Lens Artists Challenge #253: Fragments

This is my lucky morning. I was trying to think of how to approach Brian of Bushboy’s challenge on fragments when I remembered taking my new Fujifilm XT3 camera down to Old Sacramento for some practice in May of 2020. My photo buddies and I masked up for the morning and drove down to the waterfront. I was trying all sorts of photography, like these closeups.

You can all these fragments of a train, boxes near the train depot and the gate closing in a train. I thought my new camera did well.

Could a fragment be a moment in time? Here we have some children having fun on the swings in front of the old school house in Old Sacramento enjoying their portion of play time.

Oh, I just love the candy shop and the tasty free and for purchase treats they offer. Can a candy shop be fragmented into separate bins of candy?

My final image isn’t a fragment, but an image of a train that has been moved elsewhere.

Since that day, my Fuji and I have been on all sorts of adventures. I’ve grown to love that camera, but, like life, it took some getting used to.

Thank you Brian for taking me on my fragmented memory. Looking back is such fun. When you reply to Brian’s post please remember to link to it and use the Lens-Artists tag. Last week was such fun as we saw all your buggy images. Some species I’d never seen before. Next week, look for Tina’s challenge on her Travels and Trifles blog. I wonder what she has in store for us. Until then, stay safe!

A nice morning with the new lens: Effie Yeaw Nature Center

I’m still learning the ins and outs of the new Tamron lens. Each week, it becomes easier. We hadn’t been to our local Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael in a long time. It’s a favorite place to see deer and other small creatures. However, this time I didn’t see deer, but I did enjoy the trees and the river.

At the Center’s entrance there’s a small pond and hut.

Some trees were blown down during the big wind/rain storms in the Spring. I did see some poppies

I was also able to capture a sunburst through one of the trees and a woodpecker sitting on a stump.

The American River was full and flowing nicely. Two kayakers were taking advantage of the beautiful day.

That was our morning at Effie Yeaw. When we were at lunch, I was saying that I hadn’t seen a deer. The others said they saw one at the entrance as we were leaving. Oh well, another missed opportunity. I’m lucky that this wonderful nature center is close.

Lens Artists Challenge #251: Buildings and Other Structures

I enjoy photographing buildings. Why? They don’t sway in a breeze, fly away or wilt. They reflect images and scenes; have angles, leading lines, and other geometric patterns; and are often works of art. I’ll see a building and think to myself, “Wow, look at those lines and reflections!”

My fascination with buildings began in 2013 in Dallas Texas. I saw reflections in buildings that were reaching for the sky.

And it hasn’t ended there. This week, I’m asking you to look at buildings and see their beauty. There are many types of structures from which you can choose.

For instance, I found these amazing architectural structures in Melbourne Australia during my recent trip.

Of course, during my photo outings of the nearby countryside, I find many abandoned barns and stately old farmhouses. There is a different message emanating from each: of being left behind and being loved and well cared for. Yes, buildings do speak!

What does this modern museum say to you? This is the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art in Davis California. Its modern architecture is just an indication of what you’ll find inside.

Old towns have buildings that tell fascinating stories. On the left, this street in Locke California tells us the history of how Chinese immigrants built this town which is now known as the Locke Historic District. On the right, this hotel in Port Costa, which was a stop for the Central Pacific Railroad, is still hosting guests today.

And, there’s more history. The East coast of the U.S. is steeped in historical architecture. Just picture old cars being driven down these streets in Portland Maine.  What do you think about those Wedgewood looking windows?

My challenge for you, this week, is to find your own fascinating structures that capture your attention, tell a story or are just beautiful. You can capture new scenes or take a trip down memory lane in your photo archives. Remember to link to this challenge when you post and use the Lens-Artists tag. I want to see all your artful structures.

Many thanks to Amy and her challenge of Cloudscapes and Skyscapes last week. I love skies and enjoyed the beautiful images that you all posted. Next week Donna will be hosting LAPC. So, look for her exciting challenge.

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

Lens Artists Challenge #250: Skyscapes or Cloudscapes

As photographers, we appreciate a sky full of clouds, dark foreboding clouds and even a lightning strike, what we don’t like is a plain blue sky. Sometimes I enjoy the large amount of blue in my pictures. But. I admit that plain skies are not as pretty as big puffy cumulus clouds. This week, Amy challenges us to post some beautiful sky or cloudscapes.

I noticed while going through my archives, that great skies are not the norm in California. It’s a rare night that a sunset is worth photographing. If I’m lucky, I have my camera with me and I’m able to get it. Sometimes I hear people talking about that great sunset that I totally missed!

But I didn’t miss all of them. Read to the end!

Here are some random skies that I liked.

Some skies are moody and dark when the sun isn’t shining.

Sometimes a beautiful sky is the result of post processing. The following two images were processed in NIK Color Efex.

And what would a post about skies be without a sunset. Fortunately, I was out and about for these.

Thanks Amy, I’m going to be more aware of the skies now when I photograph landscapes. I also noted as I roamed through my archives that unless I’m thinking landscape, I tend to photograph tight, eliminating the sky. Please remember to use the Lens-Artists tag and link to Amy’s post when you respond to his challenge.

