2020 WEEK 14: Magnifying Glass

In an effort to make the Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge more Stay at Home Friendly, we are allowing for more creative interpretations of the theme. I figured most of you have a magnifying glass of some sort at home. For those who don’t, there’s prescription glasses (Clear Glass, NO Sunglasses), the bottom of a drinking glass or Photoshop style effects. Use your imagination, keep it fun and stay safe.

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

I’ve always enjoyed shooting through textured glass and sunglasses. However I’ve never tried using a magnifying glass. I fell upon the above image and thought it would make a great theme for a Photo Challenge.

Photo by Steven Wright on Unsplash

I’ll be experimenting for the first time with a magnifying glass before I even write this Photo Challenge. The possibilities seem endless but there are true life images and ways to fake the process through Photoshop and other editing software. I also imagine the end result will vary on the quality of the glass. A cheaper plastic magnifying glass will surely produce more distortion. I can imagine the same applies for extreme magnification.

Photo by Shane Aldendorff on Unsplash

I’m not looking for crisp flawless images through the lens, distortion and imperfections in the glass can only add the creative effects. Not only will magnification, glass quality and size of the magnifying glass vary from photographer to photographer but so will the shape. Magnifying glass is available handheld in round, oval, square and rectangular shapes. Some credit card sized one exist to place in your wallet and some even have an LED light. The credit card sized magnifying glass are even flexible adding to the possibilities.


  1. Naturally a magnifying glass of your choice
  2. I suggest a tripod for the camera
  3. lens cleaner to keep the glass clean of dust and smudges.

Although the sample images show the entire subject within and around the magnifying glass you may choose to shoot directly through the magnifying glass creating artistic close-ups and macros.

Depth of field will also greatly impact your image. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different focal lengths as well.

WARNING: Remember magnifying glass will amplify the rays of the sun and in some cases create enough heat to ignite flammables and melt plastic. Don’t point your camera at the sun with or without the magnifying glass as it can damage the camera’s image sensor.

The Challenge

  • Take a photo through a magnifying glass. Be as creative as you like!
  • Post your newly taken photo during the week of Sunday, March 29 through Saturday, April 04.
  • Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo:  #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.