The 2012 Readers' Photo Contest Winners

Our Readers wowed the judges with thousands of great images

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Grand Prize Winner: Jim Golden, 38, photographer, Portland, OR Rob Roy, a friend of the photographer, has been collecting these scissors for 20 years. Sourced from all over the world, "they tell the tale of trades in which they have been plied," Jim Golden says. The meticulous arrangement was an ambitious undertaking; Golden found himself spending hours preparing the shot only to scrap the arrangement and start over. His final shot is breathtaking, if paradoxical; a completed puzzle of distinct yet similar objects. Golden says he has been shooting apparel and footwear in this style commercially for years (jimgoldenstudio.com), and wanted to try the technique on his friend's collection."I like to photograph surveys of objects or people, then take a step back and look at the images as a group," he says. "It's my way of exploring a subject." Tech specs: Hasselblad H3D2-39 with 50mm f/3.5 II Hasselblad HC lens, tethered to 27-inch Apple iMac with Hasselblad Phocus; 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 50. Profoto D4 2400 pack, Acute/D4 head, and Giant 7-foot umbrella bounced into white cyclorama, mounted on Avenger C-stands; PocketWizard Plus 2, Really Right Stuff L bracket and Arca mounting system; Majestic geared tripod head on 10-foot Foba Asaba stand. Retouching and five-shot bracket combined in Photoshop CS5.Jim Golden

From the shores of South Africa to a basement in Lincoln, NE, you, our readers, found beautiful images wherever they lurked. Whether the subject was glamorous and exotic or simply a collection of household items, this year’s submissions impressed our editors enough that we had a very hard time picking our finalists.

The 2012 edition of our Readers’ Contest just proves what we already knew: You can make great pictures.

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Grand Prize Winner: Jim Golden, 38, photographer, Portland, OR Rob Roy, a friend of the photographer, has been collecting these scissors for 20 years. Sourced from all over the world, "they tell the tale of trades in which they have been plied," Jim Golden says. The meticulous arrangement was an ambitious undertaking; Golden found himself spending hours preparing the shot only to scrap the arrangement and start over. His final shot is breathtaking, if paradoxical; a completed puzzle of distinct yet similar objects. Golden says he has been shooting apparel and footwear in this style commercially for years (jimgoldenstudio.com), and wanted to try the technique on his friend's collection."I like to photograph surveys of objects or people, then take a step back and look at the images as a group," he says. "It's my way of exploring a subject." Tech specs: Hasselblad H3D2-39 with 50mm f/3.5 II Hasselblad HC lens, tethered to 27-inch Apple iMac with Hasselblad Phocus; 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 50. Profoto D4 2400 pack, Acute/D4 head, and Giant 7-foot umbrella bounced into white cyclorama, mounted on Avenger C-stands; PocketWizard Plus 2, Really Right Stuff L bracket and Arca mounting system; Majestic geared tripod head on 10-foot Foba Asaba stand. Retouching and five-shot bracket combined in Photoshop CS5.Jim Golden
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Action/Sports Winner: Tri Nguyen, 39, technology consultant and photographer, Alexandria, VA Tri Nguyen's visceral perspective on the world of professional boxing has caught our attention more than once; in fact, he won First Prize in our November 2012 Your Best Shot competition. This plaintive photograph of Todd "White Lightning" Wilson, bleeding from the head in the ring after absorbing an accidental head-butt early in a fight, shows why. Shooting ringside, Nguyen (www.georgetownproductions.com) found this solitary moment during a fight so rough that Nguyen had to wipe blood off his camera lens between rounds. Isolating his subject from spectators, coaches, and his opponent, Nguyen expertly captures the fighter's dogged determination and focus that led him to victory. Tech specs: Canon EOS 7D with 50mm f/1.2L Canon EF lens; 1/500 sec at f/1.8, ISO 1600. Crop and exposure adjusted in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.Tri Nguyen
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Nicholai Go I was busy doing a shoot with a breakdance crew in the Philippines called Riot Kings, when it started raining strongly. We decided to use the rain to our advantage and the results was far beyond what I expected. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D800, FOCAL LENGTH: 50 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/320, LENS: 50 mm f/1.4, ISO: 320, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/1.8Nicholai Go
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Jeanne McGee Taken during the barrel racing segment of a rodeo. Hand held, panning the action and letting my chosen f/stop and shutter capture the feeling of movement and the intensity of the ride. No work in photoshop except to remove dust spots. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D700, FOCAL LENGTH: 300, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/30, LENS: Nikkor 70-300, ISO: 640, APERTURE (F-STOP): 8Jeanne McGee
