Readers Photo Challenge: Flower power

Flowers are the symbols of renewal and rebirth which made them the perfect subjects for a springtime challenge. Some people sent in wildflowers while other chose domesticated blossoms to photograph. Either way, they showed the visual power of flowers. Twenty-nine readers sent in 164 photos. Here are some of the top examples.


Steven Rapaport of Stockton used a Canon EOS 5D Mk IV to photograph a couple embracing in a field of poppies and goldfields at the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve near Lancaster.

Steven Rapaport of Stockton took a trip to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster in southern California where there is a full-blown super bloom happening. The hills of the valley are blanketed with millions of the orange blossoms as well as other wildflowers. Rapaport not only caught the beautiful and brightly colored scenery but a couple in a springtime embrace for spring is also the season of love.


Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III to photograph his 11-year-old granddaughter Josephine Ceja with some wild radishes along Manthey road near Leo Grion Drive in French Camp.

Mike Ratekin of French Camp took a beautiful photo of his 11-year-old granddaughter Josephine Ceja with some wildflowers. He found some poppies growing near the San Joaquin County General Hospital on Manthey Road not far from his home. Then they picked a basketful of wild radishes a prop. Photographing the scene with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR camera equipped with an off-camera flash Ratekin related a photo that he, Ceja and her parents will cherish forever.


Will Hereford of Lodi used an iPhone 7 to photograph a swallowtail butterfly on a flowering cherry tree in his front yard.

Will Heryford of Lodi is a veteran videographer of KCRA 3 and is used to capturing moving pictures with his camera but sent in a photo for the challenge that shows that he is equally adept at taking stills too. With an Apple iPhone 7, he photograph a swallowtail butterfly that landed a flowering cherry tree in his front yard. He was get in close to capture Bothe the beauty of the butterfly as well as the cherry blossoms.


Teresa Mahnken of Morada used a Nikon D7300 DSLR camera to photograph poppies near the Mokelumne Fish Hatchery near Clements.

Some of our readers didn’t have to find a super bloom for their flower pictures. Teresa Mahnken of Morada saw this small hillside covered with poppies at the day use area of the Mokelumne Fish Hatchery near Clements. She used a Nikon D7300 DSLR camera to photograph them bathed in early morning light which helped to make the orange blossoms pop out against the green of the stems and grasses below.


Janet Baniewich used a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera to photograph 2 women sitting in a field of wildflowers off of Highway 58 in San Luis Obispo County.

Janet Baniewich of Stockton took a wrong turn on her way to Carrizo Plain Nation Monument in San Luis Obispo County. Instead of turning around she followed GPS directions through some narrow backroads to a small valley full of flowers. She stopped and got out on foot. She saw a pair of women having a picnic among the flowers and captured the scene with her Nikon D3300 DSLR camera. It’s a prime example of the saying “ It’s not the destination but the journey that’s important.”


Matt Baker of Stockton used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph a bee on some Otto quast lavender on Lower Sacramento road near Eight Mile Road in Stockton

Matthew Baker of Stockton photographed a bee looking for nectar on a Otto quast lavender growing as part of the landscaping at the the Delta Water Supply Project on Lower Sacramento Road near Eight Mile Road in north Stockton. He used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to capture the orange bee against the purple blossoms.


Carolyn Silva in Jackson used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph tulips in a neighbor’s yard.

Carolyn Silva of Jackson photographed some striped tulips in a neighbors yard with her Nikon D7500 DSLR camera. I liked how she used the stripes in a grouping of overlapping flowers similarly to a herd of zebras use their own camouflage to confuse their predators. But instead of causing confusion, the stripes become a unifying theme for her photo.


Dave Skinner of Stockton used a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera to photograph a white fairy lantern wildflower along Electra Road in Jackson.

Most people chose flowers of bright colors but Dave Skinner of Stockton to a different route with his photo. Near Jackson, along Electra Road, which is experiencing a mini super bloom, he found a white globe lily (also called a white fairy lantern), With his Nikon D7000 DLSr camera equipped with a macro lens he photographed a hanging blossom in a golden spiral composition to capture the flower’s subtle beauty.


Juana Solozano of Stockton used an Apple iPhone to photograph Jesus and Nani Magaña of Stockton in a field of wild mustard on Finkbohner Road in Stockton.

Juana Solorzano of Stockton took pictures of Nani and Jesus Magaña ahead of an upcoming wedding. She placed them in a field of wild mustard on Finkbohner Road in rural Stockton. Nani’s yellow dress matches the color of the mustard and a coy kiss behind Jesus’ hat completes the playfulness of the picture.


All of the photos can bee seen in an online gallery at A new challenge assignment will be issued on April 20.

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