Lens Artists Challenge #152: Shade and Shadows

Before Ann Christine posted this challenge, I hadn’t thought of the difference between shade and shadow. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered whether we sit in the shade of the tree or the shadow cast by the tree! Here’s a definition I found on line, Shade is the darkness of an object not in direct light, while shadows are the silhouette of an object’s shape on another surface. Created by the same light, shades and shadows react differently, and both influence how one perceives space, color, and feeling.”

Here, some trees cast their shadows to give us shade!

This is building situated so it casts shade.

Here mushrooms grow in the shade. As the sun almost intrudes.

In these examples, shadows create patterns. We photographers love patterns!

Lastly, the sun helps two buildings to cast both shade and shadows.

So which comes first, the shadow or shade? Only the sun knows. Thanks Ann Christine!

A wonderful day trip with Alyse: Pacific Grove

It’s a good thing I always take my camera with me when I travel out of the Sacramento area. Typically, when I visit Alyse in San Jose, I will photograph the beautiful flowers in her neighborhood while I walk. We also go to the movies, which I seldom do at home. This trip in May, she wanted to take me to Pacific Grove. She said she would sketch while I photographed. An artist, Alyse hasn’t drawn or painted anything in years. I was delighted that she would be sketching.

As always, Pacific Grove was beautiful. It was the weekend and Alyse and I weren’t the only ones there! So, I tried to incorporate them into the pictures. You may have seen some of these images in a recent Lens-Artist post challenge on Blue and Green. In that post I promised that there would be more photos because I had just edited a few.

The Pacific Grove coastline is so lovely that I don’t think you’ll mind seeing a few pictures again! But I’ll try not to duplicate.

I’m glad Alyse and I took this day trip. I have wonderful photographic memories and she has, what I hope to be, a return to doing her art.

Lens Artists Challenge#151: From Large to Small

Being short, I’d like to think that size doesn’t matter, but Patti says it does! In this week’s challenge, she asks us to pick a color and “Start with a photo of a big subject in that color (for example, a wall) and move all the way down to a small subject in that same color (for example, an earring).”

I first went out to photograph pink (Not my favorite color, but I inherited them.) roses. I photographed a large one, a medium one and a small one. Then I decided to look through my archives and found something more suitable, and it’s in my favorite color RED. Here we go.

Large

Medium

Small

Thanks Patti. I guess size does matter!

Another Contest: McKinley Rose Garden

Every time I say no more contests, I enter one again. This one is from the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento. I entered it last year and my picture got an honorable mention. This was my entry.

I wasn’t going to enter this year, but a few of my photo buddies decided to go to the park and give it a try. I wasn’t happy with the roses there. Many were turning brown on the edges or past their prime. I just wasn’t getting any good vibes, but did my best in picking suitable flowers. Here are the three I submitted.

And some more from the morning’s shoot.

And then I caught this little guy calling for his mate, friend?

I think he’s the winner. I’ll let you know the outcome of this, another contest!

Lens Artist Challenge #150: Get Wild

Get wild! That’s the challenge given this week by Dianne Milliard of Rambling Ranger. She gave us parameters: no ” groomed gardens or animals in the zoo. No people or signs of people.” So that left out some of the parties we have in our senior community!

I gave it some thought and focused on an event that was a one time opportunity for me. Something I had never done before. But something wild and caused by nature. The total solar eclipse in August 2017. The event was seen in many places, but we chose Weiser Idaho. We got there a couple of days early so we could get a good spot for our RV. Richard checked out his sun scope and I was trying to get my Nikon d3100 ready. I shot with the 3100 just in case something happened. I didn’t want to ruin my d7100.

I was so nervous and truly beyond my photographic level. I read tutorials, etc. I wanted a trial run, but nature doesn’t do that!

The filter Richard (My husband is an astronomer.) made for me wasn’t the best. So I walked around and talked to other photographers (with more knowledge) and one of them gave me one of his filters. I am always amazed at how generous photographers are!

Eclipse day arrived. I perched the 3100 on the tripod while Richard had his sun scope ready to go. The moon was about to cover the sun, but I couldn’t find it while the camera was on the tripod. I wasn’t going to miss this. Off came the camera and I shot the eclipse hand held.

Here are some of the pictures I got that day.

The beginning:

The last crescent, diamond ring and Totality

The reversal begins as the moon moves away from the sun.

So this was my wild adventure of mother nature at it’s wildest.

Another outcome from this was Richard meeting a former science teacher who talked to him about becoming a NASA Ambassador. Now he gives astronomy talks at libraries and via zoom.

Thanks Dianne. This was a fun and wild challenge.

