Mesquite in Death Valley - 43pts, First place
Paul Whiting, Hampshire Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 70-200mm, f/11 Paul, the 2005 winner of APOY, took this picture just after sunrise while climbing about 80ft up on the sand dunes at Mesquite in Death Valley, California. 'I saw the hikers pop down along the dune and luckily I had my 70-200mm lens on to reach out and capture their figures against the amazing shapes of the dunes,' says Paul. 'Normally I don't include people in the landscape, but on this occasion they gave such a fantastic sense of scale I felt they would enhance the image. I converted it to black & white to emphasise the lovely shapes of the dunes.' Judges say, 'There is so much to like about this visually arresting image. Paul's exposure has captured extreme contrast to abstract effect, while the inclusion of the hikers gives the image scale and a small dose of reality.'