People’s Choice Winner: Siddhartha Varma, 26, web developer, Herndon, VA
Visitors to PopPhoto.com voted this photograph as a favorite, and we are inclined to agree. Driving to work early one morning, Siddhartha Varma noticed a vista that was just too pretty to ignore. Though he quickly pulled his car just off the road, it wasn’t until just as he was about to pack up and continue on his way that “these deer came out of nowhere.” He notes: “I was just lucky enough to shoot them.” Framed by the tree branches and the rising mist, the riverbed’s blue hue gives the image a mystical, otherworldly quality that prompted Varma to name the image “Pandora—Heaven on Earth.” Take into account the fact that he shot handheld with a massive telephoto lens, and his ability to freeze the deer amid the morning fog becomes all the more impressive.
Tech specs: Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 400mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon EF lens; 1/320 sec at f/4, ISO 500. Sharpening and vibrance adjusted in Lightroom 3.