Seattle Times – Best Photo of the Year

UW cherry blossoms photo is a winner

The top 10 reader photos we received this year include a unique view of University of Washington cherry blossoms in the rain; the gentle love of a goose for its gosling and the visual poetry of autumn leaves swirling in a stream.

In many arenas, 2017 has shown there are always new ways of looking at things. Cameras prove that all the time, whether they’re pricey SLRs or run-of-the-mill smartphones.

Among top images from our readers in 2017 were this unique view of University of Washington cherry blossoms in the rain, or photos showing the gentle love of a goose for its gosling, or the visual poetry of autumn leaves swirling in a stream.

Over the past year, Seattle Times readers submitted hundreds of such images to our Reader’s Lens feature.

WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT THE GRAND-PRIZE PHOTO

This photo is so rich. I love the depth that is a result of very effective lighting. Setting up three off-camera strobes in the dark and in the rain and getting the perfect angle on all the elements was no small feat. I admire this photographer for his tenacity, thoughtfulness and creativity. Everything in this image really “pops,” with so many parts for the eye to take in. The backlit subjects, illuminated trees, shiny raindrops and reflections on the pathway create so many layers. The low angle gives the photo impact it wouldn’t have otherwise by highlighting the raindrops and umbrellas. A successful photographer must have an aptitude for detail and the ability to see how all aspects of the image fit together in an aesthetically pleasing way. Well done, Mr. Nakamura!

— Angela Gottschalk, Seattle Times photo editor

At year’s end, we’ve chosen 10 favorites to be our Seattle Times Reader Photos of the Year — a grand-prize winner and nine honorable mentions.

The grand prize, a $250 gift card to Kenmore Camera, goes to Yoshiki Nakamura, of Seattle. In his image (above) of nighttime visitors to the UW’s grove of cherry trees, streaking raindrops add texture and depth to an iconic Seattle setting we’ve not seen photographed this way before. (See related story to learn more about the photo and the photographer.)

A $25 Starbucks gift card goes to Honorable Mention winners in three categories: Northwest Flora and Fauna (see the winning photos here), Northwest Fun and Adventure (see the winning photos here), and Northwest Scenics (see the winning photos here).

Judging was by Angela Gottschalk, Seattle Times photo editor; Times photo specialist Colin Diltz, and Brian J. Cantwell, Seattle Times travel & outdoors editor. Photo specialist Katie G. Cotterill assisted in selection.

Thanks to all who sent in so many images of Northwest life and living. Please keep sharing your recent photos from the region at seattletimes.com/submit-photos.

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