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/

Growing more than just flowers: Horton’s Iris Farm, part 1

I walk Gem every day. He has two routes: one is 1 1/2 miles and the other 2 miles. This gives us the opportunity to see the neighbors’ gardens grow. These walks make me think of personal growth. When do you stop? I don’t think we ever do.

Which brings me to my photography journey and the reason I started this blog many, many years ago. This was to be my journal showing the progress of my photographic ability–which when I began was practically non-existent. I decided not to take classes because I didn’t want homework and still shy away from challenges that want you to take new photos. So, by asking questions, making mistakes, camera clubs with juried competitions, and field experience I’ve come along and progressed. And, I’m still learning!

I now find myself giving advice to new photographers and can hold my own with other seasoned photo hobbyists. I may have picked the long route to get here, but I arrived anyway.

Have you taken on something new and followed your own path to success? I’d like to hear about it.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures taken at a recent visit to Horton’s Iris Farm in Loomis. We may have been a bit to early to catch more of their beautiful irises. Horton’s is a farm where they grow and sell plants. You can buy plants at their farm or online. You can also cut your own bouquets. They also grow zinnias and sunflowers, and have a pumpkin patch in October. Enjoy!

Next week I’ll show you more about this farm. It’s more than just irises!

Working Dogs: Sheepdog trials

Photography always gives me an opportunity to learn. In March I went to see the sheepdog trials in Zamora at Slaven Ranch. First, I was impressed by a whole bunch of border collies and handlers/owners waiting their turn for a run up the hill.

Over the hill were four sheep waiting to be herded down the hill, through two obstacles on the course and finally into the ring set off by traffic cones. The handler stands on the flat land more or less between the obstacles and ring. I’m hoping you can get somewhat of a picture in your mind. My description is not very good.

As far as photography goes, it was difficult because you had to use a telephoto lens (we were quite a distance away) which made it difficult to get the dogs and sheep into one frame when they came close enough to photograph. I had my lens at 200mm and managed to get a few pictures when they came down the hill.

The handlers communicate with their dogs by using a special whistle that we couldn’t hear. And, all this had to be done in a certain time limit. Here are some pictures.

Coming down the hills.

Now for the dogs while herding.

One of the handlers working with a dog.

Now for a fun picture. I took a picture of a dog sitting next to me. When processing it, I cropped in close to the eye and found a reflection. Take a look!

It was an amazing few hours watching these border collies and handlers at work. I do appreciate the Yolo Arts and Ag Project and the opportunities it offers us.

Oh, I want to thank those of you who gave me input on my decision on whether to buy a Fujifilm macro lens or keep my current Nikon macro lens. I’ve decided to keep using my Nikon system. The reality is that I do long range wildlife photography just a few times a year. I enjoy it, but enjoy other types of photography more.

Decisions: Walking Folsom

Sometimes it’s best not to plan. All we knew for this outing was that we would go to the old town area of Folsom. We’ve been there many times before so I was very ambivalent about the outing.

First we wanted to capture the Rainbow Bridge, a Folsom landmark. I’ve photographed it before, but not from the walking bridge next to it. As a special treat, I photographed a fisherman spotted through the archway, two kayakers and a paddle boarder.

Below the walking bridge, I was able to get the American River, the walking bridge and Rainbow Bridge, at different angles.

Next came lunch at our favorite café. I think, for us, that a photo shoot wouldn’t be complete without a good lunch!

After filling our tummies, we spotted a farmers’ market. I just love to photograph vegetables.

And there’s the atmosphere of a farmers’ market where prepared food can be purchased and other crafts can draw you into a booth.

Sometimes a simple basket can be made into a beautiful art piece in post processing using a Photoshop filter.

I think we made some great decisions that morning. Do you?

Lens-Artist Challenge #185: Change

Every day, something changes–whether we want it to or not. In his challenge John asks us to think about change: “Maybe it’s the changes in your family over the years, the change of seasons in your favorite park, or even the change in the technology of your camera equipment. In short, what does “change” mean to you?”

I thought about it, and what came to my mind was how Sacramento has changed since I started photography. First are some of the things we lost.

The first blow to photographers was Daffodil Hill. This beautiful hillside of color and flowers closed last year because of too many visitors. It’s remote location caused the one road in and out to become jammed, and visitors were not staying on the designated paths. Daffodil Hill was owned by the McLaughlin family who planted and cared for their farm. This was their labor of love to be enjoyed by many.

Daffodil Hill

The next thing we lost was the annual Sacramento Music Festival. We worked on and enjoyed the festival for several years. I loved walking from venue to venue, listening to wonderful music. It discontinued because of money loss.

One change that was fought and won was Sacramento City Council’s decision to remove the flowers from the Sacramento Historic Cemetery. The decision was made because when the cemetery was first founded there were no flowers and they wanted to keep it true to its history! The public and the gardeners won. The team of gardeners is volunteer based, and thanks to them we continue to enjoy this amazing place.

Ever changing are the murals that brighten Sacramento each year through Wide Open Walls. We go downtown each year to see what new art adorns the city’s walls.

One of my favorites.

New to Sacramento, specifically Old Sacramento, is the Ferris Wheel along the waterfront. After fixing the wood walkways, the city wanted an attraction to bring families into the Old City.

Last, is a thing we want changed: the homeless. There have been many programs offered to help. Some have succeeded, some haven’t.

Asleep on a sidewalk/curb in Old Sacramento.

Among the venues we hope don’t change is Effie Yeaw Nature Center. This center along the American River is close to us and offers us the nearness to wildlife like deer, coyotes, wild turkeys, etc. I hope this center continues for years to come.

