In 2006, I won first place in the Little Rock Zoo Annual Photo Contest with this picture of a Spiny Softshell Turtle poking its head over the water line in its aquarium.

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I took this photo at the Little Rock Zoo indoor reptile area. It is a darker area and setting up a tripod is difficult. As a result, I had to take everything handheld. I only took a few shots and I remember looking at my camera screen and thinking they were out of focus. I almost deleted them, but thankfully my philosophy with digital is to not delete anything until I can see it on my monitor.

I was surprised at how sharp and different the turtle looked when it pierced the water line.

To compare, the second photo is one I shot of the same turtle below the water line.

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A few days later, I returned to the zoo and went straight to this aquarium. I probably took a hundred shots and none of them were worth saving.

In fact, I went to this zoo many times and was never able to get a similar in-focus photo again.

Sometimes you just get lucky!

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