45 Cloud Shots That Blew Us Away... Who Wins Samsung's Galaxy Camera?

It's Gizmodo Australia Shooting Challenge prize time! There are some amazing photos in this bunch of 45 entries, were you the winner?

Prizes

That's right, it's new prize time. We've got a Samsung Galaxy Camera to giveaway! The Galaxy Camera is a 16.3-megapixel camera wrapped around a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, complete with 1GB of RAM, a 4.8-inch touchscreen (1280×720), 8GB of built-in storage that expands via microSD card to 64GB, all running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

It also takes a microSIM card for sharing all those photos and videos you take. The Galaxy Camera leads the line-up of Samsung Smart Cameras for 2013, with the rest of the line packing fantastic image processors, beautiful designs and smart features like Wi-Fi for syncing photos and videos. The Galaxy Camera is the perfect addition to your digital life, and we’re excited to give one away each week to Gizmodo Shooting Challenge faithful.

The camera you’re playing for is valued at $699. We'll be running this challenge over two weeks, with this week being the final round. The finalists from each week will go head to head in the final and the winner will be selected by Gizmodo editors for the grand prize!

Who Won The First Galaxy Camera?

The first two weeks of this four-week challenge are Editor's Choice, so this week and next week, your fearless editors will decide on who wins. In the two weeks after that, we'll open it up to reader voting. So who won the first Editor's Choice award for a Galaxy Camera? Our winner is… Michael Chong! The awesome shot submitted by Michael nabbed him a Galaxy Camera. Congratulations! Here's the story behind the image:

I was with a new group of photographers who were getting ready to take photos of a fire twirler doing his craft under the full moon on the beach. But once the sun went down and the action began it seems odd that the fire twirler couldn't catch the fire staff consistently. It suddenly became obvious that though the sun went down the moon had yet to rise. Once the fire twirler was exhausted of dropping the staff and intense commands from a group of photographers wanting poses, the moon began to rise above the horizon, through the clouds and created an almost surreal sight reminiscent of a sunrise with its brightness and orange tinge but still having sky dark and the stars glimmering.

Don't think we forgot about the rest of you, though. We had an amazing 65 entries into this week's competition and the race was a close one. We'll be announcing the next round this afternoon. Stay tuned!


This Week's Entries

Lisa Caukill

Shot this picture outside our house. An amazing could formation.

Marc Abbott

Exhausted after spending the morning at the dawn service then the day snorkelling and surfing in kilalea state park just south of wollongong, we were driving back to our campsite when we saw the glitter of this sunset blinding us over the ridge. I pulled over and whipped out my 5d mk2 to snap a few shots off. The sky was so clear and blue all day but as i got the shots off u can see there are whispers of the southerly change wind. Taken on anzac day evening 25/04/2013 using a Canon 5d Mk2 ISO50, F.22, with a sigma 150-500mm lens.

Stuart Addelsee

Canon 7D | 1/100s | f/14 | 70mm | ISO 100
The morning sun and clouds make a great combo, an early start on the weekend helped me capture this image.

David T

Last night of the challenge and finally some clouds developed at Lake Illawarra. And photobombed by a couple of locals. Nikon d3100 f10 1/200 18mm

Rudi Khoury

Out doing some night time plane spotting and got this shot of some clouds. 5dmk3 17-40 lens: 15 sec f/10 iso800 - forgot to take the uv filter off and can see some reflection, didn't clean in post, though it looked cool.

Alex Mcgregor

Working out in a remote mine in north Queensland, you don't have the luxury of nipping down to the tip with a load of rubbish. So instead a lot of material is incinerated, in this case shipping pallets. I thought the smoke cloud(it is too hot out here for real clouds...) and high voltage power line created a nice silhouette on the outback sunrise. Shot on my Canon 550D though a Canon 50mm prime @ 1/80 & f/1.8

Richard Tang

This photograph was taken with my Sony Ericsson LT26i (Sony Xperia S), with an F-stop of f/2.4 , exposure of 1/3200 s, ISO-50 and focal length of 4mm. I took the opportunity to snap this photo towards the end of a run to my Goodlife gym. While it may not look like the most aesthetically grandiose and appealing photo, I really admired the differing patterns the various types of clouds provided atop an Autumn sunset. The contrast between the upper clouds, being suggestive of a sunny and peaceful day still present, and the darker, overcast clouds in the centre , separated by a solid band in between, provoked me into thinking about how things can change very quickly, and so I submit this photo because it reminded me of how and why people love photography; the ability for photos to bring to surface a variety of emotions tied to past experiences.

