Lens-Artists Challenge #211: What’s your photographic groove?

What’s your photographic groove? What type of photography do you truly enjoy doing?  I didn’t really know the answer to that question when I first began photography, and it took me a while to find it!

I realized my photographic groove when I bought my Fujifilm XT3. I had all sorts of lenses for my Nikon D7100—ultra-wide, macro, telephoto, and the zoom from 18 – 200 mm. I could photograph all I wanted with those lenses.

First, I found I hardly ever used my ultra-wide lens, my landscape shots didn’t warrant it.

The prime F/4 300 mm was used maybe four times a year at wildlife areas.

The macro was used when I was around flowers and insects.

My walk-around lens, the 18 – 200 mm was used the most.

When I switched to the Fuji two years ago, I bought the two lenses that would give me the same range as my walk around Nikon lens. I wanted a third lens, but which one. After trying a couple, thank you Action Camera in Roseville, I settled on a macro lens. I quickly sold my Nikon macro. No need for redundancy. I’ve thought about buying another Fuji lens but why. If I want a telephoto or ultra-wide, I still have my Nikon set up.

I quickly realized how much I was enjoying the macro lens.

So, what’s my photo groove? Macro. I love shooting macro. It’s a challenge that I enjoy even on breezy days. I still go after great landscapes, sunsets, and wildlife. But when it comes down to it, macro Is my photographic groove.

Now that I’ve told you my story, what’s your photo groove? What gives you that sense of accomplishment? Of joy? Of completion? Your challenge this week is to show and tell us about what type of photography you enjoy the most. I used my choice of lenses to find my grove. You may have a different way. If you don’t have a favorite, that’s okay. Show us your wonderful images and tell us about them. Who knows, doing this exercise may help you realize your photo groove.

Thank you guest host Sarah Wilkie of Travel With Me for the exercise of picking out three of our favorite images. And thank you to all of our other wonderful July guest hosts, Aletta, Jez, Andre and Tracy. When you reply to this challenge, please link to this post and use the lens artists tag. I’m looking forward to seeing your groovy photos. As your LAPC team resumes our rotation, Patti will present next week’s challenge. Be looking for her post. In the meantime have fun and stay safe in your travels.

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/

Sacramento’s buildings

Sometimes architecture calls, especially for photo buddy Richard. I don’t object, because I like it also, especially when there are great reflections. Here are the results of a recent downtown Sacramento outing. Some images have descriptive captions. There are more than my usual picks, so have fun!

You can see there are a lot of new buildings in Sacramento. One of our outings must be focused on the old structures in Sacramento.

Lens-Artists Challenge #210: Picking favorites

When you have thousands of pictures, how do you pick just three? It’s difficult, but Sarah of Travel With Me has given us this challenge. I’ve taken it on and here are my three.

My first photo is of Waterton Lake, Waterton Lakes National Park, in Canada. I like it because when I decided to try processing it in black and white, it took on a whole new dimension, almost like a sketch. I love black and white, so when I think an image has a tonal quality that may fit, I try it. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but this time it did. I typically process black and whites in NIK Silver Efex. This won a prize in the Motherload Fair, Sonora.

Next is a macro that almost took first place in the In Focus competition. This means it made it to the final table. That doesn’t matter to me because I just like it for the color, seeing the hair on the leaf and the water drop that’s just hanging on. I process all my photos in Lightroom and may have brought this into NIK Color Efex. I just can’t remember. I’m sure I’ve posted this before in an LAPC post. This is truly one of my favorites.

My third image is definitely a recent favorite of mine. I love the flamingos at the Sacramento Zoo. I had already taken a few photos of them, looking for a “keeper.” I was thinking sometimes you’re just not in the right place at the right time. I was talking to a docent about the birds who were taking their naps and this one opened one eye and looked at me. I’m so glad it opened it again after I got my camera in position. This time I was in the right place at the right time! This was processed in Lightroom and Topaz sharpener AI. It did take “Picture of the Night” at the Sierra Camera Club general competition.

As I said, I have many more favorites. This was a difficult challenge Sarah, but worth the exercise. Thank you! Remember to use the Lens-Artist tag when you post your reply and link to Sarah’s original pose. Tracy’s Surreal challenge last week brought us many amazing photos to look at. I’ll be posting next week’s challenge, so be sure to check back.

