Shooting Challenge: 31 Macros That Blew Us Away… Vote For Your Favourite!

Shooting Challenge: 31 Macros That Blew Us Away… Vote For Your Favourite!

It’s Gizmodo Australia Shooting Challenge prize time! There are some amazing photos in this bunch of entries, now we need you to vote on who wins the Samsung Galaxy Camera!

Note: In the interests of fairness, voting has been restricted to one per user, based on cookie and IP.
Voting closes at 10am on Tuesday, May 28


That’s right, it’s new prize time. We’ve got one more Samsung Galaxy Camera to giveaway! The Galaxy Camera is a 16.3-megapixel camera wrapped around a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, complete with 1GB of RAM, a 4.8-inch touchscreen (1280×720), 8GB of built-in storage that expands via microSD card to 64GB, all running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

It also takes a microSIM card for sharing all those photos and videos you take. The Galaxy Camera leads the line-up of Samsung Smart Cameras for 2013, with the rest of the line packing fantastic image processors, beautiful designs and smart features like Wi-Fi for syncing photos and videos. The Galaxy Camera is the perfect addition to your digital life, and we’re excited to give one away each week to Gizmodo Shooting Challenge faithful.

The camera you’re playing for is valued at $699. We’ll be running this challenge over two weeks, with this week being the final round. The finalists from each week will go head to head in the final and the winner will be selected by Gizmodo editors for the grand prize!

Who Won The Night Shots And Galaxies Shooting Challenge?

We had some incredible shots of space and night scenes in last week’s challenge, and after all was said and done, the winner of the Galaxy Camera was…Gethin Coles!

He won with this amazing image, and the story behind it:

My wife told me to go for a walk (“Bugger off”) because I was grumpy ( I had toothache, it wasn’t my fault), so I took my kit and headed off down the local board-walk. In the pitch black, with a torch on the fritz, hopping from rock to rock it would switch off mid leap. That added some excitement to the proceedings. Shot on nikon d800 14-24 lens, 30 sec and f2.8 @ iso 2500. This is 3 shots joined together in photoshop (merge to panorama). You can get away with a 30 second shot at 14mm, with longer lenses you get star trails.


Congratulations, Gethin. A shiny, new Galaxy Camera is winging its way to you!

We had an amazing entries into this week’s competition and the race is going to be a close one. Check out the images and vote on your favourite!

This Week’s Entries



It was such a nice morning outside that I ventured outside with my trusty iphone 5 into the garden and snapped up this beauty.

Sony HX5V, Photoshop (contrast, levels, slight blur fade and cropping)


Mark Hancock

Samsung Galaxy Note. All Defaults.

White Lined Paper Pad, Three Casino Chips Stack with an IBM Blue Ball Point Pen and a Broken Sandisk USB drive as garnish.


David Johnson

I was intending to do a shot of Aphids on a rosebush that was flooded with them and nice red/green contrasting colours When I felt a tickling on my arm. I looked away from shot and here was this little fella climbing the hairs of my arm making it look like mountain climbing, so the challenge was on could I get him in shot one handed and in focus with the tiny DOF I was using ? After several attempts to even see him in the viewfinder then get the range right before he moved out of focus I finally got a few shots in before he flew off .
Camera Canon 600D
Lens: Canon EFS 55_250mm f:4.5-6& Canon 50mm f1.8(face to face full focus) with 58-52mm male/male
adaptor @ Camera reported 96mm
Tv: 1/1000 sec
Av: f:16
ISO : 1600


Phillip Basil-Jones

Macro of Coral

f/5.6 1/100 sec ISO-1250, @ 85mm


Siang Lim

I found myself staring at my indoor bamboo plant (which has been living fully in water for the past two years) and I just had to take a photo. I love the angle. You can see a little leaf growing underwater, the reflection where the bamboo breaks the surface, tiny air bubbles and roots crawling between the pebbles. I used my old point and shoot with a wide macro setting for this.


Murray Charlton

Using the trusty little Olympus Tough TG-310 I went searching in the backyard for a suitable macro candidate. The succulents had some water in the middle and the dead fly just set the scene, not that the succulents are carnivorous. Little limited on camera settings and focal points, but happy with the result.


Tim Corcoran

Canon 1100D, 50mm f/1.8 lens. Used Aperture priority mode at f/1.8.

Was out at a pub, had my camera with me and saw the heater (cold day in Sydney) so I thought it made for a nice picture so I snapped away. Only took one snap of it, so was hoping it turned out good when I got to look at it on a decent size screen and luckily for me it did. Hope you like.


