Readers Photo Challenge: Small wonders

In the latest Readers Photo Challenge, entrants were asked to forsake visions of grand vistas and to think small. “Closeups” was the assignment and readers abandoned the normal sized world for one that embraces the minuscule. The found whole new worlds, most not farther than their own homes. 177 photos were sent in by twenty-nine readers who found out that good things come in small packages. Here are some of the top examples.

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Carolyn Silva of Jackson used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph a beetle in some tall grass in her backyard.

Carolyn Silva of Jackson was pulling weeds in her backyard when she found her small picture. She saw a small beetle crawling the tall grasses. She ran to her house to get her Nikon D7500 DSLR camera, then back to the yard. The scene she captured, backlit from the sunlight, looking like an otherworldly forest with an exotic, alien beast lumbering though the landscape.

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Teresa Mahnken of Morada used a Nikon D7200 DSLR camera to photograph a wire whisk in her kitchen.

Teresa Mahnken of Morada found her view of the miniature in her own kitchen. With her Nikon D7200 DSLR camera, she photographed a wire whisk in her kitchen. Viewed from the top, the whisk looks like some sort of art deco representation of the electrons’ path around the nucleus of an atom.

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Susan Scott of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR camera to photograph a leaf of a cast iron plant at her home.

Stocktonian Susan Scott’s photo of the small world came in the form of a potted plant in her home. She used a Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR camera to photograph an aspidistra or cast-iron plant. It’s gently curving leaf, backlit by window light, gracefully shading it’s seed pod against a plain yellow-brown wall in the background

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Steven Green of Stockton used a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera to photograph water drops on a spider’s web at his home.

Steven Green of Stockton found some photographic riches in his backyard. Small water drops clung to a spider’s web on a plant among the yard’s landscaping. Green used a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera equipped with a Nikkor 40mm micro lens to captured the glistening drops as they hung like a tiny jeweled necklace.

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Cynthia Barker of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera to photograph her cat Angel Boy as he naps at their home.

Stocktonian Cynthia Barker’s cat Angel Boy slept peacefully as he unknowingly posed as Barker’s subject. With a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera, focused in on the feline’s muzzle with some soft window light gently bringing out the detail in its fur.

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Conley Woehrle of Stockton used a Fujifilm XT-2 mirrorless digital camera to photograph a leaf on a bush at his apartment complex in Stockton.

Conley Woehrle of Stockton captured symmetry that can be found in sometimes nature in his photo. Using a Fujifilm XT-2 digital mirrorless camera he centered his composition on the midrib of a leaf on a bush in his apartment complex. You can see the veins of the leaf branch off of the midrib to the left and right of his closeup detail of the leaf.

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Dave Skinner of Stockton used a Nikon D600 DSLR camera to photograph an Iceland poppy in the demonstration garden at San Joaquin Delta College sin Stockton.

Dave Skinner of Stockton photographed Iceland poppies that he found at the Delta College’s demonstration garden in Stockton. Skinner says that due to the coronavirus shutdown, the garden hasn’t been well-tended to and some of the plants are in bad shape. With his Nikon D600 equipped with a Nikkor 60mm micro lens, he photographed 2 blossoms next to each other. One blossom was fully in bloom, the other’s petals were gone. Skinner captured the fine detail of each flower’s stamen, finding beauty in both the growing and the decline of the blossoms.

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Duane Esselstrom of Maple, Wisconsin used a Canon EOS SX600HS digital-point-and-shoot camera to photograph bees at his home.

Duane Esselstrom of Maple, Wisconsin, took advantage of his camera’s close focusing abilities to get his shot. His Canon EOS SX600HS digital-point-and-shoot has an 18x zoom lens with a minimum focusing distance of 5 centimeters. With it Esselstrom was able to get in very close to a pair of honey bees near a hive on his farm.


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Kurt Gaetjen of Elk Grove used a Nikon D610 DSLR camera to photograph a water drop hitting the surface of a small fountain in his backyard.

Kurt Gaetjen of Elk Grove photographed a drop of water hitting the surface of a fountain at his home. With a Nikon D610 DSLR camera he captured the splash of the water drop in the fountain’s basin. A slow shutter speed of 1/60th of a second blurred the splash and gives the photo a sense of action.


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Jessica Flores used a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera to photograph old horseshoes in her front yard.

Jessica Flores used a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera to photograph old horseshoes in her front yard. She captured the rusty texture of the shoes’ weatherworn metal and dusty rust color.

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Terry Donaldson of Tracy used an Apple iPhone X to photograph a rusty shovel and rake at her home.

With an Apple iPhone X, Terry Donaldson of Tracy photographed a detail of an old metal shovel and rake in her yard. The closeup detail of both together gives a sense of texture that you can almost feel by just by looking at the image.

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Carrie Walker of Stockton used an Apple iPad to photograph her 6-year-old niece Aleah Bush at Walker’s home.

Carrie Walker of Stockton used an Apple iPad to photograph her 6-year-old niece Aleah Bush’s eye at her home. Walker captured the fine detail in the young girl’s eyelashes and brows.

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All of the photos entered can be seen in an online gallery at recordnet.com. A new challenge assignment will be issued on May 26.

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