Photographer: Andrew Thomas

Photo taken: July 10, 2020, at Birch Bay

Photographer’s description: “Comet NEOWISE rising at dawn over Birch Bay on the morning of 2020-07-10. As an extra bonus, a hunting heron slowly worked its way into the frame and then held still for a three-second exposure.”

Critique: “This is incredible, and easily my favorite photo of NEOWISE thus far. This photo has so many layers — literally and figuratively. My eyes see horizontal sections that make up an extraordinary image: The top layer is the comet and stars. Then we have the clouds/Earth’s atmosphere, followed by the mountains, forests, the bay and the beach. Each layer tells its own story, and together they make a really impressive photo. From our deep-space visitor to the heron in the foreground, everything about this makes me say, ‘Wow’ — great job.”

Below is a gallery of previous Reader’s Lens picks. Share your recent photo from around the Northwest. Submit online at Our favorite will appear in this spot next week. We judge the year’s best and award prizes in December.