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.”

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— Katie Greene, Seattle Times photo staff

Share your recent photo from around the Northwest. Submit online at (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