1 st Place

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 INFO: 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.

(2nd Place

Above it All

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 INFO: Canon PowerShot S5 IS, autoexposure (data not recorded). Cropped in Microsoft Photo Editor.

(3rd Placed

Time to Reflect

The best things come to those who wait. Or, in former photography instructor VALERIE MCANINCH's case, those who get sick of waiting. She intended to take pictures from the top of the Sears Tower, but after spending an hour in line, she started looking around for other photo ops, and found this interesting angle in the mirrored ceiling of the elevator. McAninch, 51, is currently a freelance photographer studying graphic design and photo illustration in Springfield, OH. She took 2nd Place in our December 2007 contest for her black-and-white image of bungee jumpers. TECH INFO: Canon EOS Digital Rebel with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon zoom lens. Exposure, 1/30 sec at f/3.5, ISO 400. Converted to b&w in Adobe Photoshop CS2. &


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