Photography Contest X: Finalists

Here are the finalists of the 2018 photography contest. We received only 11 photographs from 5 photographers. All of the pictures were excellent, as you will no doubt see during the coming months. With assistance from our wife, we chose 1 photograph by each photgrapher and display them below the proverbial fold. The text, if any, was written by the photographers and lightly edited for consistency.

The finalists are presented in alphabetical order of last name. Please look through their photographs before voting for your favorite. Polling will close Friday, July 20, at approximately 12:00 noon MDT.

Reed Cartwright contributed to this post.

Double Rainbow, by Dan Moore.

Double rainbow.

Cactus Island, by Alan Rice.

Cactus Island
Isla Incahuasi (Casa del Inca), informally called "Cactus Island." The photographer writes, "The Isla Incahuasi sits near the center of the of the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, the world's largest salt flat. The predominant large cactus is Echinopsis atacamensis, which is native to Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia. The Island is many kilometers from the nearest mainland and hosts an interesting subset of the local native vegetation. Despite its isolated location and scant rainfall, it is dramatically covered with abundant plant life."

Sinai fan-fingered gecko, by Michael Siccha.

Ptyodactylus guttatus HEYDEN, 1827 – Sinai fan-fingered gecko, probably a female. The photographer writes, "What I personally like most about the picture (and what you cannot really see on the image) is the location where I took it. The gecko sits on some of the stone tracery on the outside of the Chapel of Ascension on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The red dots at the hip of the individual are parasitic mites, full of gecko blood."

American rubyspot damselflies, by Mark Sturtevant.

Hetaerina americana – American rubyspot damselflies. The photographer writes, "These lay their eggs in rivers and streams, and like other damselflies and the related dragonflies, their immature stage is spent in water. Here, a female is eating another damselfly that had just emerged from the water as an adult. It is easy to forget that these delicate and beautiful insects are dedicated predators. A male rubyspot stands guard in the background in this scene. Males defend these sorts of territories against rival males by using their bright red colors as an aggressive display. Females generally mate with males that ‘own’ a desirable territory. The river in the background is the Flint river, and this picture was taken near Flint Michigan. Although the situation with Flint and its river has considerable notoriety these days, it should be said that the river itself is teeming with life."

Ladybird beetle, by Marilyn Susek.

Ladybird beetle
Adalia bipunctata – two-spotted ladybird. The photographer writes, "This photograph could be titled 'proof of the pudding, down the hatch.' It is proof that the ladybird beetle eats aphids. It was taken way back in 2010 in the shops car park, Rotherham, S. Yorkshire." She adds, "I would like to say the aphid is a rose aphid but I'm not sure; there are a lot of types of aphid."