posted: 12/14/2012 12:17 AM
Images: Photo Contest Finalists
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This is a poinsettia as seen through a macro lens.
Viana Oliver, from Winfield
The mountain range in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee as seen from Clingmans Dome.
Marty Krogh of Ingleside
A gated driveway is decorated by the golden leaves of autumn on Bonniebrook Avenue in Mundelein.
Sammi Smith of Mundelein
Watching the sunset while walking along the beach in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida this past Friday night.
Karl Hipchen of Palatine
A beautiful horse is boarded at a stable in Wadsworth, Illinois.
Butch Law of Des Plaines
I walked into my office one day and was very startled to see this HUGE bug on my wall. It took a few moments before I realized it was a shadow cast by a praying mantis on the outside of my window. (I had fun scaring my co-workers that afternoon!)
Sue Gager, from Keeneyville
A colorful American flag waves in a snowy, white landscape.
Tracy R Sefcik of Wheeling
I was photographing the spring crop of birds along the Fox River at Geneva, when I was startled by an explosion of splashing and honking like never before. With no time to worry about camera settings, I spun toward the noises and started shooting. I've always believed that the best photos are the ones you get by accident.
Allan Ezrin, from Wheaton,
Pine cones in an evergreen tree at Independence Grove Forest Preserve near Linbertyville last October. The size and number of pine cones indicate the upcoming long winter.
Charles H. Pauley of Ingleside
I took this picture on a recent trip to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle. While looking up in the atrium, I could get the best picture of the space needle and some of the glass display.
Gayle Wede of Elgin
This photo shows star trails in the mountainous region of Zion National Park, Utah.
Brendan McGee of Batavia
Photo of daughter Megan in Crystal Cove State Park near Laguna Beach, CA.
Georgia Fee of Geneva