We really must hand it to everyone who submitted to this contest. Submissions hit every aspect and pushed the boundaries of the many interpretations of ‘water’. Judging such a multitude of high quality images with a panel as diverse in photographic tastes as ours was no easy task — we can hardly agree on what to grab for lunch, so narrowing down such a plethora of images was a miracle in itself. Hundreds of submissions went through multiple rounds of blind revisions (Photos only, no attached names) until the group was ultimately filed down to the final seven. After many discussions, reasons, talks, debates — the judging came down to a final vote landing on one particular image:
DYNAMIC by Miles Morgan
“Located under the cliffs of Cape Kiwanda along the Oregon Coast, I happened upon this area by accident when I first started photography in 2009 while looking for a more frequently photographed area. This 200 foot long sea cave is accessible at low tide after a muddy descent, and during a few weeks of the year in winter, the setting sun will pour warm light through the cave opening. Getting a winter day with sunny skies and low tide is no small feat in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve had several aborted attempts at getting an image from this location over the past few years. Things aligned in mid-January, so I made the slog up and over the dunes with fellow photographer Steve Turner.
It was not uncommon for waves to come thundering through the cave at a height which blocked the light completely, and when they spilled into our little amphitheater, we were left scrambling for the highest rocks in a futile attempt to stay dry. As the light started to pour through the tunnel, the initial thrill of wave-dodging turned to mild panic as it was nearly impossible to get more than one frame off of the retreating water before the next wave would threaten to send us swimming. I became very thankful for the incredible dynamic range of my Nikon D800E, as I was able to get workable images with one frame, and even more impressed with the stability of my RRS BH-55 Ballhead and L-Bracket which allowed for sharp images despite the requirement to race forward, plant the camera, compose and fire a frame or two before the next wave arrived. Less admirable was the performance of my shall-not-be-named-but-starts-with-a-”G” tripod, which donated 2 of it’s three feet to the ocean in some sort of rubber sacrifice to the God of Water. Again.
All in all, it was the kind of thrilling day that can make Landscape Photography an adrenaline pumping adventure sport.”
Not to be taken lightly, there was almost blood drawn on narrowing down the field. Although the images may not have won the grand prize, they won the hearts and votes of a few judges. All of our honorable mentions will receive an RRS TQB-80B tripod bag, and expect to see some detailed posts about how the artist captured their image over the next couple weeks. Listed in no particular order:
32 Hours & Counting by Dave Morrow
Angel Painting by Dave Valvo
Galaxy Number 9 by Dave Morrow
Godley View by Joshua Cripps
Winter Falls by Jarrod Castaing
Cerro Torre by John Barwood
For everyone who chose to participate in our photo contest we wish to again thank you. Your hard work — whether it be by profession or hobby — fuels our desire to produce the best camera support equipment there is to offer. Knowing our passion helps others create their own is what makes the long hours and hard work worth it all. We hope to continue growing our relationships with our customers and will be introducing more contests to come — so if you haven’t, be sure to follow our social media, subscribe to our newsletter, or receive our mailed catalogs to stay up to date in all our products and offerings!