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#52weeksofnature Photo Contest Week 9 Winner

The winner of Week 9 of our #52weeksofnature photo contest is Marilou Vaquer (@m.lekanne_photography). There are a lot of factors that go into creating a beautiful image, but at the end of the day there's nothing more important than great composition. From the moss on the trees in the foreground to the rocky shores of Crater Lake in the bakcground, this image is one for the books. Marilou has won a $100 gift code to and we are donating $100 to the Access Fund in her name. Learn more about Marilou below.

Where was the image shot?
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

What camera did you use and what were the settings?
Camera: Samsung NX300
Lens: 12-24mm Wide Angle
Shutter Speed: 1/40'
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 100

Was there any special preparation required to capture the photo?
We booked a night at Crater Lake Lodge in order to be near the lake for a sunset and night sky shoot. As we drove towards the famous Cloudcap Overlook we passed by this spot. The setting sun was shining such a gorgeous light that I immediately knew that this would be a far more special shot than the ones I would take at the Cloudcap Overlook where dozens of other photographers had already set up. It became one of my favorite images of this national park.

How long have you been shooting?
My real interest in photography started about twenty years ago but I didn't purchase my first interchangeable lens camera until only five years ago.

What's your camera of choice?
I'm thrilled to say that I'm finally going to purchase the Sony a7rIII this year! So excited. The dynamic range and the image quality with this camera are simply out of this world!

What’s your favorite subject matter to shoot?
I love landscape and nature photography. I also enjoy dog photography.

Do you shoot with a crew or shoot solo?
I enjoy shooting either by myself or together with my wife. She has a good eye too and oftentimes points out fantastic compositions. I've never been out shooting with other photographers but I would definitely love to experience that someday.

What excites you about photography?
Photography completely fills me up with joy, fulfillment, passion and peace. It forces me to slow down and really take in a scene. Our world has so so many gorgeous places and I'm passionate about sharing that beauty and being able to elicit emotion from people when they see my images.