Hampton Wildlife Fund Photo Contest - Previous Winners - 2017

Casual photographers, like most of us, often think of photographs as snapshots in time, captured in the blink of an eye. Others, maybe those with an artistic bent, know that all photos are not created with the mere click of the shutter button, but over time. How much time? Well that depends on the technique employed. Slow shutter speeds of more than a second — maybe even several seconds — create the creamy look of blurred running water. Photographers working at night may use shutter speeds of up to a minute or more to capture stars in a field of deep purple. Then there is a technique called painting with light. The shutter is left open for several minutes as the photographer moves about the scene with a strobe or flashlight to illuminate specific areas to create an image. It can be spectacular.

Often the best images are first created in the mind of the artist. Professional photographers call it previsualization. Once the artist has a concept in mind, he or she can go about planning what steps are needed to create the images. That too can be slow work.

As you ponder the winning images from our 2016 contest, keep in mind that a lot of planning goes into creating a great image — even the ones that appear to be captured in less than a second. It adds to the appreciation of the art form to know that the artist really did work hard to produce an image that hopefully is pleasing to viewers.

– Joey Frazier

Outdoor Recreation

**All above photos remain the property of the photographers.**