Altair

This shot was taken in Adelaide Hills, while exploring new trails. The moment was right, the sky was beautiful with the sun light just looking out through the clouds. Nikon D800E with Tamron 70-300mm at 120mm f/8 ISO-250 on Aperture setting, handheld.

Jonathan Ng

Camera: Canon 550D Lens: Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 F number: 2.8 Exp: 1/2500
This was taken from the level 6 viewing deck at the Perth Bell Tower. My mate had a wedding ceremony there and with the celebrations being held in an outdoor venue, those clouds sure weren't on the invite list. Fortunately, contrary to the weather forecast, the rain didn't start until the evening after all the formalities had been over. Although I have heard it is good luck if it rains on your wedding day...?

Katie Abdilla

For this photo I shot at f/16, ISO 50 and an exposure of 91 seconds using my Canon 5D MKII with a ten stop filter. This photo was taken down at the Lewisham boat ramp in Tasmania.

Tom Wood

Moonset over Silverton - I took the opportunity for a sneaky long weekend and headed west in search of clouds... then stopped about 1200km later once darkness set in. The morning revealed a setting full moon, some stunning sunrise colours and a few wispy clouds (about the only ones I saw all weekend). Then it was time to head home (at a more leisurely pace) to complete great road trip in a stunning part of the world.
- Nikon D800 with Nikkor 28-300 - Tripod, tent and sleeping bag - HDR tonemapping, sharpening and some repairs around the rapidly moving moon

Beau

I took this on my Canon S95, using AUTO settings, then point and shoot.
I decided to take my wife to a little hill on the beach to watch the sunset. We were just sitting down relaxing, watching the people jogging, and riding past. Even thou we didn't get to see the sun setting on the horizon, the clouds still offered us a beautiful view. With so many different types of clouds and pastel colours, the sky looked like a painting.

Avon Perera

Canon 600D EF 70-300mm f/8 100 ISO 1/6 seconds
I was actually trying to get a good shot of clouds behind the wheel in Docklands from North Melbourne train station - near my work, but the setting sun behind the clouds just to the right of the wheel was so dramatic that I focussed on that instead. I especially love the reflection of the brilliant sky on the train tracks in the bottom right. I'm actually surprised that it ended up so sharp considering it was a fairly cheap lens, it was really windy and even the platform was shaking from the trains.

Andrew Palmer

This was taken in the Snowy Mountains on Thursday night using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 with f/3.6, 1/60s, ISO-80, -1.7 exposure bias.
We had the fire going, the pate and wine out and were settling in as the sun set over the mountains. I spied this cloud through the trees and figured this was probably the best I was going to get given the weather forecast (which was correct - we had perfect blue skies for hiking Mt Kosciuszko!). I used a tiny amount of the boost function in Picasa to bring out the red in the cloud.

Ken Livesey

Equipment used: Panasonic GX1 Micro 4/3rds, 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 lens, small tripod

1/50th @ f7.1 ISO200 25mm focal length

I would not call myself a landscape photographer in the slightest but there is a certain peacefulness being outside around sunrise that I find very.....peaceful. I tend to look for cloudy weather when planning this type of image as I like that it gives a more dramatic feel than a clear blue sky. This image was taken at the entrance to Fremantle harbour and is of the Western Australian Maritime Museum and southern side of the Fremantle Port area. It was just as the sun was rising but had not yet cleared the horizon. The camera and tripod were sitting on a rock and I used the 2 second timer to stop any movement from me touching the camera when hitting the release button.

Hopefully the clouds are prominent enough because as soon as I read the dates for the competition, all the clouds here in WA disappeared.

Kevin Cheng

Canon EOS 5D3, 50mm f/1.8 f/1.8, 1/500 sec, ISO 320
Quick one from a nice sunset tonight.

