Readers Photo Challenge: It’s a small world

This month’s readers Photo Challenge assignment was “Close-ups.” There are things that we often overlook living in the regular-sized world. The best of macro/close-up photography looks at the hidden world of the miniature and elevates the details and textures for all to see.

Fifteen readers sent in 83 photos. Here are some of the best examples.

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Rick Wilmot of Lodi new that at any given time during the summer or fall he could find a black widow spider or two in his backyard. With his Canon 7D DSLR camera equipped with a 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens he went looking for one. The whole idea of a macro or closeup photo is to make a small subject Iook big in the frame and the long lens helped the spider appear as a large image without Wilmot having to get too close.

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Many macro photos tend to be of spontaneous situations, but Mike Ratekin of French Camp chose to stage a scene. Using his and his wife’s wedding rings for subject, Ratekin set them on a table at his home. Then he placed a string of Christmas lights in the background. He got the unusual color on the rings by using an LED light and a small blacklight and photographed it all with his Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR camera. The relative shallow depth of field created nice round bokeh effects with the background lights while a star filter over his lens gave a nice starburst to a specular highlight on the rings.

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When we think of fall, we often envision New England forests turning to colors of orange and red. Teresa Mahnken of Morada captured the essence of fall in a tiny microcosm of her own backyard. She used a Samsung Galaxy 6 smartphone to photograph fallen leaves and a seed pod from a liquidambar tree in her yard. She captured beautiful textures and rich autumnal colors in an image that exemplified the spirit of fall.

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A part of macro photography is to show the beauty in details that might otherwise be missed as we go about our daily lives. Susan Scott of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera to photograph a leaf and a goose feather floating in the lagoon at Oak Grove Regional Park in Stockton.

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Steven Rapaport of Stockton used a Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera to photograph his pet 12-year old lab “Bonnie” sleeping on his couch. Bonnie’s pink tongue that’s slightly sticking out of her mouth contrasts against the neutral colors of the dog’s fur, couch and pillow.

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Anne McCaughey used a Apple iPhone 6 to photograph a a red plum leaf while out for a walk on Bonniebrook Drive in Stockton. It was an easy think to overlook, after all there can be hundreds if not thousands of leaves littering the streets and sidewalks this time of year. But McCaughey captured the rich red color of the leaf and the texture of its veins as sunlight passed through it.

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Oran Schwinn of Stockton used a Google Pixel XL smartphone equipped with a macro lens attachment to photograph a succulent plant on his front porch.

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A photo gallery of all the entries can be seen at recordnet.com. A new assignment will be issued on October 19.

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  • Blog Author

    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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