By Sarah Senese ’23
The State of the Rockies Project Photo Contest invites Colorado College students to enter photographs that reminds us why, how, and what conservation efforts are critical to the future of nature, and specifically how humans have impacted the environment of the Rocky Mountain West.
This year’s first place photo was taken by Deming Haines ’21, who was inspired by the expansive landscapes of Colorado and the conservation initiative emphasized in the description of the contest. “This contest combines my passion for the arts with my interest in conservation,” Haines said. “The photo is an image of a single wispy cloud which mimics the curvature of the distant mountain range. Through this cloud, I see the pleasing beauty of our world, but the soft colors and solitary nature of the cloud evoke a melancholic feel as well.”
Encompassing how Haines feels about humanity and nature, the photo captures a moment in an area not too far from the CC campus. Haines was excited to photograph a piece of Colorado so accessible to CC students and something so familiar — a Colorado sunset. While many would think to photograph Pikes Peak against the sky, Haines directed the lens just to the left of the mountain, aiming to show the beauty of a less-photographed plain. For Haines, the familiarity of the sky we all see but seldom appreciate was the perfect subject.
While it’s easy to take the beauty right behind our campus for granted, Haines hopes that this winning image “serves as a reminder to gaze upward and take in our surroundings to the fullest.”
Second place went to Maddi Schink ’23 for “Cabin in Mayflower Gulch,” taken in Frisco, Colorado; third place went to Kat Gruschow ’22 for “Hanging Clouds,” taken in Grand Tetons, Wyoming; and the People’s Choice Award went to Bibi Powers-McCormack ’21 for “Fawns,” taken along the Front Range in Colorado.
You can see photos from all of the winners, on the State of the Rockies website.