2009 Your Best Shot Photo Contest Winners

We highlight the winners of our monthly contest.

David-Baures1

David-Baures1

*First Place December:* David Baures, 41, police officer, Arlington,VA “I wanted to show my Dodge Charger in motion, but watching my equipment dangling from a rig makes me nervous. So one night I drove to the parking lot of a local shopping center—blurred into streaks, illuminated signs imply speed. I mounted my camera to a Manfrotto Magic Arm, connected by heavy-duty suction cup to the car hood. Then I repeatedly opened the shutter while driving slowly in a circle.” *Tech specs:* Sony Alpha 300 with Sigma 10–20mm f/4.5–5.6 lens and Hoya polarizer. Exposure, 4 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100.David Baures
Elmerticas1

Elmerticas1

*Second Place December:* Elmerticas, 37, computer engineer, San Salvador, el Salvador “One morning, I arrived early at my office and stepped out to the terrace with my camera. The sun was rising behind a building under construction, and the workers had just started. When I saw the silhouette, I took three shots. I liked this one best.” *Tech specs:* Canon EOS Rebel XSi with Sigma 70–300mm f/4–5.6 lens; 1/125 sec at f/11, ISO 100.Elmerticas
Eric-Evans1

Eric-Evans1

*Third Place December:* Eric Evans, 16, student, Menlo Park, CA “I like the way lightbulbs look on the inside, and I thought light sparkling off the glass would look neat. I shot this on a table against a black blotter— the hard part was laying out shards with tweezers. I set a tripod-mounted Sony HVL-F42AM flash above and to the right, and triggered it optically.” *Tech specs:* Tripod-mounted Sony Alpha 100 with Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lens. Exposure, 1/800 sec at f/8, ISO 100. Minor fixes in Photoshop CS3.Eric Evans
Gene-Hilton1

Gene-Hilton1

*Third Place November:* Gene Hilton, 49, photographer, Durham, NC “In the yard one day I spotted these interesting, antlike red insects gathered on a leaf, and helped them ‘migrate’ to a different plant for a better shot. Then I noticed a ladybug and placed her in the frame. It’s a microcosm of life in my yard!” (www.genehiltonphotography.com) *Tech specs:* Nikon D200, Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Exposure, 1/250 sec at f/4.2, ISO 360. Minor adjustments in Photoshop.Gene Hilton
Larry-Andreasen1

Larry-Andreasen1

*Second Place November:* Larry Andreasen, 54, service technician, Tillamook, OR “I’ve lived in Oregon all my life, and since I became serious about photography three years ago, I’ve traveled to capture the state’s diverse beauty. This was near the Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The silhouette of the tree against a star-filled sky just worked.” *Tech specs:* Tripod-mounted Nikon D3 with 20–35mm f/2.8 Zoom- Nikkor. 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 3200, incamera noise reduction set to high.Larry Andreasen
Jeffrey-de-Guzman1

Jeffrey-de-Guzman1

*First Place November:* Jeffrey de Guzman, 39, construction worker, Quezon City, Philippines “I was on a night dive in Anilao, Batangas, when I saw this beautiful shrimp on top of coral. Shrimp are naturally shy, so I had to approach slowly. It took 30 minutes for me to get this close—this image is uncropped. I was shocked by the tiny hairs on the shrimp’s head when I saw the photo on my laptop—you can’t see that with your eyes.” *Tech specs:* Nikon D300, 105mm f/2.8G VR lens with SubSee Magnifier diopter, Inon underwater strobes, and Sea&Sea; MDX-D300 housing. Exposure, 1/200 sec at f/4.5, ISO 200.Jeffrey De Guzman
Gilles-Marcotte1

Gilles-Marcotte1

*Third Place July:* Gilles Marcotte, 42, an aspiring professional photographer from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, didn’t just roll out of bed to get this sunrise shot at the Lake Louise boat launch in Banff National Park, Alberta. He made the four-hour drive in the wee hours to arrive at the popular spot before the hordes of tourists intruded on this serene scene. *Tech info:* Tripod-mounted Nikon D80 with 18–70mm f/3.5–4.5G Nikkor IF-ED DX lens. Exposure, 1/45 sec at f/8, ISO 100. Converted in Adobe Camera RAW; minor adjustments to contrast, saturation and sharpening in Photoshop CS3.Gilles Marcotte
Danny-Nestor1