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Robert Schroeter The first hurdle of a girls 100m hurdles at a high school track meet. Track meet was at McGill High School in Mobile, AL. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Sony Alpha a77, FOCAL LENGTH: 35 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1250, LENS: 16-50mm, ISO: 1250, APERTURE (F-STOP): 7.1Robert Schroeter
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Joe Yang I wanted to use panning technique with relatively slow shutter speed to blur out the background and leaving only the racer in focus. This turned out to be very tricky thing to do because the motorcycle was moving so fast and I had to take the picture with my both eyes open so that I can see my subject as well as in the viewfinder. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon 5D MarkII, FOCAL LENGTH: 270mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60, LENS: EF70-200 f/2.8L II IS USM, w/2X converter, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/13Joe Yang
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Wei Seng Chen A jockey takes two bulls to run across a wet rice field in a race in Sumatra, Indonesia. This was an event held in between rice planting and harvest seasons, and villages compete against each other for the top prize. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, FOCAL LENGTH: 220mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/500s, LENS: Canon EF100-400mm, ISO: 800, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/8Wei Seng Chen
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Chris DeLorenzo A lot of the traditional Parkour or Freerunning shots seemed to lack the drama that I was looking for. In this instance I utilized the setting sun, lens flare and the silhouetted jumper to add visual impact to the photograph. The fast shutter speed captured the backlit teenager taking a 'leap of faith' from the wooden post some 15 feet above the sand. Having that trust between subject and photographer is crucial in nailing the perfect moment. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, FOCAL LENGTH: 24mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/800, LENS: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, ISO: 320, APERTURE (F-STOP): 5.6Chris DeLorenzo
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Cassandra Plavoukos Isaiah is an amazingly talented and creative dancer. We had SO much fun on this shoot. Idea after Idea kept flowing. This was one of the last shots taken during our almost 5 hour shoot and he still had the stamina and drive to pull it off. The idea behind it was for him to appear as though he was walking on air.Cassandra Plavoukos
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Brent Clark Orange groves near Mesa Arizona provide a nice backdrop for a classic WWII trainer, the North American T-6. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D-700, FOCAL LENGTH: 70mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/90 sec, LENS: Nikon 70-200mm VRII, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/8Brent Clark
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Brian Frank Captured a member of the Navy sky dive team at he Miramar airshow. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon 7D, FOCAL LENGTH: 28mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60, LENS: EF 28-135 IS, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/22Brian Frank
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Action/Sports Runner-up: Tri Nguyen Former Cruiserweight world champ Steve Cunningham was moving up to the Heavyweight class and in his first bout, faced a tough but overmatched opponent in Jason Gavern. Cunningham thoroughly punished Gavern for 10 rounds on his way to a decision victory. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon 7D, FOCAL LENGTH: 50mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/640, LENS: 50mm f1.2L, ISO: 500, APERTURE (F-STOP): f1.8Tri Nguyen
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Animals Winner: Paul Rode, 42, physician, Cranbrook, British Columbia On vacation in South Africa, Paul Rode was determined to get a shot of bodysurfing African penguins at Table Mountain National Park near Simon’s Town. But it was this photo of a solitary bird that won the day. His composition is inspired; massive boulders lead the eye through the frame, clearly defining the subject despite its diminutive stature. “This little guy stood still only for a few seconds,” Rode says. “I knew the shot depended on the penguin turning its head.” Fortunately, his model cooperated, pivoting for a moment before diving off the rock and into the ocean. Tech specs: Nikon D300s with 70–200mm f/2.8G II ED AF-S Nikkor lens at 200mm; 1/320 sec at f/5.6, ISO 320. Focus-point adjustment and black-and-white conversion in Apple Aperture 3.Paul Rode
