Lens-Artist Challenge #195: Colorful Expressions

Color! It motivates, depresses, and makes us happy. Marketing companies know the effect color can have on our emotions. Just look how it’s used in print and television ads. Bright colors are usually used to get us to buy—now. More subdued colors are used to relax us and encourage us to come in for that spa treatment. How do you react to these subliminal motivators?

Better yet, how does color affect your photography? How we photograph is reflective of how color motivates us. I like bright bold colors, red being my favorite. In fact, as I write this post, I’m wearing a red blouse. I shy away from pastels, and you’ll never see me wear a soft pink! But, back to photography. My personal preferences are carried forth in what I choose to photograph.

If I see red, I’m going to photograph it. These umbrellas are an example. The umbrellas take up most of the image with a large splash of color. It draws attention and, for me, is exciting.

The canopy below is a much smaller representation of red, but it still caught my eye. It is small and in the background. Even though it’s small, it’s bright enough to pull you into the frame.

A photographed color can be soft and light, creating a sense of calm. Or, it can be bright, demanding our attention. These two flowers are an example of this. The soft pick versus the bright yellow and red. Which suits your mood? I know I said I’m not drawn to pink, but flowers are the exception.

Color can also fill the frame, be solid, or lead us through the frame. The orange pumpkin dominates, leaving me feel excited and wanting to bake pumpkin bread. While the soft yellow on the ground and trees accents the branches and glides us along the pathway, having me feel at peace.

Mother nature often paints her landscapes in duotone so the subject can stand out as does this cypress tree against the blue ocean. I could sit a long time watching the waves crash onto the shore, creating a calmness within me.

Or She paints a beautiful expansive vision of color as these poppies drape the hillside. This wild poppy field left me in awe of nature’s work.

I’m also drawn to rust which has a texture of its own, creating its own colorful patina. I can just feel the age of this wheel and admire its beautiful colors.

Before I close this challenge, I had a bit of color fun by processing selective color. This is the first time I’ve done this. Remember this photo, all that’s left in color are the red umbrellas. If you haven’t processed selective color, give it a try. It is fun!

And then there’s the rare “what is that!”  Sometimes color surprises us. Wouldn’t you stop to take a picture of an old pink barn. Yes, even I did!

This week, show us how color affects your photography. What emotions does it bring to the surface? Which ones are you particularly drawn to? When you create your colorful expression, remember to link to this post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Thank you, Sofia, for last week’s challenge that explained what bokeh is and how we use it as we photograph. We enjoyed seeing all your beautiful responses. Our guest host John RH, of John’s Space, will be presenting next week’s challenge. Be sure to visit his site.

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/

In the country with Yolo Arts & Ag: Hungry Hallow Ranch

I love suburbia with all its conveniences, but I also like to visit the forests, beaches and country sides. The Yolo Arts & Ag program allows me to take my camera onto ranches, orchards and farms that open their facilities to artists and photographers for two half days a month. It’s a great opportunity for us to wander in and out of barns, see old machinery and have a glimpse of a life we don’t live.

The Hungry Hallow Ranch in Capay was a large facility that gave us access to the entire property. But when we entered, we mostly saw machinery in barns, old vehicles, young olive trees and hay bales. Marlene, Ray and I said that there was nothing new here. Richard was excited saying that this is what he loved to photograph.

I think Richard was right. I did find a lot to photograph and learned a lesson. Don’t judge a photography shoot by first glance. I made the most of our morning. I took close ups of machinery.

Then there was an artist painting.. There were many, but I liked this shot the most.

And the olive orchard. You can see that the trees were young.

And the barns.

I also found a grape vine or two, a wood pile large enough to cover the side of a barn and an awesome tree.

It ended up being a fun morning of discoveries. And lunch was at our favorite Road Trip Bar and Grill in Capay.

Out for a short ride: Woodland, California

These days, we’re not doing many full day trips, but opting for a few hours near by. So, last Sunday, we (Ray, Karen and I) went to Woodland, a small town about 30 minutes north of Sacramento. It’s been a while since I’ve photographed in Woodland, and it was a nice walk.

We took photos of the old courthouse. I was practicing lines and patterns. The courthouse is a beautiful old building which was replaced by a more modern structure. It was also nice to see a memorial to Yolo County Police Officers.

We walked along streets and found some nice structures and flowers. I’ve also discovered that Photoshop has now an easy sky replacement and I had fun working with it in post processing. Now I have to get some skies of my own!

We ended up at the library where we found more flowers and a beautiful building. It was breezy, maybe too much for a macro lens. I shot these with an 18 – 55mm lens.

Before heading back, we went out of town and into the countryside to find barns. We did find a couple, and one was pink!

It was a wonderful short get-a-way. We’ll have to find more since COVID is still raging.

Almond trees and more! Capay Valley, California

Beautiful Almond trees in Capay Valley were calling to my small photo group. Every year we make that trek to capture the beautiful blossoms. We were a two-car caravan and stopped along the way for pictures. If we were a larger caravan, I’m not sure that would have worked.

Starting out in the small town of Esparto, we drove along the main road through the valley. To our dismay, some of the orchards were surrounded by chain link fencing. Unfortunately, some visitors and photographers have been going into the orchards, causing problems. We make sure to stay on the side of the road, not trespassing. We did manage to stick our lenses through the chain link. It made taking pictures difficult but not impossible. Thank heavens for telephoto lenses which allowed us to get some close ups.

When we reached Rumsey, we found yard full of treasures. Fortunately, the owner Don Hayes was there and gave us permission to take photos wherever we wanted. I think I must have been getting tired, because I missed some of the smaller items that my photo buddies shot. Well, there may be another chance!

An amazing find: Rush Ranch, Solano County, California

The best things are the ones you don’t expect. And, I didn’t expect Rush Ranch to be so beautiful and fun to shoot. We went there after we visited the Suisun Wildlife Rescue Center. Photo buddy Laura suggested this and Marlene and I were agreeable. Oh, did we have fun, and we didn’t even take any of the nature paths. We stayed and shot old equipment, etc.

Rush Ranch is a working ranch, with cattle and sheep grazing under a wildlife habitat management program. Prior to its purchase by the Solano County Farmlands and Open Space Foundation in 1988, this ranch was owned by the Rushes (a pioneer family).

Now it is open to the public with three hiking trails that take you through different ecosystems. These are the trails we didn’t have time to walk. So we need to go back. Who knows what we’ll see, especially when we don’t expect to.

Meanwhile, enjoy these images from the immediate property.

Out and about with Goose: Dry Creek Falls and Gibson Ranch

Photographers are willing to go out and about whenever they can and they are willing to help.  “Goose” Simmons has been a big help to me. I recently went out during an evening with him and shot on manual until I realized my GPS was stolen. Then I went back to aperture priority.  I was too upset to think. I think I was so excited to be shooting with Goose that I forgot to lock my car. I won’t forget again!

Tonight, I’ll be learning how to shoot the Milky Way, and I hope I’ll be posting some great images for you soon. Meanwhile here are some (because I ended up with more than 20 shots I liked) shots from my outing with Goose.