By Erika Owen
Updated: December 08, 2016

Follow along as we introduce the finalists of the 2016 T+L Photo Contest. These nine photographers come from all over the United States—but their photos span the entire world. For Round 2 of the contest, we asked each finalist to subject a few more of their photographs showcasing their talent and a video outlining why they should be named the winner. Don't forget to vote for your favorite photographer before the voting ends on December 13th.

Jeff Breitfelder travels all over taking photos—his favorite aspect to mess around with are natural weather patterns. You'll find rain, fog, wind, sun patterns, and more all featured throughout his work. But our judges loved his winning photo (pictured above) for a number of reasons. 

“For me, it’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s using what’s special in photography: stopping a moment in time," says Travel + Leisure Photo Director Scott Hall. "There’s the decision to off-center the action, which gives it that much more dimension. It’s also anticipatory—it makes you think: what happens next? It’s definitely humorous. Judging this category [Animals] was hard—we’ve seen millions of photos of animals. It’s about being at the right moment to capture something like this.”


Travel + Leisure Photo Editor Alex Arnold noted the photo's superb color palette: “There’s a tension juxtaposition. I interpret the monochromatic, but there’s also a flatness to it," he says." There’s a small range of colors and flat prairie space, but there’s this incredible movement and action happening.”

So, more about capturing that winning photo: "I was at Yellowstone National Park—this shot required a bit of patience and luck," says Breitfelder. "I was driving along on a snowy day, and I saw a coyote off in the distance. Instead of driving along, I pulled over at watched. it wandered around the field for 10, 20 minutes. And then, it must have found something because it just jumped in the air and pounced. It completely caught me off-guard. Fortunately, I was tracking it with my camera, and I got that shot. It put a big smile on my face."

Want to know more about Breitfelder and his work? Check out his finalist video below—and don't forget to vote!