I totally enjoyed seeing all the public art around the world that was posted last week. They were colorful and happy posts. Thank you John! Next week, I’m presenting the challenge so stay tuned!

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

Lens Artists Challenge #249: Art in the park (and other places)

This is one challenge I’m not twisting and putting my own spin on for John’s Art in the Park. I’m presenting two pieces of public art that I think are amazing. The first is our annual Chalk It Up held every September in Fremont Park. This park is a large square block where chalk artists gather annually to sketch and paint images. The amazing part for me is that these art works will disappear within a few days. To put that much effort into creating a work of art only to have it gone, takes something special from the artists. We usually get there early to avoid the crowds. These images were taken in 2021 and have been posted on my blog. I’m hoping that you will enjoy seeing them again or appreciate them for the first time. The artists paint with liquid chalk or color with regular sidewalk chalk.

My next art in the park selection is dear to me and tugs at my heart strings. It can be found in the World Peace Rose Garden next to our State Capitol building. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran and was a radio operator traipsing through the jungles. The sculptures depict the medics, the wounded and the soldiers who walked through the jungles. They are simply amazing. And it’s a sad day in history that our soldiers came home to such a poor reception. I’m so glad that the wrong is being righted.

I’m happy to share these two pieces of art. Thank you John for this challenge. Remember to link to this post and use the Lens-Artists tag in the reader section. Next week Amy will be presenting a wonderful 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 #248: Mood

Boy, have I been in a mood lately! And It’s not a good one! Why? It’s because my computer has been down and out for about a week. No blogs, no working on pictures, no…. Fortunately, I was able to keep up with your postings on my laptop, but it doesn’t have my pictures or editing software on it.

The tech guy is about to leave and I’m already working out my mood by doing this blog post.

When I first read Sofia’s challenge, I wondered do we as photographers create the mood in a photo or does a photo give us the mood. How much is up for interpretation? What feelings do we put into the photo? Will others see it the same way as we do?

I can tell you it’s been my experience that two photographers can photograph the same scene and the pictures will come out different. Two people can look at the same image and get different stories and feelings from it.

So, here’s a brief look at some moods. Some I create like when I’m feeling blue and down, I take myself and my macro lens to Green Acres Nursery for a pick me up.

Tension eases when I photograph flowers. When I process them, my mood is relaxed. The flowers help me create that mood.

Nothing beats the excitement of doing something you are challenged at. My limit of a 300 mm lens and my lack of speed and fine motor coordination makes wildlife photography a challenge. On a typical outing, I usually come home with a few good images. The mood? Exhilaration and happiness.

When I look at these animals, I sense their need for survival and curiosity at the humans behind the lens.

There’s another type of excitement–having fun. You all know how much I enjoy doing slow shutter photography, especially at night. We were out to capture Old Sacramento at night and the ferris wheel just added to the fun.

The action and colors of the ferris wheel are exciting and photographing it is challenging.

And lastly, there is the amazement of the unexpected. My moment of amazement happened when I woke up one morning at my son’s home in Reno NV and saw a snowy landscape like I’ve never seen before. I was truly excited and in awe of the beauty before me. Mother Nature did her very best the night before. Never mind that three men had to dig us out!

I think I may have turned Sofia’s wonderful challenge around, but that’s the way it affected me. Even challenges are subjective! If you haven’t posted your response yet, please remember to link to Sofia’s original post and tag Lens-Artists. I truly enjoyed your back lighting responses to Ann-Christine’s challenge last week. Next week, it’s John’s turn to challenge us. So look for his post. In the meantime stay safe!

Lens Artists Challenge #247: Backlit

As photographers, we look for unique lighting situations. This week Ann-Christine suggests we look for images where the sun is lighting our subject from behind. I’ll admit that I take advantage of light without planning for it. I’m thinking I should get up early for that sunrise, but…… Or stay up late for sunset, but…. Or plan for the blue or golden hours, but… I just enjoy being out there with my camera photographing in whatever light nature gives me.

I’m a little late with my response, so I’ve had the chance to see many wonderful responses already. Here are some of my photos where I’ve put the sun backlighting my subject.

You know I photograph lotus flowers each year. The next two images are from the same shoot at Land Park’s pond. On the left, the lotus seems to be bowing under the sun’s strength. On the right, the sun creates translucent petals.

Other floral or leaves. Almond blossoms are backlit and in shade. Autumn leaves seem to be soaking up the sun so they can continue to change their color. A tree captures the sun on the back of its leaves during autumn.

Animals. I’ve chosen a deer and a horse. I enjoyed the glow the sun gave their bodies as it shined behind them.

When the sun is at your back, you create a self-portrait–your shadow.

My next images were taken just a few minutes or seconds apart. See the difference the setting sun makes in this landscape. I may have worked with the color in the second image, but I really can’t remember. You can still see the difference.

Finally, this challenge must end with a sunset!

Thank you Ann-Christine for this enjoyable challenge. Backlit images are so relaxing. Please remember to link to Ann-Christine’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag in the WP reader.I enjoyed seeing all your still life images last week and got many ideas. Next week Sofia’s challenge is on Mood: Places, photography styles, situations or portraits where moods are recognizable.

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

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.