After snorkeling with my family in the breathtaking coral reefs of Roatan, Honduras, I sat outside the balcony of the cruise ship we were traveling on to admire the life and beauty of the ocean. I took the photo with a Nikon D3100 with an 18-55mm lens while the boat was lifting the anchors of the cruise ship just before we sailed away.
Common redpolls visit Anchorage every few years in large numbers. So many that they will crowd out the usual winter residents that visit our feeders—black-capped and boreal chickadees, nuthatches, and juncos. The large flocks inspired me to try a different perspective. I used a plate of regular glass for the bottom and cut clear acrylic for sides and support. I fastened the visible portion of the feeder to a simple wooden tripod that I built, then supported my camera on a photo tripod beneath the feeder. I used a wireless trigger to release the shutter on the camera. It took four to five hours to build, and I refined it several times. The images were taken in our backyard in Anchorage, Alaska.
We were lucky enough to witness some very early auroras over the Abisko Mountain Lodge on March 1, 2013. The skies were clear, with only wispy clouds interfering come nighttime.
Abisko National Park in northern Sweden is rated as one of the best places in the world to try and see this natural light phenomenon, being located perfectly beneath the central parts of the auroral oval. During my last day there, a coronal stream collided with our magnetic field and produced very early and intense aurorae as soon as darkness set.
I happened upon this beautiful whitetail doe while hiking along the Centerpoint Trail near Ponca, Arkansas. She was standing along the rocky path, poised in the sunlight that was bursting through the trees above. I readied my camera and tripod as quickly and quietly as possible and was lucky enough to capture the magic moment before she continued down the trail, eventually crossing into the forest.
It's interesting to note that in the 1920s the deer population in Arkansas had diminished to only around 200, but thanks to conservation efforts by the state the population is now estimated to be about a million, making a meeting like this more possible.
Similar clouds were visible the evening prior, so I had a hunch and woke up before dawn to set up for this shot at our beach club, Sands Beach Club, in Sea Bright, New Jersey. Using my tripod on the upper deck, I knew that the playground would make great foreground interest. This was taken on June 12, 2012. These structures, as well as the beach club, no longer exist. Hurricane Sandy destroyed them. Thankfully, the beach club is in the process of rebuilding. —Steve Scanlon
The combination of my passion for the natural world and my love of macro photography resulted in this shot of a baby Madagascar day gecko hiding in a succulent plant on my back deck in Spreckelsville, Maui. In the morning before work, I love to take my coffee with me to my deck gardens and watch the geckos start to appear and warm themselves in little warm spots of sun.
One windless morning, movement and a flash of color caught my eye. This baby gecko apparently felt very safe in its hiding place, as it allowed me to get very close. I dropped to the deck, camera in hand, and slowly crawled forward until I was inches away. —Lauren Hogan
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This photo was taken on February 24, 2013, in Havana, Cuba. Baseball is a staple part of Cuban culture, but most people in the streets of Habana Vieja were playing soccer, handball, chess, or dominos. It wasn't until five days into the trip that I wandered off of Paseo del Prado and finally found a group of young boys playing baseball. I watched them round the gloves they used for bases and chased after a fleeting ball or two before I started to shoot. Before leaving, I assumed the position of catcher and grabbed this image in the conveniently perfect light. —Lisa Shires