3rd Place Winner: Peter Coskun
Photo Title: Serenity
Photo Description: Lush vine maples frame a waterfall in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge. This was my first trip to the area in hopes of photographing lush spring greens and waterfalls. It turned out that this particular year, things were a little drier than normal resulting in lower water flows to the areas I visited. I actually did not plan on heading to this particular area on this trip, but a friend who was in the area mentioned they were going and asked if I wanted to join them. I figured I would check it out since I am in the area and at least be with a couple other people to hike in. As we made our way down to the creek, I was disappointed in the lack of water. It was an area which was made popular among photographers mostly shooting identical compositions. Not wanting to really replicate what was already shot here, I debated whether or not to shoot at all. I was already down here, so I wandered around a bit and crossed the creek when I came across this perfect vine maple framing the waterfall. It was one of those scenes you imagine and visualize in your head of what you actually expect to create and it was right in front of me. Of course, it would be quite a challenge to organize the scene. I shot a number of frames to focus stack later on as my wide angle lens was nearly touching the mossy branch. It took a lot of time in post to get the colors to be just right as I did not want everything to be uniform, so color separation was quite a pain with such a lush scene. After it was all put together, I knew this shot would be something special. Unfortunately, since I made this image, I have heard that much of the moss had been nearly stripped off the tree and later that year the Eagle Creek fire swept through the gorge...
Judge's Note: I really love the vibrant color and dynamic symmetry in this composition. The visual design is well-balanced, but still energetic, keeping the viewer's eye moving. It is easy to get lost in this composition! ~Ian Plant
Prize: Total Value = $350
• $250 Cash
• 12x18" Metal Print by Metalprints.com
• $50 Lens Pro To Go Credit