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Animals Runner-up: Amelia Dudley A baby sea lion mugs for the camera on my Galapagos trip. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon N7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 250mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1000, LENS: Nikor 70-300mm 4-5.6,ISO: 1600,APERTURE (F-STOP): f/5.6Amelia Dudley
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Animals Runner-up: Darcy Schwanke My husband was watering our windbreak. I went down to see how he was getting along. Our dog spotted these wandering out by the cattle bunks. They saw us and ran up the nearest gate post. I quickly headed for the house for my good camera. Thankfully they were still there when we got back. I cranked up the ISO as I did not want to use flash. I took a few pictures and left with our dog so the baby raccoons could climb down and join their mom who was observing/growling from a big round haybale. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon EOS 50D, FOCAL LENGTH: 85mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250, LENS: EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM, ISO: 1250, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/1.2Darcy Schwanke
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Animals Runner-up: Shelle Singer I was photographing my cats using a small strobe and soft box. I had a black velvet cloth with red satin lining on the table (black up) and using that as a backdrop and table covering. Charlie the cat decided to check out how thing were going under the table. He poked his head through a slit in the cloth and was framed by the red lining. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D700, FOCAL LENGTH: 112mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/160, LENS: AF-VR Zoom Nikkor 70-300,ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): 5.6Shelle Singer
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Animals Runner-up: Bhavya Joshi I was photographing an indian flapshell turtle at night, suddenly behind the turtle, I noticed this eye come out from the pond. I was shocked to see that there was also a baby marsh crocodile in the pond. I got 2 shots before it disappeared. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon 550D, FOCAL LENGTH: 100mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/200s, LENS: Canon 100mm Macro, ISO: 400, APERTURE (F-STOP): 10Bhavya Joshi
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Animals Runner-up: Michael Watts Female Hooded Merganser after her bath. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D700, FOCAL LENGTH: 600, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/4000, LENS: Nikon 600mm, ISO: 400, APERTURE (F-STOP): 4Michael Watts
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Animals Runner-up: Stacey Denham We were on the last leg of a safari and our truck had stopped close to a mud hole. Nothing exciting was happening until this beast moves with great effort through the mud. I am hanging half my body out the side window of the truck to get a shot, zebras and rhinos on one side, buffalo on the other. I call to this beast like I call my dog, and with tremendous effort he grunts, turns his head towards me and stares me down as if he waited all day for me to come out and take his portrait. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 220, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1000, LENS: Nikkor 70-300, ISO: 450, APERTURE (F-STOP): 5.0Stacey Denham
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Animals Runner-up: Brandi Mueller While diving I came across this beautiful green and purple anemone and loved the contrast with the bright orange fish. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D90, FOCAL LENGTH: 105mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/200, LENS: 105mm, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): 14 _Brandi Mueller
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Animals Runner-up: Linda Flickinger I was taking pictures of the hummingbirds at the feeder when this little finch flew in and stole the show! He looked so funny that I just HAD to take his picture! Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: NIKON D90, FOCAL LENGTH: 300, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250 sec, LENS: 200mm, ISO: 400,APERTURE (F-STOP): F/5.6 _Linda Flickinger
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Animals Runner-up: Karl Bednarek Taken at the Lakota Wolf Preserve in western NJ near the Delaware Water Gap on a damp March morning. The day was cloudy with a fine mist; frustrating conditions. The wolves roam in several acre sanctuaries and are attracted closer with snacks by the handlers of this wonderful preserve. This wolf seemed to pose for a split second. Right place at the right time. Lucky! Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D3s, FOCAL LENGTH: 300 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250s, LENS: Nikkor VR 28-300, ISO: 1000, APERTURE (F-STOP): 5.6 _Karl Bednarek
