LENS ARTISTS CHALLENGE #233: A One Lens Walk

Lately, I find that I’m usually choosing one lens to put on my Fuji camera when I go out for a photo outing with my friends. We are usually gone for few hours. I carry nothing else except for an extra battery. I mostly use my 18-55 lens which covers landscape and close ups. I’ve taken it to Bodega Bay to catch ocean scenes and to the Antique Trove to capture some indoor close ups.

When I go to the Sacramento Zoo, I always take my 55-200 mm lens. It does a great job of capturing giraffes and also gets me up close and personal with an orangutan.

You know I love Macro. When I need a lift, I take my Fuji and macro lens to the Green Acres Nursery. There I find many macro-opportunities.

The McKinley Park Rose Garden is another of my favorite places to take my macro lens.

Macro lenses are great for photographing other things like this bird. I was in the Rose Garden and saw it above me.

And then there’s my old trusty prime F/4 300 mm lens I use on my Nikon D7100 for bird shots. I don’t use it often but when I do, I appreciate it. Actually, this lens is why I’m holding on to my Nikon.

If I know I’ll be gone on a longer photo outing and not near my car, I’ll put on my waist pack containing an extra lens giving me a total of 18-200 mm in length. It also carries extra batteries, filters, water, lens cloth and tissues. My problem is, I don’t like changing lenses in the field. Maybe that’s why I challenge myself with one lens each outing.

My challenge for you is to take a lens for a walk. Yes, choose a lens and walk. You can also use your cell phone or point and shoot camera and see what you can do with it. Another trick, when you’re using a zoom lens, is to pick an aperture and stay with it. If you don’t have time or the weather isn’t cooperating, then delve into your archives. Look for images that represent one F stop or close to it. Most of all, have fun! Remember to link to this post when you take us on your one-lens walk and use the Lens-Artists tag.

We all enjoyed looking back with you during Sophia’s challenge last week. I thought your responses were unique and interesting. Next week our newest team member Donna Holland of Wind Kisses will be leading the challenge. Be sure to look for her post. Have a great week!

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

Lens Artists Challenge #228: Diagonals

This is a great morning here in the Sacramento California area. It’s raining and it’s a steady rain. And, I’m also excited about Patti’s challenge on diagonals this morning. She compared diagonals to leading lines that lead to the focal point of a photograph.

Here are some of my images showing leading lines.

I also enjoy photographing objects on a diagonal just for the fun of it, and was recently to the California Museum where I found great diagonals.

Sometimes shooting a picture on a diagonal adds interest. This clown’s face is more interesting on the diagonal rather than straight on.

And when we compose a picture, we may end up with a visual diagonal, leaving some negative space.

Here’s my last fun photograph on a diagonal.

Patti, I hope I didn’t take your great challenge too far from your original intent. This was fun and thank you for brightening up a wonderful rainy morning. Please remember to link your reply post to Patti’s and use the Lens Artists tag. It’s supposed to rain off and on through Monday. Yay!!

We enjoyed all your responses to last week’s challenge. I got to see many places I’ll never be able to get to. Next week is Ann-Christine’s turn to lead this challenge. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.

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

Lens Artists Challenge #212: Motion

Patti’s motion challenge propelled (good motion word) me to try panning which is why this response is just a little late. My experiment of panning a car as it past by was a dismal failure. Therefore, there won’t be any panning in this post. But I will not give up! Someday there will be a panning image in a post!

So back to other forms of motion.

Stop action. A fast shutter speed usually works. I’ve even tried continuous shutter. Here are some examples.

Next is slow shutter speed which blurs the action. I do enjoy playing with this type of photography.

And I do like creating motion by zooming my lens. Try it when your at a carnival, out at night around neon signs or during Christmas time when all the lights are shining.

So there’s my photographic range of motion. Thank you Patti for this fun challenge. I will be working on learning how to pan and welcome any advice. When you reply to this challenge be sure to link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artist tag. And thank you all for joining in with your groovy images last week. It was fun seeing what motivates you. Next week Amy will present the LAPC Challenge. Be sure to look for her post.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

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/

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/

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/

May was…: M3 Ranch, Woodland

What can I say. May was sometimes good and sometimes disappointing–for photography. I’ve taken you on many Yolo Art & Ag farm tours and this one of the M3 Ranches in Woodland promised such varied crops like olives, garlic, almond trees, agave plants and more. How exciting! Well, maybe not.

The first clue was there was no greeter to take our names. The roads were open and we drove around them. I’m thinking maybe we missed something???

We did find the almond trees. At least we think they are almonds.

Then we found a pond that they call their oasis.

And now the agave plants.

The grape vines already had fruit.

I think these are the olive trees. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

I’ll end with some of the vistas I photographed.

Working with the images for this post, I’m thinking it wasn’t such a disappointment after all.

Lens-Artists Challenge #197: The Rule of Thirds

Not only haven’t I taken a photography class, I tend not to follow rules when it comes to photography. I just go with what looks good to me. I think it helps that I spent 20 years in business with a graphic artist (I was the writer.) and learned the basics of doing a flyer layout: have an odd number of graphics, avoid having text run down the center of the page (tunnel vision), and spread your text around the page.

This week Tina introduces us to the Rule of Thirds. The reason for this rule is basic–it helps us compose pictures that are pleasing to the eye, avoiding symmetry. But sometimes it’s better to have an image that is almost symmetrical or totally symmetrical.

Let’s see what I did in 1918.

Here are some floral examples. One is definitely centered. Although the second flower is centered, the water drop is not and it is the focal point. The last one is not centered, taking up 2/3 of the frame.

Next let’s look at some wildlife. The Canada goose in the left side of the image, giving it room to fly away. The small burrowing owl is centered but looking toward the left side of the frame. They are so small that a good crop was needed to show detail.

Landscapes are the most fun. In the first image, a white boat starts out in the lower left of the picture. You know where it is going! The second image starts out in the lower right corner with the road that takes you through the mid section and back to the right. The third is symmetrical taking us right up to and through the gate.

Sunsets can also be asymmetrical.

Portraits can also be off center. I did ask her parents permission to photograph her. I think by the way she posed, she’s had her picture taken before! Notice there’s a little room to her left.

So, yes, I break rules, but I sometimes follow them. It all comes down to what looks good to me!

Thank you Tina for giving us the nudge to look at how we compose and whether we can do anything different. When you post your reply to this challenge be sure to link to Tina’s original post and use the Lens Artists tag. Next week Patti will lead us next week with a Light and Shadow challenge.

 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/

A lingering cold: Horton Iris Farm, part 2

I’ve been down and out with a week long cold. I guess you realize that I’m not happy, especially having to miss a photo outing. Even Gem is upset because he’s getting a very short walk each morning.

Fortunately, I do have the second part of last week’s post to show you. Last week you saw the beautiful iris blossoms at Horton Iris Farm in Loomis. Now I’ll show you the rest of the farm.

When you come into the farm, there’s this cute bird feeder.

Then there are methods of transportation.

More flowers and farm art (old machines).

It’s a large farm, so there’s plenty of space for landscape images including a pond.

So that’s Horton’s Iris Farm. Now back to nursing this s****d cold!

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/