Photographer: Michael Burke, Mercer Island

Photo taken: Nov. 25, from rear parking lot of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle

Photographer’s description: “I searched for a location to capture an iconic Seattle landmark with the setting sun. Unable to get a clear view, I took this shot through the bare branches on the hillside in front of me, capturing contrasting elements that make Seattle unique. Taken with a Nikon D90 and 18-200 telephoto lens.”

Expert says: “I love the bare branches in the foreground. They add texture and provide a unique photo of a highly photographed landmark. Without those branches it would be a photo that I feel I’ve seen before. It’s good the branches don’t cover the top of the Needle. The texture of the clouds as the sun hits them is really nice and provides a nice gradient of colors.”

— Katie Greene, Seattle Times photo staff

Share your recent photo from around the Northwest. Submit online at seattletimes.com/northwestphotos (and see an online gallery of other Reader’s Lens photos). Look for this year’s award winners in the Dec. 22 NWTraveler and online at seattletimes.com.