Danny-Nestor1

*Second Place July:* Living in New York City makes it a little hard to be a wildlife photographer, but I try and get out as much as I can,” says Danny Nestor, a detective in the New York City Police Department. He captured this lyrical yet action-packed photo at a roundup run at Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish, MT. Nestor kept his eye (and camera) trained on the galloping horses and clicked just as these three broke from the pack. Check out more of his photography at www.dannynest.tripod.com. *Tech specs:* Canon EOS 40D with 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L Canon EF IS lens. Exposure, 1/500 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400.Danny Nestor
Faisal-Almalki1

Faisal-Almalki1

*First Place July:* We always suggest looking for a new perspective on oft-photographed subjects, a concept Saudi Arabian marketing manger Faisal Almalki, 32, embraces. And we, in turn, have embraced the strong graphic sensibility he brings to his photos: He took first prize in this contest in June 2008 for his intense close-up of his mother’s eyes, and has now wowed us a second time with this complex interior view of the Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris. “There are so many famous photos of this building, and I was hoping to do one that shows it in a new way,” he says. “I was moving from one side to another when I noticed this ‘grand’ view of the bars holding the elevators, and I thought this was it.” See more of his work at www.exactish.com.Faisal Almalki
Jim-Messer1

Jim-Messer1

*Third Place September:* The giraffe-feeding station at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Jim Messer’s Florida hometown is usually too crowded to manage a good vantage point for a photograph. But with his new tele zoom, the call-center trainer, 37, was able to reach above the crowd to catch this moment. *Tech specs:* Canon EOS 40D with 70–200mm f/2.8L Canon lens. Exposure: 1/160 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100. Image not edited.Jim Messer
Charles-Scott1

Charles-Scott1

*Second Place September:* Ann Arbor, MI-based “freelance, globetrotting cameraman” Charles Scott, 53, visits Bangkok often. There last year, he noticed the contrasting colors of a restaurant and, inspired by a photo from Tokyo that he’d seen in National Geographic, shot this from the dining area upstairs. See more of his work at www.seascottphotography.com. *Tech specs:* Nikon D80 with 12–24mm f/4 Tokina lens. Exposure: 1/40 sec at f/4, ISO 1600. Minor cropping, curves and saturation adjustments in Photoshop CS3.Charles Scott
Nick-Fedrick1

Nick-Fedrick1

*First Place September:* Nick Fedrick, 62, a freelance photographer from San Jose, CA, built his career primarily in weddings and portraits, but his passion has always been for fineart and nature photography. He made this otherworldly close-up image of a protea flower during a chance stop at Sunrise Protea Farm in Maui, HI, by combining his bracketed exposures. Other photos from this series have been published in flower calendars. *Tech specs: *Tripod-mounted Nikon F4s with 28–105mm f/3.5–4.5D Zoom-Nikkor with a Tiffen circular polarizer. Exposures on Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film not recorded. Images scanned, then combined, and saturation and curves adjusted, in Adobe Photoshop CS3.Nick Fedrick
ALEX-WISE1

ALEX-WISE1

*Third Place August:* Twenty-two-year-old ALEX WISE, a social studies student at the University of Tasmania, traveled his city’s seedy underbelly to get this shot. This rivulet under Hobart, Tasmania, is cramped, wet, completely dark and known as a gathering place for “people doing things they shouldn’t be doing,” Wise says. He traveled with a friend to help him paint the tunnel with a flashlight for this otherworldly image. Check out more of his work at www.alexwisephotography.com. *Tech specs:* Tripodmounted Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT with 10–22mm f/3.5–4.5 Canon EF-S lens, with remote trigger. Exposure, 58 sec at f/3.5, ISO 100. Minor sharpening and Levels adjustment in Adobe Photoshop CS2.Alex Wise
BEN-BERGH1

BEN-BERGH1

*Second Place August:* BEN BERGH, 38, runs a media agency in Johannesburg, South Africa, and frequently photographs skateboarders. Sam, the athlete in this graphic image, found an abandoned, unfinished office building to skate in, and Bergh positioned himself one story below Sam. They agreed not to use the shot unless Sam landed the trick correctly— after 60 attempts, they finally got this result, which pleased them both. *Tech specs:* Nikon D3 with 24–70mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens with four remotetriggered Sunpak flashes. Exposure, 1/250 sec at f/9, ISO 250. Sharpening in Nikon Capture NX.Ben Bergh
STEPHEN-OACHS1

