MAY 2010: 1st Place

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Prize Phillip Wise, 30, Wedding Photographer, Bend, OR “This shot was taken a few blocks from downtown Cannon Beach, OR. My wife and I go every year for about a week. This year we were staying on a part of the beach that was new to me, and I went out to watch the sunset, bringing my camera with me. It was a very windy and rainy night. There were an unusual number of birds around that week—mostly pelicans, but some seagulls, and they were all gathered on the beach. Just as the sun was setting, the clouds opened up, and I don’t know why, but the birds all took off at once. I crouched down to capture it, setting my camera to Matrix metering and underexposing a bit. Fortunately, the weather had kept everyone away, so I had a clear view. It was amazing to see.” ( Tech Specs: Nikon D700 with 17–35mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens. Exposure, 1/320 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100. Minor adjustments in adobe Camera raw and Photoshop.