NatureScapes.net 2010 Images of the Year
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© Hector D. Astorga
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This image was taken at Bentsen State Park in Mission Texas on one of the trails that takes you to the banks of the Rio Grande River. It was taken on a cold January morning so the mesquite trees had lost a lot of their leaves giving the scene an eerie and desolate feeling. The dirt roads are closed to public vehicle traffic but are frequented by Park Rangers and by the Border Patrol. That morning I was the only one on the trail.

I processed the image in HDR. I then used noise reduction software to soften the image.

Equipment Used: Sony a900, Sony 16mm 2.8 fisheye, 1/400s, f/8, ISO 100, natural light, cable release, Gitzo 1325 tripod w/ RRS BH-55 ballhead.

About the Photographer: Hector D. Astorga has enjoyed photography since he was a teenager growing up in his native country of Honduras. Growing up in Central America made him appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and this is what he tries to capture in his photography. His main interest in photography is nature and travel. In 2008 he was named the Grand Prize Winner at the Valley Land Fund Small Tract Competition, one of the most diverse and largest photography contests in the nation. He repeated that success in 2010 by winning the First Grand Prize in the Pro and Open Divisions of the Valley Land Fund Wildlife Contest. In 2009 one of his images won first place in the National Wildlife Federation photo contest in the Connecting People with Nature category. He is a part time professional photographer and a business owner living in South Texas with his wife and young daughter. You can see more of Hector's images on his website www.hectorastorga.com and blog hectorastorga.wordpress.com.

This year's awards were proudly sponsored by:
NatureScapes.net Online Store Wimberley Hunt's Manfrotto LensCoat ThinkTank Photo