Readers Photo Challenge: animals

“If we could talk to the animals, learn all their languages
I could take an animal degree
I’d study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle
Alligator, guinea pig, and flea” – Talk to the Animals by Leslie Bricusse

Animals are a source of fascination and subject matter for many photographers. They can be found in the wild, in zoos or, as our pets, in our homes. Animals are the subjects of the latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment.

Ten readers sent in 55 photos who showed that while we may not really be able to talk to the animals, we can certainly photograph them. Here are the top picks.


Teresa Mahnken of Morada spent some time photographing horses at Mar Val Stables in Lodi with her Nikon D3200 DSLR camera. At the end of the day, as the setting sun lit up the clouds and sky with hues of orange, a horse came up to her and looked straight into the camera. Mahnken not only managed to capture the beauty of the scene but the curiosity and personality of the horse as well.


While on a vacation to the central coast of California Dave Skinner of Stockton visited the Maritime Museum of Morro Bay. Moored there was a replica of the Spanish galleon the San Salvador, the ship that Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo used as the first European to navigate the coast of California.

With his Nikon D5100 DSLR camera, Skinner photographed an osprey perched on a yardarm of the ship. The bold lines of the ship’s rigging help the composition by bringing the viewer’s eye right to the majestic bird.


Mitch Bazzarre of Stockton was out at the Cosumnes River Preserve near Galt looking for some fall color when he spotted a small rabbit cross the path he was on. Like Alice in Wonderland following the White Rabbit, Bazzarre quietly chased his bunny for about 10 minutes until he was able to get a clear shot of it. With the warm afternoon light gracing some of the tree tops and soft light filtering down to the path illuminating the rabbit, the image has a fairytale-like quality.


Rick Wilmot of Lodi was on a rafting trip down the Colorado River near Page, Arizona when his party stopped to look at some petroglyphs a little ways inland. On his way back to the raft Wilmot spotted a desert spiny lizard basking in the sun and was able to photograph it with his Canon EOS 7D Mk II DSLR camera.


Carolyn Silva of Jackson stayed a little closer to home for her picture. With her Nikon D5000 DSLR camera she photographed a honeybee searching for nectar on a flower in her neighborhood, capturing the vibrant color in both bee and blossom.


All of the entries can be seen a photo gallery at and a new challenge assignment will be issued on November 3.

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