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McDowell Mountain Sunrise
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest FIRST PLACE Winner
 
McDowell Mountain Sunrise
McDowell Mountain Sunrise

This morning's sunrise, 4-shot HDR merge, then standard Curves/Levels/Sat/Sharpen, etc. No filters. The long sunrays are due to the narrow aperture and longer exposure time. I waited for months for the sun to rise at this spot, and when it did, I had about 20 seconds to fire off the four exposures... after that it was too high and too bright!

16-35mm @24mm, f/14, ISO 100.

© Paul D.
Canon EOS 5D Mark ...

 
 
 
Susan Weisensel
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    Gorgeous sunrise Paul.

3/9/2011 10:29:22 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
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Stunning. I love the backlighting on the cactus and of course the sunrays. Excellent clarity, too. Beautiful image, Paul.

3/9/2011 10:42:27 AM

 
Liz Bullock
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Beautifully captured! Love the Cholla when the sunlight hits it.

3/9/2011 10:43:35 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
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Outstanding! I love this!

3/9/2011 11:24:24 AM

 
Paul D.
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Thanks all, glad you like it. I was concerned that the sun was too near the center of the frame, but I couldn't pan any farther right because the terrain wasn't very pretty, too bare and rocky. So I just went for it as is.

3/9/2011 12:44:21 PM

 
Ruth Robbins
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Fabulous!

3/9/2011 12:58:51 PM

 
Paul D.
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© Paul D.
Miscellaneous Digi...
 
Thanks Ruth, and thank you for urging me to post this shot. BTW, I took an iPhone shot of the setup while waiting for the sun to rise, which is did about 2 minutes later, lol!

3/9/2011 2:01:15 PM

 
Ruth Robbins
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Cool, you enter that if they have another photo of photographers category.

3/9/2011 3:20:29 PM

 
John E. Steinway
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Terrific image Paul.

3/9/2011 3:28:51 PM

 
Ruth Robbins
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EP!!!

3/10/2011 12:41:19 PM

 
Michael Howe
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Beautiful work,Paul...Well done!!!

3/10/2011 7:23:15 PM

 
Bobby Ray Goodman
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Hi Paul.Beautiful HDR of the McDowell.It been awhile since I've been out by the fort.Great capture indeed!!!

3/16/2011 4:15:15 AM

 
Ken Smith
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Hey Paul, you've got some great shots in your gallery...and I love the star photos. I would have tried in AZ, but it was a full moon...and yes, I enjoyed the view. Headed to Sedona tomorrow AM with my wife, bed and breakfast. Never been there but heard it's nice!

3/16/2011 6:34:48 PM

 
Paul D.
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MY gallery has great shots? Are you kidding me ken? I just went through all 13 pages, the images you have on there are unreal, your gallery could be an entire photo course, lol! I was amazed how many images were familiar to me, and then I realized how many were POTDs... I think I lost count somewhere around 15. Man, you never stop shooting, THAT'S an inspiration right there. My camera spends way too much time in the case, need to fix that.

Enjoy Sedona! Sun rises about 6:45am, be ready! ;-)

3/16/2011 8:31:47 PM

 
Wendy Stevenson
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Gorgeous! Love the rim lighting and shapes of those cacti! Beautiful capture!

4/11/2011 5:07:18 AM

 
Katarina Mansson
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Stunning capture - congratulations on your POTD!

4/11/2011 5:14:15 AM

 
Bill Houghton
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Paul, this is an outstanding shot. Congratulations.

4/11/2011 5:25:11 AM

 
Christopher J. Budny
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What a beautiful sunrise capture, Paul! The backlighting on the nearest cactus is terrific. And the starburst effect on the sun is spectacular; I don't think I've ever been able to produce such long streaks from high-aperture. (I figured you had a starburst filter on.) Your patience for just the right time has paid off; congratulations on your POTD!

4/11/2011 5:26:17 AM

 
Shawn Jennings
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Fantastic work, Paul! Congratulations on your POTD!

4/11/2011 5:36:37 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
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Delighted to see the POTD badge on this beautiful image, Paul. Congratulations.

4/11/2011 5:45:18 AM

 
Graeme Chow
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What a shot ? and truly deserved to get the POTD and the winner next time. Congrats!

4/11/2011 5:55:30 AM

 
Sue L. Cullumber
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Hi Paul - beautiful. Congrats on you POTD! I'm really familiar with this area, as I hike there all the time - nice capture.

