Three of my submissions to The North American Nature Photography Association’s annual Showcase competition won awards for 2015! I had one in the top 250 and two semi-finalists.
The one with the highest score that made it to the top 250 is titled Common Sunflower: View of Invulucre. This photo was taken at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, and is a view of the flower from behind. My favorite thing about this photo is the amount of detail that you can see, like the hairs on the stem. It was a sunny day, which is not normally ideal for photographing flowers. So I knelt down to shoot the flower from below with the sky in the background. In post-processing, I increased exposure to blow-out the sky completely so that it appears white. For the image posted here, I wanted it to appear as if the flower was coming right off the paper so I added lines that look like a white mat around the edges of the photo. I have it in a black frame at home and really like the finished look.
The next photo was also taken at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center but the subject is not a wildflower. It is a Carolina Saddelbags dragonfly with mites. The detrimental effects of the mites may have contributed to my ability to get the shot, since these critters don’t often sit still long enough for me to get a photo.
The third image was taken at Disneyworld’s Animal Kingdom park. I have mixed feelings about the Gorilla Portrait because he seems to be very sad.