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Originally published November 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Page modified November 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM

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Swim with salmon | Reader’s Lens

Seattle Times reader Jessica Newley’s up-close, underwater photo of coho salmon returning to spawn in a Skagit County stream.

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Photographer: Jessica Newley, Bellingham

Photo taken: Nov. 11, Clark Creek, at Marblemount, Skagit County

Photographer's description: “I took these pictures of coho salmon by first donning a diving drysuit, a mask and a snorkel. I used a Canon 5D Mark III camera in an Aquatica housing. Basically, I float into position and sit very still while the salmon adjust to my presence and eventually it’s as if I’m not even there. It’s a very powerful experience to have these large, wild animals brushing up against you, swimming between your arms and legs while you photograph them.”

Expert says: “How this photo was captured is just as amazing as the photo itself. It’s true dedication to put yourself in your subject’s environment. It paid off here; the fish fill the frame and the colors are vibrant and almost resemble a painting. We are able to see their habitat and their beauty. Amazing job! Tip: If you don’t have diving gear or an underwater housing, take an empty fish tank and put a few weights in the bottom — enough to get the tank underwater but not submerged. Place your camera with a wide-angle lens against the glass and there you go: a makeshift underwater housing.”

—Katie Greene, Seattle Times photo staff

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