several days of wintry cold weather. The strong winds had driven Ôpack iceÕ into the harbour, and the harbour was completely covered with ice and frozen over. A Canadian Coast Guard ice breaker was continuously breaking the ice to keep the harbour accessible to boats (see attached). There had been heavy fog for several days as well. Unexpectedly, one morning, the sun burned through the fog, melting the ice. As the fog lifted, it revealed the magnificent scene as captured.

May: Sunshine

With summer on the horizon, you might photograph photosynthesis in action, or a little miss in her sundress. You could catch the light peaking through curtains or bouncing off a parasol. The picture doesn’t have to be playful—a painful squint, sunburn, hot tin roof—and don’t shy away from shade.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Curtis Dauphney

Curtis Dauphney

As for the shot, it was taken in Sydney, Nova Scotia, just on a small little sandbar area about 5 minutes from downtown. I’m relatively “new” to photography (first DSLR camera), so the camera used was a Nikon D3300 with an 18-55mm kit lens, shot free-hand (18mm, f/8, 1/13 sec, ISO 100).

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Amy Shaw

This image is of my 5 year old son Carter. I let him stay up late last week and we went out the to park at sunset. IÕm sitting on the ground crouched down with my camera aimed up at him. I wanted him to be a silhouette and had to time it perfectly with him ziplining right in front of the setting sun. The park is in Cumberland, on Vancouver Island, BC.

This image is of my 5 year old son Carter. I let him stay up late last week and we went out the to park at sunset. IÕm sitting on the ground crouched down with my camera aimed up at him. I wanted him to be a silhouette and had to time it perfectly with him ziplining right in front of the setting sun. The park is in Cumberland, on Vancouver Island, BC.

June: Road trips

Destinations might offer images, but you can also photograph the trek. Pit stops, pitfalls, or the carnival in the backseat—you might frame a shot with your sunroof or roof rack, or maybe you make a game of it, taking a photo with every left turn, for every dog snout you spot poking out a window, or for every variation of “are we there yet?”

READERS’ CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Jerry Kambeitz

I took these photos in January, 1979. On a road trip in southwestern Saskatchewan (on highway 21 between Maple Creek and Fox Valley) I came across this unusual scene. Once an icon of the prairie, the grain elevator has nearly been eliminated, but seeing one being moved on a very cold day in winter will not likely happen again. It was a bitterly cold minus 30, just as an aside.

I took these photos in January, 1979. On a road trip in southwestern Saskatchewan (on highway 21 between Maple Creek and Fox Valley) I came across this unusual scene. Once an icon of the prairie, the grain elevator has nearly been eliminated, but seeing one being moved on a very cold day in winter will not likely happen again. It was a bitterly cold minus 30, just as an aside.

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Yolande Gaudet

The photo was taken in Miscouche PEI. We often grab a few snacks, the camera and the dog and go for little "road trips" on PEI.  I wanted to capture a picture of our dog Ginger with her head out the window so we chose a quiet road where we could drive slowly to keep both Ginger and myself safe (I was also hanging out the window to compose the shot) and not annoy other drivers. The end result captured the fun we had on a beautiful spring day.

The photo was taken in Miscouche PEI. We often grab a few snacks, the camera and the dog and go for little “road trips” on PEI. I wanted to capture a picture of our dog Ginger with her head out the window so we chose a quiet road where we could drive slowly to keep both Ginger and myself safe (I was also hanging out the window to compose the shot) and not annoy other drivers. The end result captured the fun we had on a beautiful spring day.

July: Canadian colours

For the sake of tints and shades, photograph something you might otherwise not—a hazel eye, pale ale or dark roast. Notice a Dijon-yellow, shrimp-pink or cheek-rose, or the national hues of the Blue Jays or Red Green Show. Pay attention to contrast—black flies above white caps, or a Golden Retriever in a bog.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Chantal Marsolais

This picture was taken on July 18th 2017 near the Hamlet of Mennon, Saskatchewan (about 45km from Saskatoon) on my trusty ol' Nikon D3200. Just as the sun was setting, two massive fronts converged right at the back of my family's acreage, this picture is of the one front shortly before it met the other. Saskatchewan skies are often remarkable, but this evening was unforgettable. The mixture of golden hour light, sudden wind, and the twisting clouds was riveting, I am so glad I had my camera near me.

This picture was taken on July 18th 2017 near the Hamlet of Mennon, Saskatchewan (about 45km from Saskatoon) on my trusty ol’ Nikon D3200. Just as the sun was setting, two massive fronts converged right at the back of my family’s acreage, this picture is of the one front shortly before it met the other. Saskatchewan skies are often remarkable, but this evening was unforgettable. The mixture of golden hour light, sudden wind, and the twisting clouds was riveting, I am so glad I had my camera near me.

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Bri Hamlyn

This photo is of Louise Falls in Twin Gorge Territorial Park, Northwest Territories. Because it was June when it was taken, I made everyone in our group wait until 10 pm before starting the trek down the 138 step spiral staircase to the falls. All in the hopes of capturing the falls during sunset.

This photo is of Louise Falls in Twin Gorge Territorial Park, Northwest Territories. Because it was June when it was taken, I made everyone in our group wait until 10 pm before starting the trek down the 138 step spiral staircase to the falls. All in the hopes of capturing the falls during sunset.

