Photo Contest Winners

Grand Prize “Sunrise Fog - Crazy Clouds on Seneca Lake” Taken with iPhone, spring 2020 Jesse McNulty • Romulus

The 19th Annual Life in the Finger Lakes Photo Contest

This nineteenth year of the photo contest is of historic proportions. We have never received as many entries as we have this year. I attribute it to the fact that people just had more time to do something they love – take photos of the beautiful Finger Lakes Region! Plus, more people were doing activities outside this year than I can ever remember.

Cell phone technology has enabled people to take some pretty amazing photos that are sharp quality with a good resolution, compared to almost 20 years ago when the first contest was judged. This year, the grand prize was shot on an iPhone.

Also this year is another first. We have created the John Adamski Award for best wildife photo. John was a frequent contributor to the magazine and an amazing wildlife photographer. His respect for the outdoors and wild animals can be carried on through the work of other talented photographers.

– Mark Stash, editor



Color Category

First Place
“Cayuga Lake – Sun Through the Fog”
Michael James Amon • Phelps

Second Place
“Baltimore Oriole During Migration”
My stay-in-place activity was to build a reflection prop to catch orioles and other birds during spring migration. Canon 1DX Mk1 with Canon EF100-400mm lens.
Lucian Parshall • Honeoye

Third Place
“Seaweed Mermaid”
Taken in Seneca Lake at the swimming beach at Sampson State Park.
Heidi Soyster • Liverpool


Black and White Category

First Place
“Damaged by High Waters”
Location: Chimney Bluffs State Park, North Rose, New York
Elena Dilai • Webster

Second Place
“A Bridge Near the Flat Rocks Area of Fall Creek in Ithaca”
Jane Bain • Lansing

Third Place
“Horse Family in Cohocton”
I was out for a ride in the country when I saw this family of horses. I was especially drawn to the light eye color of the horse on the right.
Judy Smith-Cronk • Dansville


Digitally Altered

First Place
Location: Lake Ontario, Hamlin
Rick Garvia • Spencerport

Second Place
“Early Morning Grape Harvest”
Location: Vine Valley near Canandaigua Lake
Cindy Noël Alves • Canandaigua

Third Place
“Urger at Rest”
Location: Pittsford
Tom Kredo • Rochester


Honorable Mention

“Highland Park Winter – Rochester”
Black and White
Jen Casasanta • Henrietta

“Eagle Falls”
Black and White
Diane W. Dersch • Waterloo

“Sunset Practice at Seneca Lake State Park, Geneva”
Michaele Boncaro • Geneva

“1899 Barn Overlooking Canandaigua Lake”
George Wallace • Victor

“Lonely Boy and the Lost Lake – Canadice Lake”
Digitally Altered
Alain Van Rhyn • Lakeville

“Angles and Shadows – Sonnenberg Gardens, Canandaigua”
Digitally Altered
Phil Hilden  • Victor


John Adamski Award

“ American Bald Eagle Pair, Montezuma”
You never know what surprises are in store at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Seneca Falls. I was fortunate to witness and photograph an entire series of this pair before, during and after they mated. 
Dawn P. Knox • Rochester

John Adamski is best known as the founder of the Finger Lakes Museum, along with being a contributor to many publications such as Life in the Finger Lakes magazine. John’s authentic passion for nature was captured through his award-winning wildlife photography and writings. This award is given to a photographer who has captured a spectacular photo of wildlife in its natural, outdoor setting here in the Finger Lakes. In order to continue John’s legacy for showcasing and celebrating the region, support in the form of your time, talent, and treasure is always welcome at the Finger Lakes Museum –

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