Lens-Artists Challenge#192: Earth Story

In her challenge this week, Amy wants us to think about our earth. It impacts our daily lives: the water we drink, the oceans that provide us enjoyment, the soil that brings us food, the trees the help us breathe. We rely so much on our earth.

I was raised mostly in the Bronx, New York, in a mostly concrete jungle. Yes, there were trees and parks, but I was never taught to appreciate nature. It wasn’t until I had kids that I began that appreciation. Our vacations were camping get-a-ways. We took the boys to every National Park and many State Parks–from the ocean to the mountains and even the desert. Unfortunately the pictures I took then were with a point and shoot camera, and mostly of the boys. I do have them in albums for my own joy.

Photography gave me the opportunity to not only enjoy our earth, but also record it. Let’s begin with my local Sacramento County area. We are lucky to have many creeks around the valley like our neighborhood Dry Creek.

Mather Lake is a nearby treasure for photographers and fishermen (and women). I go there to photograph swans, but on this day I found a pelican and cormorants.

We are a couple of hours away from the coast, giving us a wonderful day trip. Heading west, the Marin Headlands is a great spot for water sports, fun and photography.

North of us is Table Mountain which was formed from ancient lava (basalt) flows. It is very rocky and in Spring, it is loaded with wildflowers. It’s called Table (mountain) because of it’s mostly flat surface.

We go east every Fall to find the beautiful orange and gold color of Autumn.

I’ll end this post with nature’s way of painting her earth with golden light–a sunset. This one, taken in nearby Yolo County, is setting on a field of earth giving sunflowers.

Thank you Amy for having us remember to cherish our earth and take care of it. Would we survive without it? Please remember to link to Amy’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

We totally enjoyed your all your curvy responses to Patti’s challenge. Next week, get ready to celebrate because John will host LAPC #194. For his challenge, be thinking about what is special to you regarding birthdays or anniversaries.

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

Crystal Ball Fun: Gibson Ranch

My crystal ball won’t tell the future, but it sure is fun to take on a photo outing. After trying a couple of my photo buddies’ crystal balls, I decided to get one. They are fun, but my 4.2 inch is heavy and bulky to carry around. I found an old point and shoot camera bag that it could fit into, and it helped to carry it over my shoulder during a July 4 morning shoot at Gibson Ranch with Laura.

If you’re thinking of buying a crystal ball/orb, don’t go bigger than mine. Photo buddy Karen has a 4″ and 3″. She prefers the 3″ because it fits into a jacket pocket and is lighter to carry. I find the smaller orb more difficult to shoot through and to get some of the background identifiable in the background. One recommendation is to get one that sits on a crystal base rather than a wood base.

If you haven’t shot through a crystal ball, it gives an upside down image of what you’re shooting and looks almost like a fish-eye effect. Here’s one:

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Of course, you can right side up the image and have the background upside down. In this picture, the blurred background is what you see in the ball. My goal is to learn how to crop out the ball’s base. Just another challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I have been attacking  Photoshop, but not on Mondays. We can schedule, but things do come up. Last week I broke open “Photoshop for Lightroom Users” by Scott Kelby. I’m learning some of the tools and to do little things right now. I’ve also investigated some of the other software I have as I edit.

So gaze into my crystal ball, enjoy and have fun!

 

Practice, practice, practice: Dry Creek Park, West Roseville, California

They say that practice makes perfect, Well, I’ve been practicing every day even if it is only for the 365 challenge. It has helped, but I’m far from perfect! But then, who is perfect?

I like to go to Dry Creek because it is so close to my home and is beautiful. I’ve practiced with my ND filter, macro lens, 50 mm lens and just to shoot. The last time, I went with Richard and Gem. The boys walked while I went down to the water to shoot. In the summer, the area is a great swimming hole for children, and it’s harder to shoot.

In this post, I’m going to show you how beautiful this creek is. However, with the drought, the water level is really low. I’m not sure how the creek will hold up during the summer. Let’s hope we get some rain this fall and winter. After all I will still be practicing!

Dog walking human: A surprise at Dry Creek Park

You know we use our dogs as an excuse or motivator to exercise. They know it and pretend they want to go for a walk. There’s the reality: they walk us! It was on such a walk that I received a surprise.

I had agreed to walk with Richard and Gem at their new place, Dry Creek Park. They have a new playground and sort of trail. When I go to Dry Creek, I walk along the creek with my camera to practice. This time I knew we weren’t going to the creek, but I need a shot for my 365 challenge so I brought my camera.

Now you’re probably wondering what the surprise was…wildflowers! My dog had this all planned out! So enjoy the walk that Gem took us on!

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.