A Bug

Contest #2 Winner: Shawn Vogt!

A Bug’s Life by Shawn Vogt

Congratulation to Shawn Vogt – the winner of our Details in Nature contest! His shot was taken with a Canon 5D MkII and a 180mm macro lens with a 1.4x extender. We think it’s a beautiful shot. The gorgeous light and clean focus makes it stand out immediately.

Here’s what Shawn had to say about it: “The subject of this photo is a “salsify”, basically a really big dandelion (125mm diameter). It wasn’t until weeks after this “weed” caught my eye (and subsequently photographed), I was watching a documentary about Pixar and saw that this same “weed” was used as a parachute for the character “Flick”. I felt the name was appropriate…. Imagine the world from a bugs perspective?

“My original process of this image left the image looking too harsh, and too much detail, so I continued to “work” with some ideas in PS until this final (for now :-p) image emerged…

“Several techniques were used to achieve the final look of the photograph. 2 exposures were used for iHDR to blend in the setting sun. Then another RAW process (layer) of the original image to reduce clarity (and soften) in targeted parts of the image were blended in.”

Shawn wins a free webinar session! Congratulations, Shawn! Awesome work!

We’d also like to mention a few runners-up. We had lots of beautiful images, and it’s always very difficult to choose just one.

Here is Artem Sapegin’s shot from the Black Sea in Zubova schel, Russia. Says he, “I’ve made this shot just after sunset; last light from sky colored corner of the image and long exposure blurred water.” We love the pretty colors, and the juxtaposition of stones and water. Nice work, Artem!

Photograph by Artem Sapegin

We also liked Cristina Iacob’s shot from San Mateo County, California. Pebble beach is a fantastic place to shoot. It you are ever in the area, we highly recommend it! She says “The Pacific Ocean is quite a jeweler artist. I suppose there isn’t one single person who walked along on a beach and didn’t pick up a rock, a pebble, or a shell. This display of jasper stones was set by the tidal waves on a rock at Pebble Beach, San Mateo County, California. The area covered by this image is no larger than 3×3 inches.” Beautiful shot, Cristina!

Photography by Cristina Iacob

Mark Hespenheide says, “This is probably a larger scale than you might have had in mind, but it’s one of my favorite “detail” shots. I majored in geology as an undergraduate and had the good fortune to visit one of my professors/mentors 10 years later while he was on sabbatical working at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. He took me out to some of the fresh lava flows (1-3 weeks old) that still had the blue-purple tint characteristic of new lava; within about a month, the surface weathers to the more common gray or black. Late sunset light casts the warm highlights and help show texture.” Mark – we assure you that this is not larger scale than we had in mind. this is a great detail shot – and you captured it beautifully.

Photograph by Mark Hespenheide

And finally – a really nice shot from Vivek Sekar. He says the shot was taken “at the Helsinki botanical garden, with a slight resemblance to a Fibonacci curve for each preceding layer of petal.” The repeating patterns are gorgeous, Vivek! Well done!

Photograph by Vivek Sekar

We want to thank all of you for submitting image for our contest – and offer our congratulations to Shawn and all the runners up. It’s really cool too look through all the submitted images. Thanks for sharing your work, everyone!

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