Jan. 30

Congratulations to Brian Fisher of Santa Monica, Calif., who captured this week’s top-rated image in the It’s A Snap travel photo contest. His image shows an adorable sea lion pup in the Galapagos Islands, which Fisher considers “one of Earth’s most fascinating places.”

Fisher told us that one of his biggest passions in life is traveling the world and “capturing what I experience through the lens of the camera.”

The plants and animals found in the Galapagos definitely offer great photographic opportunities. The flora and fauna include species that occur on the islands naturally and those that are found and breed only in the archipelago or Galapagos Marine Reserve, according to the Charles Darwin Foundation. “The animals … don’t know humans as a threat, which makes it quite easy to get up close and personal,” Fisher noted.

While exploring the island of Espanola’s beaches during the last week of October, he noticed several sea lion pups playing in the sand. Fisher got down to their level and started snapping photos from about 10 feet away.

“One of the pups was very curious and came right over to me,” Fisher said. “That’s when I was able to get the shot. His nose was less than a foot from the lens! He actually started sniffing me and the camera, so much so that I had to clean my lens after.”

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