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Week 42 Winner

The winner of Week 42 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Matt Collins (@saltphotomc). A fresh take or unique angle can breathe new life into a classic Joshua Tree boulder problem. That is exactly what happened here when Matt created this image that does a great job of capturing the feeling of highball bouldering. Matt has won a $100 gift code to and we are donating $100 to the Access Fund in his name. Learn more about Matt below.

Where was the image shot?
Joshua Tree National Park.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Nikon D3S
Lens: Sigma 100-300mm F4
Shutter Speed: 1/500
Aperture: f/4.0
ISO: 200

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
I broke my foot in two places at Tres Palmas which prevented me from surfing, hiking, climbing, etc. My girlfriend’s brother and sister from Montana where in Joshua Tree for the weekend, so we drove out from San Diego to meet them with a bag full of cameras and a pound of bacon. The climber, Jesse Hay, decided to get one last climb in before sunset. I limped around the base with my broken foot to get in position. It had a classic look and the lighting was perfect. I don't really prepare for shooting, I just bring my camera and watch the light.

How long have you been shooting?
20 years.

What's your camera of choice?
Depends on the situation. My camera bag is all Nikon, but I have a Mamiya medium format camera that takes great portrait shots. The lens is really what matters. I invest in quality glass. You can put a great lens on a 30 year old camera body and get superior results.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
I like pulled back nature and lifestyle shots. My favorite shots are those where the viewer cannot figure out where the image was shot from, but the landscape is recognizable.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
Solo. I never understand why you'd want to stand next to someone else to get the same shot. That's for birthday parties.

What excites you about photography?
Its application is pretty amazing. It can be used for fun, commercial, documentary, artistic and journalistic endeavors. The camera is just a tool. I love seeing how other photographers create images using the same tool in the global space.