I am very pleased to have had one of my images selected as one of twenty-five finalists of


The 2018 Outdoor Photographer Magazine

American Landscape Competition.


I placed as a finalist in 2012 but haven’t entered since then.  With thousands of entries it’s intimidating but this year I decided to try again and submitted six images .  Looking at them later and trying to reason like a judge I guessed which one might make it and it did.  Here it is.  I love the image; I love the memory of the capture; and I’m immensely pleased.

We photographers sense a scene and we are driven to record it so as

“to offer an expanded awareness of the beauty in the world around us.”


……Parish Kohanim, Canon Explorer of Light




I was notified of my selection in late May.  They’re still in the process of selecting first, second and third.  I’m just happy to be a finalist.

The image was made at a place called Skaget Beach (rhymes with say-get) on Cape Cod Bay west of the town of Orleans at the elbow of the Cape .  A helpful proprietor of an art/print shop in Chatham had suggested the beach in response to my seeking a good sunset location.

I spent an afternoon there capturing families at fun on the beach.  On the next afternoon, however, the sky began to shape up for a smashing sunset.  I took lots of frames of differing compositions but this scene prevailed.  The techy stuff:  I composed in live view with my (then) Canon 7D on a tripod and using a Canon 24-105mm EF lens at f/14.  ISO was 400.    I took three exposures around 1/40″ with EV’s of +1, 0, and -1.  I developed them in Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6 and blended them with Nik’s HDR software.  From the look of the originals I probably heightened saturation.

I teach and preach that sunsets need to be more interesting; pretty pixels are not enough.  The things I love about this image are: the eye-occupying cloud structures, some in shadow but dappled, the array of colors, the ripples, and the foreground of wavelets, beach, and well defined grasses.  Sighhhh.


I did a blog post after the Cape visit which includes other scenes on the Cape.  For the rest of you old folks it also includes an audio track of Patti Page’s 1957 gold recording, “Old Cape Cod.”  Sighhh.

See/hear it at https://bergiesplace.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/a-journey-to-a-distant-shore/


The 2012 finalist image and back story can be seen at



The other winners and finalists in the 2018 competition can be seen at Outdoor Photographer Magazine and I salute them all.




  1. Linda Kamholz Says:

    Congrats to you, Ralph. It’s a beauty — well done!

  2. Delano Cannon Says:

    Better and better, CONGRATULATIONS.

  3. Mary Lou Webber Says:

    Your artistic and poetic talents continue to amaze me I’ve been going to Cape Cod since I was 12 years old and know Chatham, Orleans Wellfleet quite well. Ross has several lovely paintings of Wellfleet Harbor at low tide.You and Ross capture the Cape I love. Mary Lou Webber

  4. Ann-Marie Woods Says:

    Congratulations Ralph- Love Cape Cod- captured this so masterfully- Ann-Marie

  5. Marge Says:

    Lovely landscape, Ralph!

  6. Patricia Peacock Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous clouds-I love the way the water laps the beach and makes me feel the motion of the water and the clouds. I did open it and think that it might be here on LBI but I can see what I like, right? Congratulations!

  7. Claire Winward Says:

    How very special! You must be on Cloud 9! National recognition of your innate talent puts you in a very exclusive club! Congratulations, Ralph…much deserved.

  8. Ken Klaus Says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on your selection as a Finalist and for the well deserved recognition! The image reminds me of the stunning sunsets at Duxbury when I was a boy. Thanks for sharing!

    See you soon on LBI!

  9. denisebushphoto Says:

    Beautiful image … well deserved!!! It’s great when something good like this happens every once in awhile to keep us going! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.