4/11/2011 6:01:06 AM

 
Debra Booth
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Gorgeous! Congrats on your POTD!

4/11/2011 6:19:12 AM

 
Bunny Snow
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The whole image is amazing, but the lighting and backlighting cinches the deal.

If this were after sunrise, the impact would be disappointing. And, if it were later in the day, it would be nothing to write home about. But, you captured it at the perfect time, using all the skills you've mastered both prior to snapping the shutter and again in DD. Thanks for the reminder of when this was captured and to use the closed down aperture for the rays of light.

Both your work and skills shine here, Paul. Beautifully captured and processed. This is so well done!!! Congratulations on your POTD!!!!

4/11/2011 6:21:40 AM

 
Symona R. Wood

member since: 9/23/2007
 

WOw!!! Congrats!! I'd love to have this on my wall!!!!

4/11/2011 6:22:26 AM

 
Carolyn M. DAlessandro
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Good morning Paul!
Congratulations on this awesome image. They speak of the best light and clearly you got it here. It is a WOW image...Bravo Paul, well done!!!

4/11/2011 6:22:57 AM

 
Gary Sagnor
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Wonderful capture Paul! It was nice to look at this morning on BP's POTD! Caught at the perfect time of day...I love how you planned this and put some thought into it, love the sunburst too!

4/11/2011 6:32:13 AM

 
Linda L. Ruiz
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CONGRATS ON YOU POTD! It was so worth the planning and wait. fantastic

4/11/2011 6:33:46 AM

 
Karen Celella
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Congratulations on your exceptional POTD, Paul. You captured many aspects of the perfect light all in one shot. The wonderful f/22 star burst, gorgeous rim light and a beautiful landscape. This is a winner!

4/11/2011 6:45:13 AM

 
Eric Highfield
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A real winner Paul! Congrats, on your POTD!

4/11/2011 6:47:45 AM

 
Richard M. Waas
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A well deserved POTD!!! Congrats.......

4/11/2011 7:36:23 AM

 
Michael J. Kelly
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A real stunner. Congratulations! Well deserved.

4/11/2011 7:41:34 AM

 
Ruth Robbins
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Awesome!!!

4/11/2011 7:44:57 AM

 
Karen E. Baumann
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I concur with so many lessons to learn and to put to use. You were there because you knew you wanted to be and you were prepared and now you are reaping the rewards. This is a stunner!!!! Congratulations on your POTD Paul!

4/11/2011 7:51:21 AM

 
Susan J. Allen
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Totally amazing! Lovely work! Just goes to show, the early bird gets awesome results!

4/11/2011 8:07:52 AM

 
Pamela Koch
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A beautiful sunrise photo. Congratulations on a well deserved POTD!

4/11/2011 8:12:00 AM

 
Kathleen K. Parker
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What a beautiful sunrise landscape! You sure were persistent!! Congratulations, Paul, on your POTD!
kk

4/11/2011 8:24:32 AM

 
nicole shockley
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Amazing... well worthe the wait. I hope you have this framed somewhere in your house. One of the best shots I have seen yet!!!

4/11/2011 8:46:59 AM

 
Anne McKinnell
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Gorgeous image Paul, congratulations on your stunning POTD!

4/11/2011 9:04:43 AM

 
Erica Murphy
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BEAUTIFUL POTD!! I love the backlighting on cactus, so cool. Congratulations!!

4/11/2011 9:20:18 AM

 
Phillip A. Flusche
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Outstanding capture. Congratulations. I love this one.

4/11/2011 9:34:21 AM

 
Janice M. Borodezt
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Paul:

Absolutely gorgeous. You did good.

4/11/2011 9:44:32 AM

 
Stan Kwasniowski
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Paul, congratulations, both on your reward and your patience to get this image

4/11/2011 9:53:15 AM

 
Craig W. Myers
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Patience + Preparation = Great Reward Beautiful image. Congrats on the POTD.

4/11/2011 10:04:10 AM

 
Paul D.
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What an absolute surprise and blessing to wake up to! Thank you ALL, and while I can't reply individually (I can't type that fast, lol), I have read every comment and it is MUCH appreciated. Call me a nut, but I asked the Lord to show me His glory that morning and that scene appeared, it was humbling. And I'm thankful to report that I did NOT run across any rattlers walking to and from that location. ;-)

4/11/2011 10:04:25 AM

 
roxanne F. clabeaux-michalak
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This is absolutely gorgeous - just perfect. Congratulations on a well-deserved photo of the day!

