Announcing the winners of the 2nd Patagonia Photo Contest

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 Grand prize winner, 1st place in Travel & Culture category, and Reader's Choice Award: Doma  (Federico R. Grosso)
With his magnificent photo entitled “Doma,” Patagon Journal is proud to announce that the undisputed grand prize winner of the 2nd Patagonia Photo Contest, from among this year’s more than 2200 entries from 14 countries, is Federico R. Grosso of Villla La Angostura, Argentina.
Not only did our panel of judges select Federico’s photo as the overall grand prize winner and first place in the Travel & Culture category, our readers selected his photo as this year’s recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award.
Federico, who studied photography in Buenos Aires in 2001, over the past six years has made his passion his career, shooting photos, primarily nature photos, for diverse clients, including the international news agency Associated Press. He also teaches photography courses and workshops from his home base in Villa La Angostura.
“I enjoy photography because it is a good excuse to live life more, to go find things that others are not looking for, to go out and look a little beyond where you see other people do not stop to watch,” he says.
“Photography in Patagonia is as magical as Patagonia itself,” adds Federico. “It has a special charm reflected by both its landscape and its people.”
Federico says he captured the image in his winning photo while at a rock climbing event in Piedra Parada, Chubut, Argentine Patagonia. There was a rodeo at the same event, and Federico says he noticed that with the sun to his back he could get simple photos of the gauchos and horses, but if he crossed to the opposite side he would get an image much more dramatic.  “When I walked to the other side of the rodeo, I saw what you can now see in the picture. Figures were silhouetted against the light of the sun and the dust rising from the track generated a special atmosphere.”
As the winner of the 2nd Patagonia Photo Contest, Federico will receive three nights for two persons for exploring the fjords and canals of southern Patagonia with Cruceros Australis. As a first place winner in one of the contest’s four categories, he also gets a gift certificate for 100.000 Chilean pesos (approx. $US 185) at the Patagonia stores in Santiago as well as a subscription to Patagon Journal.  And as the Reader’s Choice Award winner he will enjoy 2 nights for two persons at the Mitico Puelo Lodge and Tagua Tagua Park in northern Chilean Patagonia.
Check out more of Federico's photos on his Facebook page and here. 
All of the 12 winning photos in the contest will be printed for display at exhibitions in Santiago and other cities (stay tuned for more info). Here are the rest of the winning photos:
First place, Nature category: Condor ready to fly - One afternoon in Patagonia, this king condor of the Patagonia air, after relaxing on this rock for more than an hour, spread its large wings when finally deciding to fly from this marvelous place. A feather was left behind on the rock..I decided to leave it there. (Mateo Barrenengoa)
First place, Environment category: Death A sea lion dead because of a salmon farm. Every year, salmon farms are throwing out tons of waste into the Patagonia environment. Whether they are shot at, consuming waste from the farms, or trapped in their nets, the sea lion is a victim. (Alex Spencer) 
First place, Outdoor Sports category: Immersed in granite - Cerro arcoiris in the Cochamo Valley, Los Lagos region, Chile.  (Juan Pablo Contreras Castro)
Second Place, Nature Category: Eagle and its prey: Photo taken in Chilean Patagonia near Puerto Natales, a Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle taking a recently captured fox to feed upon later. (Sergio Ujevic) 
Second Place, Environment category: SurvivorShy and hurt, this pudú seems to be struggling to overcome its threatened state. There are few habitats where this animal is no longer threatened. Location: San Rafael National Park, Aysen. (Francisco Javier Ibarra )

Second Place, Travel & Culture category:  A Patagonian cowboy in Tierra del Fuego -  A character often anonymous but an essential, important part of the history of Patagonia. Protagonist and witness of countless stories, this is simply a tribute and recognition to these true men of the Fuegian mountains. Image recorded in the vicinity of the San Sebastian border outpost in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. (Alexis Vera)


2nd Place, Outdoor Sports category: Ice hiking at Perito Moreno - Photo taken in front of Glacier Perito Moreno, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina. In the image, various groups of tourists ice hiking up the sides of the glacier. (Fabián Barría Oyarzún) 


Honorable Mention: Black woodpecker at Torres del Paine - This woodpecker appeared near the park ranger’s camp at Torres del Paine. It was a thrill to get so close without the bird flying away. (Maurice Dides)
Honorable Mention: So close, so far - We arrived at midnight at Chile Chico and while we looked for a place to camp, Rolando (on the guitar) invited us to stay in his home. The following day he entertained us with music while they prepared homemade bread for lunch.  (Felipe Rubilar)
 Honorable Mention: Reaching for the sky - After several attempts and days of waiting we are heading to the summit of San Lorenzo. (Jimmy Valdes)
Honorable Mention: Kayak at the Baker River - Kayak at the confluence of the Baker and Neff rivers in Aysen. (Patricio Baeza)