Ballard photographer selected for Audubon Society’s 2022 awards

A local photographer has been nationally recognized for his talents.

The National Audubon Society selected a photograph of a hummingbird by Matt Leaman, a Ballard-based nature and wildlife photographer, for their 2022 Photography Awards Top 100. The organization chose Leaman’s photograph out of over 10,000 entries of birds across the U.S. and Canada.

Leaman took the winning photograph in Dec. 2021. He said he had two hummingbird feeders wrapped in Christmas lights to provide thawed nectar, and the feeder that the bird in the photo is defending is stationed right outside his window at home.

“As it started to snow one day, I took a break to take some photos,” Leaman said. “Since it was so cold this hummingbird wanted to stay near the feeder and was easy to capture. I was excited when I saw the perfect little snowflake on his head in this image. I love to see if people notice it at first glance and then experience their disbelief and awe that such beauty can be found at home.”

Leaman tells My Ballard that he entered the contest after posting an image of a hummingbird in the My Ballard Group on Facebook. Another member recommended he enter the photograph into a few contests, and the Audubon Society was at the time accepting entries.

Leaman, who moved to Seattle in 2015, says he spends most of his free time exploring nature.

“Most of my adventures are focused on experiencing new natural places and/or seeing animals in their wild habitats,” he said. “Through photography, I want to share my experiences with others to spread an awareness of and appreciation for the world we inhabit.”