Lens Artists Challenge #246: Still Life

This week Patti challenges us with Still Life. Yikes! Fortunately she gave us a broad description of what she wanted us to post. “You can photograph just about anything: flowers, silverware, a variety of products (think of advertising), fruit, kitchen utensils, tools, and objects around your office or home,” she says.

Since this is my second attempt at posting my response, I’ll be brief. Three types of still lifes I enjoy photographing are flowers, buildings and sculptures.

McKinley Rose Garden in Sacramento.

Buildings in Melbourne, Australia.

Thompson Building Supplies and Nursery.

Thank you Patti for giving us a broad definition for still life images. In my first attempt at this post I was more eloquent, but frustration kicked in when WordPress wouldn’t let me post it. Let’s cross our fingers for this one. When you post your reply, please remember to tag Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

I enjoyed seeing and reading about your environments last week as you responded to Tina’s challenge. Next week Ann-Christine will be leading the challenge. Be sure to look for her post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

Lens Artists Challenge #245: Environments

I love where I live even though I came here kicking and screaming. Sacramento and its proximity to beautiful environments like rivers, forest, farms, ranches and cities makes this a great location for photographers. In fact, I’ve blogged about it many times and have shown beautiful images of my favorite spots. So, in response to Tina’s challenge, I’m going to show you a recent new environment I traveled to.

Lifou Island “is the largest, most populous and most important island of the Loyalty Islands, in the archipelago of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. With a total area of 1,207 km2 (466 sq mi), Lifou is located east of Australia at 20.9°S 167.2°E. (Wikipedia).”

Among our choices for a ship’s tour of the island was “Luecila Beach and Scenic Drive,” and that’s the one we picked. Our drive to the beach was a little more than one hour. We did see flowers and traditional houses as promised in the tour’s description. Photographing through the bus window was nearly impossible. I can describe the area as beautiful, lush and green. What amazed me were the houses with huts in their yards. I asked the guide about the huts. He replied that they were for guests who come to visit. Hospitality?

The beach was worth the long drive. It was beautiful. When we arrived, I was hungry and tried to purchase a piece of papaya fruit. The women in the kiosk didn’t take credit cards or American dollars–just francs. They ended up giving it to me without payment. It was delicious. I thought they were very gracious.

Sandy and Peg didn’t want to walk on the beach so I discovered its beauty on my own. Here’s a gallery.

I’m so glad to have walked this beach since I was sick and couldn’t see Mystery Island. I spent two days in our cabin. That’s life!

This was one of the new environments I experienced during my trip to Australia. Please remember to link to Tina’s original post when you respond and use the Lens-Artists tag. I’ll be sharing more of my trip on my blog. I enjoyed your responses to Siobhan’s challenge of Glowing Moments. Your interpretations were varied and creative. Next week, Patti will present the challenge so look for her post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

Lens Artists Challenge #244: Glowing Moments

There are some moments that take our breath away, and it usually involves the sun. When it’s not shining things look dull and our mood is affected. When it is shining especially at sunup and sundown, our photographic juices get going. Guest host Siobhen of Bend Branches encourages us to post images of glowing moments that are special to us.

You know I love flowers. My friend Ray and I went to photograph a small tulip patch recently. I wanted to practice with my new lens. I’m doing better with it and think there’s just one more hurdle to overcome. I like how the sun makes the leaves almost transparent in places and highlights the flower.

The sun’s glow also helps create shadows. Notice the glow and shadows on the house and on the lawn. These were taken in Luray Virginia.

A trip a few years ago was special for me because we were with my cousins in Palm Desert. The sun is so special in the desert. The giraffe, with its special glow, was taken during sunset at the Living Desert in Palm Springs and the other two in the Painted Canyon, Mecca Hills.

My last examples are of waking up to a sunrise on a blanket of snow in Reno. These were taken in December last year at my son’s home. What a treat!

It was fun going through my archives to find glowing images. Thank you Siobhen for this relaxing challenge. Please remember to link to Siobhen’s post and use the Lens-Artist tag in your response. I enjoyed everyone’s interpretation of tricks last week. They were imaginative and beautiful. Thank you Donna. Next week Tina will be challenging us, so be sure to look for her post.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

Testing a new lens: The Sacramento Zoo

I had two motivators for visiting the Sacramento Zoo recently. 1. I was gone for almost a month and hadn’t seen the new baby giraffe now named Cheyenne and, 2. I wanted to test out a new lens. With my Nikon, I had an 18-200mm lens which was a perfect walk-around lens. Unfortunately, Fujifilm doesn’t make a lens with that type of zoom. Recently Tamron came out with an 18-300mm lens for Fuji and Sony. So I bought the Fuji mount. The only drawback is its lack of an aperture ring on the lens. I was told that I could assign that function to the front dial and use the top dial to change the aperture.

When I purchased the lens, I was told that Fuji would make the switch automatically and when I put my Fuji lens back on it would revert back. I played with it while at the zoo and didn’t quite do it correctly. I ended up with sharp but noisy images. Thank heavens for Topaz!

The zoo didn’t disappoint. The cheetah was walking around; not running.

The red panda was walking the branches instead of sleeping.

The giraffes were being giraffes. Have you ever seen a two-headed, six-legged giraffe? We did get to see Cheyenne, but she was behind a fence and quickly went back inside with her mother.

The river otters were in their hammock.

And the lions were preparing for a nap.

One of the Okapi was out eating.

I almost forgot the alligator.

So, this was my morning at the zoo with friends Marlene, Laura and Ray. It’s good to be home and doing photography with friends.

Lens Artists Challenge #243: It’s tricky

Happy April Fool’s Day everyone. And thank you Donna for this tricky challenge. Tricky for me because I don’t create creative images. But I do like to play with Photoshop filters. I enjoy trying one by one to see what they would do to an image. It’s fun. Here are some examples.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I like to zoom my lens in and out and slow my shutter speed down. Yes, I’ll stop at a neighborhood carnival just to take pictures. And holiday lights are perfect subjects too.

Here are some single shots:

I’ll admit that this was a difficult challenge for me since I’m not a truly creative person. I can see an opportunity and take it while composing a picture, and I’m venturing a little bit into Photoshop. So Donna, thanks for the gentle push. Please link to Donna’s post when you reply and use the Lens-Artists tag so it will show up in the Reader.

Thanks to all of you for showing us your New Experiences last week. I enjoyed them all and learned more about plays, bees, hang gliding and more. Next week our guest host, Siobhan of Bend Branches will be leading our challenge, so look for her post.

Interested to learn more about the Lens-Artists Challenge and join us, click here for more information.