Your Best Shot 2016

Are you ready? Drumroll, please. We are showcasing the Your Best Shot of 2016 contest winners. First, big congratulations to Trent Kanemaki who is the grand prize winner. His image entitled “Losing Control” came out on top after 4 rounds of judging and thousands of entries. Judges believed it told an amazing story with one shot. Trent will choose from a Nikon D750   or Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless or Canon 6D.
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 AdoramaPix photo book showcasing their beautiful images and be invited to be AdoramaPix Ambassadors. Now, let’s have a peek at how these images came to be.

Grand Prize Winner -Trent Kanemaki

 “Losing Control”

This is an image captured during a village bull race by the farmers of West Sumatra, Indonesia. At the start of the race, I was standing roughly 15 yards in front of the bulls and farmer, slightly to the left of the muddy rice field.  I placed my camera on continuous focus and continued to shoot as the racer passed by me.  As expected, my camera and I got drenched with mud!  This particular capture is probably about 8 yards from me. Cropping, dodging & burning, contrast, and sharpening done in Adobe Lightroom. Details:  Nikon D750 Lens:  Nikon 70-200 f/4 VR  Setting:  200mm, f/4.5, 1/1600s, ISO 400


Linda Vang

I’ve always been fascinated with Levitation Photography. I asked my friend Basel Maarouf if he would be my model. We went out to Broadripple park in Indianapolis, IN. There was a nice river so we set up there. I placed a stool in the water and Basel used his core muscles to balance himself. We did have some problems such as the stool sinking into the sand and Pokemon goers who were in the water trying to catch a Pokemon. But we figured it out and got this amazing shot. I also used a tripod and lowered it to my model’s height. In post production in Adobe photoshop, I cloned out the stool and added clouds. I thought the sky was a little dull. Did a little contrast and clarity in Lightroom and this is the end product. I am very proud of my image and very honored to be in the top 12! Details: Canon 6D, 35mm Tamron lens, ISO 100, f/2, 1/1250

Jeff Niederstadt – This ain’t Kansas

 

This image was captured during a storm chase on April 15, 2016, near the town of Eads, CO. A beautiful tornado in an open field. I wanted the image to have mood so I went with a darker feel when post processing. All post production was done in Photoshop CS6. I applied some curve adjustments, tweaked some Topaz labs filters and played with many other adjustments for hours until I was satisfied with the final image.

 

 

I chose to shoot at this sea cave in Sunset Cliffs, CA knowing the sunset lined up at this time of the year in January. When the sun was setting and I started shooting, a group of surfers who were leaving the water to climb back up the cliffs. 2 of them happened to walk by at the perfect time, and this spontaneous moment was captured. Global edits are done in Lightroom CC; increased exposure, shadow, contrast and white levels while lowering highlights. Sun flares removed in Photoshop CC and noise cleaned up in Lightroom CC and Nik Dfine. Details: Nikon D800 and Nikon 14-24 2.8 @14mm, f18, 1/30 sec, iso 100. Photo underexposed 2 stops to freeze the motion of the surfers walking by and keep the color and detail in the sky.

 

 


When I first heard about the Ice Castles, I thought they were built in a much colder place, like Canada or Alaska. I was looking for pictures on the Internet and found that they build one in Utah, where I live. At that same moment, I thought how cool it would be to do a photo shoot at night there so I contacted the owners to ask for a permission to climb. A few days later, I received an email confirming my permission to climb the ice castles so I contacted some friends and they were really excited too to climb there.That night was freezing cold, with temperatures around 10ºF, but all of us wanted to do the photo shoot so bad so we had a lot of fun. It was one of the most amazing photo shoots that I have ever done. I used several flashes with color gels to lit all the area and just one without gel to illuminate the climber.Regarding the edition, I improved the lighting and colors on the photo, making the photo brighter and making the colors pop with adjustment layers. I cropped the photo a little and applied a sharpen filter to give the final touch. Details: Canon EOS 5D MKIII + Canon 16-35 mm f/2,8 L II, 1/40 sec, f/3,5, ISO 1000, 4 speed lights with radio transmitters and a Monopod.