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Cities/Architecture Winner: Faisal Almalki, 36, marketing consultant, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Faisal Almalki had been dreaming of visiting the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi ever since it opened. “But by the time I made it,” he explains, “I had already seen hundreds of beautiful photos of its every corner.” Almalki scoured the grounds for the perfect location and finally settled on this row of gold-topped columns, with the mosque’s panels of white marble acting as an ideal reflector. Looking to add a touch of life and to give the viewer a sense of scale without drawing too much attention away from the architecture, Almalki paused before clicking the shutter. He waited until a female visitor, clad in the traditional ayaba covering, crossed into view. With her presence, he knew he had the shot. And we were just as mesmerized as he was by this stunning exercise in visual contrast and perspective. Tech specs: Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 24–105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF lens at 84mm; 1/125 sec at f/5, ISO 100. RAW conversion in Canon Digital Photo Pro; Contrast and levels adjusted in Photoshop CS5.Faisal Almalki
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Cities/Architecture Runner-up: Jim Lou The view from 94th floor of John Hancock observatory. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 16mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/160sec, LENS: Tokina 11-16, ISO: 160,APERTURE (F-STOP): f10 _Jim Lou
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Cities/Architecture Runner-up: Dayle Ann Clavin In the San Francisco Museum of modern art light falls through ceiling sky lights forming lines and patterns and back lighting the people on the high bridge.Dayle Ann Clavin
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Cities/Architecture Runner-up: Levent Erutku I took this picture in Real Alcazar, Sevilla-Spain. It is the magnificent ceiling of The Ambassadors Room. Real Alcazar inspired me perhaps more than any other Monument and Palace I got to see in Andalusia. I had to see it twice in order to get the photographs that I wanted. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D800, FOCAL LENGTH: 50mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/100 sec, LENS: Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G, ISO: 3200, APERTURE (F-STOP): 1.6 _Levent Erutku
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Cities/Architecture Runner-up: Alvaro Pardo This photo shows a too common sight in Hong Kong: high-rise, high-density apartment buildings where whole families live in very small spaces Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Sony SLT-A77, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/13, LENS: DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/5.6 _Alvaro Pardo
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Cities/Architecture Runner-up: Faisal Almalki Long exposure & zoom of Milwaukee Museum of Art.Faisal Almalki
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Cities/Architecture Runner-up: Faisal Almalki Domes at Sheikh Zayed MosqueFaisal Almalki
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Nature/landscapes Winner: Peter Lik, 52, president and photographer, LIK USA, Las Vegas, NV Trekking into the flooded Columbia River Gorge in Oregon (against the advice of park rangers), Peter Lik (www.lik.com)waded in neck-deep water while holding his gear above his head and struggling to get to a spot shallow enough to unfold his tripod. As he stood in awe of the scene before him, the sun poured into the gorge just long enough for Lik to fire off three frames. "The shafts of light in the canyon were among the most amazing things I've ever seen," says Lik. "Adrenaline kicked in, and the sight of the weeping walls blew my mind." A small aperture helped render the "weeping" walls with incredible sharpness, and the vanishing point leads us into the abyss. Tech specs: Phase One IQ180 with Phase One AF 75–150mm f/4.5 lens at 150mm; 1/4 sec at f/16, ISO 35. Really Right Stuff tripod, edits in Capture One Pro 6 and Photoshop CS6.Peter Lik
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Morris Burke This is a photo of mycena mushrooms. They are about 1 to 2 1/2 inches in height. Original image was processed in Photoshop CS5. A shaggy Fractalius filter was used and the pasted over the original and the blend mode was used to bring back some of the original color. Color balance was also used to add some red. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon Rebel XS, FOCAL LENGTH: 100 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 5 seconds, LENS: EF 100mm f2.8 macro USM, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f 25__Morris Burke
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Monica Nishimoto Going to Canada was my third attempt to see the Northern Lights. I got really lucky on my second day there and saw a spectacular show.Monica Nishimoto
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Jennifer Moews While walking in the Silver Jack area, I found a small pool of water the bottom of which was just covered with small bubbles. It looked like a million little eyes looking up at me. It was really fascinating! Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Kodak EasyShare CX4230, FOCAL LENGTH: 14mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/949, LENS: 36-108mm Kodak Retinar Aspheric Lens, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): 4.3 _Jennifer Moews
