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Action Photography Contest Winners: Round II
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WINNER: Kayaking Lost Creek on the Feather
Presenting the second round of our Action Photography Contest, judged by
National Geographic photographer Bill Hatcher.
Photo: Paddling Lost Creek, California
 « 5 of 5 
                    See the First Round's Winning Photos »

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The first descent of Lost Creek in the Feather River drainage in northern California is still one of my most memorable kayaking moments. We ended up spending more hours walking than kayaking, but still got to run several great drops. Here kayaker Taylor Roberston runs a 25-foot (8-meter) waterfall that was the entrance to a gorge that falls away at more than 740 feet (226 meters) per mile.
—Darin McQuoid, 24
Kayaking Guide
Chico, California   

Judge's Remarks:
I like the action and composition of this shot, plus the exposure is perfect, which is not easy when you are shooting white water. In kayaking photos, there are opportunities to use motion blur—this is not one of them. Darin used a high shutter speed that freezes the water and kayak action. The unique perspective of shooting from above makes this kayaker look like he is dropping into a bottomless hole of doom. Great shot.
—Bill Hatcher, photographer and author of the National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Action & Adventure

DIY: Be ready for poison oak if you are planning a trip to the Feather River area, which lies about an hour and a half northeast of Sacramento, California.
Outfitters don't offer trips like this one, but
California Whitewater Rafting ( offers many options in the area. ( provides a friendly forum and plenty of information about paddling in the Sierra Nevada, while both California Creeks ( and Jefferson State Creeking ( list hundreds of runs in northern California.

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