Dogwood Alliance Congratulates Photo Contest Winner, April Canada!

April Canada's winning photo taken at Hatteras Island entitled "Daydream Believer."
April Canada’s winning photo taken at Hatteras Island entitled “Daydream Believer.”

Congrats to April Canada the grand prize winner of our photo contest! Dogwood Alliance collaborated with Our State Magazine to create a photo contest in which contestants submitted their best North Carolina Coastal photo. You can see the Top 10 photo submissions on the Our Stage Magazine website. The forests and coastal wetlands of the Southern United States are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, and they are also some of the most beautiful places in the world.

April Canada has lived in North Carolina since 1993.  “It has changed drastically over the years but it still retains its beauty both on the coast and in the mountains,” April says. April has a great love for the coastal areas of North Carolina, especially the Outer Banks. She explains:

“It truly is one of the prettiest places in the US. I love to capture seascapes and that is what attracted me to the contest.”

April started working with photography roughly 35 years ago after the birth of her eldest son.  “I got away from it for years because of raising a family and working outside the home,” she says. In 2012, April decided she wanted to take it back up again as a living and a hobby. She explains the importance of the difference between photography as work and photography as a hobby:

“There are really two different aspects of photography from the standpoint of making a living and doing it as a hobby. One is pleasing the customer and one is pleasing yourself.”

April takes many shots of seascapes and portrait seascapes. “It is so serene and peaceful to capture and enjoy,” she says. April explains her relationship to nature by saying:

“Nature is never the same the second time. It always is changing and giving you a different perspective on life. I recently was in the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia and last year was in the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC. The mountain scenes are always inspiring because it shows you just has small you are. It also makes you appreciate the forests and that mankind should be taking care of the planet, not destroying it. There is so much life in the forest – animals, plants and insects. The Native Americans appreciated the forests and didn’t abuse them in any way. They also realized the medical purposes of many plants in the forest that we should be learning about. There is really nothing like a sunrise or sunset in the mountains to inspire you. It lets you know what is truly important in life. And it’s definitely not material things.”

April’s favorite place in nature is the ocean because of its huge visual effect on her. She says:

“You learn to stop and smell the roses so to speak. But also you can taste the ocean (seafood and seaweed) and smell the ocean (ocean air) and it’s just so relaxing. It affects many of your senses at the same time.”

You can see more of April’s work here. Thank you so much, April, for capturing the beauty of these places we love!

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