Jordan G

I’ve always interpreted “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” quite literally, eyes are one the most beautiful aspects of our bodies. Looking at eyes you can almost tell a persons story of sorrow, sadness, age or happiness. Very fascinating. Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t able to capture a macro photo of an eye very well, so I used my iPhone 4s with an Olloclip’s macro lens which I’ve never had much of a chance to use, hopefully proving that phones can take some amazing photos and not everyone needs a $2000 DSLR! Although I did have to take about 50 photos before I found one I liked.


Kerrie Cull

Sony NEX-5
18-55 Lens
Shot on Saturday 18th May

My husband and I are both entering the competition this week so this weekend we’ve had a bit of a competition running between us! This macro is of my mother’s Mother’s Day flowers. I wanted to shoot something familiar and yet make it feel alien. I hope I’ve achieved that. OK Andy, it’s over to you!


Brad Collins

After painstakingly chasing some hoverflys around the backyard for hours I came across some water droplets hanging exquisitely on some plant stems. On closer inspection I was astounded to find that each was a little organic lens refracting the nearby flowers!

This was taken with a Nikon D800 and 105mm lens.
1/125s at f/4.0 and ISO400



When I saw this challenge I had the idea that I would submit a picture of one of my jumping spiders or find some more locally. The two I kept were not being very photogenic over the weekend so I went for a ride along a local bike track with a creek running down the middle and figured I would be able to locate some jumpers. Unfortunately it wasn’t my day. I did however notice this little guy.

I would have loved to try and get a composite shot of the eyes however did not have the right kit to get greater then 1:1.

This shot taken with Sony A55, 100mm Macro lens and DIY Diffuser.



Trying to capture an insect that can “fly” away at any moment, and often doesn’t sit still long, while also dealing with a minute depth of field is a real challenge! I had to do many, many attempts, thankfully its worthwhile when you get a pic your happy with. Taken with a 100mm lens with extension tubes, so I also had no control over the f stop, or even knew what I was shooting at!


Will Longman

Seeing as the theme was macro, I couldn’t ignore that it was Autumn and that the leaves were great colours. I squatted around in my garden, (attracting a number of concerned looks from passersby) trying to find the most detailed, interesting leaf I could. After a fair bit of searching, I found this one. I took a few shots at different angles and I ended up with this final photo! I think it captures how detailed and intricate something as small as a leaf can become in Autumn – my favourite season.

Camera: Pentax K200D with Sigma 18-55mm lens
ISO: 200, f/5.6


Andrew Elms

I was looking out my front window to see what my dog was barking at when i spotted this dandelion growing on my front lawn, so i grabbed my camera and started shooting.



Just upgraded from a 1958 Mamiya Elca with a fixed 50mm lens to a Canon 650D with a EF-S 18-135 IS STM lens. The difference is incredible. So I took the new baby out into Melbourne city and somewhere between the G and Swanston st I decided to see just how good the lens was. Using the full 135mm at an F stop of 5.6 and adjusted the iso and shutter speed to compensate. So happy with the result.


Robin Molen-grigull

I had a lot of fun with this challenge and decided to take some photographs of my chickens. The shot was not as close as i would have hoped because it was incredibly difficult to keep them still and i had to entice them with a lot of food. In the end i had to take the photograph at night because they are less active then and a little droopy, after having my fingers mistaken for food more times than i could count i came up with this photo.
Shot with a Samsung Galaxy phone


Martin Calderon

I was crawling around in the dirt trying to take some very uninspired closeup shots of some mushrooms when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye and found my star. Shot on Canon 50D w/ EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, iso 100, 1/60 sec, spot metered and using the on camera flash as the light was fading. Post processing was in Lightroom 4 to help add a more dramatic feel.



Really wish I had more time with this challenge! had to enter something though so here’s a little guy I found in the garden. pretty tiny no more then 1cm across including legs. happy i managed to get it sharp!
no editing besides a crop.


Andy Cull

18-55mm lens.

This weekend it’s been cameras at dawn in our house with my wife and I both shooting for the macro competition! She posted her entry yesterday and now I’m here with mine. For my shot I wanted to do something more with a macro and so set out to shoot an object within a macro. I love shooting sunsets and thought it would be great if I could capture a sunset reflected in a macro shot (my wife’s eye). Well, it’s fortunate that I’ve got a very patient wife (who doesn’t need to blink!) as it took the whole sunset to get a shot that worked. I think that if I win I’ll be giving the camera to my wife! I’m really pleased with how this came out and I definitely couldn’t have done it without her!


Max Rozen

I don’t actually own a modern lens capable of doing macro too well, so I remembered that my dad gave me this pair of lenses he bought just before leaving the USSR in the 80s. I just wanted to capture ridiculously precise machining on the Mir 2.8/37

Shot with a 10mm extension tube, attached to a Helios-44-2 2/58, shot at F16, 10 second exposure, ISO 100.