 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/

Grab a brush: Wide Open Walls

The annual Wide Open Walls Festival is adding more beauty to Sacramento’s buildings. To beat the heat, we left at 7:30 a.m. and headed to downtown. I had a list of about 30 murals and addresses. Diane was our navigator and I drove the one-way streets which sometimes turned into two-way streets. And when you’re not familiar with the streets, mistakes are easy to make. Need I say more.

I’m not going to show you all that I photographed, just some special art pieces. Let’s begin with this one. The artist did separate panels on the building’s walls. I loved the colors and surrealism.

Next is a mural and a close up of the woman’s face. We found on a SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) building. Tea anyone?

This next set is full of symmetrical and asymmetrical designs.

Here are some odds and ends that I thought were great.

I’ll end with art that isn’t a painted mural and I don’t think is part of Wide Open Walls. They are mosaic art images and in some places raised. They are beautiful.

We will return for more mural photography and I hope to have more fantastic pieces to show you.

Lens-Artists Challenge #209: Surreal

Yikes, Tracy you want us to post images that are surreal? Can I? Do I have any? Well, I don’t say “no” to a challenge, so here goes.

My first image was truly a mistake. I was trying to take away hay from this alpaca‘s face and ended up with…..

I think a three eyed alpaca is weird if not surreal. I put two more images into Photoshop and used various filters to get the effect I wanted. The first was a diffuse filter which gave me surprising results. For the second I used one of the distort filters which gave me predictable results.

This next picture has no fancy editing. I think this mural’s artist had a surreal bent to begin with.

To be honest, I don’t know what this next image was a picture of! It looked surreal to me in the beginning, but I brought it into NIK Silver Efex to see if I could exaggerate it a bit. Do you think it might have been a puddle and drops on concrete?

Finally, I had fun using Photoshop’s distort twirl filter on this one. I don’t think it’s as surreal as much a fun design.

Thank you Tracy for this great challenge. I had fun with it. When you respond, remember to use the Lens Artists tag and link to Tracy’s original post. And we all enjoyed reliving special summer vibes with Andre last week. Next week Sarah Wilkie, blogging at Travel with Me, will be our guest host. She will encourage us to post Three Favorite Images.

Until then, have fun and stay safe.

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 #208: Summer Vibes

Summer Vibes? For the last three years here in California we’ve been locked in because of Covid or the extreme heat! No yearly visits to the sunflower visits and long day trips to the ocean. So when Andre of Solander asked us to show him our summer vibes, I went back to 2016 when outings were plentiful and Covid was unknown. Remember those times?

Here are my 2016 summer vibes. Each year we would visit the sunflower fields and the Mezger Family Zinnia Patch and 2016 was no exception. I love how the sunflowers smile cheerfully and attract the bees. The zinnia garden is planted each year by the Mezger family who encourage visitors to cut the flowers, put them in vases that are provided and give this gift to someone who needs encouragement in their life. What a wonderful gesture.

2016 was also the year that my friend Linda and I spent three days in San Francisco. We stayed at the hostel at Ft. Mason near Fisherman’s Wharf. Have you ever stayed in a hostel? It is fun. We had a private bedroom and shared a kitchen and bathroom with a young family from England. Neither of us used the kitchen! I found it a wonderful experience, giving us the ability to meet many people. The Palace Of Fine Arts was a great place to visit at night. It is lit up and it’s reflection is beautiful in the water that surrounds it. Of course, everyone must take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I did mention road trips, and the following images are from one my photo buddies and I took. I truly don’t know where we ended up. This must be the trip where I feel asleep, woke up and asked where we were. Nobody knew! I do miss those trips, but with gas prices the way they are, they are somewhat impractical. What I like most about road trips is the variety of pictures you can take.

I’ve enjoyed reviewing my summer vibes of 2018. Thank you Andre! When you post your challenge please remember to link to his blog post and tag Lens-Artists. And thank you Jez for a great reflective challenge last week. We have more July guest hosts: Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, and Sarah of Travel with Me. The Lens-Artists team will be back in August with me hosting the challenge.

If you would like to invite a friend to join us in our weekly challenges, it’s easy just click here to find out how.

Take care everyone and stay safe!

The heat is on: Sacramento History Museum

It’s either go out super early in the morning or go to a museum when it’s hot. In June we chose the museum–The Sacramento History Museum in Old Sacramento. As many times as I have been to Old Sacramento for various things, I never knew of this museum. I had my doubts as to whether it would be worthwhile. Was I surprised!

