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Your Best Shot 2019 Grand Prize Winner and Finalists

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

Are you ready? Drumroll Please! Here are the Printique by Adorama top 12 finalists for Your Best Shot of 2019 and the Grand Prize Winner!

All of the finalists dazzled us with their photography and post-production skills.  The photographers have been kind enough to reveal their secrets to their respected pictures. Some required very little post, others extensive. However, the one thing they all have in common is that they are amazing at their craft and we are so proud to introduce them to our community.  Each will receive an exclusive Printique photo book showcasing all 12 beautiful images. Now, let’s have a peek at how these images came to be.

Grand Prize Winner Marianne Barnett with Coming at Me

Photo Credit: Marianne Barnett

I was on a photo workshop in The Camargue France. A few other photographers were standing up to take photos of the horses being herded towards us. I’m a horse person. I have horses. Horses will not step on humans. Based on this knowledge I laid on my stomach in the water. One horse got separated from the herd and was coming straight at me. The other photographers ran. I stayed and prayed/hoped the horse wouldn’t fall or trip on me by accident. Once the horse narrowly missed me, I rolled over holding my camera out of the water. One of the other photographers yelled at me, “Did you get that shot?”. I showed them and they were stunned I got the shot and that it was perfectly even with the horizon of the water. Horses are my main focus in photography and I do portraits. Horses of the Camargue are my reward to photograph.

Camera and Post Info: Camera Nikon D850 and Lens Nikon af-s 70-200mm f2.8 fl ed vr lens

Photo Credit: Christopher Muncy

I had been photographing the USAF Honor Guard down in DC off and on for a few years while I was an assignment with another unit on the same base. Those folks were always fantastic, and always up for a shoot. We had been talking about doing some photo training and taking some shots on the mall for a while, and towards the end of my tour a spot on their schedule opened up. There were only four or five Honor Guard members, along with myself and another photographer. We had to take turns keeping the background clear of tourists, which was a bit like herding cats – we’d have about thirty seconds to a minute of shooting before a pack of folks would come swarming in to take their shots, and then we’d have to clear them out again.

So this was one of the very last shots in the set – the sun was under the horizon and we were losing the light, as I recall. I underexposed the background by a couple of stops and compensated with the two flashes. There’s a little bit of editing in the final shot – some contrast and color correction – but not much beyond that. We had the team members throw their rifles a few more times, trying to form an “X” over the Washington Monument, and just sort of lucked out.

Camera and Post Info: Nikon D4 and Sigma 35mm 1.4 lens at dusk, shot at 1.4 and 1/800 of a second at ISO 500. I triggered a pair of Flashpoint eVolve 200 strobes on either side of the airmen.

Photo Credit: Matt Fischer

This was our sixth-day trekking in the Peruvian Andes: we descended to the valley in this image amongst thousands of these vibrant lupines. I developed a vision for the image I wanted here and I could not let it go. That night I climbed to a vantage point on the hillside where I thought the angle into the crux of the valley would work for the shot. Sadly, the sunset was nonexistent. We decided to stay another night at this camp and the next day consisted of 8 hours of off-trail scrambling and exploration; by the time we returned to camp I was too exhausted to try for this image again. I awoke the following morning to a fresh blanket of snow and a determined demeanor. I ascended ~600 feet to reach this spot and came away with the image you see here.  For some context, this was taken at about 16,500 feet above sea level. It is a rare moment when the weather and location align and when it does, I consider myself fortunate. This was just one of those days…

Camera and Post Info: Nikon D800, 16mm, F/10, 1/5 sec, ISO 100 (1/20 for the sky exposure) 3 images shot for depth of field, and 1 image shot for exposure compensation of the sky. 

Photo Credit: Jonah Elkowitz

While I was driving towards my school to photograph a performance, I noticed huge black clouds directly above me. I immediately rushed to the area where the smoke was emitting from and, luckily, the fire department was already on the scene working to put it out. At that moment, I realized that I had my camera and a telephoto lens in my backpack; I immediately ran around the perimeter to search for a good spot to photograph the process of diffusing the fire minute at a time. After waiting for about an hour in the December cold, I finally ended up with this photograph of the Westbury Fire Department carrying a hose into the back of the residence. Thankfully, at the end of the day, no one was injured.

Camera and Post Info: Sony A7 III    Sony 70-200 F4 1/500 the  ISO: 400   F:4

Photo Credit: Srikanth Boga

I shot this picture in a tiny corner of my patio. After some rain on 24 Aug 2019 evening, this spider web was covered beautifully in raindrops, I knew a spider lives inside a small hole behind the web, as I photographed the same spider a few days before. So I grabbed my camera and macro lens and waited for the spider to show up and luckily for me it did not take long for the spider to show up. There wasn’t enough natural light hitting the subject and generally as Macro photography demands more light, I used a single external flash mounted on my camera to light up the scene. I was handholding the camera and used manual focus, leaning against the wall for stability slowly moved the camera back and forth until the subject was in focus and then fired the shots. Closeup macro photography always has the challenge of smaller depth of field, to get the shot I wanted, I took 5 pics with different parts of the subject in focus and focus stacked them in Photoshop and later processed the stacked photo in lightroom to adjust white balance, highlights, shadows and some other adjustments to get this final result. 

