And the Winners in the Hand of Man Category Are! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

And the Winners in the Hand of Man Category Are!

Congratulations to Hand of Man Category Winner Ron Henderson of Dallas, TX. His “Great Egret on spillway” image was created at White Rock Lake in Dallas with the
Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS lens (at 170mm) with the Canon EOS-5D Mark II rested on railing. ISO 100. Evaluative metering -1 1/3 stops: 1/10 sec. at f/32.

Great Egret on spillway by Ron Henderson

The strengths of this image include the graphic look created by the repeating pattern of the steps, the rich blue and gold tones, and the movement of the water. The Great Egret provided the perfect accent.

From Ron:

This picture was made while I was on a walk by the lake with my daughter Emily, age 13 on a late afternoon near the end of February, 2012 . I used a slow shutter speed to blur the rushing water.

Congratulations to Charles Bergman. His image, “Parrot in box” was awarded second prize in the Hand of Man Category in the BIRDS AS ART 1st Annual Bird Photography Competition. The bird in the box, a Blue-headed parrot chick (Pionus menstruus) was photographed on a small river in the Amazon Basin in eastern Ecuador. 24-120mm lens (at 42mm) with the Nikon D200. ISO 100: 1/40 sec. at f/11.

Parrot in box by Charles Bergman

The helpless, wet, disheveled parrot chick placed in the battered, equally bedraggled cardboard box combined to make this a powerful, story-telling image. The jungle setting and the young boatmen complete the story. Note that the perfect head angle strengthens our connection to the baby parrot.

From Charles:

I was traveling in a remote part of the Amazon, staying with the people in indigenous communities. This chick had recently been removed from a nest in a hollow tree and placed in a ragged cardboard box; it would be transported into the wild bird trade. It is legal for indigenous people to capture parrots and other creatures for pets; it is not legal for them to sell them. The trade in the back country is an open secret.

Congrats to Matt Hansen. His “Duckling and Lincoln Memorial ” image was awarded third place in the Hand of Man category. The Mallard duckling was photographed on May 23, 2010 as it emerged from the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. .

Duckling and Lincoln Memorial by Matt Hansen

We are all fans of the underdog struggling to survive. Each of the many compositional elements from the crack in the sidewalk to seemingly interested folks to the huge marble structure in the background are perfectly positioned. Those, combined with the perfect timing that captured the splash, made this one a winner. Note that Matt chose to break a basic compositional guideline by having the subject look out of (rather than in to) the frame. With good reason!

From Matt:

This image is part of the ongoing “Uniquely D.C.” project that I’m working on, portraying the monuments and memorials in unique ways. A Mallard family was heading toward the edge of the Reflecting Pool and I knew that a possible moment was about to happen. This duckling, the runt, had some problems jumping high enough to get out but finally was able to summon enough strength to make it over the ledge.

This iot a photo I would usually submit to competitions, but in the guidelines you mentioned that Photoshop was ok, so I figured, “Why not?” If you compare the raw and optimized images you will see that a man in the background was removed as I felt he distracted from the Memorial. I do have an optimized version with him included if you prefer.


Congrats to the three winners above. One hundred sixty four images survived the first cut in this category. You can see the thirteen images that were sent to the judges here. Getting to the final round is quite an accomplishment. Prizes (see below) will be shipped once all the winners are announced as several folks had more than one top three images. Be sure to patronize our sponsors; without them, this contest would not exist. There will be more educational stuff from this category coming soon.

Hand of Man
First Prize Runner Up Highly Commended Sponsor
$100 Gift Certificate $50 Gift Certificate $25 Gift Certificate B&H PHOTO VIDEO
choice of lens plate P-5 camera body plate Plamp Wimberley
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$30 Discount Certificate $25 Discount Certificate $20 Discount Certificate Canvas On Demand
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$50 Gift Certificate $25 Gift Certificate $10 Gift Certificate Lens Coat
Canon/Nikon Lens Plate Canon/Nikon Camera Body Plate . 4th Generation Design
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13 comments to And the Winners in the Hand of Man Category Are!

  • David Policansky

    Artie: I’ve been wondering about your, Denise’s, and Peter’s thoughts on Blacktailed Godwit. I think it’s a very fine image, but I didn’t consider voting for it in this category because the “hand of man” was to me such a minimal part of the image. Unless it’s that it’s on a wooden post instead of a beach, but that bird does feed inland…Anyway, you three all obviously thought it belonged in this category, and so I’d be grateful for your thoughts.


  • Arla

    All the photos are outstanding but Ron,yours is especially phenomenal.

  • Congrats to all.

    Ron, what a shot. I live in Dallas and spend a lot of time at white rock lake to photograph birds. Incredibley well seen, that shot of yours is. and well executed. Hopefully, we will run into each other one of these days.

  • David Policansky

    Congratulations to all 3; all deserving images. And to the other 10 that were sent to the judges and shared with us all.


  • Congratulations to all the winners! All three images are fantastic!

  • Congratulations to the winners. These types of shots are my favourite ones. And these here are both interesting AND beautiful photos. There is often a romantic idea among nature photographers trying to isolate the birds or the animals from everything man made, while the reality is that the Eagle in the photo may have a road, a house or something hand made just a few meters away. These photos tell a story at the same times as they are amazingly good. Good choise of the Jury! And even better choises of the photographers when choosing the subjects and making them so good!

  • Congrats to the other two photographers. Much deserved!!! Also, thanks to the judges for giving my photo a look and “Highly Commending” it. I’m flattered and appreciate your stamp of approval. Though more than 2 years removed from the moment, I still get a smile when someone is positively impacted by it! I also thank the sponsors.



  • Ruth Schueler

    All three pictures are masterpieces. They encourage me to give it a try next time!

  • Patty Corapi

    Congrats to the three top winners and all of those that made it to the finals. They are all wonderful images. What I thought was happening with the baby parrot was which makes it all the more powerful and so sad at the same time. The baby duck makes me want to just boost him up.

    Again kudos to the finalists and the winners.

  • I love all three too. Congrats to all!

  • Carol Nichols

    All three of these images are truly exceptional!