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#52weeksofnature Photo Contest Week 24 Winner

The winner of Week 24 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Matt McClellan (@matt_mcclellan). Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin, this spot is one of the word’s great natural wonders. Congrats to Matt for capturing this stunning photo of a lone hiker at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Matt has won a $100 gift code to and we are donating to the Access Fund in his name. Learn more about Matt below.

Where was the image shot?
White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Canon 6D Mark ii
Lens: Nikon 150-600mm
Shutter Speed: 1/320
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 100

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
I had an idea for this shot before I made my trip to White Sands. I knew I wanted to use a long lens to really compress the frame, but the sunset being as crazy and perfect as it was, turned into a beautiful treat that made the picture that much better.

How long have you been shooting?
I have been shooting since the 8th grade when I got my first DSLR, a canon T3i. So it has been about 8 years.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
I really enjoy Landscape photography. Pretty much anything that is outdoors and has beautiful scenery.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
I always tend to have friends with me when I go shoot. It is much better for me when my friends and I can make a trip out of it. It tends to be way more enjoyable and the photos tend to come out a lot better since we are all having a good time!

What excites you about photography?
I would have to say the journey is what really excites me. Whether I’m waking up super early to shoot a sunrise, or staying up super late to try and photograph the milky way, it always makes for an exciting adventure that leads to some super awesome memories that I get to cherish and remember forever. And when you go through all the hard work in order to hike to that challenging spot or wait for the perfect conditions to arise for the photograph and the shot turns out, it is the most surreal experience that just gives me goosebumps and inspires me to photograph more.