Wikimedia is Wikipedia’s somewhat lesser known counterpart for media, including lots of photos. Apparently there was some kind of contest to choose the best photo of 2006. I found out about it today via Digg. The photo that won is really stunning. You can view it at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Picture_of_the_Year/2006. I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights, and this just adds to my desire. Maybe someday.
About the photo, the final version was retouched and enhanced. The photographer posted the original to Wikimedia as well. I respect that because I often wonder when I see a stunning photo just how much it was edited. Photoshop is a great tool, but I have to question where the line is between artistic photos and realistic photos. I tend to be more minimalist regarding editing photos, and don’t get into the heavy enhancements or filters, but seeing the difference between the original and finished photo makes me want to learn more about retouching photos. I think the retouching done on this photo added to the visual impact without distorting reality.
Kudos to the photographer Joshua Strang.