Not only did it give a great view of Sacramento’s history via pictures, text and artifacts, it was a photographer’s dream.

Just to give you a bit of the background, Sacramento was founded during the gold rush. You can read all about its history here. Being me I did all my photography before I started reading about my State Capitol’s history!

Here are some images of the lobby area.

The town’s newspaper, the Sacramento Bee. has a rich history in the area and is the newspaper I read daily. Of course, I now view it online. Here are exhibits dedicated to this newspaper.

As we were walking to our car, we saw a docent in period dress leading a tour and coming down to the museum. I thought this was a great museum to learn about Sacramento. It’s going to be a hot summer, so get ready for more museums!

Lens-Artists Challenge #207: Seeing Double

When I was a kid, seeing double meant we were crossing our eyes and creating that double vision. Now, that I’m enjoying photography, it means reflections causing an exact duplicate or double of the original image. Our guest host Jez Braithwaite of Photos By Jez, presents us with a challenge to post the reflections we’ve photographed and enjoyed.

And I do enjoy photographing them.

A natural reflection is the capture of birds in water. Here the water is shallow giving a fuzzy double image.

When I see a good building reflection, I just have to photograph it.

Like Jez, I enjoy using a crystal ball at times.

Still water is a great reflective surface for landscapes. Whether bridges and rocks, a lake view or a sunset on a pond, these reflections are beautiful.

Surfaces like a mirror or metal also offer reflections.

And how about California’s illusive rain puddle.

Let’s end with one of my favorite reflections–windows and doors.

It was fun going through my archives and reflecting on seeing double this week–without looking cross eyed!

Thank you Jez for this fun assignment. Please be sure to link your reply to his post. Thank you Aletta for having us do a treasure hunt last week. It was fun to see all the varied treasures from all over the world. Next week our guest host Andre of Solander is thinking of Summer Vibes. Be sure to look for his post. We continue July with:

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.

And I will continue the LAPC rotation on August 6. Until then continue having a safe and fun July.

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

Lens-Artists Challenge #206: Treasures

This challenge given to us by Aletta, of Now At Home, brought me back to 2020, the year of lockdown. There are many things I treasure like family, friends, health and our pets. But in 2020 one thing was clear, I truly treasured my weekly photo outings. My senior photo buddies and I created a photo pod and went out in our cars (some separate and some together), met at a designated outdoor spot and spent a couple of hours enjoying photography. Later we would have lunch outdoors (when restaurants opened to outdoor service)–a perfect ending to a brief respite.

I’m showing you some images from my 2020 calendar. I’m sure a lot of these are repeats, but I treasure each and every one of them. If it weren’t for photography, I would have been clawing at my front door, screaming “Let me out!”

Fortunately, my front door doesn’t have any claw marks thanks to photography and friends!

Thank you for all the great interpretations of last week’s challenge “The eyes have it.” I enjoyed them all. When you respond to Aletta’s challenge, please remember to link to her post and use the Lens-Artists tag. Next week Jez Braithwaite of Photos by Jez is hosting Seeing Double so be on the lookout for his post.

July will continue with:

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 Favourite Images.

I’ll be back in August with “What’s your groove?” Until then enjoy your summer and stay safe.

 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/

Triple digits heat wave: Lotus pond, Land Park

Let’s go back 21 years when we moved to Sacramento, there was maybe one week of triple digit temperatures during the entire summer. We’ve already had that many and it’s not even the end of June! The heat stiffles any desire to grab a camera and go out for the day. Enough griping!

Recently Marlene and I took advantage of a morning when the temperature was to max out in the 90s and went to William Land Park in Sacramento to photograph the lotus blossoms. I think they were just as affected by the heat as we were. Also the cluster of lotus were far away from the bank of the pond. Getting super close was not possible. Here are some of the blossoms. The close ups are well cropped.

What truly impressed me was the size of the leaves. They were impressive. The lotus aren’t the only attraction at the pond. There are others:

Also, in today’s world, I always get pleasure from the kindness and friendliness of others. We met three women who saw our cameras and asked us to take their picture with their cell phone. We talked with them. They offered advice on how I could reduce the pain in my hip. They also had us take a picture of each of us and them with our cameras. Here’s the one I took of them and Marlene.

This last picture was taken just before entering the pond area. It’s not a lotus but I liked the lighting.

It’s supposed to be cooler this week, so maybe I won’t be so grumpy! We’ll see what July brings. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and stay safe.