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Week 35 Winner

The winner of Week 35 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Paul Smith. From dark skies and monsoon rains to parting clouds and sunsets, the ever changing weather patterns in Canyonlands National Park are a sight to behold and this photograph captures such a moment perfectly. Paul has won a $100 gift code to and we are donating $100 to the Surfrider Foundation in his name. Learn more about Paul below.

Where was the image shot?
Canyonlands National Park, just south of Moab, Utah.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Aperture: f/9.0
ISO: 800

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
No special preparation, but kinda cool how it fell together. I just left Moab and was headed south for Bears Ears as I drove through the wildest monsoon I have ever seen. Fifteen minutes later I came out on the other side to the sun shining and nothing but the black clouds of the monsoon rolling through the sky. I kinda went storm chaser for a bit and sped down some random side roads. I had no idea what would be at the end of the road, but I just saw the lighting getting better as the sun was falling. I raced the monsoon and setting sun, watching distant lightning pierce the orange haze. Eventually I pulled into a parking area and sprinted down a couple trails to snag this shot.

How long have you been shooting?
I picked up a camera in the summer of 2016 and have shot photos and video ever since.

What's your camera of choice?
It depends on what I'm wanting to shoot. More recently I am a lot quicker to reach for the Canon AE-1 film camera than anything else. 5D Mark III for digital photos or the Panasonic GH5 for video though.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
I absolutely love shooting anything surf or wilderness related. But nothing can compare to portraiture; it’s often equal parts challenging and fulfilling. Capturing any of Gods wild creations is just amazing.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
Solo Dolo.

What excites you about photography?
Photography is an avenue for conveying so many aspects of this life. Whether it's raw emotion, beauty, a special moment, pain and suffering, or a passionate cause. But especially because photography allows every individual the opportunity to share things with their unique voice or perspective.