Lori Whalen

This was a fun shoot with an artist friend Tara Ozella who is brilliant.I created a board of photos I wanted to recreate and we realized we both have a love for pre-Raphaelite art.Tara actually painted her canoe for this shoot, provided costumes, and then modeled brilliantly.  We were trying to recreate the Lady of Shallot which is another photo and this Ophelia.I took the raw file into PS removed hairs that were on her face from the wind, cleaned up the image and used a fabric texture she had over the water at a 4%opacity to tie all of the textures and colors in to tie in our ideal for this shoot.  This was one of my first creative shoots.  Tara and I are working of four more.She is a joy to work with and we both love collaboration, not easily found in this business.  She did all this while very very sick and was the sweetest at most talented young ladies I have had the pleasure to work with. She allowed me full creativity to take a very dull photo and do as I pleased to make the story come to life.  I learned a great deal in the process. Details: Canon EOS 5D MKIII, 5.6, 1/160, 24mm

 

Walling McGarity

John and I were commissioned by TLC network to fly to Sarasota Florida to continue to document the Breaking Amish cast. They mentioned there would be two new members added to the show that hadn’t been featured yet on any media outlets.  Mary and Esther, who are mother and daughter, come from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in the heart of Amish country and had never seen the ocean before much less been on a beach. When we arrived it was very windy so the beautiful white beach was making great patterns in the sand and the clouds were perfect so we asked if they would just walk with us as we shot as many angles as possible but we knew once we saw it and we nurtured the moment to bring us to this shot.

As far as post work we tend to shoot flat so we have more to work with later in photoshop so we punched up the contrast and colors as well as fixing any small areas of their dresses that were blowing around in the strong winds. Details: It was shot on a Canon 5D MarkII with a 24-105mm but with a focal length of 55mm at F8 250th ISO 100

 

 

 

Shadow Lake is a lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada that you have to hike into to see.  Fortunately, there is a lodge nearby the lake.  I stayed by the lake and chanced an encounter with a bear to walk through the woods to get to the lake for sunrise.  I think the early morning effort was worth it to get this photo.  Minor photoshop and Nik Viveza adjustments were done to enhance the photo. Details: Canon 6D, 17 to 40mm 19 mm f 10 1/50 sec  1600 ISO exposure -1

 

 

This sweet little girl was extremely fussy for her session. She was just so alert and wanted nothing to do with my typical sleepy newborn posing… So I decided to wrap her in hopes that she’d settle and maybe be a bit more cooperative to finish her session. Once she was wrapped, she was calm and made beautiful eye contact and many facial expressions. I’ll be honest and say that I was a bit bummed with how her session was going until I got this shot mid-session and after that, she slept for the remainder of it, all while still being wrapped. Her mom even made a comment saying, you’d never have known how hard her session was looking at this image. Details: Shot with a Canon 6D, 35 Sigma Art Shot with a Canon 6D, 35 Sigma Art, AB 400 light and shot at F2,  Post production: eye clarity/brightening, Portraiture for skin (minimal post processing)

 

Jason Bassett -“Water Planets episode i”

This photograph is an illusion of what it would look like to have lips surrounded by blueberries. This shot is meant to be fun and appetizing! Post production included cropping, shifting the background tone towards blue, sharpening and adding more magenta color to lips, and brightening teeth. Details: Sony A7,  Sony 90mm macro. Shutter speed 1/200 using Speedlight, f13

Frank Guarnuccio

This is the portion of NY State Route 97, known as Hawk’she Nest, as it winds its way above the Delaware River in the town of Deerpark in Orange County, NY on a foggy, misty Autumn morning. Post production in Lightroom included dehaze, a small amount of sharpening, some noise reduction, and tweaking highlights and shadows to bring out the color of the Autumn leaves that were otherwise muted by the atmospheric conditions.The photo was taken from one of a series of sightseeing pullouts along the road on a very foggy morning in October, 2016 at approximately 7:30 am. Details: Sony a58 on a tripod with a Tamron 18-270mm lens at 60mm, polarizer filter, aperture priority at f/22, 2.5 second exposure, ISO 100. The only real dilemma was to wait for the fog to lift over the Delaware River Valley so the roadway was exposed enough to get a decent exposure.
Thank you to everyone! We are honored and humbled to have such a creative community supporting us. We hope to see you next year for Your Best Shot of 2017!