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Photographer: Mark Aberle, Ballard

Photo taken: July 20, along a Puget Sound beach

Photographer’s description: “Sailed over to Poulsbo and captured this seal with an itch. Shot with a Nikon D5100.”

Expert says: “This photo is all about the moment — what a great, great moment. Is the seal laughing? Bashful? Whatever emotion Mark Aberle captured, it pulls at my heart strings. It could be a slightly out-of-focus, crooked photo, but if it makes you feel something, that’s a sign of a good photo. Photography is so subjective because not everyone is going to feel that same emotion. (But that’s a long discussion.) The rule of thirds is used nicely. Some amateur photographers might feel the need to get the whole seal in the frame; that’s not always necessary. Get in tight and get that moment big. I love the moments.”

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— Katie G. Cotterill, Seattle Times photo staff

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