4/11/2011 10:26:25 AM

 
Joy Rector
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congrats on the POTD

4/11/2011 11:51:23 AM

 
Maria Coulson
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Paul, this is beautiful! Congratulations.

4/11/2011 12:54:27 PM

 
Rona L. Schwarz
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WOW! This is a super spectacular image, Paul!! Everything about it is glorious - the lighting of course is unbelievable, particularly on the front cactus, the starburst of the sun's rays, the landscape colors and wonderful textures - I could go on and on. Now I must go visit your gallery. Congratulations on a truly wonderful POTD! A Winner for sure!

4/11/2011 1:31:07 PM

 
Richard D. Love
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Congratulations, Paul. Truly a beautiful HDR image. The wait was well worth it.

Rick

4/11/2011 3:50:11 PM

 
Daniella Puente
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This is a wonderful image! the light is perfect, congrats!

4/11/2011 5:14:21 PM

 
Cindy Bendush
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Gorgeous Paul! Congrats on getting this shot and congrats on your POTD!

4/11/2011 6:18:15 PM

 
Deborah C. Lewinson
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Congratulations on your POTD, Paul, for this stunning image!

Debby

4/11/2011 6:20:42 PM

 
Ken Smith
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Hey Paul...way to go!! Congrats on your POTD>..very well deserved!

4/11/2011 7:02:52 PM

 
Paul D.
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Roxanne Joy Maria Rona Richard Daniella Cindy Deborah, I really appreciaste your kind words, thanks!

Ken, how about that, you and I took shots in the same month, same state only about 90 minutes apart in distance and they become POTDs in the same week. How neat! I'm still amazed.

4/11/2011 8:07:02 PM

 
Paul D.
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Oh, and I should have also said same subject matter and same camera, lol!

4/11/2011 8:08:57 PM

 
Denny E. Barnes
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Perfect timing and exposure, Paul!! Such a beautiful and outstanding image well deserves the POTD!! Congratulations!!

4/11/2011 9:40:29 PM

 
Donna LaMattino Pagakis
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Beautiful scenery, glorious lighting and image. Congratulations on your POTD Paul!!

4/12/2011 12:56:22 AM

 
Gary Lange
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Terrific image, well timed and nice light! Great HDR work.

4/12/2011 6:26:40 AM

 
Jeff W. Robinson
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Outstanding work Paul - Congrats on your Well Deserved POTD!!

4/12/2011 3:19:00 PM

 
Paul D.
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D, D, G & J: Thanks!!

4/12/2011 3:44:26 PM

 
Paul D.
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BTW, I doubt they'll see this comment, but I want to thank the BP staff for picking this one for a POTD, it's VERY much appreciated.

4/18/2011 8:35:37 PM

 
Ken Smith
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You da man! Congrats Paul!!

4/26/2011 7:23:50 PM

 
Ruth Robbins
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Congratulations Paulie, you deserve Gold for this.

4/26/2011 7:58:15 PM

 
Paul D.
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LOL! Ruth & Ken, my two cheerleaders... You saw this before I did! ;-)

4/26/2011 8:18:26 PM

 
Rona L. Schwarz
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On to Gold, Paul! Super Congrats on this marvelous capture and good luck in the next round!

4/26/2011 8:53:34 PM

 
Paul D.
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Thanks Rona! We'll see about the gold, there are a bunch of great images this month in the Nature & Landscape category... but I appreciate your comments!

4/26/2011 11:52:37 PM

 
Renee Doyle
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I'm thinking Gold for sure!! Congratulations Paul!

4/27/2011 12:02:10 AM

 
Karen Celella
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Congratulations on your wonderful finalist, Paul!

4/27/2011 7:08:02 AM

 
Shawn Jennings
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Congratulations on this fantastic finalist, Paul!

4/27/2011 8:53:08 AM

 
Susan Weisensel
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Congrats Paul.

4/27/2011 8:55:26 AM

 
Paul D.
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Thank you all! The response is overwhelming, I don't know what to say... funny, I had asked a friend (Ruth, her comments above) if I should post this image. I'm glad she said yes! Thanks again.

4/27/2011 10:06:33 AM

 
Diane E. Deming
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WOW! What can I say, but just an exceptional photo. Your patience paid off with a spectacular image!

