1st Place: Jamming Jellies
Underwater photography without getting wet? Sure, just ask SNEHENDU KAR. A professor at UCLA's School of Public Health, the 72-year-old likes to photograph at the Long Beach (CA) Aquarium. To avoid flash glare, he positioned his camera at a 45-degree angle as close to the aquarium window as he could get it without touching the glass, and prefocused on a spot.
"I had to take hundreds of pictures for just a few that came out well," he tells us.
Tech info: Nikon D100 with 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G DX Nikkor lens. Exposure, 1/60 sec at f/8. Built-in flash. Adjustments made in Adobe Photoshop 7.
2nd Place: City Lights
Early one evening, Chicago resident STEVEN JONES hit the streets with his camera, a tripod, and a friend, planning to shoot the "amazing" colored lights of the bridges downtown. Instead, the 17-year-old, now a senior in high school, turned around and caught this passerby in a composition seemingly made for black and white.
"I cropped the photo square to eliminate a lot of buildings on the left cluttering up the scene," he says. "I've been experimenting with the square format lately."
Tech info: Tripod-mounted Canon EOS Digital Rebel with 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 Tokina lens. Exposure, 1 sec at f/8, ISO 100. Converted to b&w and cropped in Adobe Photoshop CS.
3rd Place: A Small World
As soon as it stopped raining in Oxford Station, Ontario, WENDY STEVENSON, 45, grabbed her camera and ran to the back yard. "Rain is such a great saturator of color," she says. The stay-at-home mother found this ladybug clinging to a shasta daisy.
Not shy to direct her model, "I scooted him over a bit," she recalls. "He was very obliging."
Tech info: Canon EOS Digital Rebel with 100mm f/2 EF Canon lens. Exposure, 1/20 sec at f/13, ISO 100. Shot in RAW; levels and hue/saturation adjusted, cropped, and sharpened in Adobe Photoshop CS.