Photo Contest: Cardinal and Scarlet Tanager Bird Bath, by Lisa Tomassen

Cardinal and scarlet tanager splash in a bird bath.

With the snap of her camera, Lisa Tomassen caught a fleeting sunny scene outside her Eden Prairie home. On a May day, playing outside with her two children, she noticed the two bright red birds, a cardinal and the rarer scarlet tanager, having a splash in the pond outside her home. “It was just so cute seeing them taking a little spring bath,” she says.

Surrounded by trees, Tomassen’s yard often becomes a stage for year-round wildlife views, bringing in good subjects for her photography. “It’s been fun to mark the seasons, what we have in Eden Prairie right in our backyard, but it’s been more capturing the beauty close to home and capturing these little moments,” she says.

Tomassen says she started out photographing nature and the seasons, eventually moving onto documenting her kids growing up. Now, as her two children are getting older—and moving faster—she is making a return to nature subjects.

Tomassen says she has never taken classes or read any books on photography, opting to learn and experiment as she goes. For now, Tomassen plans to continue her “little side passion project,” keeping her photo shoots at a community level and capturing the beauty of little things around her.

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This photo won third place in the Wildlife and Nature category of our annual photo contest.