From among the photographers' favorites, Star editors and reporters have chosen two favorites. Their first choice (top) is a testament to the beauty of creation. We bet their second choice (bottom) will make you smile.
Images of gridiron glory, Little League prayers, nature in all its seasons, memories of the fallen, the faces and dreams of those with whom we share this community. Relive the year in all its triumph, tragedy and whimsy.
Reprints of every image can be purchased here.
2009 Photo of the Year: 1st place
This photo was taken at the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival in Foley in June. The balloon took off very early in the morning, as the sun was rising in the east.
The photo was taken with a telephoto lens at ground level. Some have seen this shot and thought I was in a balloon, also.
There were many other balloons taking off at the same time, but this was my favorite shot from that morning, as the sunrise was a unique background for the silhouette of the hot air balloon.
— Bill Wilson, Star staff photographer2009 Photo of the Year: 2nd place
Star photographer Stephen Gross captured this playful shot of Beth Humphries of Wellborn with a baby squirrel atop her head.
She found two baby squirrels still in their nest after her husband cut down a tree in their yard.
She nursed them with baby formula in an ear-dropper. This one is named Tiny.