Plants are beautiful. But up close, they're inspiring, terrifying, and, well, just quite large.


I don’t know what kind of flower this is, but I love the green, yellow, and white together. A bright LED light made the captures possible at a small aperture. Workflow: Take 8 photos each focused gradually from back to front. Convert from RAW to TIFF in Lightroom. Combine into a photo stack in Photoshop. Save flattened single image as a TIFF. Make a few tweaks in Lightroom and export as JPG. All images were taken at 1/50s, f/22, and around ISO 1250. I used a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens.

- David Lee


This one's a 2fer. I wanted to be different from all the other stamen shots. I placed the Iris behind a blade of grass with a water drop on it. Shot at 3X mag and consists of 3 images stacked in Photoshop to create more depth of field. Canon 50D Canon MPE-65 Macro lens Canon MT-24EX Flash 100 ISO 1/250th f/10

- Chris Andrews


A close up photo of the tip of the hibiscus flower. The deep vibrant red is one of the rare kinds of hibiscus from the usual I see. Its a rainy season out here hence the wonderful drops clinging around. Used my Nikon D7000 with 60mm f/2.8D Nikkor Micro lens. To get a better detailing had to reduced the aperture to f29 and shutter speed to 30 seconds at ISO 200. Photographed from Valapattanam, Kerala, India.

- Sharbeen Sarash

Heat Wave (Goodbye)

The heat wave in Boston took a toll on our garden, including this poor sunflower. Canon 5DmkIII, Canon 100mm 2.8 macro. ISO 160, f/22, 1/10.

- Jamie Smith


I've been looking at the Gizmodo photo challenges for ages & have never entered before. When I saw this week's challenge I immediately knew what I wanted to photograph. Last summer I developed an allergy to the natural insect spray we use at home so this summer, instead of putting up with an itchy girlfriend, my boyfriend bought a Venus Fly Trap. I was quite skeptical at first (I mean, come on! How is this plant going to work as well as a spray?). But when I did get a chance to see it in action it was impressive! The leaves closed so fast the poor fly didn't stand a chance. I could hear it buzzing away in there & felt an urge to liberate it from its doom. He's been taking very good care of it & it has been flourishing! He's very proud of it since his only previous plant success has been a cactus. It's only a little plant but has been earning its keep as there are currently 4 flies caught in it. Now the boyfriend wants to get a Pitcher plant. Hell no! One carnivorous plant is enough! Taken with a Canon EOS 600D, Sigma 50mm 1:2.8 DG Macro lens, F/4, ISO-400.

- Ren Chinnamunian

Aphid Cameo

saw the latest challenge so went out into my garden and took a picture of the most interesting plants. I have no idea what this plant is so don't ask. I chose this one because I liked the colours, the twist of the plants and the fact that, if you look closely, you can see little black aphids in the tendrils of the flower. Lumix G10 14-42/f3.5-5.6 + Raynox clip on macro lens. 1/400 exposure iso 100

- Mike Dobbins


While I photographed the flowers in my garden I noticed that shooting the yellow flower of the pumpkin from the top at a close range will result in a beautiful image that resembles an eye more than a plant. I use my Nikon D80, AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm, F 5.6, shutter 1/30 and ISO 100.

- Daniel Prieto Garcia

Banana Tree

Nikon D7000, Sigma 105mm macro lens (borrowed), 0.008 sec (1/125) exposure, f/3.5, ISO 320 My wife and I headed to the National Arboretum in Washington, DC and chased bugs and flowers around until the clouds opened up on us. I couldn't find too many nicer flowers in bloom, except for a few lilies in one section. I like how this one looks like levitating fuzzy bananas :)

- Ricky deLeyos

Purple Octopus

Too bad this contest wasn't earlier in the summer, as I had some really nice macro shots of plants in my backyard pond. I went out today and took this one, and it turned out ok. It was taken of a water lily, the only think still blooming, with my iPhone5 with the Olloclip macro lens. I bumped the saturation a bit in Snapseed on my phone, then changed the size in Aperture.

- Mike Guildoo


The core of a Hibiscus flower. I used for the first time a HDR technique, merging three pictures and enhancing some how the resolution. I tried to create a "abstraction" to bring the viewer to a different dimension. The "grain" is interesting, Some kind of pictorial impressionism/pointillism! The original was shot as a landscape, I rotated right. I used a ring flash as light source. Data: File Name _MG_3273.CR2 Camera Model Canon EOS 550D Firmware Firmware Version 1.0.9 Shooting Date/Time 07/27/13 16:49:26 Owner's Name Shooting Mode Aperture-Priority AE Tv(Shutter Speed) 1/6 Av(Aperture Value) 11.0 Metering Mode Evaluative Metering Exposure Compensation 0 ISO Speed 200 Auto ISO Speed OFF Lens EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Focal Length 60.0mm Image Size 5184x3456 Image Quality RAW Flash On Flash Type External E-TTL E-TTL II flash metering Average flash metering Flash Exposure Compensation 0 Shutter curtain sync 1st-curtain sync FE lock OFF White Balance Mode Auto AF Mode One-Shot AF AF area select mode Manual selection Picture Style Neutral Sharpness 0 Contrast 0 Saturation 0 Color tone 0 Color Space Adobe RGB Long exposure noise reduction 0:Off High ISO speed noise reduction 0:Standard Highlight tone priority 0:Disable Auto Lighting Optimizer Disable Peripheral illumination correction Disable Dust Delete Data No File Size 23269KB Drive Mode Single shooting Live View Shooting ON Camera Body No. 1933160526

- Herbert RJ Curiel


I've always be fascinated by the geometric perfection of sunflowers, like the seeds' disposition that follows the Fibonacci's numbers. It's amazing! So this spring i decided to plant some of them, i raised them from seeds to fully grown in this months, and the day before your challenge was annouced, they bloomed. I chose this flower because it hasn't the stunning beauty of a rose or a orchid, but it shows us that math is truly the language in which Nature speak. Equipment: Canon 60D, Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro, tripod. Shoot: The image is a stack of 7 photos, shot with different focus, all at f/5,6 iso100, two at 1/80s and 5 at 1/60s.

- Francesco Lorenzin

Wonderful, wonderful entries by all. You really embraced the idea of supersizing nature into a force of...well nature, I guess. Find the wallpaper-ready versions on flickr.