4/27/2011 5:07:50 PM

 
Bojan Bencic
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Fantastic light and tone, Paul. Congratulations on your win!

4/27/2011 10:54:13 PM

 
Katarina Mansson
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Congratulations on your outstanding winner Paul! The light and POV are exceptional, tones and comp excellent - all beautiful.

4/27/2011 11:18:20 PM

 
Mary K. Robison
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All your patience paid off, Paul ~
CONGRATULATIONS on your well earned First Place Winner!

4/27/2011 11:23:09 PM

 
Graeme Chow
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Hi Paul. I really like your image and especially with the HDR , you did it incredibly. Congratulations and thanks for your wonderful comments.

4/28/2011 12:23:33 AM

 
Renee Doyle
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Knew it :-) Big congrats on this most deserving win Paul!!

4/28/2011 1:07:35 AM

 
Ellen Hodges
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Huge congrats on this stunning winner!!

4/28/2011 3:49:08 AM

 
Christopher J. Budny
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Congratulations on your win now, too! This comes as no surprise for such a beauty!

4/28/2011 4:01:32 AM

 
Ken Smith
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The photo that keeps on giving...congrats on your well deserved win, Paul..and let's hope it scores well in the Outdoor Photography contest too!

4/28/2011 5:25:23 AM

 
nicole shockley
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Congrats on the WIN!! I knew it would go all the way, its to amazing not too! You give us all inspiration! :)

4/28/2011 5:35:20 AM

 
Linda D. Lester
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Just beautiful....Congratulations on your first place win.

4/28/2011 5:38:49 AM

 
Terry Cervi
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All your trouble sure paid off with this incredible photo, Paul!! Congrats on your stunning First Place win!

4/28/2011 6:02:08 AM

 
Ruth Robbins
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FIRST PLACE!! Awesome Paulie, Congratulations. You deserve it.

4/28/2011 6:11:24 AM

 
Usman Bajwa
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What a fabulous image, Paul. Double CONGRATZ on the POTD and your First Place GOLD, WTG!!

UB.

4/28/2011 7:00:17 AM

 
Nancyj Hovey
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C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
on your POTD & FIRST PLACE WINNER!!!! 8o)

4/28/2011 7:05:55 AM

 
Debra R. Harder
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This is incredibly BEAUTIFUL, Paul! I saw this superb image in the Outdoor Photography magazine contest and I knew it would win something here. Huge congratulations on your OUTSTANDING FIRST PLACE WIN!! Deb

4/28/2011 7:27:36 AM

 
Bill Houghton
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Paul, congratulations on your beautiful win. Have a great day, Bill

If you have time, check out my website:
Bill Houghton Photography


4/28/2011 8:33:51 AM

 
Jeana Clark
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Congratulations Paul for this well deserved First Place Winner!!!!

~J~

4/28/2011 9:56:02 AM

 
Irene Colling
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A stunning beauty Paul. Your skillfull capture of this backlit scene certainly deserves a gold award.

Congratulations Paul.

4/28/2011 10:10:17 AM

 
Paul D.
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Thank you EVERYONE. This is my first gold (and POTD) so I'm definitely not used to all the amazing responses, but again I do read every one and am very grateful! (to the BP Judges as well)

4/28/2011 10:11:49 AM

 
Paul D.
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Ruth, thank you for urging me to post this (I emailed her last month and asked if it was too boring before posting... her reply was "Paulie! Enter that!", lol)

Ken, thanks, although I still think your Monument Valley shot is more stunning! ;-) Funny thing about Outdoor Photographer, I had submitted it to their contest last month and then totally forgot about it. OP doesn't email you if you gain Finalist, I just happened to look last week and saw it, THEN remembered I even entered it! Honestly, I think my noggin truly is cement sometimes, lol.

4/28/2011 10:22:02 AM

 
Phyllis Burchett
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Congrats on this fantastic first place winner Paul!

4/28/2011 10:44:28 AM

 
Karen Celella
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Congratulations on your amazing first place winner, Paul!

4/28/2011 11:12:51 AM

 
Rodrigo Barsallo
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The waiting was very well rewarded. 20 seconds !!. Great, congratulations.

4/28/2011 2:34:02 PM

 
Merna L. Nobile
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Take photo, Sleep
Edit photo, Sleep
Received award, stop sleeping
CONGRATULATIONS, Merna

4/28/2011 4:55:25 PM

 
Paul D.
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Thanks all! (Merna, you crack me up... lol!)

