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Week 37 Winner

The winner of Week 37 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Hayden Flores. At first glance it looks like a refreshing place for a swim, but with snow still visible on the mountainside you begin to wonder how frigid the water might be. Hayden has won a $100 gift code to and we are donating $100 to the Surfrider Foundation in his name. Learn more about Hayden below.

Where was the image shot?
Franklin Lake in Sequoia National Park.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Rebel SL1
Lens: Canon EF-S 24mm
Shutter Speed: 1/320
Aperture: f/8.0
ISO: 100

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
I got this shot while out on a solo backpacking trip. I had toyed with the idea of getting a picture of me jumping into a lake using the camera self-timer and a tripod. Luckily I made some friends camping at the lake. Once the light got good I asked my new friend Perry if he wouldn't mind snapping the shot and he fully delivered.

How long have you been shooting?
I have always liked taking pictures. But I started taking photography a little more seriously when I got my camera about two and half years ago.

What's your camera of choice?
I like my Rebel SL1 because that's what I have. Paired with the 24mm lens, it is really light and compact which is great for hiking and backpacking.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
I shoot mostly landscapes. I like the challenge of trying to get a shot that will do justice to what I am seeing in the moment.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
I have never gone out with a crew whose main objective is taking photos, so I can't say. But it is always more fun being out in nature with friends. If several of us have cameras, even better!

What excites you about photography?
Like I said above, I like the challenge of trying to do justice to the beauty of nature. Although sometimes the camera just can't fit in all the splendor. I used to get frustrated when this would happen. I have gotten better at recognizing the times when I would be better off leaving the camera alone and just enjoying the awesomeness before me.