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!

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.

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!

Lens Artists Challenge #146: Focusing on the Details

Given this week’s challenge by Patti to focus on details, my mind went back to a Toastmaster Photo Club I tried to start and a speech given by a professional photographer in the group. He talked and demonstrated about a different way to focus on details: finding the picture within the picture.

He showed us how to focus on the details of an image to find more images by cropping sections. His example was of a construction site. First he showed us the entire landscape of the site. Then he focused in on a worker, continued with more sections and ended with a pair of shoes. It was an amazing lesson.

Today I’m going to try the same with a landscape taken yesterday at Scotts Flat Reservoir in Nevada City. I was hiking with my daughter-in-law Jess and granddaughter Olivia. Here’s my picture within a picture.

First the landscape.

Next I isolated Jess, Olivia and their dog Hana.

My final capture from this landscape is of a log on the beach.

Although the official Toastmaster group disbanded, a few of us kept meeting until 14 months ago when the pandemic shut us down. We continued to share information, but I will never forget this lesson on details and finding the picture within the picture.

Seeing it foretells drought: Salmon Falls Bridge, Pilot Hill

Let’s be honest, we’d rather not be able to see the Salmon Falls Bridge because that would mean there’s plenty of water feeding into Folsom Lake, which is at approximately 65% of its regular level right now. Located in Pilot Hill, El Dorado County, the bridge is the remainder of a flourishing gold rush area town that was founded in 1850. You can read more history by following the above link. Preceding a drought or a drought condition, the bridge is visible, so we went to see it.

The approach from the closest parking lot. And walking closer to the bridge we did find remnants of an old structure.

We needed to cross the stream to access the bridge. In this picture Marlene is getting help from Gert and his hiking stick. And leave it to visitors to use their imagination, making tee pees out of sticks.

We made it to the bridge. People were fishing, walking, etc. We weren’t the only curious folks. I waited to take these pictures.

We walked across the bridge and along the way found pelicans and cairns and other neat things.

Now that I’ve had the opportunity to see this disappearing bridge, let’s hope for a good rainy season for 2021/2022. I hope you enjoyed seeing it too.

Lens Artists Challenge #142: You pick it, The 365 challenge

Our Lens Artists Challenges challenges can take us many places. This week, Ann Christine’s challenge took me back to 2015 which was the year I did the 365 challenge. If you haven’t taken that on, consider it. It wasn’t that I looked to take exceptional photos each day, I just took whatever was handy. It taught me discipline and improved my ability.

Not every photo was wonderful. Like the few weeks I just shot my foot that had the boot on after minor surgery. Gem, now runs out of the room when he sees the camera. The grandkids make stupid, funny faces when they see me pick up a camera. You get it, a whole year of taking the d7100 wherever I went. Taking a fast entry because I forgot. But also learning.

I briefly went through that year, 2015, and first hit the first, tenth, twentieth, etc. months and then went back to find some more. Here they are. Explanations are in the captions.

I was ready for this challenge to end and proud that I had shot a picture each day of the year. Then I was amazed at the difference in my photographic ability. If you don’t think you can do 365 days, try the 52 week challenge no matter what level you’re at. I’m glad I did!

Lens-Artists Challenge #141: Geometry

I cringed when I saw the word geometry in Patti’s challenge post. All I could think of was math; my worst subject in school. But, shapes I understand. We look for them as we do our photography. They help make our images interesting. Many give our pictures depth and help them look three dimensional.

Here’s what I found while looking through my archives.

One of my favorite buildings, the CALSTRS building in West Sacramento has many angles, lines and shapes.

And here are a couple from Fort Point in San Francisco: stairs and a shape within a shape within a shape (actually a hallway).

There are lots of triangles and other shapes at the top of the transformers at the Folsom Historic Powerhouse and in the stairs at the Great Bear Vineyard.

And the flowing structural lines at the Manetti Shrem Museum at UC Davis and The Barn in West Sacramento.

Last, a simple store entrance gives us rectangles, squares, triangles and circles. Taken in Sutter Creek.