Photographer: Chris Picard

Photo taken: Dec. 4, 2020, at Union Bay Natural Area in Seattle

Photographer’s description: “That Friday was a beautiful late fall day, so I decided to walk around the Union Bay Natural Area (just east of the UW) to see what birds I might be able to find. There were many birds present, but this heron put on the best show. It played with this fish for several minutes before, surprisingly, letting it go. I’d never seen a ‘catch and release’ by a heron before.”

Critique: “What a great photo! And I love the twist at the end, where the fish gets away. I’d not heard of a heron catch-and-release before, either. Technically, as always, your photo is superb. Well-lit, perfectly exposed, nice and sharp, expertly cropped. I like the way the old pilings subtly frame the heron, and while upon first glance, most people might assume that the fish was a goner, it sounds like it was a happy ending for all involved. Thanks for sharing with us once again.”

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.