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Willie Huang How often do you see a Calla Lily grove, the pacific ocean, and a lush green valley all in one place? This spring I made this shot come true at the Calla Lily grove in Big Sur. It was a calm evening with thin high clouds that provided the perfect backdrop at sunset. This was probably one of the most amazing groves of flowers I had ever seen. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 5D Mark II, FOCAL LENGTH: 17mm, LENS: EF 17-40mm f/4 _Willie Huang
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Philp Bull Mesa Arch in Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 5D Mark II, FOCAL LENGTH: 23mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/5 s, LENS: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/22 _Philp Bull
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Kyrce Culbertson I bought an ND filter to work on some long exposures of clouds to create some interesting black and white images but one day overlooking the beach I came up with this shot which ended up looking a lot better in color. I liked it better square, probably from years of buying too many CDs, which has given me a bias towards square photos. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 40D, FOCAL LENGTH: 14 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 30 seconds, LENS: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/25 _Kyrce Culbertson
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Robert Wagoner Shot was composed of a portion of one of the hot geothermal pools near Old Faithful Lodge. After taking wide angle shots of the complete pool and environs I began to focus on portions of the pools as abstractions with multiple rich colors & textures, composing for the flow of the color. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 26mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60 EV-0.0, LENS: Nikon 18-200mm, ISO: 160, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/14 _Robert Wagoner
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Sidney Phillips Evening photo of the Great Sand Dunes, Colorado Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Leica V-Lux-2, FOCAL LENGTH: 36.7mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/400, LENS: DC.vario-elmarit, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f.4.0 _Sidney Phillips
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Jared Ropelato Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho is nicknamed the “Niagara Falls of the West”. It is a grand site for sure. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 5D MKII, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1 second, LENS: 16-35mm, ISO: 50, APERTURE (F-STOP): 11 _Jared Ropelato
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Jared Ropelato A photographer focuses on making a great photograph among the giant ridges of Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 5D MKII, FOCAL LENGTH: 200mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/5 Sec, LENS: 70-200 f2.8, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): 8 _Jared Ropelato
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Dwain H Hansen A view of the Nuuanu Pali (cliff) with a drop of 2000 feet to the valley floor. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Sony Alpha A-700, FOCAL LENGTH: 45mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/320, LENS: Sony 18-250 Zoom, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): f6.3 _Dwain H Hansen
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Jim Shoemaker The setting sun creates God Rays behind the Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park.Jim Shoemaker
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Nature/Landscapes Runner-up: Alan Brock Sunrise on the north shores of Maui. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 5D Mark II, FOCAL LENGTH: 16mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 13s, LENS: Canon 16-35mm f2.8, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): 16 _Alan Brock
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Objects/Still Life Winner: Karen Harris, 69, retired music teacher, Lincoln, NE A former trumpet major at the University of Nebraska, Karen Harris has more than a few wind instruments in her basement to serve as models for her photography. While making this surrealistic image of her instrument of choice, her biggest enemy was glare. So she combated that unwanted shine with a tiny aperture, a long exposure, a black velvet backdrop, and a well-placed piece of cardboard. But it’s the optical swirl that injects movement into an otherwise stationary subject—she added just the right amount of distortion in Photoshop after the shoot. Music was the driving force behind her aesthetic choice. “The inspiration for the distortion came from the idea of the fluidity of music,” Harris says. “How it is never still, but always moving.” Tech specs: Nikon D200 with 60mm AF Micro Nikkor lens; 13 sec at f/36, ISO 200. Spot removal and Pinch Distortion Filter in Adobe Photoshop CS5.Karen Harris
