Photographer: Leslie Otto, Bellevue
Photo taken: Nov. 24, Mount Rainier National Park
Photographer's description: "Instead of cooking a feast on Thanksgiving, my family and I celebrated by going snowshoeing. This Cascade red fox was on the side of the road near Narada Falls. Camera: Rebel X3i."
Judge's comment: "The grand-prize winner outfoxes all others. It is perfectly executed with good exposure, sharp focus and aesthetically-pleasing composition. The photographer shot in 'auto' mode, which allows the camera's brain to set the exposure. The center-weighted metering perfectly balances the highlights of snow and the shadows of trees. The overcast, low-light situation requires an open aperture and a slower shutter speed to let more light pass through the lens and expose the CMOS image sensor. The open aperture reduces the depth of field (of focus) to clean up the background by making it blurry, and the slow shutter blurs falling snow. Her Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens focused so crisply that water droplets are visible on the fox's muzzle. As the fox's intense gaze locks onto the viewer's eyes, one almost feels like tasty prey."