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Week 49 Winner

The winner of Week 49 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Peter DeLuca (@pumpkineater28). It's hard to imagine how you might feel after spending all morning climbing several thousand vertical feet to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite, but this picture does a pretty good job of setting the scene. Peter has won a $100 gift code to and we are donating $100 to the Access Fund in his name. Learn more about Peter below.

Where was the image shot?
Summit of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Canon EOS T3i
Lens: Canon EFS 18-55mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1250'
Aperture: f/3.5
ISO: 100

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
I suppose getting to the top of Half Dome could be considered special preparation. In the “shoulder season” (roughly October to May) in Yosemite, they remove the hand rails on Half Dome, but you can still ascend the cables without a permit using Prusik knots. One of my best friends, who had never been to Yosemite, came to visit me in California from Florida and I thought this would be a great first experience in the park.

How long have you been shooting?
I started taking a lot of pictures when I came to Southern California for veterinary school a little over two years ago.

What's your camera of choice?
The one I’m currently using, a Canon T3i with the kit lens. Being in veterinary school, I don’t really have expendable income but I’m hoping to buy a Canon T6 (or something similar) after graduation in a few years.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
I have always had a special interest in animals, thus wildlife is by far the most exciting thing to shoot. Taking pictures of wild animals requires so much patience and quick hands. I get a lot of joy from sweet shots of anything I see outside from bears to hummingbirds.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
I almost exclusively shoot solo unless I’m on a special trip with friends like this one. The less people you’re with, the quieter it is and the more likely you are to see wildlife.

What excites you about photography?
The ability to get people excited about nature and wildlife. We are at a time in our history when environmental protection is not a high enough priority for many people. At the very least I think photography helps me articulate why these incredible natural places are worth protecting.