Readers Photo Challenge: Phoned it in

The latest challenge assignment eschewed the use of fancy DSLR cameras and instead use a simple cellphone to take a photo. Cellphones are as common as the air we breathe. Nearly everyone has one. That pervasiveness often lends itself to the perception that cellphone photos are not as good as images take with other kinds of cameras, that they are only capable of only taking throwaway snapshots and not more creative and artistic pictures. But if one throws out that mindset, they can create works of beauty and interest worthy any DSLR camera. Twenty-eight readers sent in 151 photos. Here are some of the best examples.

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Andrea Tipton of Stockton used an Apple iPhone X to photograph leaves that the wind piled up on stairs of a building at University Park in Stockton.

Andrea Tipton of Stockton used an Apple iPhone X to photograph a pile of leaves at University Park in Stockton. A recent windstorm had blown them onto an exterior staircase on a building. The neutral surrounding colors combined with the darker shadow of the building and a nearby tree makes the vibrant leaves stand out even more.

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Mike Ratekin used an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max to photograph flowers in a display window of a closed shop in Jackson with the street reflected in the glass.

Mike Ratekin of French Camp used an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max to photograph a vase full of roses in a store window in Jackson. The street and another store are reflected in the window. Within the darker portions of the reflection the flowers can clearly be seen. The vase fades off to near invisibility in the lighter parts of the window, making the flowers look like they are floating in mid air, causing one to make a double take.

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Cynthia Barker of Stockton used an Apple iPhone 8 Plus to photograph her daughter Bonny at a potters throwing wheel in their yard.

Cynthia Barker of Stockton photographed her daughter Bonny, an aspiring artist, working on a clay piece at a potters wheel at their home. Barker’s image, taken with an Apple iPhone 8 Plus, concentrates on her daughter’s hands, covered in clay, yet still graceful and elegant in the act of creation.

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Jessica Flores of Stockton used an Apple iPhone 6 to photograph a sunset over the Calaveras River in Stockton.

Jessica Flores of Stockton photographed a sunset on the Calaveras River in Stockton. With an Apple iPhone 6 she captured the last rays of the sun before they sink below the treelike on the horizon. Dramatic clouds fill the sky as more trees to the left and right and reeds at the bottom frame the scene.

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Steven Rapaport of Stockton used an Apple IPhone 8 Plus to photograph Kenny, left, and Kevin Vang fishing along the banks of the San Joaquin River during sunset at Empire Tract in Stockton.

Steven Rapaport of Stockton also photographed a sunset, with his Apple iPhone 8 Plus. He captured a pair of men fishing from the banks of the San Joaquin River on Empire Tract in Stockton. An orange hue fills the sky as one can almost feel the cool Delta breeze as the heat of the day dissipates as the sun goes down.

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Dave Skinner used a Samsung s7 smartphone to photograph one of the golden bears in front of the Stockton Civic Memorial Auditorium in downtown Stockton.

Dave Skinner of Stockton used a Samsung s7 smartphone to photograph one of the golden bears in front of the Stockton Civic Memorial Auditorium in downtown Stockton. The bear’s head dominates the photo and brings the viewer’s eye into the picture with the auditorium in the background.

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Nancy Watts of Lodi used an Apple iPhone X to photograph Lodi Lake.

Nancy Watts of Lodi walked through the nature area of Lodi Lake to get her photo. With an Apple iPhone X she captured the bucolic riparian scene of the Mokelumne River, its still waters reflecting gentle clouds in the sky creating a serene and peaceful landscape.

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Donn Sperry of Stockton used an Apple iPhone SE to photograph flowers in his backyard.

Donn Sperry of Stockton used an Apple iPhone SE to photograph African irises in his backyard. He focused on the nearest flower as the main subject of his picture with the rest of the blossoms fade off gently into the background.

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As always, all of the entries can be seen in an online gallery at recordnet.com. A new challenge will be issued on June 23.

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