All of these are utterly amazing.
1.As you suggest, the individual who photoed these aspen leaves had a wonderful eye to be able to see them and a great sense of composition to make them into the photo we see. I would love to know what equipment, including editing program, were used in each photo.
2. I love the shot of the gecko. I wonder if the critter was wild or if it was in an aquarium, a "pet," as it were, one accustomed to human interest. It seems to me that getting such a close-up shot of a wild gecko would border on the impossible, unless this species of lizard is a lot less skittish than most.
3, I didn't know what an Orbea variegata is, so I looked it up. Orbea variegata is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, known as the star flower. It is native to the coastal belt of the Western Cape, South Africa, growing actively during the winter rainfall season. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbea_variegata. That is quite a shot; I would like to know what lens and what settings
4. This is definitely a winner. Spotting this requires a special eye, and to have one's camera when the opportunity is there requires amazing foresight. As you know, however, sometimes when one takes one's camera for a walk, one sees the most amazing things.
5. It's a fantastic shot of patterns, but I didn't like it as well as did most of the others. It's a terrific photo, but not jaw-droppingly amazing like so many of the others.
6. This one is in the jaw-dropping category. To be able to see it is amazing; to be able to get this good a photo doubles its amazingness.
7. I presume this one was done through a microscope. It's utterly beautiful.
8. The caption says "polarised light microscopy." An absolutely amazing photo. I love it
9. This is also amazing. I wonder how he was able to get this shot.
10. This is interesting, but I wasn't blwon away by it as I was by several others.
11. This, however, is amazing. Who would have guessed that crystalized citric acid would create such a pattern with such colors.
12. This is astounding.
I think there needs to be separate categories for those taken with the eye and those taken with the microscope. They are totally different worlds, as these photos reveal.