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Photo of the Week

Image: Yosemite National Park - Valley View
Yosemite National Park - Valley ViewSubmitted by Harlan Goodson / UGC

May 7

“I love to take pictures,” said Sacramento, Calif.’s Harlan Goodson, whose photo of California’s Yosemite National Park was this week’s top-rated It’s A Snap! image.

An attorney by trade, Goodson says he has a special avocation for landscape and travel photography, which led him to take a class this past March through the Learning Exchange program.

Led by professional photographer , Goodson and fellow classmates started out early in the morning, shooting several locations around the park throughout the day. “It was a 12-13-hour shoot,” he said.

“Everyone was taking pictures from a bridge, but I got down by the river for my shot,” said Goodson.

As for wildlife, they saw none. “It was a day after a snow. We were dressed in layers — they were smarter than we were.”

The Exchange class “taught me how to shoot Yosemite,” said Goodson. “I learned a lot about following the light, where to be at the right time of day, where to capture a rainbow, a sunset.”

Goodson says he learned the basics of photography while training as a Turkish linguist at the Navy’s Defense Language Institute, using their craft room to develop and print photos.

Favorite places to travel? “Everywhere,” said Goodson. “We’re lucky enough to take a big trip once a year. ... We love European cities — Italy tops, Venice, and the Almafi Coast,” adding, “Istanbul is beautiful,” referring to his Navy stint.

The winning photo was captured with a Nikon D700 with 14-24 wide-angle lens, on a manual setting “to get the perfect light.”

Goodson says he is building a portfolio and hopes to show his work in a gallery this year.

For more about the Learning Exchange program, .