Lee McGurren

Funny story behind this one – I live in inner city Sydney and my living room looks directly into a fairly seedy hotel. It doesnt charge by the hour, but judging by some of the things we have seen going on in the rooms, (top-shelf photoshoots, ladies of the night etc.) they probably could. Our beautiful, but dysfunctional sash windows have a tendency to drop shut just as the latest episode of Hotel Room Escapades gets into swing. Luckily we have a decorative and functional vase of Pot Pourri on the window sill, full of handy pieces of fragrant dried plant to prop open the window and prolong our viewing pleaure. This intricate reef-like shot is actually a dried leaf from that very vase, so it really is the gift that keeps on giving…
Taken with a Nikon D90, 1/160, f6.3, 60mm Nikkor 2.8 Micro (pointing away from the hotel room – of course…)


Andre Gascoigne

Shot this yesterday on my HTC OneXL Phone! Climbed out the car and saw this little (errm, huge) guy crawling along.


Heath Saber

I am travelling around Italy on honeymoon at the moment and wanted to find something intricate to shoot for this competition.

I had just gotten off this crazy chair lift to an amazing height of around 600m above sea level, in Ana Capri and I noticed this little white blossom on what looked to be a sunflower.

From a normal distance it looked as one fluff ball but when I did a macro shot, wow you could see this amazing structure of many pure white fibres and this brownish/red patterned core.

Hope you like it!


Peter Burns

Olympus TG-2, F3.4, 1/20 sec, ISO 1600.
I wanted to try the macro on our underwater camera but I found that everything worked against me. The flash didn’t work when focusing so close, the moving currents in the water made keeping the camera still near impossible and most of the subjects just wouldn’t stay still! After many attempts I found that I could hold the camera against the reef stopping the movement. The ISO 1600 allowed shooting without a flash and this Sea Urchin stayed still for the photo. The spines of the urchin appear to glow from the light available.


Sandy Burns

Olympus TG-2, F4.9, 1/2 sec, ISO 100.

To see into ones soul is usually thought to be through the eyes. Edith Cowan could be described as one the souls of the Australian 50 Dollar note. This macro shot shows the beautiful detail involved in only one small part of the Australian banknote, Edith Cowan’s left eye. Taking this shot at an angle to the note allowed the focus to centre on the eye.


Peter Janssen

I was literally just testing the capabilities of the Lumia 920 when I snapped this photo of one of my keys. I love the detail on the end of the key so I though it would be cool to enter into the comp.


Michael Szarek

We have this little killer cactus in our front garden. He is a real trooper, surviving heavy rains and weeds.
Those spines are coated in something nasty because the tiniest of pricks gets sore and itchy straight away.
We call him Chuck Norris because the spines seem to penetrate even the thickest rubber gardening gloves.
Photo was taken after some rain (it rained all week).
Canon EOS 400D, f/10, 1/320sec, ISO 800, EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens.


Shannon Baker

In our garden we have a chilli plant that was going gangbusters until an infestation of aphids decided to take residence. We tried a couple of different home made solutions that didn’t seem to work. so we up and went to the local everything garden store and found some somewhat natural ingredients spray that did the trick! Ironically the ingredients included some kind of chilli extract that killed the aphids! Go figure!

The picture is of the dead aphid carcacasses that I have entitled ‘Aphid Graveyard’.

I while ago I purchased a macro lens ring adaptor for my camera/lens that was less than $5 including delivery from ebay. It’s a great addition to my kit and can help produce some awesome macro shots on a budget. The only potential issue is the very short focal range.

Canon EOS 550D
18-55 kit lens
Macro reversing lens ring

ISO 100
1/4 second exposure
Focal length not captured due to macro lens ring


Ben Wilson

I was so excited to get home the day my 100mm macro lens arrived last week – I instantly opened the box and threw it upon my camera and walked out into the garden. Among the first shots that I took was this one of a very unremarkable bush, angled down the driveway onto the street. Looking at the preview and again at the bush, I couldn’t believe the photo that was made – amazing! I love this lens! Completely blew out the background and turned the leaf I was shooting into a gorgeous subject.



this is both a night and Macro shot of a dice on the back of a canvas. i used my phone’s flashlight as lighting.

shot using a Nikon Coolpixs570


Vivekanandh M

Crystal Blade: This shot was taken with nikon d5100 kit lens.
shutter speed: 1/320 sec
ISO: 640
Aperture: f7.1

Classic macro shot…drops on grass blades…amateur attempt using a kit lens…the rain helped in providing the drops on the blades as nature intended.



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