Mayeda Wins ‘Westways’ Photo Contest with Penguin Trio

Don Mayeda, long time Culver City resident, has been awarded the cover of the Auto Club’s Westways magazine, winning a place of honor in the 10th Annual World Views photo contest.

When asked about his bird-centric photography, which he often posts on social media, Mayeda said it started some years ago.  “I was at Kenneth Hahn [Park] walking my two big dogs, and I saw a Coopers Hawk, and it flew onto tree limb. I was really taken by how beautiful it was. So, the next day I brought a little point-and-shoot camera, and it’s been really fun since then.”

Mayeda’s photographs of birds in flight are extraordinary examples of time and light. “I saw how difficult this was, and it really challenged me, to capture a bird that’s moving. When I walk around Kenneth Hahn Park, the hawks I shoot are moving pretty slowly, but that’s because they are hawks…wing design and wind patterns really help me out.” 

His photograph of the Gentoo penguins, happened in January of 2023. “My trip to Antartica was a bucket list thing, I had no idea I was going to fall in love with penguins.” Traveling with his wife Amanda and a few other friends on an 11 day cruise, the 75 year old had just the tool for trip. Using a Canon EOS R5, he shot the penguin trio at the “crossroads of three seperate penguin highways” on Danco Island. The three penguins happened to cross paths at the exact best moment for him to capture their image. 

Mayeda recalled “I think this was my first time entering the contest, and I came in 8th our of 2400 entries.” While the other photographers may have ranked higher in the contest results, Mayeda made the cover, a sort of bonus prize. 

“Of course, it inspires me to take more photos.” Culver City can look forward to some more fantastic wildlife photography from Mayeda.

Judith Martin-Straw



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