STEPHEN-OACHS1

*First Place August:* The old adage, “It’s the journey, not the destination” held true for software company owner STEPHEN OACHS, 38. He captured this moody image on the Sacramento River during a trip to Oregon from his home in San Jose, CA. “The river level was low enough at that time of year to expose the ‘tiles,’ and the earlymorning light illuminated the fog, giving the entire scene a surreal feeling,” Oachs says. His photos have previously taken prizes in Your Best Shot in both 2007 and 2008. See more of his work at www.stephenoachs.com.*Tech specs:* Tripod-mounted Canon EOS-1D Mark III with 24–105mm f/4L Canon lens and 3-stop Singh-Ray graduated neutraldensity filter. Exposure, 8 sec at f/22, ISO 100. Converted from RAW, with minor adjustment to white balance, exposure, and sharpness in Adobe Photoshop CS4.Stephen Oachs
Zeb-Andrews1

Zeb-Andrews1

*Third Place October:* Zeb Andrews, 31, has a knack for breaking the rules and getting it right. The camera-store employee from Portland, OR, nabbed this macro shot in the harsh midday sun at a dahlia festival, and last year he won this contest with a trippy, blurry forest scene. Check out www.zebandrews.com for more. *Tech specs:* Pentax 6x7 with 200mm f/4 and reversed 90mm f/2.8 Pentax lenses. Exposure, 1/250 sec at maximum aperture. Kodak Portra 160VC film scanned with Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED; dust removed in Adobe Photoshop CS3.Zeb Andrews
Ben-Hattenbach1

Ben-Hattenbach1

*Second Place October:* This picture-within-a-picture required both luck and skill. Los Angeles-based attorney Ben Hattenbach, 39, framed the window in a beached iceberg in Jökulsárlón, Iceland. Then he battled freezing temperatures and fading light waiting for another chunk of ice to float by. For more, visit www.flickr.com/photos/benh1. *Tech specs:* Tripod-mounted Hasselblad H3D with 50–110mm f/3.5–4.5 Hasselblad HC lens and B+W polarizing filter. Exposure, 1/8 sec at f/25, ISO 50. RAW conversion in Hasselblad FlexColor.Ben Hattenbach
Cheryl-Molennor1

Cheryl-Molennor1

*First Place October:* Part-time hair stylist Cheryl Molennor, 47, dreams of going on a photo safari in Africa. But she didn’t have to travel for this great egret—she saw it during mating season at a pond behind a strip mall in her hometown of New Port Richey, FL. See more of her work at www.passionartphoto.com. *Tech specs:* Canon EOS 40D with 300mm f/2.8L Canon lens and 2X teleconverter. Exposure, 1/160 sec at f/5.6, ISO 640. Background burned in with Adobe Photoshop CS2; noise reduced in Imagenomic Noiseware.Cheryl Molennor
DEB-BARICH1

DEB-BARICH1

*First Place June:* This isn’t the first time a winner found a subject to photograph while at work. Postal carrier DEB BARICH, 50, noticed this peony in the garden of one of her customers in Eugene, OR, and returned the next day with her husband RICK BARICH (also an avid flower photographer) to capture it. The couple used a wireless flash with a softbox to get diffuse light— perfect for soft, white petals. With such a carefully planned setup, it didn’t take them long to get this graceful photo. “After a few dozen shots, we found the jewel that showed the shadows and layers just right,” Deb Barich says. Check out more of the duo’s floral images at www.oregonmacro.com. *Tech specs:* Canon EOS Rebel XTi with 50mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens and Sunpak 622 Super Pro flash with mini softbox. Exposure: 1/125 sec at f/22, ISO 100. Color cast, curves and sharpness adjustments made in Adobe Photoshop CS.Deb Barich
DINA-GOLDSTEIN

DINA-GOLDSTEIN

*First Place May:* DINA GOLDSTEIN, a 39-year-old pro photographer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, has an eye for high-contrast color. We couldn’t resist the variety of shades in her photo of beads in a shop in Jerusalem. Goldstein says she had to tiptoe to get the right angle and light outside the shop. And her portrait of a woman eating an ice cream cone caught the attention of the judges of Pop Photo’s 15th Annual Readers’ Photo Contest for 2008—she won the People category. See more of her work at www.dinagoldstein.com. *Tech specs:* Nikon D80 with 17–55mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens. Exposure, 1/60 sec at f/4.5, ISO 400. Contrast increased in Adobe Photoshop CS3.Dina Goldstein
BRUCE-D.-BARNETT

