Readers Photo Challenge: Rockin’ the house

Readers who sent in photos for the latest Photo Challenge assignment had rocks on their brains, but that was a good thing.

Some sent in rocks where they lay, others strategically placed them in their compositions. There were painted and/or decorated rocks while others shot rocks in their natural, undecorated state. There were photos of small stones while there were some that were literally mountain sides (one reader sent in the biggest rock of them all: the moon). Fifteen readers sent in 62 photos. Here are some that really rocked the house.


This challenge was the perfect opportunity for Mitch Bazzarre of Stockton to try out a new Christmas present. He took a drive out to Pacifica in San Mateo County. He put his present, a 10-stop neutral density filter, on the end of the 16-35mm lens attached to his Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera. The filter, basically a very dark piece of glass, cuts out a lot of light and allowed Bazzarre to use a very long 10-second exposure. That long exposure made the constantly moving waves to appear mist-like around the stationary costal rock formations giving an eerie, ethereal look to his photo.


After a recent rain Carolyn Silva of Jackson photographed water filling grinding holes at Indian Grinding Rock Historic State Park outside of Pine Grove in Amador County. With her Nikon D7500 DSLR camera she captured the surrounding bare tree limbs and the sun breaking through the clouds reflected in the water filling some of the more than 1,100 bedrock mortar holes created by Native Americans hundreds of years ago.


Teresa Mahnken of Morada did some out-of-the-box thinking for her rock picture. In her dining room, she set up a string of lights on a curtain rod in the background and then a small lamp to illuminate her subject, a drink with large cubes or ice, or “on the rocks.” The background lights create a pleasing out-of-focus “bokeh” effect which are also reflected in the shiny surface of the table.


Ward Downs of Stockton also did a little unorthodox thinking for his rock picture. He used a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera to photograph a seagull on a light pole from Pier 39 in San Francisco with Alcatraz Island and prision, also known as the “Rock,” in the background.


Donn Sperry of Stockton went big with his rock photo. From the floor of Yosemite Valley he used a Sony Alpha NEX-7 digital mirrorless camera to photograph the Merced River with Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Falls in the background at Yosemite National Park.

All the images sent in can be seen in a photo gallery at A new challenge assignment will be issued on February 8.

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