Poppy field? Not this year! Mokelumne Hill & Jackson

Maybe we didn’t go far enough last time we went in search of a poppy field. So we drove further south on Highway 49 to Jackson. No poppy field. It was then I decided that there would be no golden orange field for me this year. Little clusters of poppies were along the road. We even went further than Jackson to Mokelumne Hill, a quaint little town that Marlene and I had been to before. No poppy field!

So here are some pictures from Mokelumne Hill.

Now on to Jackson and lunch.

Next year will be the year for me to find a poppy field! In the meantime I did have fun taking photos with my photo buddies.

Lens Artists Challenge #149: Cool Colors, Blue and Green

I am moved by color. I am absolutely drawn to warm colors naturally, but can appreciate the cool colors when nature gives us beautiful green grass and blue skies. This week Tina asks us to feature blues and greens in our posts. It worked out for me since I was in San Jose this weekend, and my dear friend Alyse and I drove down to Pacific Grove. She sketched while I photographed.

Pacific Grove is on the ocean near Monterey. It’s also the site of the well known Pebble Beach Golf Course and Tournament. So, I found a lot of blues and greens to photograph. I’ve got four images to show you today because that’s all I’ve been able to process.

Let’s start with our first stop. This area is known for its wind blown Monterey Cypress trees.

Alyse was sketching this sculpture and the surrounding area. I’m guessing that the exposure to harsh weather and salt helped make it look blue.

A little further down the road, a group of cormorants were sunbathing on a huge rock. Some more blues and a spot of green.

Finally, we have an array of color with flowers along this rocky coast.

I hope to process the rest of the pictures this week. They will be featured in a blog post soon. Thank you Tina for setting us off on a cool color search.

In the country with Yolo Arts & Ag: Hungry Hallow Ranch

I love suburbia with all its conveniences, but I also like to visit the forests, beaches and country sides. The Yolo Arts & Ag program allows me to take my camera onto ranches, orchards and farms that open their facilities to artists and photographers for two half days a month. It’s a great opportunity for us to wander in and out of barns, see old machinery and have a glimpse of a life we don’t live.

The Hungry Hallow Ranch in Capay was a large facility that gave us access to the entire property. But when we entered, we mostly saw machinery in barns, old vehicles, young olive trees and hay bales. Marlene, Ray and I said that there was nothing new here. Richard was excited saying that this is what he loved to photograph.

I think Richard was right. I did find a lot to photograph and learned a lesson. Don’t judge a photography shoot by first glance. I made the most of our morning. I took close ups of machinery.

Then there was an artist painting.. There were many, but I liked this shot the most.

And the olive orchard. You can see that the trees were young.

And the barns.

I also found a grape vine or two, a wood pile large enough to cover the side of a barn and an awesome tree.

It ended up being a fun morning of discoveries. And lunch was at our favorite Road Trip Bar and Grill in Capay.

Lens Artists Challenge #148: Spots and Dots

Spots and dots? This challenge from Ann Christine put my lack of creativity to a test. Fortunately, I got some ideas from members who posted before me. They do say that imitation is the best form of flattery!

Animals were shown in a few posts; at least those having spots. So off I went to my Sacramento Zoo archives.

I also found a dog with spots. Not a dog called spot. I spotted him in one of my tours of a small town. Sorry, I couldn’t resist having some word fun.

And you’ll never know what you’ll find at IKEA. With a Photoshop filter, I turned a dotted pillow into a swirl with a center dot.

Every year there are Christmas lights that you can shoot normally or zoom. But they all start out as brightly lit dots.

Finally, you know how much I love photographing flowers. Whether it’s a macro, showing the stamens or a field dotted with golden poppies, I totally enjoy it.

This was a fun exercise. Thank you Ann Christine for the challenge!

A Visit to Lodi: Micke Grove Park & the Deshmesh Sikh Temple

About an hour south of Sacramento is a municipal park that houses a Japanese Garden and a small zoo. Of course we, Ray, Richard and I, had to go visit Lodi and Micke Grove Park. This park is part of the San Joaquin County park system and home to a Fun Town for children, zoo, Japanese Garden, small lake, golf course, softball fields, water play features, horseshoe pits, museum and children’s playgrounds. We walked the garden and zoo.

The garden was small but beautiful. However, it was either in super sunshine or dark shade. In retrospect, bracketing would have been what to do, but I didn’t take my tripod. Here are some images. I liked the water reflections.

Next we went about a block to the zoo. It was a lot smaller than our Sacramento Zoo, the enclosures were thicker so we couldn’t have the fencing disappear, but it was interesting.

Some of the birds.

They did have a snow leopard.

After leaving the park, we had lunch and then went to visit the Deshmesh Sikh Temple which we happen to spot on our way to the park. They were very courteous and let us inside with our cameras.

It was a fun day in Lodi. There is more to Micke Grove Park to see though. We just might be back!