Shooting Challenge: Magnification

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We're all grown up, but magnifying glasses are still pretty cool. It's not just that they can create miniature fires; it's that seeing things really big or really small is always amusing. And for this week's Shooting Challenge...

The Challenge

Use a magnifying glass (or other lens) in your frame to shrink or enlarge an element of the shot.


The Technique

The secret here is only to be a creative genius. We've all seen the big eye shots—and not that there's anything wrong with them—but there's so much more you can do with this idea. Consider zooming in on a texture or playing with forced perspective. If you have a magnifying glass that fits in your pocket, carry it around for a week and learn how it works within the context of your environment.


The Example

Our lead shot is from flickr's Orofacial. It's a great example of the caricature effects that you can create—and while I don't want to stop you from doing the same thing—again, think beyond the face. Consider the magnifying glass as a tool in composition.


The Rules

0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, April 8th at 10AM Eastern to with "Magnify" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameMagnify.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameMagnifyWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!