Meet The Judges
Ruth is a full-time professional nature photographer, writer, public speaker, workshop leader, coach, and consultant with 30+ years’ experience teaching nature photography.
She enthusiastically works with photographers from all skill levels, ages, and walks of life, including youths from 8-18 years, US Veterans, artists’ groups, people with disabilities, and other specialized groups.
Ruth writes for the Journal of Wildlife Photography and manages its monthly photo contest.
A Certified Interpretive Guide and Certified Texas Master Naturalist, Ruth is best known for her Texas bird and wildlife photography and professional guiding services on private south Texas ranches, Costa Rica, and numerous other locations.
Tight Line Media CEO Kris Millgate is an outdoor journalist born the same year as the Endangered Species Act. She spent a decade in TV news before starting Tight Line Media in 2006. She currently reports for PBS, Field & Stream and East Idaho Outdoors.
Her first book, My Place Among Men, and its sequel, My Place Among Fish, are available now. Her Emmy-nominated salmon film, Ocean to Idaho, toured with Wild & Scenic Film Festival in 2022. Her newest film, On Grizzly Ground, is touring now along with her new book, My Place Among Beasts.
Jack Ballard is a photographer, writer and naturalist who has contributed frequently to regional and national publications. His photos have been published in numerous books (Smithsonian Press, Heinemann Library, etc.), calendars and magazines.
He is the 2022 winner of the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s “Enduring Excellence Award” which honors a lifetime of achievement in outdoor journalism. Jack is the author of a number of books including “Wildlife Photography: Proven Techniques for Capturing Stunning Digital Images” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). He lives in Red Lodge, Montana with his wife, Lisa, and two English Setters.