Going indoors!

During our three-week rain, we were needing to get out with our cameras. So, we decided to re-visit our favorite indoor venues: The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and Antique Trove in Roseville.

We’ve been to the Crocker Art Museum many times so as I walked around I was looking for new art and maybe a new slant on things. I settled on shadows. Here are some art and shadows.

Some walls and indoor architecture were interesting also.

The Antique Trove always has new items and booths to explore. I was attracted by the neon signs. Of course all of them were advertising beer.

Here are some other items I found interesting.

Where do you go when it rains and you want to take your camera out? We have more museums to explore in the greater Sacramento area. We do need some more rain to get us out of this drought, but maybe not those atmospheric rivers we had. If I had my way, it would rain at night and the sun would shine during the day!

Lens Artists Challenge #228: Diagonals

This is a great morning here in the Sacramento California area. It’s raining and it’s a steady rain. And, I’m also excited about Patti’s challenge on diagonals this morning. She compared diagonals to leading lines that lead to the focal point of a photograph.

Here are some of my images showing leading lines.

I also enjoy photographing objects on a diagonal just for the fun of it, and was recently to the California Museum where I found great diagonals.

Sometimes shooting a picture on a diagonal adds interest. This clown’s face is more interesting on the diagonal rather than straight on.

And when we compose a picture, we may end up with a visual diagonal, leaving some negative space.

Here’s my last fun photograph on a diagonal.

Patti, I hope I didn’t take your great challenge too far from your original intent. This was fun and thank you for brightening up a wonderful rainy morning. Please remember to link your reply post to Patti’s and use the Lens Artists tag. It’s supposed to rain off and on through Monday. Yay!!

We enjoyed all your responses to last week’s challenge. I got to see many places I’ll never be able to get to. Next week is Ann-Christine’s turn to lead this challenge. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.

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

Lens Artists Challenge #226: Textures

Guest host Jude of Cornwell in Colours picked the perfect challenge for me because I love textures. I don’t mean the nice blended textures you put behind your subject ( Which I can’t do yet!). I mean the texture of your subject. We are drawn to color and texture.

For instance I love the colors of rust and its gritty texture. You’ll notice as it ages, the colors change and the metal degrades, adding to its beauty.

I also find texture in old non-rusted metal. This old worn large propeller from a ship shows lines and textures when photographed close up. You can just feel how its been worn during its use.

Each year Sacramento hosts Chalk It Up where artists draw with chalk or liquid chalk on a sidewalk square. The grit of the sidewalk and chalk create a texture no other canvas can duplicate.

A lion’s mane has texture although you wouldn’t want to get close enough to feel it!

Wood is another favorite texture of mine. It can be tree bark or siding on a building. It draws you in with its variation of color and natural design.

Last, plants give us the feeling of texture in their form, color and shape.

There are many more examples of texture, but I’ll stop here. Texture is all around us. Take it in, feel and experience it. Thank you Jude for helping me realize how important texture is to photography. When you respond to this challenge, please remember to link to her post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Thank you all for responding for my challenge last week. I enjoyed learning about your amazing local wildlife. We saw birds, foxes, porcupines, bears, deer, squirrels and some small insects and bugs. It was great. Next week Tina will be leading the challenge 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. 

Lens-Artists Challenge #224: Exposure

Sophia, I had so much fun with this challenge. I seldom take the time to try different things with my images once I’ve processed them, so this was an enjoyable practice. I may do it more often.

I played with exposure in post processing, using images in my archives. Most of them have been posted before. First, the high key images. I used a great egret taking off. I wanted to see what happens when you do a white bird as an overexposed image. Then I had fun with some of my roses.

This was a dark pink rose, I lightened the color, added a misty filter and then a white vignette.

Now for the overexposures. I found these easier than the high-key images.

For my last bit of fun. I was trying to do a building in high-key and tried the infrared filter. I played around with it and I like it. I usually don’t like infrared images.

I hope you’re having fun with Sophia’s challenge too. When you post, be sure to link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag. We enjoyed reading about and seeing everyone’s Flight of Fancy last week. There were many variations of the theme. I’ll be leading next week’s challenge so look out for my post.

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

On to Boston: The USS Constitution

I fell in love with USS Constitution during our visit in to Boston in 2013. And the total experience was different from our visit during my recent New England trip. In 2013 there were Navy personnel to take us on a guided tour. You had to sign up, wait your turn, I remember the tours were timed so the ship wasn’t crowded. “Old Ironsides,” the ship’s nickname given when she was launched in 1797, was also not sectioned off at the dock so we could have the full advantage of taking amazing photos.

This ship has an amazing history which you can read here.

Today, the ship is open to all. There are no public tours, at least when we were there. And from a photographic point of view, people were everywhere. But she is still an amazing ship with a great history. Here are the first photos I took from the top deck.

Although I am complaining about people, I managed to isolate myself by taking closeups. Here’s what the decks below looked like. The crew slept in hammocks while the officers had better accommodations.

