Photographer: Yoshiki Nakamura, Seattle
Photo taken: June 9, Sparks Lake, near Bend, Ore.
Photographer's description: "I went to capture the beautiful star-trail image at Sparks Lake. I set up for time-lapse shooting starting around 10 p.m. and ending around midnight. When the last sunlight was about gone, miraculously the Northern Lights came into the scene. 14 mm, ISO2000, f/2.8, 28 seconds, and 30-second interval. This is a composite of 86 images."
Expert says: "Wow. Just wow. This composite photo is gorgeous. I’m having trouble coming up with words. One thing I love about it is the wide angle — we don’t usually see that center point of the rotation of the stars in photos like this. It’s like God’s big thumbprint stamped in the center of the sky. The Northern Lights showing up at the perfect time just goes to show that the Photo Gods look after us photographers. Beautiful!"
-- Katie Greene, Seattle Times photo staff