Photographer: Steve Russell

Photo taken: Feb. 4, 2021, at Farrell’s Marsh in Steilacoom

Photographer’s description: “Salamanders can find refuge from the winter cold inside the cavities of a rotting log. From a distance, this one appeared gray and drab, but up close it appears to be covered in colorful stars. Shot handheld with a Canon 5D Mark IV and MP-E 65-mm macro lens and Nissin ring flash.”

Critique: “Technically speaking, this photo is very nice. Good exposure, nice and sharp. Cropped well. Aesthetically speaking, it’s incredible. There’s so much detail to absorb. Up close, the dappled coloring is extraordinary, yet a step back shows how well the salamander is camouflaged in its toasty environment. Thanks for sharing this perspective with us!”

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.