Attracting more than 100 entries from amateurs and professionals, the inaugural Wrightsville Beach Magazine Photography Contest played out from spring until winter 2018. The editorial team had fun choosing the winners you see here in these pages representing scenic land, sea and sky scapes alongside poignant and patriotic moments, waterman culture, and native and quirky wildlife.
Some photographs were shot from the comfort of a porch, others out in the wild, or closer to home base -- Airlie Gardens and Fort Fisher. Some entries were submitted by Wrightsville residents and Wilmington city dwellers; but at least one intrepid photographer traveled from New Jersey to score his winning shot. Stephen Rulli and his wife, Lorrie, visit Wrightsville to condition themselves for the annual Beach to Battleship triathlon. On one of their trips, Rulli captured a net fisherman at the south end when a calculated composition was overtaken by a serendipitous moment.
Want to participate next year? It's free and easy to enter. Polish your lenses and pack your water housing. Carry your camera bag with you wherever you may roam. You never know: your best shot might land on our cover next March.
arm_cast.net | Stephen Rulli | FIRST PLACE: Amateur Entry | Category: People
"As an amateur photographer I am always looking for a good scenic shot. One morning I went to the south end of Wrightsville Beach for the sunrise. A couple of fishermen were throwing nets. The early sun hit the net as it was tossed and I got lucky enough to catch it."
Love on a Dock | Shea Huse | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category: People
"The night before the couple was married in Wrightsville Beach, they shared a quiet moment on the marsh, during their busy wedding weekend."
Friends by Surf | Elizabeth Carroll | Honorable mention: Amateur Entry | Category: People
"Taken in Carolina Beach at the north end, this photograph captures the tight-knit surf community on the North Carolina coast."
Cool Beach Days | Andrew Dovan | First Place: Professional Entry | Category: People
"Cool Beach Days was taken because I saw a nice couple sitting under Crystal Pier. The nice blue and oranges tied the photo together. The pier helped focus the attention on the couple as well as add a distant effect, almost a goal."
The Banks Channel Show | Van Pulley | First Place: Amateur Entry | Category: Landscape
"This photograph was taken from the porch at my Channel Avenue home. I feel fortunate to have one of the most magnificent sunset vantage points on the island."
Foggy Sunrise | Cathy McEntee | Honorable Mention: Professional Entry | Category: Landscape
"On Lea Island, December 2, 2018, I took this photograph because the fog made the morning feel quiet and somber. The island was still showing some of the after-effects of Florence and I wanted to capture the quiet beauty of the moment."
Rotating Heavens of the Coastal Oaks | Michael Mosure | First Place: Professional Entry | Category: Landscape
"During a long exposure, star trails form above the coastal live oaks of Fort Fisher. As the earth rotates, the North Star remains stationary allowing the remaining stars to form a rotating circle around it."
Bold and Brave | Timothy D. Smith | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category: Landscape
"The Battleship, once a bold warrior in a less than colorful era of American history, is now sitting quietly as a steadfast memorial to the military personnel and to the country she served. The bright colors of the American flag, in stark contrast to the black and white rendering of the ship, serve to remind us of the brave sailors who fought and died on her decks and whose spirits, like our flag, will proudly live on forever."
Aftermath | Jason Zombron | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category: Landscape
"Taken at the north end of Wrightsville Beach the first opportunity to walk the beach after evacuating from Hurricane Florence,this sepia tone photograph emphasizes the feeling I was having in the moment when time stopped for that period in my life."
Downtown Wilmington | Jeff Loveless | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category: Landscape
"The winter always makes for beautiful clear skies and the river just happened to be very still the day I had all of my equipment for another shoot downtown."
Red Reflection | Andrew Dovan | Honorable Mention: Professional Entry | Category: Landscape
"Red Reflection was taken on North Lumina Avenue. I loved the way the bright red lights of Roberts Grocery reflected off of the water to produce greater lights."
Preening Ibis | Terri Chabot | Honorable Mention: Professional Entry | Category: Wildlife
"An ibis takes a few moments to preen its feathers after hunting for lunch in Fort Fisher."
Pearly Eye | Robert Thurston | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category Wildlife
"The Pearly Eye butterfly is found in many damp deciduous wooded habitats and thrives in marshes in waterways in the eastern parts of the United States.This photograph was taken at the Butterfly Bungalow at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher."
Misguided Tourist | Rebecca Band | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category: Wildlife
"This out of place Hercules beetle blended into the seascape amid the shells. I almost stepped on it while searching for sea glass, then transferred it to a perfect habitat."
Turtle Town | Timothy D. Smith | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category: Wildlife
"As I was hiking the 65 or so acres of Airlie Gardens one afternoon on the far eastern edge of the property, I happened upon this isolated small pond. I walked the path to the water's edge and found these little guys hanging out on a fallen tree -- a scene of solitude and peace."
Outer Bank's Wild Horses | Paige Batson | Honorable Mention: Amateur Entry | Category: Wildlife
"On a guided wild horse tour on the Currituck Outer Banks in Corolla, North Carolina, the horses were majestic in their natural habitat. These two were the first ones we came across. We only saw about six more because it was so hot that day, the others were hiding in the shade of the dunes."
Weathered Shell, Wrightsville | Kristin V. Rehder | First Place: Professional Entry | Category: Wildlife
"Ten years ago, I was walking along the far inlet at Shell Island when I spotted this shell. I remember the moment I picked it up -- and how it inspired me to explore photographically what is imperfect, cast aside, or unseen, yet ultimately so very beautiful, so dignified. An exquisite shell no bigger than two inches returned the wonder of my treasured days growing up on Wrightsville Beach and took me down unimagined pathways."