4/28/2011 4:59:17 PM

 
Rolando Rosito
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Very deserving winner Paul, congratulations!!

4/28/2011 7:54:56 PM

 
Rona L. Schwarz
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No surprise here at all, Paul - a most deserving First Place Winner, for sure! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS ON A SENSATIONAL, STUNNING IMAGE!

4/28/2011 8:39:59 PM

 
Joannie M. Bertucci
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Paul, your First Prize win is absolutely mind bending! Congratulations on this fabulous First Prize!

4/28/2011 10:48:13 PM

 
Lisa J. Boulden
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member since: 12/2/2006
 

A stunning first place winner!
Well worth the wait and effort!
~♥~Lisa

4/29/2011 7:49:26 AM

 
Shawn Jennings
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Congratulations on your win, Paul!

4/29/2011 6:29:00 PM

 
Patricia A. Coblentz
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member since: 7/6/2008
 

Amazing light, tones, and dof, Paul...congratulations on all fronts...this is a spectacular image! WTG!

4/29/2011 7:22:14 PM

 
Paul D.
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Thank you, Rolando through Patricia, all of these comments mean a LOT, seriously. Planning for and going after this image was a neat project! I'm most thankful to our Creator, for He made the conditions just right that morning (and gives us all of our abilities)... my job was to just show up and capture it.

4/29/2011 8:48:29 PM

 
Emile Abbott
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Fantastic morning light capture an Congratulation on your first place winner Paul

4/30/2011 11:36:04 AM

 
Martha R. Mazon
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Amazing image, Paul!! The light on the cacti is incredible. I for one very much appreciate your months of planning and perfect execution in your moment of opportunity. :) Congratulations!

5/10/2011 7:17:35 AM

 
Dave Montero
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Terrific capture and lighting Paul. Congratulations on your first place selection.

5/11/2011 1:01:57 PM

 
Lori Carlson
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Congrats on all your recognition with this beauty, Paul!!
And thanks for sharing your experience~it's one of my favorite things about BP!!
Great work! Way to inspire! =)

5/12/2011 6:59:22 PM

 
Summer A. Kozisek
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member since: 1/31/2006
 

Fantastic image Paul with wonderfully natural HDR work. Well worth the wait!!! Congrats on your recent POTD as well!

5/16/2011 12:48:34 PM

 
Val Feldman
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member since: 2/28/2009
 

A BIG congrats also on the superb write-up in June's issue of "Popular Photography" of this beautiful capture being chosen as the winner of the Photo Challenge - Kudos, all around! :)

5/20/2011 7:43:08 AM

 
Paul D.
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Thank you everyone, the comments and been BEYOND kind! Val, congrats, you were the first one to notice PP, lol. I have to see if it's in the store yet! It's still hard to drink in the attention on this image, it is SO appreciated.

5/20/2011 3:47:59 PM

 
Paul D.
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I do have to clarify one thing: I was wrong in my description here and in the text I sent to Popular Photography: this was a SIX-shot HDR merge, not four like I stated here and eight like I stated in Pop Photo.

I seriously need more sleep, lol.

5/23/2011 11:24:59 PM

 
Paul R. Nelson
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Paul, I would like to join the others in congratulating you on the success you've had with this image and the well-deserved accolades; your vision, preparation and persistance paid off.

I would also like to applaud you in giving credit to God for this beautiful image of His Creation and to thank you for sharing your prayer request that morning. His answers can sometimes lead to unexpected Blessings.

6/27/2011 10:23:20 PM

 
Ann Varley
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member since: 8/16/2007
 

It may be months after the fact, but allow me a moment to ring in my praise on this glorious image too!

I stumbled on your amazing collection of images when visiting your Snow Bird view tonight, my old winter stomping ground.

Amazing work ... congratulations!

9/14/2011 10:02:16 PM

 
Laura E. Swan
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member since: 1/22/2008
 


ON THIS BEAUTIFUL GOLD WINNER, Paul.

There is a special touch of magic in this image. The viewer can feel it immediately. The light is inspiring and clean. The star-burst is perfect like God himself...and he lit up his desert creation just for you and allowed you to share it with the rest of us!

How lucky is anyone who has the chance to see this? I count myself in!

-Laura Swan

1/25/2012 1:01:41 AM

 
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