Sam Walsh motored out on the Charles River at sunrise to photograph this women's eight crew silhouetted against Beacon Hill and the Boston skyline. "The hard part was trying to maintain the right boat-to-boat distance," explains the Massachusetts-based photographer. "It's difficult to keep the lines of communication open and not get in their way."
Walsh, who exposed 400-speed film at f/4 through a 105 mm lens for 1/1,000 second, seems to have gotten it right: "The symmetry and simplicity turned out well," he says, "with the row of heads at a slight angle against the shoreline."
Colin McNulty perched in a bobbing Zodiac alongside this iceberg off the South Sandwich Islandsabout 500 miles north of the Antarctic Circleon an austral-summer afternoon. Fierce waves pounded up into the ice; then the water streamed down in an eight-foot waterfall. "It's very rare to see this kind of deep blue through a whole iceberg," notes the Summerland, California-based photographer and Arctic and Antarctic guide. "The ice is compressed, so the light is refracted in a particular way, and all the colors are absorbed except the blue. Some people have said this picture is almost erotic. I'm not sure I understand that, being that it's cold ice."
McNulty used an 80-200mm zoom lens and 50-speed film exposed at f/5.6 for 1/125 second.
Richard Hamilton Smith dreamed of this picture before he made it happen. "Then it was just a matter of waiting until the weather and the sky were right," he says. One unusually still August evening, Smith paddled his canoe out onto northern Minnesota's Blue Lake (on whose shore sits the studio where he's worked for a year) and hopped into the chest-high water. "It's always a lot of fun to dream about an image and then see it in real life." How did he manage to keep the lake so glassy-smooth even though he was standing in it? "Patience."
Once the ripples died down, he used a 20mm lens set at f/11 and exposed 50-speed film for 1/8 second.
James Wheeler was on day 30 of a 45-day canoe expedition in Canada's Nunavut territory when he snapped this photo of friends Evan Kinne, Mark Halloway, and Kipp Van Ness (from left to right) paddling across glassy Mallery Lake, about 500 miles northeast of their put-in at Kasba Lake. "Since it was always light and we weren't wearing watches, we just paddled whenever we wanted to," says Wheeler. "We never knew what time it was."
The 20-year-old amateur photographer captured this image with a point-and-shoot camera and 400-speed film.
Shooting from a helicopter, Kirk Lee Aeder caught pro surfer and native Hawaiian C. J. Kanuha paddling within 20 feet of this lava, which is spilling out of the Big Island's Kilauea volcano. Beforehand, Kanuha paddled to a nearby black-sand beach and made an offering to Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess, asking permission to paddle out. "It's mostly a spiritual thing," says the Waikoloa-based photographer, "but it's always a good thing to do when you're screwing around with a volcano and molten lava." Still, Kanuha didn't feel entirely welcome: Boiling water burned his feet, and his skin peeled for days.
THE TOOLS: Canon 30D, 70-200mm f/4 lens, ISO 100, f/4, 1/2,000 second