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10-year-old Canadian wins Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year

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When he was seven, Josiah Launstein started becoming interested in wildlife photography. Three years later, he’s now recognized as the 2014 Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year.

The 10-year-old from Pincher Creek Alberta bagged the award for his stunning capture of two Bighorn sheep sparring each other at the Rocky Mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park.

In his submission, Josiah wrote: “I love Bighorn Sheep, so I jumped at the chance to go out with my dad and big sister looking for rams to photograph. I was going to follow my dad towards some bigger rams he spotted, when I heard these guys head-butting at the edge of the forest.”

He also demonstrated his technical ability: “There wasn’t much light left so I had to use a higher ISO to freeze the action, but I’m glad I was able to capture this picture just as they rammed into each other!”

In an interview with Canadian Geographic, Josiah says bighorn sheep are just some of his favorite things to photograph. His other subject interests include red foxes, sunsets, and mountains.

His interest in nature and wildlife photography stem from his upbringing into a family of photographers – his dad John is a professional photographer, while his sister Jenaya is also an award-winning wildlife photographer.

After learning the basics and improving his craft, he began to submit his photos to competitions in 2014. His win as the Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year was a surprise, he says.

His father John adds that Josiah has a keen eye thanks to his interest in nature.

“He is probably the most balanced or broadest of all three of us, in that he’ll recognize a great image with the spring flowers in the foreground and the Rockies behind, or just a really cool image of pine needles on the forest floor,” he tells Canadian Geographic.

The Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year award recognizes outstanding talent below 18 years of age. Josiah’s winning entry stood out from among 10,000 images submitted to the international competition.


Josiah Launstein

Canadian Geographic 

Outdoor Photographer of the Year


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