A drum roll, please.

The results are in for the 2012 Spring Photo Contest. We’re proud to announce it was a huge success. With over 650 images submitted by photographers from across North Carolina, all of this year’s contestants showed the beauty of our state in the spring.

A slideshow of the winning images, their descriptions, and the judges comments are below.

1. Overall Contest Winner:
Soft by Michael Shreves of Burlington, N.C.
Judges’ comments: The extremely shallow depth of field and vibrant colors make this image striking. Using a single tulip creates a simplicity and freshness that embodies spring.

2. Spring Landscapes & Scenics Category Winner:
Grassy Ridge in the Spotlight by Sharon Canter of High Point, N.C.
Judges’ comments: Beautiful use of the magic hour of lighting and side light to create texture and highlight the spring greens and purples on the hillside. Nice overall composition with multiple layers.

3. Spring in Bloom Category Winner:
Looking Into the Iris by Jason Keller of Sanford, N.C.
Judges’ comments: This image exhibits a pleasing off-center composition, and strategic depth of field to isolate the details of this flower. Overall a lovely way to encapsulate “spring in bloom.”

4. Rural Life in the Spring Category Winner:
Partners by Chad Williamson of Cherryville, N.C.
Judges’ comments: This image captures a wonderful moment that is intimate as well as quintessentially rural/pastoral. Including the small boy in the photo adds emotion and made this image rise to the top.

5. Towns & Cities in the Spring Category Winner:
Springtime in Winston Salem by Casey Grogan of Pinnacle, N.C.
Judges’ comments: The composition of this image makes it stand out — excellent use of framing with the trees in the foreground. The building lets you know this is a city, but the blooming flowers and lush greens make spring the emphasis of the image.

6. Reader’s Choice Winner:
Simplicity by Elaine Moorefield of Colfax, N.C.

This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.