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Week 23 Winner

The winner of Week 23 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Chase Tarkington. There is something special about Fall in the Eastern Sierras when the temps begin to drop and the leaves begin to turn. This shot of a lone cottonwood tree against the vibrant blue sky in the Alabama Hills is one for the books. Chase has won a $100 gift code to we are donating a $100 to the Surfrider Foundation on her behalf. Learn more about Chase below.

Where was the image shot?
This photo was taken in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, CA.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Sony a7
Lens: Sony Zeiss 35mm 1.4
Shutter Speed: 1/1600
Aperture: f/3.2
ISO: 50

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
No prep, but I always have my camera ready to go on road trips. We were driving to a camping spot and all of a sudden I saw this glowing golden beacon of leaves. We had to pull over and check it out. It was a tree we always pass, but I never noticed it before. It was late Fall so all the other trees in the area had already shed their leaves. I don’t typically shoot at that time of day when the sun creates such harsh shadows, but it did make for a sharp handheld shot.

How long have you been shooting?
On and off for over ten years, but definitely more often in the last couple of years.

What's your camera of choice?
My mirrorless Sony system is a smaller and lighter set up, great for taking my camera on the go. I bought my a7 used on eBay a few years ago, so hoping to upgrade one day (but I am a believer that you can take great photos with any camera!).

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
Small humans, big planet. Nature is always beautiful by itself, but sometimes adding the perspective and scale of a person can really emphasize the surroundings and make a photo more relatable.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
Both. I like to do my own thing, but I also enjoy capturing candid moments whether they are of my friends or strangers.

What excites you about photography?
I love capturing moments, places and people in an instant when they may never look or feel like that again. Before going anywhere to shoot, I’ll have an idea in my head of an ideal photo. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t…but it’s exciting to see how everything unfolds!