Photo Contest: Hot Pics for January

Subscribers to Dave Johnson's Digital Focus newsletter took these award-winning shots.

1/2 Hot Pic: "Virgin River Dawn" by Leo Burkey, Salt Lake City, Utah

Leo writes: "I shot this from the Zion Bridge in Zion National Park. The sun was just beginning to rise and was just hitting the tops of the far mountains. The light was so dynamic that only a graduated filter or HDR could contain it. I don’t like the visible lines seen in most graduated filter photographs, so I choose to take multiple exposures. I combined six exposures using Photomatix Pro. My camera is a Canon 5D II."

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1/9 Hot Pic: "Biker Bachelorette" by Myka Forrest, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Myka writes: "A group of us I were walking around downtown Des Moines during my sister Dana's bachelorette party. A bunch of older men standing next to their parked motorcycles insisted that the lady of honor sit on one of their BMW motorcycles. I snapped this photo, capturing the memorable moment. I took the shot on my Canon PowerShot s90 with the aperture wide open and the ISO cranked up to capture the details of the night. I added some contrast during post-processing."

1/16 Hot Pic: "Autumn Leaves" by Henry Harrison, Claremore, Oklahoma

Henry writes: "I took this picture of a maple tree in my front yard. I used a Canon 60D. I now use this picture on my desktop; I liked the way the sunlight shines on this one group of leaves."

1/23 Hot Pic: "Old Merc" by Rick Leikam, Topeka, Kansas

Rick captured this photo using a Sony SLT-A33.

1/30 Hot Pic: "John Wayne Country" by Gerald Goodman, Holbrook, New York

Gerald writes: "I took this picture with a FujiFilm1800. I was on a bus tour with friends. The bus stopped at a tourist attraction, and I got off of the bus to take some photos. The passing horse and rider added a western sort of feeling to my unedited landscape photo."

1/2 runner-up: "Dragonfly" by Eric Bowden, San Antonio, Texas

Eric caught this photo with his Canon EOS Rebel T3.

1/9 runner-up: "Lost Man Formation" by Miguel Lanigan, Clearlake Oaks, California

Miguel writes: "I got up before dawn to see the Reno balloon races. I took this photo to capture a scene in which I saw a flight of five planes heading for a pasture where balloons were being inflated with hot air. I lined up these three balloons, lit by the rising sun, and the planes flying a "lost-man formation" to get that strong implied diagonal in the image."

1/16 runner-up: "Rainbow" by Tom B. Ettlinger, University Park, Florida

Tom writes: "We were in Palma Mallorca and visited the Duomo. For a few magical minutes, light came through the stained glass window and reflected a rainbow on the organ pipes. I captured the image on my Canon 40D. I got the best result using ISO 1000 at 1/49th of a second."

1/23 runner-up: "Wedding Rice" by Carlos Rex Aponte Cronenbold, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Carlos writes: "The newlyweds were running, so to capture the action I had to shoot quickly, without really focusing. I just pointed the camera and shot. I thought it came out looking very spontaneous."

1/30 runner-up: "Sunshine Tree" by Michelee Scott, Escondido, California

Michelee says she took this photo in Joshua Tree National Park while on the Hidden Valley Trail. She used a Nikon D5100.