Camera and Post Info: Nikon Z6 using Tokina 100mm macro lens at f/16, 1/200 shutter speed and ISO 220. I have used ESDDI flash. Processed the image in PC lightroom and Photoshop

Photo Credit: Kory Bumgardner

I do a workshop every year to a magical place in Montana where they set up amazing shots for photographers. This is Hershey the sweetest Tiger in the word! We have so much fun with many animals but she can give you wonderful shots!

Camera and Post Info:   Nikon D850 with the 70mm- 200mm lens set at 200mm, F5.6, 1/1250 second, ISO 125

Photo Credit: Heather Wilson

This photo was taken on our rural property on the night of 4th of July. My son had entered the corn hoping to look for animals, as I yelled back at him to not go in the corn (so not to get lost! Because the corn had grown way past his head at this point!) he turned around and gave me this look as if to say, “I am a rural kid, I know what I am doing.” This photo has always been a reminder to me that the land that we grow on is beautiful, and the people who care for this field know it, love it, cherish it and often spend their whole lives investing and protecting the land to bring food to our tables, and the tables of so many around the world. 

Camera and Post Info:   Canon EOS 6D Mark II, 35mm, 1/500 sec, F 2.0, ISO 320

Photo Credit: K.C. Sandidge

This image was taken during my photography excursion to Scotland last September. I was driving through the Trossachs National Park early in the morning on my way to photograph an old-growth forest near Bracklinn Falls when I came across this valley amid the rolling hills. The fog was slowly beginning to lift, leaving behind beautiful finger-like projections. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to park on the narrow Scottish road so I drove a little bit farther until I found a pull-off area. I parked the car and ran up the hillside trying to find a good composition before the fog completely lifted. I settled on this one: the mansion being the main focal point with the fog dragging the viewer’s gaze throughout the entire image.

Camera and Post Info: Sony A7rIII, Sony 240195. 1/80 (handheld) ISO 640, F/7.1 Focal Length 105mm

Photo Credit: Sarah Mason

It wasn’t a planned shot. My son and I were raking.  And while I was raking up the layer of leaves that was a foot deep, Jude was behind me with different plans.  The plans of a child. “Create a humongous mountain of leaves to catch magical flight landings”. His love for life and adventure persuaded him to turn his chore into a spontaneously wonderful moment. So when I noticed that I didn’t hear the sound of his rake moving the leaves, I turned to find him mid-air. A flight all children should experience.  And then, he disappeared into his enormous pile of leaves. Yard work could come later. This mama’s heart couldn’t help but drop my rake and pick up my camera to capture how beautiful my boy was in his pile of leaves. For me, there is no image more powerful than a portrait that captures the human soul. And the images that tend to move me the most are the real-life portraits of my children.  So here it is. Jude in his pile of fallen leaves. My best shot from 2019.

Camera and Post Info: Canon EOS 6D Mark II, Canon EF85mm, f/1.8, 1/4000 sec at f/1.8, ISO 400

Photo Credit: Jonathan Huynh

 My buddy and I wandered 10 miles that day searching for the perfect dune.  This was not the tallest or dramatic dune we found, but it lined up perfectly with the Milky Way and the light pollution from a distant town provided a perfect glow for this photo.  We arrived with our cameras shortly before the alignment of the core with the top of the dune and strategized our approach as it relates to composition, technique, and settings.  Capturing this scene included techniques from traditional landscape photography (focus stacking and exposure bracketing) and deep sky astrophotography (dark frame subtraction and stacking for noise reduction). 

Camera and Post Info: Sony A7R IIILens: Zeiss Batis 18mm F2.8Filter: Breakthrough Photography Night SkySettings:- Foreground: F3.5, 2 minutes, ISO 1600- Background: F3.2, 16 seconds, ISO 12,800

Photo Credit: Hector Gonzalez

Afternoon thunderstorms were in the forecast and I wanted to catch the clouds rolling in so I set up for a timelapse not knowing the photo I was about to catch 

Camera and Post Info: Nikon D850 with a 20mm lens
1/10 f1.8  

Photo Credit: Stacy Ebstyne

I am a retired professional ballerina and now dance photographer.  This photo was taken during a dress rehearsal for Pacific Northwest Ballet and this piece was called Signature.

Camera and Post Info: Nikon d750. I used a 70-200 lens at 86mm. F- stop was 2.8. 1/250 for shutter and ISO was  12800

The top 12 were voted on by three professional photographers.

1. Jen Hillenga – Portrait Photographer and WPPI Judge

2. Troy Schroeder – Portrait and Family Photographer, Iowa

3. Quay Hu – Landscape Photographer, Florida

These finalists meet the contest requirements. The final winner will be chosen from these 12. Each of the finalists will receive a printed photo book from Printique displaying the winning images.