As "Satisfaction" is to the Rolling Stones, "In the Air Tonight" is to Phil Collins, "It's a Wonderful Life" is to Jimmy Stewart, "Respect" is to Aretha Franklin--so is this shot to me, as far as I am concerned. Easily, far away, by far, no contest--the best photo I have ever taken. I was so convinced at the time it would be the best photo I will EVER take that nothing I attempted for sometime after satisfied me much at the time because I was trying so hard to outdo this one.
I saw it on my 2" LCD and was blown away, but at the same time fully aware that sometimes such looks can be deceiving, often-times when such a shot is viewed on a computer's larger screen it's far less awe-inspiring than it appeared in the field. No such problem here.
If I had to show someone a single photo I took and no other, no hesitation--this would be the one. It is my "signature" shot. Frankly, it's a wonder I'm even trying to take more "artistic" shots, it's taken me awhile to be content that other shots will be great even if they can't match or beat this one.
"Straight" from the camera (mode IIIa), no alterations. To do any attempts would be like colorizing Citizen Kane or creating a sequel to Casablanca. Taken in JPEG, not RAW--thank God it turned out so perfect it doesn't matter a wit.
The Shot. Period.