Silver Winner

Wings of Courage

Photographer

Fenqiang Liu

Category

Nature Photography - Natural Art

Company

Submission Group

Amateur

Year

2022

Country / Region

United States

On one perfect spring morning in Central Florida, I captured the moment a Great Egret took off decisively and beautifully from an ancient oak tree draped in Spanish moss. That was in 2020, and for nearly two years, I did not feel an urgent need to process that image. Then, when the war in Ukraine broke out in February, I began to see my photo in a different light—it had come to symbolize, for me, the Ukrainian spirit and bravery that I so much admired. After that, I immersed myself in processing it with genuine enthusiasm. The original capture of the image was in bright sunlight and a blue sky. During post-processing, I selected the sky in Photoshop to make it darker before painting the light, using the digital brush to create a more dramatic and artistic impression. This photograph is my tribute to the brave Ukrainians and their military, as well as all the international volunteers in this ongoing war.

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