Back on top, I tried to get some different images.

The Constitution is still in commission, is still sea worthy, and her crew of 75 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping her open to visitors year round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty Navy personnel, and the assignment is considered to be special duty. What a testament to the United States history.

There will be more of Boston in my next post.

Lens Artists Challenge #222: The Mountains Are Calling

My east coast travels in the United States made me appreciate the varied topography we have in California. Amy wants us to show and talk about the mountains that call to us. In Northern California, we have mountains. I am fortunate to live close to the range called the Sierra Nevadas, a mountain range in the Western United States, between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin. It’s highest point is Mt. Whitney at 14,505 ft. I’ve never been up there. (Visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado at 12,000 ft. was enough for me!)

Locally, we have Table Mountain, near Oroville in Butte County. The North and South tables are flat mesas that were formed from basaltic eruptions. I’ve been there three times, but not recently. It’s very difficult to walk on the uneven surface. Here are some images. Notice the beautiful wildflowers. They and the small waterfalls draw photographers there each year.

Next the Sierra Nevadas host Donner Lake at 5,936 ft. I’ve shown you images of this beautiful spot before, but it’s been a while since I’ve shown you the tunnels where the trains passed through the mountains. Not used any more, it houses graffiti art.

Now for other finds with single images. First is Ananda Village in the Sierras (Nevada City). They host the Tulip Festival each year. Here you can get a good view of the Sierras.

Foresthill is a small mountain town that recently had a fire come through. Fortunately, this image was taken a year before. It just shows how life can change in an instant.

Last is Hope Valley which is famous for having Fall Colors each year. I’ve posted images from this area. But the valley also has a small lake.

I haven’t even mentioned the National and State Parks that add to the beauty of this State. I love the mountains so thank you Amy for letting me show off my nearby beauties. When you reply to her post be sure to link to her post and use the Lens-Artist tag. We enjoyed all your beautiful florals last week in response to Ann-Christine’s challenge. Next week Sophia will be leading the challenge so look for her post.

For the want of a hot tub part: Charles Schultz Museum

You never know what will bring you to a place, but when the opportunity knocks–take it! Ray needed to get a part repaired for his hot tub and the only place he could locate that could fix it was in Santa Rosa which happens to be the location of the Charles Schultz (creator of the Peanuts comic strip) Museum.

Add the fact that he offered to buy, photo buddy, Richard and I lunch, we couldn’t refuse. The museum is part of a complex that houses a gift shop, ice rink with ice cream parlor and the museum itself.

First the gift shop. You want to buy it, they had it. I was more taken with the decorative pieces.

The next building housed the ice skating rink and ice cream shop. This is the window of the shop just outside the skating rink.

Now for the museum itself.

These are just a small amount of pictures I took. One of the docents said they change the exhibits regularly. Maybe Ray’s hot tub will break again and we will return!

Lens-Artists Challenge#205: The Eyes Have It

During a photography competition, the judge always looks into the subject’s eyes–whether human or animal. Are they sharp and have a catch light. This week, Tina challenges us to focus on the eyes of a subject. Eyes are doorways into the soul.

I managed to find some images in my archives to show you. Let’s start with one I enjoy looking at. My friend and I were at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge driving the course. Towards the end, a bald eagle was in a branch right over the road. To get this picture, I climbed up through her car’s sunroof. Look at those eyes. What do you think he’s telling me?

Two more animals: The coyote is on the hunt. You can see that he is focused in his eyes. While the parrot, is just being colorful and beautiful.

Burrowing owls are very small, but their eyes are big in comparison. Is he flashing a do not disturb sign with those eyes?

I don’t capture enough candid portraits of people. Here are two that tell different stories. The first gentleman was sitting on a bridge bench. His glasses hide the despair in his eyes, but his body language speaks. The woman is taking a break at the Pirate Festival. Her eyes are narrowed and relaxed. To me she’s reflecting on a good day of fun.

Another of my favorites is this flamingo trying to sleep at the Sacramento Zoo. What is he trying to tell me as I snap his picture?

A dog’s eyes are a true reflection of what he/she is thinking. I think he/she wants attention. What do you think?

Eye focus equals communication. At Toastmasters we teach “eye contact.” Look directly into your audience’s eyes. You can tell immediately whether or not your message is reaching them.

Thank you Tina for this wonderful eye opening topic. Remember to link your reply to her post. Next week we begin our tradition of summer guest hosts during July. Next week Aletta Crouse of Now at Home will focus on Treasures. Be sure to look for her post.

During the remainder of July we have:

July 09 – Jez Braithwaite of Photos by Jez is Seeing Double.

July 16 – Andre of My Blog–Solaner is thinking about Summer Vibes.

July 23 – Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism.

July 30 – Sarah Wilkie, who hosts Travel with Me, asks you to share Three Favorite Images.

We invite you to look for and check out their blogs and hope you’ll join us throughout July. The Lens-Artists team will be back in August when I will host, “What’s Your Groove”.

