From Some National Wildlife Contest FIRST PLACE, Other Wildlife, Amateur Cyrinda Hoffman Anchorage, Alaska Yes, this photograph of an Alligator mississippiensis was taken from inches away, and yes, Hoffman was in the water with the 8-foot reptile. And no, we don't recommend it. But Hoffman wasn't worried. "That one was pretty docile," she says. "It just seemed curious." The electrical designer, a Florida native, was visiting Big Cypress National Preserve when she came upon the gator. Once in the water, Hoffman used a friend's digital camera with a 15mm fisheye lens and strobe lights in an underwater housing to make this image.