Nathan Vanderwaal

Picturesque Waubra with the Wind Turbines during sunset. Canon EOS 1100D F/5.6 - Exposure 1/100 sec. ISO-400 Focal Length 55mm Cropped w/ advanced program MSPaint. Word Up to homeboys Todd C & Mikey D

Jason Lau

This was taken on a beautiful near cloudless day as I was walking out to get some lunch. Pretty strange cloud, and I'm not sure if it was created by a plane, although I couldn't see any in the sky at the time. Highlight of a very mundane day.

Max Rosen

I shot this with a Nikon D5100 on a tripod, the shot itself is ISO100, f/4.5, zoomed to 17mm and exposed for 1.3 sec. I basically saw the competition posted online, rushed home from work and grabbed my tripod, camera and my girlfriend and went shooting.

Andrew Elms

A funny thing happens when you line up a shot like this. When you look away from the camera there will always be a few people looking up wondering what is up there that is worth photographing.

Yi Dong Wu

Went on a trip with friends to Tasmania for the first time ever during the Anzac day long weekend. We did not originally plan to visit Mt Wellington, but on our last day the local markets were closed due to gale force winds, so we had to make new plans. And i am so glad we did!

After a 30 minute drive up to the mountain, we parked at the very top. The winds were so strong, our rear wind-shield imploded due to the pressure. (but that's another story) Despite this, i clambered up several rocks to the highest point where the winds were so strong that i could flutter around like a flag if i held onto one of the bars cemented into the rock.

This shot was only the 3rd of about 98 shots i took while holding onto my phone for dear life, to prevent it from being blown out of my hands, whilst trying to hold the camera steady to take a shot. It is taken as a panorama of the city of Hobart below. You can see the top edge of the mountain, the city and sea below it, as well as the beautiful sunny blue sky with of course, the white clouds that were fortunately sparse that day.

The shot should be wide enough to see a slight curvature of the earth (it is 1,271m AHD after all!) even if you take out the slight fisheye effect of the panorama.

As the sky was partly cloudy, you can see where the beams of sunlight start and end, which explains the dark underexposed sections of the photo.

Fortunately for us, wind was the only thing we had to battle against, as the weather was otherwise beautiful with a subtle misty fog overhanging the city.

Tim Moss

Testing out the art filters on my OMD-EM5 at the weekend while wakebaording at a friends place in Tailem Bend, SA on the Murray River. Taken with Olympus OMD-EM5, Panasonic 14mm f2.5 @f5, 1/320 sec. Art filter 10 - dramatic tone.

A couple of friends had questioned whether it was going to rain, so we were deciding whether to leave the kids and driver to the wakeboarding and riding on the biscuit and retire for a cold beverage. Decided my friend needed a shot of the elements and his boat for his collection so we could justify our decision later.

We chose to be brave, and the weather held out - great afternoon and the kids had a ball.

Rory Dickson

I'm having withdrawals from Summer, so I wanted to bring it back in this photo - I shot it with my phone, a Galaxy SII and edited it with Pixlr Express by Autodesk.

How anyone can prefer this dreary wetness over the warmth is beyond me

Peter Burns

Fujifilm X100 fixed lens, F2, 4 secs, ISO-200.

All day had been overcast so that evening after the moon came up the clouds were moving apart allowing glimpses of sky. At midnight I managed to get this shot of the Southern Cross in a gap between the clouds that were racing across the sky. Just like a window to the heavens.

Sandy Burns

Fujifilm X100 fixed lens, F16, 1/500 sec, ISO-200, –2 step exposure.

We haven’t had any clouds here for 2 weeks so when we had an overcast day I was excited but then overcast isn’t really the best for photos of clouds. Luckily this afternoon it started breaking up and I managed to get this vertical in-camera panorama shot. The beach where were camping has another 30 campers and we enjoy the sunset drinks each night clouds or no clouds.

Robert Kuan

Photo: Was taken during could forming over the sea at Phuket Patong Beach with iPhone 5.
Device: iPhone 5 ISO: 50 F number: 2.4

Anton Roberts

Working in a remote mine up north west of Australia, I saw the sunrise after knocking off nightshift and took a quick photo with my iPhone. I don't bring my camera up here so that was all I could use. The next day I saw this competition and thought "that was good timing".

