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#52weeksofnature Photo Contest Week 5 Winner

The winner of Week 5 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Tom Faries (@outerfaced). We've all seen shots of Yosemite Valley, but to photograph Bridalveil Falls in the middle of winter with a fresh dusting of snow and low clouds hovering is nothing short of magic. Tom has won a $100 gift code to hippytree.com and we are donating $100 to the Surfrider Foundation in his name. Learn more about Tom below.

Where was the image shot?
Yosemite National Park, California.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Sony a7ii
Lens: Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS
Shutter Speed: 1/160'
Aperture: f/11
ISO: 100

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
I've always wanted to see Yosemite after snowfall so I planned a last minute trip after the Sierras were pounded by a weekday storm. Since El Cap in that moment was covered in morning clouds, my eyes (and camera) were naturally drawn to Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls.

How long have you been shooting?
Three years. I'm nothing more than a passionate hobbyist photographer, but given the chance I'd change that in a heartbeat.

What's your camera of choice?
Sony a7ii.

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
Mostly landscapes. I was struck by a recent quote by Randy Morgenson, a famous Sierra Backcountry Ranger, from the book The Last Season that describes why and what I like to shoot: "Admittedly, I place my tripod in a particular place, and make a host of other decisions, but if I am receptive to the place I am photographing, rather than thinking about manipulating it into a proper composition, something about those rocks and trees may come through the photograph, apart from my notions of what makes a good picture. I prefer to be a witness, over an interpreter."

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
My crew is often my wife and daughter, Sierra. As one can imagine, it takes patience and planning when you're out in the field so I'm finding it's usually a solo endeavor which I enjoy. It's definitely meditative for me.

What excites you about photography?
In addition to just being outside in the elements, I am thankful that photography has made me so much more observant of the small details in this world. My hope is that photography can be a force to encourage all humans to protect and preserve this planet. Potentially being a small part of that inspiration excites me.

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