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Week 16 Winner

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The winner of Week 16 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Jordan Kuettle. Flowing from the North Umpqua River in Douglas County, Oregon, Toketee Falls is a sight to behold. The Chinook Native Americans named this place Toketee, which means “graceful.” By the look of this photo that name is spot on. Jordan has won a $100 gift code to hippytree.com and we are donating $100 to the Access Fund on Jordan’s behalf.

Where was the image shot?
On the way to Bend, Oregon, to experience the full eclipse in August 2017. We learned there was a fire just west of Toketee Falls so we rushed to get down to the falls before the roads closed. The timing was perfect. The sun’s rays parted the trees and highlighted the smoke just enough from the fire giving that reddish amber tint. In my opinion, the best light for photography is the kind provided by nature.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Canon 6D
Lens: Canon 16-35mm MKIII
Aperture: f/8
Shutter Speed: 4"
ISO: 320

How long have you been shooting?
I started getting into photography after purchasing my first car and taking fishing trips to the Eastern Sierras about 14 years ago. Surrounded by so much beauty, I felt the need to document and capture the sights so I could look back and reminisce. About the same time I took a black and white film photography class at my local community college. The rest, as they say, is history.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
Landscapes and wildlife. It’s always a good time getting out, wandering down a trail and indulging in what most take for granted. It's extremely satisfying to observe and capture an animal in its natural surroundings. Whether it's a moose or a bear that pops out in front of you on a trail or bald eagle perched upon a tree, the ruggedness of nature never ceases to amaze me.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
When I'm shooting landscapes I prefer to shoot alone. I'm more creative and better understand my surroundings with zero distractions. On the other hand, when shooting at night I prefer shooting with friends. More creative minds means better results. It can take hours to get the shot; it's much easier to pass the time with good conversation and a few adult beverages.

What excites you about photography?
When I go out I want to capture a shot that's powerful and depicts a certain moment in time in my own way. Being able to place myself inside the picture and place in time is the ultimate goal. It's even more gratifying when others enjoy your image and are inspired to get out, get lost on a trail or in the pines, or take the leap and travel somewhere new.

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