Maui News

Maui Photographer Gets Shot at National Geographic

August 30, 2011, 8:17 AM HST
* Updated August 30, 9:10 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Feet! Maui Whale Watch. Photo by Kathy Coombs.

Maui photographer, Kathy Coombs of Lahaina, is one of 12 Finalists in the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest with National Geographic.

Coombs is featured in the category for Family and Community for a photo she took while on a whale watching trip.

The photograph shows no signs of a whale, but captures the dangling feet of spectators as they wait for a whale to breach.

Coombs’ photo was among nearly 6,000 entries submitted for the contest, which aims to inspire an appreciation for the planet’s beauty. It was selected for the finalist round by Jim Richardson, a 20-year National Geographic photographer and official judge for the contest.


“Such a simple image … but the moment caught is of carefree life on a sun-washed afternoon, somewhere away from duties and drudgery, and made into a fine composition. As a reminder of pleasures close to home, this picture delivers,” said Richardson.


The list will be narrowed to six in the next couple of weeks, with the grand prize winner getting the opportunity to see their photo in an Energizer ad in the pages of National Geographic magazine.

Online votes are being accepted through September 15, 2011 at

If Coombs receives the most votes in her category, she will be named one of six Category Winners and receive a prize pack valued at approximately $1,000 that includes an EPIC Action Video Cam, a Nikon digital camera, a Litepanels Micro camera light, an Energizer Lithium flashlight, an Energizer Lithium Headlight, two books from the National Geographic Collection and an assortment of Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries.


The Grand Prize Winner, will be announced around November 8, 2011.

In addition to the published photograph, the winner also receives a trip to one of three locations: an Alaska cruise of the state’s remote wilderness; a Moroccan odyssey spanning the sea to the Sahara; or a 12-day journey into the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

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