Every week judges at the Daily Herald evaluate images sent to us by readers in the Northwest suburbs, Lake County, DuPage County and the Fox Valley. Finalists are chosen and their photos are published in the Neighbor section.
Once a month, our judges choose their favorite as the top winner in each zone.
Here are the winners for February.
For more information on the contest and how to enter, watch for the weekly winners on Tuesday.
A pirate ship against a beautiful sunset at Clearwater Beach, Florida, January 2019.
Benjamin Bernat of Vernon Hills
This photo was taken at sunset on the Fox River this winter where we rented a waterfront home.
Joan Hammel of Wildwood
Lately, temperatures have been dropping, and specifically today, school was canceled due to the below zero temperatures (01/30/18 minus 20 degrees). I was inspired by some internet videos and trends of throwing a pot of boiling water into the air as it freezes and turns to snow instantly. By turning my shutter speed up all the way, I was able to capture the exact frame when water turned to gas and snow.
Jonathan Theis of Palatine
A pelican rides the winds off Sanibel Island, Florida, as a dramatic sunset lights up the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This photo was taken during our spring vacation in 2015. I chose it because our frigid winter weather has got me dreaming of warmer days to come!
Mike Weimer of St. Charles
I took this just after the recent, on sunny day just after the polar Vortex ended. I was fortunate to see a lot of deer Deer at the Morton Arboretum looking for food. These two Bucks posed nicely for a few seconds and left the scene. They are standing in about 5 to 6 inches of snow.
Dushyant (Pat) Patel of Glen Ellyn
This photo is of a little know statue of Abraham Lincoln in a small country cemetery in south central Illinois near Pana, Illinois. This photo was done in infrared. This is one of my favorite Lincoln statues and a favorite photo of the thousands I've taken of statues of Lincoln all over the US and overseas. The setting is remote and the pose is quite dynamic though I'm not sure that Lincoln ever made this gesture as he spoke. I also like the way the statue is placed at the top of a large hill surrounded by large trees.
Dave Wiegers of Gurnee
As dusk approaches, Glacier National Park's majestic mountains and sky are mirrored in Lake McDonald. We visited this rugged Montana park in the summer of 2011.
Mike Weimer of St. Charles
This picture was taken the week of Thanksgiving in Marco Island, Florida, of my sister doing some gymnastics in front of the beautiful Marco Island sunset on the beach.
Skylar Kolb of Streamwood
I was at Whalon Lake in early December practicing taking photos of sunbursts and waiting for the sun to set. I was able to capture the sunset as it made a beautiful reflection in the water. The sunburst was an added bonus. I love the colors and how the trees framed the sunset.
Nancy Havener of Naperville
While away on vacation in Kona, Hawaii during our polar vortex, I couldn't help shooting the warm sunset through a cool glass of wine. Turned out better than I hoped!
Greg McDonald of Itasca
This image is of my daughter when we went to see the Lake Geneva Ice Castles display at night. I really love her silhouette image against the vibrant colors of the ice castles!
Lori Haevers of Gurnee
Photo of Chicago 360 from 1300 feet above the loop.
Jim Kristof of Lake Barrington
While photographing the sunset at Gulf Shores, Alabama last fall I watched this gentleman practicing with a casting fish net.
John Prickett of Hampshire
My wife loves Sedona and I took this several years ago on a stopover. I thought the clouds this day set off the rock colors nicely.
David E Aimone of Elburn
I was up in the Great Smokey Mountains last week and took this photo of this beautiful crow at 5,000 feet. I didn't have to use my zooms lens as I was able to take this photograph from 1 foot away from him.
Todd A. Sherlock of Downers Grove
This photo of a male scarlet tanager was taken in Western Illinois last spring. I liked the way the out of focus forest foliage made a green mosaic background.
Bob Esbensen of Palatine