A huge congratulations to Emmy Held, winner of the American Camping Association (ACA) 2021 Golden Lens Award. The award recognizes exceptional photographs that illustrate the camp experience. The ACA chose Held’s photo from hundreds of entries and plans to publish it on the cover of their May/June 2021 issues of Camping Magazine.
Held has been a trip leader and educator at Chewonki since 2017. She captured the winning photograph in 2019 during “a truly magical whitewater canoe expedition in Quebec,” she says. “I remember pulling out my camera as we left camp. The fog was whispering through the forest on the steep banks of the river.”
Held’s favorite thing about the photo is the young female paddler’s confidence as she navigates the river – a quality she says grew tremendously during the trip. The sun rising over the Mistassibi Nord Est provides a stunning backdrop for the paddler’s competent strokes.
Although Held studied studio art in college, she doesn’t consider herself a photographer. “I’m flattered and surprised every time this photo gets recognized, but I’m grateful for a reason to pause and think back on that special trip, wonderful humans, and beautiful place. Held says that she took the photo using a beat-up point and shoot camera that she often brings on expeditions.