Wildlife close-ups, from creepy to gorgeous, earn photo contest honors

The Detroit News
"Orange Crush," by Richard Bagdasarian of Wixom.  A giant silk moth alighted on a tree in Bloomfield Hills. "It was larger than a monarch butterfly, and it had huge antennae!" he said. "Look at that orange fur!"

Insect close-ups produce some of the best wildlife photography, the little creatures becoming fascinating monsters when magnified.

For example, behold “Orange Crush” by Richard Bagdasarian of Wixom. The photo of the furry orange creature is one of the first finalists named in The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest under the Woods and Wildlife theme.

“This rare and colorful giant silk moth was resting on a tree in Bloomfield Hills,” he said. “My daughter and her friend found it while they were playing near a soccer field.  It was larger than a monarch butterfly, and it had huge antennae! Luckily I had my macro-lens in the car, and was able to take this close-up photo right before it flew off.  Look at that orange fur!!”

This week’s other finalists are:

  • “Deep Dark Woods,” by Cathy Bragiel of Linwood.  Her close-up of fern leaves was taken “out in the woods that surround my house, where the ferns were really thick and bright green,” she said. “The sun was barely able to filter through enough light to take this.”
  • “Say Cheese!” by Margaret Feldhus of Sterling Heights. She was on the Saddleback Trail in Comins, Michigan, when “this young buck picked up his head from the tall ferns exactly when I had the camera ready.” 
  • “Potter Park Peacock,” by Mudg Poster of West Bloomfield.  The rare albino peacock at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing was napping when she found it, but she waited an hour and it woke up.  “Finally he walked into advantageous light and spun around several times, giving me great opportunities for a good shot,” she said.  

Enter your photos at https://apps.detroitnews.com/photocontest. The Woods and Wildlife contest theme continues through July 20.   Then two winners will be selected from the 16 finalists, one by the Detroit News photo staff, the other a People’s Choice winner selected by public voting July 25-29.

Both winners will receive a $300 Visa gift card as their prize.

More: City and Country theme winners announced

Theme 3, Four-Season Fun, gets underway July 20-August 17.

 At the close of the summer contest on Aug. 29, three more photos will be chosen from among all of the finalists to receive Awards of Excellence from the Detroit News photo staff. The prize for these photographers will be $100 Visa cards.

Study the official rules and follow along all summer at https://detroitnews.com/celebrate-michigan for weekly stories and a running photo gallery of the finalists and winners selected to date.

The contest is open to non-professional photographers age 18 and older. All photos must have been shot in Michigan by the person submitting them, with no significant alteration by a software program.