Until then, have a safe and fun summer. Remember to use the Lens-Artists tag.

 If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

Lens-Artists #203: Local Vistas

There are challenges and there are challenges! This post is late because we need to drive up to Reno last night to help my son who is sick. At 12 pm EST today we were in emergency with him. He will be okay. So let’s get on with my original post and see some local vistas. Thank you for your patience.

Sometimes you need a nudge to realize what’s going on around you. For me that nudge was photography. Before I found this passion, I really wasn’t paying much attention to what the greater Sacramento area had to offer. I was busy caregiving to my mom, being daytime guardian for my older grandkids, running a part-time business and helping in the family business when needed.

But wonderful grandkids grow up, my mom passed away and eventually, I shut down my business. I had a void to fill, and I chose to fill it with photography. And how lucky I am to live in the Sacramento area. There is so much to see, so much to enjoy and so much to photograph.

Here are some of our local Sacramento Vistas

You know how much I enjoy the Sacramento Zoo. It’s going to be moving a little further away, but still in Sacramento County. The cheetah is enjoying his bone and the Wolf’s Gueron is snacking away too.

We have two rivers for our enjoyment. Old Sacramento sits on the Sacramento River. It’s a great place for tourists, families and is home to the Sacramento Railroad Museum. First is a view of the waterfront from the iconic Tower Bridge and then a sunset image of the Tower Bridge.

Not far from Old Sacramento is the Capitol Mall. I think we have a most beautiful capitol building and its grounds include the World Peace Garden. Here is a picture of the Capitol dome on a full moon night.

Moving into Sacramento City, each year we host Wide Open Walls. Artists come from all over to paint bright and beautiful murals on our buildings’ walls. This is a yearly festival, and most building owners keep the murals up. Some are fading already. This one touched my heart last year. It will always be a reminder of the pandemic and its heroes.

Discovery Park is close by and is part of the American River Parkway (A trail that is 32 miles along the American River.) The trail is for bicyclists and runners. It has picnic facilities. The golden hour adds to its beauty.

Let’s move further down the trail to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center which is part of a “100-acre nature preserve with riparian and oak woodlands, shrub lands, meadows, and aquatic habitats.” There we find deer, turkeys, coyotes, raptors, snakes, etc. Here is one of the inhabitants we come upon most of the time.

I can’t end this post without showing you our sister county, Yolo. We leave our suburbs and in just a few minutes we’re in Yolo County or should I say “country!” Here is where we go to photograph our rural scenes and sunflowers.

And we just have to go over the Tower bridge to the Vic Fazio Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area to find wildlife.

Now you can see why I love living here. But I bet you love your area too. What are your local vistas? Where do you photograph when you don’t have a lot of time or are not on vacation? What about your hometown excites you? Is it the countryside, city, gardens, amusement venues? This week, tell us about and show us your local vistas.

Remember to link to this post as you share your local vistas and use the Lens-Artists tag. Last week we all had fun with Sofia’s Minimalism/Maximalism challenge. So many interpretations and creativity came from all of you. Next week our guest host Sylvia Bacon will present a great challenge so stay tuned!

 If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

Lens-Artists Challenge #201: Three of a Kind

Today, Ann-Christine challenges us to create a post that has” three separate images that are somehow related.” She also explains that, “There is a special word for this art of three – triptych.” Yes, we learn something new every day.

Now, I don’t usually go on a photo outing with the thought of creating a series of three images that are related to each other, and I thought this would be a daunting challenge. How surprised I was to find, while going through my archives, that I do take a series when there is something interesting. So here are my “triptych” trios.

A ride at the Nevada County Fair. This is a kids ride of cars that starts off slowly and then increases to a rapid spin. Picture one is stationary, two is starting the spin, and three is at maximum.

Sculptured abstract. You’ve seen part of this next trio in our recent “Light and Shadow” challenge. I posted the sculpture and its shadow, but today I’ll add an abstract taken when I got really close with a long lens. This was taken in West Sacramento.

Trains. Now on to the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. This is always a fun place to take a camera. This old train was sitting on mirrored glass. The mirrors were also overhead and to the side. What fun I had. These are not the only images of this fantastic opportunity I took that morning. First is the train reflected on the glass. Second is the side of the train reflected on the glass above. Last is the top of the train in reflection.

Yard art. For my last trio, I’m taking you to the Antique Trove in Roseville. We go there when we need to be indoors because of rain or heat. It was rainy, but the back part (yard) was open. I saw cute owl sculptures.

I believe if I kept going through my archives, I’d find more trios. I think we instinctively take photos this way.

Thank you Ann-Christine for a fun challenge, teaching us a new word and helping me find more insight into how I photograph.

And thanks to Amy and her “Every little thing” challenge. She reminded me that small joys can overcome large burdens. Next week Sofia will present her challenge on Minimalism/Maximalism–Single or Flamboyant, Plain or ”More Is More”? Intrigued? Look for her post.

Remember, to link your post to Ann-Christine’s and use the Lens-Artists tag.

 If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/