Matt Meisenheimer Wins Outdoor Photographer Grand Prize

Backcountry Journeys own Matt Meisenheimer recently won the Grand Prize in Outdoor Photographer’s 2019 The American Landscape photo contest. 

Matt’s winning image, titled “Jurassic,” is one featuring the cliffs of the Nā Pali Coast, in Hawaii. These cliffs rise over 4,000 feet from the shoreline below offering those willing to hike to this perch the chance at a truly incredible scene. On this day, however, weather conditions (landscape photographers’ best friend) provided an even more unique moment for Matt. 

Matt is currently leading a tour at Glacier National Park, and this post is a surprise for him, so we’ll utilize a quote from his explanation to Outdoor Photographer regarding his image. 

“I liked how the lone tree was catching light and I felt the rainbows were spaced perfectly with the tree. It was very windy and wet so the challenge was freezing motion in the vegetation and keeping my lens dry. I shot at a higher ISO to get a faster shutter speed and used a towel to dry my lens. I’d shoot a few frames, dry and cover my lens, take a few frames and repeat. Thankfully, my effort paid off and my resulting images were clean and sharp. This image portrays one of the most incredible events that I have had the opportunity to photograph.”

The contest, which has run each year for the past eight years, offers one Grand Place Prize winner, one potential Second Place winner, one potential Third Place winner, and up to twenty-five potential Finalists. These are determined from among all eligible entries received by a panel of qualified judges, based equally on the following criteria: Adherence to Theme, Composition and Creativity/Originality. 

Our Backcountry Journeys family is already aware of Matt’s skill behind the lens, as well as his artistry in post processing. His passion is on display not only in his images, but also while leading tours and in the articles he writes for the website. 

We are certainly lucky to have Matt here at Backcountry Journeys, and are extremely proud of his efforts. If you’ve traveled with him prior, or are on an upcoming trip that he is leading, give him a big congratulations for his big win! 

Look for Matt as a trip leader on upcoming Backcountry Journeys tours in Utah, Hawaii, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, Iceland, and elsewhere! 

Kenton Krueger







Kenton Krueger grew up and spent the first 33 years of his life in the corn country of Omaha, Nebraska. After studying aviation at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Aviation Institute, he “conned” his way into the newsroom at the award-winning Omaha World-Herald where for 3+ years he wrote and photographed news articles on a variety of topics such as community events, travel and even mixed martial arts for the sports department. Yet something was missing. While on backpacking trips to Grand Teton and Grand Canyon National Parks in the mid-2000’s he was quick to realize that the wild lands of the western United States stoked a fire in his heart as nothing else could. This realization led to a relocation to Flagstaff, Arizona, and he hasn’t looked back. He has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone National Parks as well as in the Grand Staircase Escalante in southern Utah. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, a former pilot, newspaper photographer, and writer. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.



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