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#52weeksofnature Photo Contest Week 52 Winner

The winner of Week 52 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Jake Riffel (@riffel452). We're excited to be closing out this years 2019 #52weeksofnature photo contest with an image of one of the most iconic rock formations on earth. Jake has won $150 and is getting his winning image of Half Dome printed on a HippyTree t-shirt. Explore the Nature Photography Collective section on our site to view t-shirts of past winners.

Where was the image shot?
Yosemite National Park, CA

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: 50mm
Shutter Speed: 1/320
Aperture: f/1.4
ISO: 100

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
I got there 3 hours ahead of the sunset to scout out the right angle and shot I wanted. After that, it was a waiting game for the sun to set and the lighting to hit the peak of the mountains behind Half Dome.

How long have you been shooting?
I started shooting in summer of 2015 with my GoPro. It wasn’t really until later that fall when I went to Yosemite that my passion for photography began.

What's your favorite subject matter to shoot?
I don’t really have one favorite because I just love capturing the beauty of nature in general. Although, there’s nothing like shooting a dawn patrol surf session with huge barrels and howling offshore wind.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
Mainly solo because it allows me to be in my own zone and not have to worry about anything else. I’ve never been one to really shoot with a crew unless it’s with my friends on some adventure, capturing the memories.

What excites you about photography?
The experiences that it brings with every shoot, the stuff I get to see that not everyone does and the friendships that have been made because of photography. Photography is more than just a hobby to me, it’s part of my life and who I am.