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Objects/Still Life Runner-up: Laddy Ospanik Taken with Helicon focus stacking. Later, converted to black and white with Silver Efex 2. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 100mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/20, LENS: Tokina 100mm macro, ISO: 400, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/20__Laddy Ospanik
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Objects/Still Life Runner-up: Joseph Crocco I captured this macro of a stick match just as it ignited. To light this photo, I used a single strobe, camera left with an 8 inch snoot, triggered by a Cactus V4. With my Nikon D200 was mounted on a tripod, I manually focused on the match head and used the camera's self timer, to eliminate camera shake. Using the self timer also freed my hands to ignite the match with a lighter. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D200, FOCAL LENGTH: 85mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250, LENS: Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G VR, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/11 _Joseph Crocco
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Objects/Still Life Runner-up: John M. Pender I emulated the old masters style with this still life. No artificial light ,only available light w/ diffuser and a reflector. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D40 X, FOCAL LENGTH: 60 MM, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50, LENS: Nikon 60 MM Macro, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): 6.3 _John M. Pender
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Objects/Still Life Runner-up: Roberto Greco "Budgie and Pomegranate" is taken from my series "After Still Life". It is a point of view of a photo to a new and allegorical dimension. My aim is not to distance myself from classical masters, my pictures put us in my world of passion, opulence and sexuality. With a certain sense of humor and cynicism, I break the stereotype of classical Still Life by adding disturbing elements like pets. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Mamiya RZ, FOCAL LENGTH: 250mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125, LENS: Mamiya, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f://8 _Roberto Greco
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Objects/Still Life Runner-up: Domenic Bahmann 200 years ago, the moon was the primary source of light at night. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Pentax K-5, FOCAL LENGTH: 28 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/160, LENS: Sigma 28mm f1.8 ex dg macro, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): 6.3 _Domenic Bahmann
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Objects/Still Life Runner-up: Jim Golden Still life project that revived my childhood memories of camping in the 70's. To see the rest of the images from this series, go to Still Life 2 portfolio at www.jimgoldenstudio.com. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Hasselblad H3D2-39, FOCAL LENGTH: 50mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/160sec, LENS: 3.5 lens, ISO: 50, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/8 _Jim Golden
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Objects/Still Life Runner-up: Ken Renk Mexican wrestling masks on display in vendor's stall on Olvera Street.. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 40D, FOCAL LENGTH: 52 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/200 sec, LENS: Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/4.5 _Ken Renk
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People Winner: Marc Lamey, 50, sales executive, Paris, France An homage to the music video for Kylie Minogue’s duet with Nick Cave, “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” this shot is from Marc Lamey’s series Women, Water, and Color. The serene look on the model’s face belies the fact that she is about to be enveloped by the black water (dyed with food coloring); Lamey says the image speaks to the duality of water as a sustainer of life as well as a potential instrument of death. Her gaze is undeniably magnetic, and her captivating green eyes seem to pull us into the depths with her. Shooting with a 50mm lens forced Lamey to get up close and personal with the subject. “It’s usually said to be uncomfortable,” Lamey says. “But being close up creates a strong link with the model within their personal space, and makes for strong portraiture.” Tech specs: Nikon D700 with 50mm f/1.4G Nikkor AF-S lens; 1/250 sec at f/6.3, ISO 1000. Two Nikon SB900 Speedlights with umbrellas. Curves, vibrance, contrast, and clarity adjusted in Lightroom 4.Marc Lamey
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People Runner-up: Melissa Hanes A young boy seeing out into the world with filtered eyes. Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/100, LENS: Nikon 35mm 1.8, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/9 _Melissa Hanes
