The photo above took 3rd place in the Loudoun Photo Club Nature competition, Intermediate category. I took that photograph with a Coolpix S550, probably in program mode. And yes, there is some photoshopping going on to give it a bit of a glow.
My goal is to consistently use whatever tools are at my disposal to take memorable photographs. Whether it is a camera phone or a disposable film camera, or my pro canon gear with borrowed strobes. Whether there is fabulous or wretched ambient lighting. I want to understand photography and lighting so completely that I intuitively work with the limits or strengths of whatever I've got handy and make the best choices to achieve the photograph I am envisioning.
I saw Joe McNally at a lighting seminar last October, and that is what struck me the most about watching him work. He is a problem solver! He didn't walk into that room and nail the first model shot, but he was able to quickly assess the situation, make a few adjustments, and then create some memorable portraits. He started out as a National Geographic photographer, so he always had to be thinking on his feet and responding to different photographic demands out on the field. His books are fascinating reading because he leads you through his thought processes as he comes up with these fantastic images.
But I digress.
This photograph was an honorable mention, and the photograph below was also an honorable mention.