Conservation Foundation announces People’s Choice winners in fourth annual Summer Photo Contest

Best in Show winner receives more than 500 likes on Facebook

Corn Snake Enjoying the Salty Air by Diane Fairey is the winner of the 2023 People’s Choice award for Best in Show. Image courtesy Conservation Foundation

This week, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast announced the People’s Choice winners of its fourth annual Summer Photo Contest exhibit.

Those entries are as follows, by category:

  • Fabulously Florida — Corn Snake Enjoying the Salty Air by Diane Fairey.
  • The Art of Nature — The Elusive Junonia Seashell by Diane Fairey.
  • The Big Picture — Matanzas Thunderstorm by Stephen Brown.
  • Winged Life — Where Are You? by Larry Stone.
  • Youth Perspective — Wisdom Tree by Gideon Hersh.
  • Best in Show — Corn Snake Enjoying the Salty Air by Diane Fairey.

The full gallery may be viewed at or by visiting Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast on Facebook, a news release notes.

Photographers of all ages and experience levels were invited to submit their original works “showcasing the beauty of natural Florida,” the release points out. The jurors were photographer Kerri Gagne Deatherage; fine artist Mary Louise O’Connell; and award-winning commercial photographer Robert Nishihira.

Wisdom Tree by Gideon Hersh is the People’s Choice winner in the Youth Perspective category. Image courtesy Conservation Foundation

“Hundreds of local photographers submitted their images for consideration,” the release says. The jurors evaluated submissions on the basis of composition, color, contrast and point of view, as well as whether the image told a story, and how well the image fit the category.

Following the jury selection, members of the public “were invited to vote for their favorites by liking/loving the images in the Conservation Foundation Summer Photo Contest Facebook gallery,” the release says. Voting took place June 20 through Aug. 20, and the most liked/loved image in each category was recognized as a People’s Choice winner.

The winner of that distinction — Diane Fairey’s photograph Corn Snake Enjoying the Salty Air — received 500 likes on Facebook, the release adds.