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People Runner-up: Melissa Hanes Sometimes we are all just "Shades of Grey". Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Nikon D7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 35mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/320, LENS: Nikon 35mm 1.8, ISO: 400, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/2.8 _Melissa Hanes
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People Runner-up: Ian Pettigrew Taken in Hamilton, ON. This is part of my series of Street Portraits. King St., Artcrawl, July 2012. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon EOS 5DMII, FOCAL LENGTH: 85, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/320, LENS: 85, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): 1.8 _Ian Pettigrew
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People Runner-up: Charles Bruno Photo shoot of a coworker in the heat of the action. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 7D, FOCAL LENGTH: 32mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250, LENS: 24-105mm, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): 5.6 _Charles Bruno
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People Runner-up: Jessica Lince I was photographing a newborn and her son wanted some photos taken of himself. So I told him to stand in front of the backdrop and say cheese. He did that then decided, as any kid would, to make faces and stare blankly into the camera. Needless to say I got a few focused shots and this was one of them. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon EOS 30D, FOCAL LENGTH: 50, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/40, LENS: Canon EF 50mm f1.8, ISO: 600, APERTURE (F-STOP): 2 _Jessica Lince
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People Runner-up: John Gasca Originally shot for a competition called 'Light'. Thanks to my Model, Cassie Walter. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 7D, FOCAL LENGTH: 18mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60, LENS: Canon 18-55, ISO: 320, APERTURE (F-STOP): 8.0 _John Gasca
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People Runner-up: Justin Skinner A woman holds up books and imagines what is next. _Tech Specs: _ CAMERA: Canon 5D Mark II, FOCAL LENGTH: 55 mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60, LENS: Canon EF24-105mm, ISO: 100, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/9 _Justin Skinner
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People Runner-up: Erberto Zani Children playing in a small village in the north of Ghana (Africa). _Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon Eos 1D Mark III, FOCAL LENGTH: 16, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/60, LENS: 16-36, ISO: 500, APERTURE (F-STOP): 4,0 _Erberto Zani
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People Runner-up: Ben Johnson This was Lt. Lemay retirement photo after 30 years of service. Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D7000, FOCAL LENGTH: 24mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50, LENS: 24mm sigma f1.8, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): 14Ben Johnson
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People Runner-up: Brad Cook I was exploring a large meat market in Macau, China. This stall represented the typical scene as far as products go but the energy and hamminess of the lady was above and beyond anything else. Initially I was drawn to the scene by the character in the man's face but the woman's antics quickly took center stage. I'm not a very active street shooter but I was glad that I was photographing on this day. _Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D5000, FOCAL LENGTH: 34mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/100, LENS: Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, ISO: 400, APERTURE (F-STOP): F/4.0 _Brad Cook
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**People Runner-up: Antonio GibottaAntonio Gibotta
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People Runner-up: Mike Savoia I met Art on the Queensryche Cabaret tour in 2010. I wanted to do a shoot with him from that day on. It took me 2 years to figure out a location because I knew it had to be unique, with an emphasis on his heritage, look & spiritual feel. I think we caught it 2500ft up! Tech Specs: CAMERA: Nikon D700, FOCAL LENGTH: 16mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250, LENS: Nikon Fisheye 16mm, ISO: 200,APERTURE (F-STOP): F/22Mike Savoia
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People Runner-up: Sam Hodge A casual rest in-between dives on a gorgeous sunny day in South Florida allowed time to play around. Passengers on a boat snorkle and wiggle their toes in the calm ocean. Split photography capturing a scene above and below the water in a single image challenges the most professional of cameras and photographers alike. This was a tight image with no cropping and attention to topside colors alongside white balance and lighting below water had to be considered in manual mode. _Tech Specs: CAMERA: Canon 7D, FOCAL LENGTH: 10mm, SHUTTER SPEED: 1/160, LENS: Tokina 10-17mm, ISO: 200, APERTURE (F-STOP): f/16 _Sam Hodge
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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.Siddhartha Varma