Final Shot: Our Favorite Reader Photo of the Month


© Scott E. Zimmermann

Foggy Sunrise
Situated just a few miles west of Marion, Ohio, lies Big Island, a 5,800-acre wildlife area. Although the area is mostly prairie, it also contains thick woodlands, marshes, and several open ponds. According to Shutterbug reader Scott E. Zimmermann, it is a “prime” spot for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds, plus it also has a healthy bald eagle population. In fact, when Zimmermann planned his trip to Big Island one Sunday morning, his intent was to take some bald eagle shots, as he’s taken some “amazing” eagle shots there in the past. That said, he packed a wide-angle lens and a tripod, “hoping for decent morning color.” As luck would have it, “the sky was clear on that day, even with a meandering layer of fog over the water.” Since experience has taught Zimmermann that “clear sky coupled with open water doesn’t usually make for a great shot” he had almost given up. However, he decided to walk “a little further” to see if he could obtain a “decent shot” in the marsh area. “Shortly after sunrise, the fog was quite dense in this area, and the perfect combination of the dense but thin layer of fog allowed the bright morning sun to penetrate just enough to create the rays you see in the photo,” Zimmermann says. “I liked the ripples on the water that seemed to add another texture to the shot while slightly distinguishing the reflection of the reeds from the reeds themselves.” This dreamy, golden sunrise was captured with a Canon EOS 70D and an 18-55mm kit lens at 55mm, f/29, 1/25 second, ISO 100, -0.3 EV. The photo was also edited in PaintShop Photo Pro 13. You can see more of Zimmermann’s work on his Facebook page,

(Editor’s Note: Every month we feature an image in Final Shot from Shutterbug’s online Galleries on

Lorenzo Cassina's picture

Fantastic shot Scott. Love the mood and colors. Congratulations on your award. Lorenzo

sezimmermann's picture

Thank you Lorenzo!