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Grand Prize Long Nguyen

Kofa Mountains at Dawn

Last spring, I visited Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to photograph the desert cactus and mountains. This particular location is famous for abundant teddy bear cholla against the dramatic backdrop of Kofa Mountain. I camped there overnight for sunrise. These mountains were quite magical at the first light of the day, just when the sun rose and shined on the desert floor. I tried to photograph this scene backlit since that allows the cholla needles to glow and pop out in the image. This image is a composite of two exposures, one for the sky and one foreground, due to the high dynamic range of the scene.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L l, Singh-Ray polarizer. Sky Exposure: 1/60 sec., ƒ/22, ISO 100. Foreground Exposure: 1/6 sec. ƒ/22, ISO 100.

 

Second Place Jennelle Marcereau

Secret Garden

I had visited this waterfall in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge in the summertime last year and felt as though I stepped into an oasis that only fairies knew about. I returned the following spring after a long winter of plentiful rain and reaped the benefits of fluorescent green foliage and high water flow.

Sony a7R II, Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM with Metabones adapter. Exposure: 1 sec., ƒ/20, ISO 50.

 

Third Place Eunice Eunjin Oh

A Daytime Full Moon

After spending some time to take a photo of White Sands National Monument in January 2017, I headed to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico to see the migration of the sandhill cranes. The weather was still very cold, so I stayed in the car and drove along the Rio Grande River very slowly. The daytime full moon among the winter trees caught my eye as it slowly rose to the sky. I had to pull out my camera to capture the unusual and wondrous scene. As the cranes prepared to migrate in the passing of winter, I was able to experience the life of imminent spring time as the moon rose with the morning sun.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Hoya circular polarizer, Gitzo tripod, Markins ballhead. Exposure: 1/500 sec., ƒ/8, ISO 200.

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