A buck at Effie Yeaw.

So, because change is inevitable, we need to embrace it and continue on. Isn’t it wonderful that we are able to capture things we enjoy on camera before they disappear!

Thank you John for giving us a reason to pause and reflect. Last week Amy helped us to remember our travels and what they have taught us; next week Sophia leads the challenge. Look for her post. Remember to link to her post and use the Lens-Artists tag in WordPress.

Lens Artist Challenge #184: Travel has taught me

Oh my! Every time I travel anywhere, near and far, I learn something. This week Amy has asked us to write about and show what travel has taught us. Instantly, my mind went back to our travels in our various campers and trailers. That’s my favorite kind of travel: where I can take my home with me. I like to get up in the morning, make breakfast, walk the dog, relax, do some sightseeing, cook dinner, settle down for the evening and sleep in my own bed. My food, my itinerary and a familiar/comfortable bed!

Driving across country in 2013 gave us so many opportunities to learn about different states, customs, history, people and historical places. I decided that the east coast has the history and the west coast has more National Parks. So what was my favorite piece of history? The USS Constitution!

I don’t know why, but I fell in love with that ship docked in Boston, Massachusetts. Just its history and the fact that in 2013 she was still in service was amazing. Also called Old Ironsides, she was launched in 1797 and is the world’s oldest ship of any type still afloat. The tour took us below deck and the guide gave us a descriptive history of what life was like during the years the ship was in active commission. Today,  she also participates in public events and education through outreach programs, public access, and historic demonstration.

Here are some pictures I took with my Nikon D3100. I was so new at photography, I didn’t know how to straighten a picture in post! Anyway, they will give you an idea of what a great ship she is.

If you visit Boston, Massachusetts, be sure to visit this amazing ship.

Catching up, part 2: Christmas Lights

Yes, I’m still back in December 2021. On the 27th to be exact! Donna and I went out locally to photograph some Christmas lights. The conditions that night were perfect: not too cold and clear.

Last year I had some trouble with my Fujifilm camera. It was the first time using it for this function and I couldn’t get the lighting right. This year I knew it was okay to pump up the ISO. What a difference! This camera handles a high ISO so much better than my Nikon 7100 did.

Here are some of the results. Now pay attention to some of the snow men!

Did you see the great robbery in progress? And the robber’s weapon? If not, look again! As you can see, I also had fun with some slow shutter speed and zooming the lens. Thanks for visiting!

Lens Artists Challenge #177: Celebrating

We need to find cause to celebrate. And we need to do this frequently. If we can’t create our own celebration, we can always find one! Amy encourages us to do just that with her challenge this week.

I’ve chosen three festivals I’ve visited during the past years. I visited the Nevada County Fair in Summer, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, 2019. It’s a small fair, but large enough for a photographer to have fun.

In December of the same year, we went to experience the Nevada City Victorian Christmas where vendors sold crafts, musicians played and attendees dressed in costume.

In 2020, there wasn’t much happening but we did find a celebration at the Asian New Year Festival in Isleton in February, just before lockdown.

Lions were dancing. Here we can see two dancers getting into their costume and dancing.

Let’s end the fun with a Taiko drumming demonstration.

Thank you Amy for helping us celebrate down memory lane with your wonderful challenge. Seeing pictures from these outings made me smile!

Lens Artists Challenge #175: Follow Your Bliss

Bliss is what we all chase. It’s that something that relaxes, yet drives us to accomplish. It’s what we enjoy as a participant or spectator. This week, Lindy Low LeCoq encourages us to “show us your sense of wonder and excitement. Whether it be one activity that is your passion, or many different interests you follow, this is a wide-open opportunity to showcase how you “follow your bliss.”

One thing that comes to mind for me is music. I can’t sing, follow the beat or play an instrument. But music sooths my soul. I listen to both words and melody. One place I used to totally enjoy was the Sacrament Music Festival. Richard and I would work it every year, and the music was fantastic. Our favorites were Tom Rigney and Flambeau, who would play anything from zydeco to rock and roll, and Dave Bennett, whose clarinet rivaled Benny Goodman’s and his piano playing was as close to Jerry Lee Lewis as you could get. I’m sad that they discontinued it.

Even as I was enjoying music, I was also following my bliss for photography. When the pandemic and lockdown hit, photography was my outlet. Richard and I went for rides for the first few months of lockdown, going in search of snow and the California Poppy.

Soon my photo buddies formed a photo pod and went out once a week. One outing was to the WPA Rock Garden in William Land Park.

Another was to the California State World Peace Capitol Rose Garden in Sacramento.

And of course there are my friends who share in my love for photography. I’m dedicating this post to my friend Jean Armstrong who passed away this month after a short fight with brain cancer. She and I enjoyed going on day outings and, because she drove, we’d end up finding some sort of water. She loved the lakes and ocean. Here are two from our last outing together in January this year. We went to Port Costa (near the bay of course).

Thank you Lindy for reminding me to continue to follow my bliss. It’s so important especially now.

Color and light: Night time carnival

I like to photograph at slow shutter speeds and zoom my lens in and out. So when I learned there was a small carnival at a the Sunrise Mall shopping center, in Citrus Heights, parking lot, my photo buddies and I got down there. We did the same visitation in 2018 and the carnival was much better: more rides, more people and a working Ferris wheel. I think the almost rainy weather may have had something to do with it.

But, I had fun anyway. Here’s some of what I captured that evening.

I’ve got my camera ready for next year. Hopefully there will be a working Ferris wheel and more rides.