August: The Canadian sky

Keep your head up. Clouds might bubble like thoughts, or peel back from each other like the opening credits of The Simpsons. Planets or planes, or a golf spectator ducking from an unidentified flying object–you don’t necessarily need to photograph the sky itself. You might shoot towers that scrape it, a trampolinist tumbling through it, or a person with an arm stretched above head, reaching for it.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Veronica Reist

The photo was taken in July 31, 2012. I was just getting into photographing storms, and headed out on this stormy evening with a neighbour who also loved to photograph storms. This stormy sky was taken 2 km outside of my hometown Olds AB . The photo was taken just before 6 pm in the evening.

The photo was taken in July 31, 2012. I was just getting into photographing storms, and headed out on this stormy evening with a neighbour who also loved to photograph storms. This stormy sky was taken 2 km outside of my hometown Olds AB . The photo was taken just before 6 pm in the evening.

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Amanda Brockhoff

This photo was taken in August 2017 on our family farm near Pine Lake, AB. I have been thinking about what kind of Canadian photo I wanted to take all summer and with the sunrise getting a bit later in August, this morning was perfect. My oldest son helped me with this vision and he was so patient as we waited for the wind to blow the flag. This photo symbolized so much from growing up on a farm and now having my kids experience a piece of that. The sunrise with the promise of a new day and harvest time bringing in the hay. Proud to be Canadian!

This photo was taken in August 2017 on our family farm near Pine Lake, AB. I have been thinking about what kind of Canadian photo I wanted to take all summer and with the sunrise getting a bit later in August, this morning was perfect. My oldest son helped me with this vision and he was so patient as we waited for the wind to blow the flag. This photo symbolized so much from growing up on a farm and now having my kids experience a piece of that. The sunrise with the promise of a new day and harvest time bringing in the hay. Proud to be Canadian!

September: The Canadian sky

With a camera and camouflage, you might crawl into a tree fort or capture a game of Capture the Flag. Your escapade needn’t be sign-a-waiver cliff jumping or parasailing, but rather perhaps a hunt at a yard sale, or an encounter with a racoon at the compost bin. School field trips might add adventure, or you might simply find a neighbour singing in the lane.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Shawna Holmes

I took this photo of my boyfriend Jason and our young Silver Labrador Colt on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at the Hilliardton Marsh, 15 minutes outside of our hometown of Englehart, Ontario. It was early season and a very special hunt as it was my first time waterfowl hunting and Colt made his first retrieve. This photo was captured around 6:30pm from the back of the canoe which we had hidden amongst the tall water reeds on a bed of floating islands.

I took this photo of my boyfriend Jason and our young Silver Labrador Colt on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at the Hilliardton Marsh, 15 minutes outside of our hometown of Englehart, Ontario. It was early season and a very special hunt as it was my first time waterfowl hunting and Colt made his first retrieve. This photo was captured around 6:30pm from the back of the canoe which we had hidden amongst the tall water reeds on a bed of floating islands.

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Kira Cherneski

This was taken in New Sarepta, Alberta at the annual Demolition Derby on September 10th. Just taken with my Canon Rebel as I sat on the sidelines with my husband and some of our friends. It's a really fun event that brings a lot of the community together!

This was taken in New Sarepta, Alberta at the annual Demolition Derby on September 10th. Just taken with my Canon Rebel as I sat on the sidelines with my husband and some of our friends. It’s a really fun event that brings a lot of the community together!

October: Fall colours

Macintosh-red, duotang-bright, or the blackness of burnt pumpkin seeds at the bottom of the pan: October awaits like a colouring book. Thanksgiving might swirl in yellow and browns as you dress the Thanksgiving salad or dress a scarecrow. Costumes might bear bloody colours or fairy tale colours, or in the case of ghosts, the absence of all.

READERS’ CHOICE: Photograph by Boyd Cameron

Moving to live somewhere new is never an easy thing. Especially when it's Thanksgiving and your family is all together in Ontario. You remember how colourful the turning of the seasons can be there. Looking for something to remind us of home, my partner and I hiked up into Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park in search of the deciduous conifers, known as Larch. It was a great feeling to find these trees that turn yellow and later shed their needles. It made us appreciate the unique ways in which seasons are displayed in our new home. (Boyd Cameron)

Moving to live somewhere new is never an easy thing. Especially when it’s Thanksgiving and your family is all together in Ontario. You remember how colourful the turning of the seasons can be there. Looking for something to remind us of home, my partner and I hiked up into Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park in search of the deciduous conifers, known as Larch. It was a great feeling to find these trees that turn yellow and later shed their needles. It made us appreciate the unique ways in which seasons are displayed in our new home. (Boyd Cameron)

EDITOR’S CHOICE: PHOTOGRAPH BY Stephen Underhay

This image was taken on the Khutze Inlet. I was a part of an expedition that took a former Canadian coastguard icebreaker through this part of British Columbia!  I woke up early and took a zodiac as far up the Inlet as possible, then we walked across a field lit beautifully with fall colours until we came across this female grizzly foraging. She didn't seem bothered by us as she continued to eat nearby for about 20 minutes as we stayed silent and watched! Then she wandered off and we headed back, awestruck. (Stephen Underhay)

This image was taken on the Khutze Inlet. I was a part of an expedition that took a former Canadian coastguard icebreaker through this part of British Columbia!
I woke up early and took a zodiac as far up the Inlet as possible, then we walked across a field lit beautifully with fall colours until we came across this female grizzly foraging. She didn’t seem bothered by us as she continued to eat nearby for about 20 minutes as we stayed silent and watched! Then she wandered off and we headed back, awestruck. (Stephen Underhay)


 

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