That’s the case with the dramatic photo that Brad LaChappelle took
of the Tillamook Rock lighthouse off the Oregon coast. He hunkered
down during a fierce winter storm to capture a towering wave nearly
engulfing the stoic lighthouse.
LaChappelle, an avid nature photographer, had ventured to the
coast during the storm to take photos of waves pounding the rugged
coast. He noticed that particularly big waves would hit Tillamook Rock,
a famous Oregon landmark, about every 20 minutes. So he waited.
“There was a sun break on the wave when this particular wave hit,” he
says. “A beam just came out of clouds. It was just by chance that I happened to get it.”
LaChappelle, a student, hopes someday to shoot photos full time. He
displays his work on a Web site,
www.bradsimages.com. For his Third-Place
photo, LaChappelle won a $500 Costco Cash card.—Tim Talevich
It’s a keeper
“NEVER THROW anything away” sounds just like what an auditor
might say if he’s talking about financial records or old tax returns. Its
application to photography is how retired auditor Roland Portillo
arrived at his second-place photo.
Portillo took a series of pictures in January 2006 at the Living
Desert wildlife park near Palm Springs, California. “It was the end of
the day and I was shooting right into the sun,” he says of the photos he
took of a giraffe. “Even though the light was blown out, I liked the
shots, so I kept the photos on a disk.”
A few months later, in his hometown of Cambria, California, he
took a series of photos of an evening sky. “There were just these
incredible clouds. When I looked at them, I remembered the giraffe
shots and wondered if there was something I could do with both of
So Portillo combined the Living Desert shot with a Cambria
sunset photo to create a composite balance of light and color that is
stunning; the clouds themselves are reminiscent of an animal’s hide.
His Second-Place prize is a $1,000 Costco Cash card.—T. Foster Jones
Second Place, U.S.