The first of this month's prize-winning photos is also pretty adventurous. This fantastic early-morning shot of one hot-air balloon, taken from another one, is fifth-time-lucky for regular entrant Nathaniel Gonzales of Oxford, England. Nathaniel explains: "Taken this April during a mini-break in Cappadocia, Turkey. I went for a thrilling hot air balloon ride early in the morning on the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia." Nathaniel wins an Adobe software bundle of Photoshop Elements 7 and Premier Elements 7, as well as a 2GB SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash card and All-In-One USB 2.0 card reader.
Here's a picture straight out of Lawrence of Arabia, except it was actually shot on Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia, by Kevin Cheng, of Richmond, Victoria. It's the second time Kevin has entered our competition, shooting this entry on his Canon EOS450D and Canon 24-105 EF f/4L IS USM lens.
Our top prize this month goes to Rod Fountain of Teddington, England, for this brilliant shot. It was actually taken on Fuji Velvia 50 ISO film, using a Canon EOS 1N, a Sigma 28-200 f3.5-5.6 lens (28mm, f16 at 1/60th) and a polarising filter. It was digitised using a Minolta Dual Scan, and the saturation and shadow detail were tweaked using Photoshop CS3. It's a great shot, but taken at some cost: "The lens packed up about 10 frames later due to a huge bow wave that soaked the camera in salt water. I immediately put the camera and lens into a sink of fresh water. The 1N camera body was fine after a quick dry out, sadly the lens was strictly manual focus only after this! (But it worked just fine on manual). I doubt many digital bodies would take such treatment and soldier on." You're probably right Rod, but to be fair there aren't that many film cameras that would survive it either. That EOS 1N is a seriously tough bit of kit. Rod wins himself a copy of Adobe Lightroom 2, a SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash card and an All-In-One USB 2.0 card reader.
Many thanks to all our entrants, and congratulations to Nathaniel , Kevin and Rod . Don't forget that the current round of our photography competition is open, with the theme of "Looking Up" and a closing date of July 31st 2009. Click here for details on how to enter, and the superb Panasonic and SanDisk prizes on offer.