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Last Month's Self Assignment Winners

Last month's self assignment "Striking Skies &  Weather Phenomenon" produced an avalanche of entries. Chuck's hard drive is still smoking! Here are the winners and some shots that we thought deserved recognition.

We want to congratulate both the winners and all those who participated. Thanks to our sponsor, FujiFilm, the winner receives 20 rolls of the Fuji professional film of their choice. The runners-up receive 10 rolls of the Fuji professional film of their choice.  Winners are notified by email .

Winner, Greg Summers Rolling Thunder Sunset 
"Looking west on a grey evening, the sun suddenly turned on the sky as I looked west from the second pond at Sawhill Ponds, Boulder, Colorado - the air was still and I hardly knew what to do with the colors flaring around me - called a Rolling Thunder Sunset."

Greg used his Nikon F100 and Tokina 24-200 to capture the moment onto Fuji Provia 100. The slide was scanned using a Nikon LS-2000 scanner. In Photoshop Greg adjusted levels, curves and hue/saturation to recover the detail and luminosity present in the original slide.

Jody Page, Evening Storm Receding 
"I live in a moderately-sized city, but there is a 12-acre property across the street from my house. It lies to the west and comes complete with windmill. The neighbor kindly agreed to let me sneak past his German Shepherd anytime I want to snap a sunset picture. On this particular night, a huge thunderstorm had passed through and was heading off to the south. The cloud line is the receding edge of the storm. The colors were simply incredible, and I am quite happy that they translated so well onto film. I have been to this field one time since this photo was shot. On that last trip I encountered a six-foot long rattlesnake in addition to the German Shepherd, and I haven't been back since!

Maybe Jody should brave the critters more often! Jody captured the image using a Pentax PZ-70 with a 28-90 mm lens onto Agfa 400 film. The negative was scanned by the local photo shop who adjusted the levels slightly.

John Diel, Last Storm of 
the Year

"The last storm of the year. I thought I would try to intercept it at I-35. It Wasn't very impressive on radar, but apparently it got its second wind." 

"I made it about 2 miles outside town (I-35 was 15 miles) When I found the lowered base and saw the lightning strikes increase quite a bit. It was hard holding everything together and to keep from diving into the truck, but I was rewarded with this shot." 

"Of course my wife now seriously questions my sanity!" 

"About a minute after this shot, lightning started striking very close and survival instincts took over and I high-tailed it out of there. On the entire roll, this was the best shot of three that came out. Av mode at f5.6 and about a 15 to 20 second exposure. Too long to freeze the cloud motion (the storm was moving fast), but enough to capture the colors and bolt."

John used his Canon A2 & Canon 70-210 f4 to capture this image onto Kodak E-100 slide film which was scanned on a Fuji Frontier machine at the camera shop. He used Photoshop to remove dust specs from the image and make some minor color corrections "the colors you see are very close to the original".

John if it's any consolation every good photographer has a spouse who thinks their nuts - unless their spouse is a photographer too.

Honorable Mentions 

Jay O'Brien, Misty Sunrise
About all Jay told us about this shot is that it was a "foggy and misty sunrise at Valley Forge National Park, in Pennsylvania".

He used a Nikon F100 and 28-200mm lens to capture the image onto Fuji Velvia. The camera was set to aperture priority at f16 and a Singhray blue-gold polarizer was used to make the colors pop for his tripod mounted F100. The slide was scanned using a Cikon Coolscan IV and was not manipulated.

Dominik Wojtarowicz, Burning Sky 
Dominik tells us "This sunset at the park near my house looked like a forest fire. I framed it low to the ground to help get that across."

Dominik used his Nikon D100 & Nikor 20-35mm f2.8 and just a minor contrast adjustment in Photoshop to get this image.

Anil Sudhakaran, Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara 
"This was shot last year sometime in the month of April. It was a windy day and I was at one of the lookouts at Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara when I noticed the clouds formed like flames and the sky turning pink/red. I drove down to Arroyo Burro Beach and was treated to a great sunset. I noticed a little boy and his father on the beach and used them as silhouttes for this picture."

Anil used his Minolta Maxxum 5 & Minolta 24-105mm to capture the image onto Fuji Provia 100F. The slide was scanned with a Minolta Dimage Scan Elite II. The resulting image was cropped slightly to remove a time/date stamp and the image was sharpened slightly.

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