Mitch Swan

Knowing the flight home from Canberra this weekend might be a good opportunity, I made sure I had my camera on board.

Taken with a Canon 600d at 1/2000, f5.6, ISO 100. Had to shoot in manual since the exposure meter was having trouble with the brightness.

David Johnson

There was a lack of clouds to shoot for this challenge, so I made do with smoke clouds at sunset. No editing except for a little cropping to get rid of bland bits at the top and bottom. Camera: Canon 600D Lens: Sigma10-20 f:[email protected] 20mm ISO:400 Shutter1/60-f20

Matt Byers

ISO:250 F-22 shutter:1/2000

I always drive past this church and have always wanted to take a HDR image of it. This obviously isn't the HDR image but it is one of the dark exposures that I was going to use. As I went through the images I saw the clouds pop out and thought it looked pretty good with the church silhouetted against it, and then remembered this competition.
I will be heading back with a ladder to attempt to do another HDR image but from a better perspective. There were a few other options for photography in the same area. In the meantime this is my entry for the clouds.
In photoshop, I put on a black and white adjustment and cropped the image.

Duncan Webley

ISO:250 F-22 shutter:1/2000

My partner and I were on our way to a party when this lightening storm began to light up the sky. We pulled into a car park of a nearby supermarket, set up the tripod and started shooting away. I loved the way the lightening lit up the clouds as the bubbled and frothed across the sky. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed to be late to the party.

Shot taken with Canon 60D, 10-22mm Canon Lens at 10mm, ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/4 sec Exposure

Cole Barnett

Went to check out the surf at the beach to find it a flat blue lake. A fluffy bank of clouds lined the sky but didn't affect the beautiful weather. No adjustments or editing have been done.

Will Longman

I took this photo from the front of my verandah - It was last of a number of shots taken as the sunset got progressively more dramatic!

Was taken with a Pentax K200D and a Sigma 18-55mm, ISO 200.

Ward Paterson

Picture taken on the 26th April. Was a clear night and full moon making for some stunning photos of the Moon with my Canon 7D. To emphasize the clouds I used F/5.6 @ 1/4sec and ISO-400 - all done without a tripod

Edwin

shot this one night after work when i saw this beautiful sky, in Richmond, Victoria, even before i knew this competition. i shot this with my phone Sony Xperia Z because i only had this with me at the time.

Siang Lim

I was up at about 6am today. I looked out the bedroom window and noticed the sun just coming up. Going out to my balcony, I managed to get the foreground in silhouette, and the clouds remind me of smoke billowing from the horizon.

Mark Banfield

I took this at Lennox Head, NSW on Anzac Day 2013. The weather had been a bit iffy lately however on that day it was glorious. After a cool swim I sat down and saw the lines in the scene before me and the perfectly shaped clouds on the horizon. I had my Canon 5D Mark II with me so I thought that I might try to do the scene some justice. Shot at 70mm, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec. Lightly processed in Topaz adjust to bring out some clarity in the details.

Benny Ko

Taken on my iPhone 5 Aperture: f/2.4 Exposure Time: 1/120 sec ISO 80

Sandro Renda

Coming home from uni, saw this and quickly got my camera out. I had been scoping all day for a cloud picture.

Settings f/13 1/80 sec ISO 50 16mm

Nic Bills

Canon 60D 16-35mm F.2.8 1/15 @ 2.8 ISO 1000 Taken on top of Mount Macedon at the Memorial Cross during the Anzac Day service. Dad and I woke up at 4:30am as we do each year for the occasion, grabbed a coffee & jumped into the car which read 0 degrees. I like to think that doing this each year will help keep the tradition alive and it's excellent to see that each year there are more and more young people like myself going to this dawn service. - Nic Bills Age 16

Nic Bills

Canon 60D 16-35mm F.2.8 1/15 @ 2.8 ISO 1000 Taken on top of Mount Macedon at the Memorial Cross during the Anzac Day service. Dad and I woke up at 4:30am as we do each year for the occasion, grabbed a coffee & jumped into the car which read 0 degrees. I like to think that doing this each year will help keep the tradition alive and it's excellent to see that each year there are more and more young people like myself going to this dawn service. - Nic Bills Age 16