Readers Photo Challenge: Reaching for the stars

Readers looked to the heavens to find inspiration for the latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment: The Sky.

Some of them used the sky as the primary subject for their photos like the main ingredient in a soup while others used it a background like the broth for that soup, adding an overall flavor to their pictures.

Twenty- three readers sent int 118 photos. Here are some of the top picks that aimed high and hit their mark.

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While on a trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho to visit relatives for Thanksgiving, Janet Baniewich of Stockton used a an Apple iPhone 7 to photograph a field of wild grasses. A low angle makes the tall grass reach upward to the heavens and creates a decorative veil for the dramatics clouds filling the sky.

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How to shoot the sky without actually shooting the sky? Rick Wilmot of Lodi solved this problem in an elegant way. Instead of pointing his camera upward, he aimed it down. On a partly cloudy day at Lodi Lake Wilmot used his Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR camera to capture the picturesque clouds reflected in the still waters of the lake with a little out-of-the-box thinking.

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Teresa Mahnken of Morada ventured out to the Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve near Woodbridge. With her Nikon D3200 DSLR camera she captured a flock of Sandhills flying into the reserve at the end of the day. They are silhouetted against the lavender of the last remnants of a waning sunset.

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Carolyn Silva of Jackson used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photographed a cow on a hillside in Jackson. The bovine’s bold silhouette and wild brush stands out against the bright orange of the sunset sky.

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Steven Rapaport of Stockton photographed the serenity of the sunset as a boat slowly cruised into the Village West Marina in Stockton. The low sun turns the sky and clouds a rich golden color while making a small starburst near the rear of the boat.

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My wife and I used to make fun of her late mother’s vacation photos. She would take pictures out the car windows at various scenes as my late father-in-law would drive on their trips. Inadvertently, she would get the car’s side mirror in her shots. Lillian McDonell of Stockton intentionally used her car’s mirror as a compositional element. Using an Apple iPhone 6 to photograph the cloudy sky reflected in her car mirror along I-5 near Roseville.

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Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR camera to photograph a garden sign his his yard. The sign, which says “love” is silhouetted against the sunrise. Tule fog hangs low on the horizon while light clouds and blue skies soar above.

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Madeline Kummerle of Stockton used a Samsung Galaxy Core to photograph a hillside covered in pampas grass in Aptos, California. Bright blue skies and light clouds rise above The tall grass in the shadows of the foreground provide a nice frame for the scene.

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Cyndi Moran of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR to photograph the sun as it lights up the wispy morning clouds and sky through the trees at Buckley Cove in Stockton.

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Thomas Keeling of Stockton wrung the last bits of color from a sunset photograph the sunset over White Slough in Stockton. He used a Samsung SM-G890A smartphone as the clouds start to turn to grey with just a tinge of orange after the full sunset and before the blue hour of dusk.

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All of the entries can be seen in an online photo gallery at recordnet.com. This is the last challenge assignment for the year. Stay tuned for the next one in January.

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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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