BRUCE-D.-BARNETT

*Second Place April:* Some photos need very special gear. And we don’t mean the camera. Environmental consultant BRUCE D. BARNETT, 56, was soaring with his powered paraglider, a light motor and fabric wing that lets him fly without a plane. Above a rice field in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area near his hometown of Davis, CA, he cut the engine and took this graphic aerial photo. *Tech specs:* Canon PowerShot S5 IS, autoexposure (data not recorded). Cropped in Microsoft Photo Editor.Bruce D. Barnett
ANGELA-VINCENT

ANGELA-VINCENT

*First Place April:* Inner Beauty While you might set out to capture a particular image on a photo excursion, sometimes inspiration strikes when you step aside and take a break. ANGELA VINCENT, a 30-year-old healthcare marketer, was eating dinner with her family during a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden when she noticed a group of poppies and snapped off 30 frames of extreme close-ups. She didn’t have a tripod, so she braced herself on a bench to get this macro shot of the center of a flower—she says it’s often mistaken for a sea creature. *Tech specs:* Pentax K10D with 50mm f/2.8 Sigma EX DG macro lens. Exposure, 1/180 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100. Minor color correction and cropping in Adobe Photoshop 7.0.Angela Vincent
ED-VOISIN

ED-VOISIN

*Second Place March:* ED VOISIN, 58, has the access and opportunity to do some great nature photography at his job as a seismic inspector for Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Good thing, because spotting a well-camouflaged owl at midday is a rare occurance. Voisin, who lives in Houma, LA, shot this scene from his boat—the shade of the cypress trees and Spanish moss providing the perfect mix of light and shadow. *Tech specs:* Nikon D300 with an 18–200mm f/3.5–5.6 G Nikkor VR lens and Marumi circular polarizer. Exposure, 1/200 sec at f/7.1, ISO 800. Sharpening, brightness, contrast, and color adjusted in Nikon Capture NX, Microsoft Digital Imaging, and Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.Ed Voisin
ERNEST-J.-ARANYOSI

ERNEST-J.-ARANYOSI

*First Place March:* Talk about capturing the decisive moment! This photograph by 58-year-old ERNEST J. ARANYOSI, a certified public accountant from Uniontown, OH, is a perfect example of the combination of planning and luck. Vacationing in Nokomis, FL, he got up early to photograph egrets at sunrise. After he’d been at it for an hour, this great blue heron walked right up to him and scooped up a double fresh-fish breakfast. *Tech specs:* Tripod-mounted Nikon D700 with 400mm f/2.8 AFS-II Nikkor lens and polarizing filter. Exposure, 1/350 sec at f/8, ISO 800. Color balance, levels, curves, and sharpening adjusted in Adobe Photoshop CS2.Ernest J. Aranyosi
JAMES-ELLERKER

JAMES-ELLERKER

*Third Place February:* The Show Must Go On London-based pro photographer JAMES ELLERKER, 30, didn’t take no for an answer to get this image of Norman the Ringmaster backstage at Zippo’s Traveling Circus. It was difficult to get access and permission to take pictures, but his persistence paid off. This photo won gold in the London Photographic Awards in 2007 before he sent it to us. *Tech specs:* Hasselblad V-Series 501CM with 80mm lens. Exposure, 1/30 sec at f/4, on Kodak Portra 160VC. Minor retouching in Adobe Photoshop CS2.James Ellerker
BRETT-COHEN

BRETT-COHEN

*Second Place February: *Often the key to stunning photos is as simple as taking a small step outside your comfort zone. Network engineer BRETT COHEN, 40, usually shoots landscapes, but he decided to try some architectural photography at the Kimmel Center in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. The play of light and shadows with the reflections in the glass roof make this attempt a winner. *Tech specs:* Tripod-mounted Canon EOS 5D with 17–40mm f/4L USM Canon lens. Exposure, 1/2 sec at f/16, ISO 100. Converted to black-and-white in Adobe Photoshop CS3.Brett Cohen
BRET-EDGE

BRET-EDGE

*First Place February:* Utah-based nature photographer BRET EDGE, 38, knows how to work a scene. He won third place in Your Best Shot in July 2007 for his new take on Arches National Park, and he’s managed to transform the oft-photographed site again with this wintry image. “I often visit the same locations in an attempt to create something completely different from what most have seen,” he says. “In this case, I have the standard photograph at sunrise and at sunset. I’ve also light-painted the arch with star trails in the sky and photographed it during a snowstorm. I find it to be a creative challenge.” Check out more of his work at www.bretedge.com. *Tech info:* Tripod-mounted Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and 24–105mm f/4L Canon lens with Singh- Ray polarizer. Exposure, 1/50 sec at f/22, ISO 100. Minor color corrections and adjustments in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS2.Bret Edge