Macro Therapy: Green Acres Nursery

There are days when you just need some therapy–Macro Therapy. I’m fortunate there’s a Green Acres nursery, in Citrus Heights, about 10 minutes from my home. Recently in July was one of those mornings. I was feeling a little blah so I grabbed my macro lens and camera, and off I went.

Green Acres is great because they don’t mind us coming in with our cameras, taking our time and taking home picture memories of their products. Here are half of mine from that morning.

I still need to process the rest, so be on the lookout for more gorgeous flowers. Oh, macro therapy does help!

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/

Just a short post: McKinley Rose Garden

A rose will always be a rose! And I do love them. They are the only plants I personally take care of. I have a small but beautiful rose garden. But today I’m writing about my adventure at the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento.

Every year they have a photo contest to see which photographer will win the coveted first place prize. Last year, I was lucky enough to win first place. This is the winning photo.

This year I also went down to the garden to take photos. That day, the wind was blowing and the roses were either on their way out or budding. But with my macro lens on my Fuji, I did my best. I used a high shutter speed and hoped for a slight breeze. Of course it was the last week of the contest–no going back another day! You know I procrastinate.

Here are the best of lot. We are allowed five entries. In 2020 I received an honorable mention.

We’ll see what happens and I’ll let you know–even if I don’t place.

Lens-Artists Challenge #200: Every Little Thing

I like photographing little things with my macro lens. Sometimes I don’t even use a macro lens to get close. Amy us challenges this week to post “every little thing that makes you smile.” So, here are some close ups that are still making me smile.

How about small flying things like a butterfly, praying mantis and bee.

Every year we get baby geese around our pond. While they are so cute, the dads won’t let you get close. This little one was walking with its family and I had a long lens!

Or getting down low to photograph small mushrooms in the grass, capturing their caps and folds.

And, of course, getting close to capture the small details of flowers like a rose and a backlit daffodil.

These are some of the small things that make me smile. I believe we need to keep looking for things small and large that bring us happiness and make us smile. Thank you Amy for the reminder.

I’ve enjoyed seeing all your responses to John’s Mechanical and Industrial challenge last week. Remember to link your response to this challenge to Amy’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag. Next week Ann Christine will be hosting LAPC. Be sure to look for her post.

 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 #194: Bokeh

When I began photography, my first goal was to photograph something with a soft blurry background behind it. I had no idea that was called bokeh. Now Sofia is asking us to show our bokeh images, and I’m thinking it’s a good thing I learned how to do it!

Actually, I love photographing flowers with bokeh.

I don’t do usually portraits, but sometimes I can catch one with a bokeh background. This one, of a dog looking up at someone, happened to be taken at Sutter Creek.

Although this one wasn’t candid, it did end up with a slight bokeh. This was taken of my chiropractor, Heather Rosenberg, DC for her monthly newsletter. If you live near Roseville, CA, she’s the best!

Although I prefer to do close ups with a macro lens, whatever lens you have will work. Sometimes a background ends in bokeh even though you’re not intending it to.

Here I was just trying to capture the changing leaf colors with an 18-55mm lens and ended up with a nice background.

In this photo, I was trying to get underneath the mushroom to capture its folds and details with my 18-55mm. (I was too lazy to go back to the car for my macro lens.) Again, I ended up with a nice bokeh.

Sofia mentioned bokeh having a speckled look. I’ve found that water lends itself to that. I think I’ve shown this leaf before. I took the picture after the garden was watered and the drops gave the image a great speckled look.

Sometimes I carry a water bottle with me sprinkle the flowers before I photograph them to get a speckled effect. I didn’t have to do that with this image.

Thank you Sofia for a fun challenge that is dear to me. Again, I love closeup and macro photography. Thanks again to John for inviting us to celebrate his birthday with him last week. I will be leading next week’s challenge. Remember to link Sophia’s challenge to your reply post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

 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/

Lens-Artists Challenge #189: Odds and Ends

This challenge is a challenge for me because I don’t typically keep photos that don’t make it into my blog posts. Maybe I’m too good of a housekeeper! But, I do have one, only because I did a post, forgetting that I hadn’t finished editing. So for Tina’s challenge this week, here is a macro image of an orchid from Green Acres Nursery.

And I did find this one of a flamingo’s rear that I don’t think made it into a Sacramento Zoo post. Let’s just call it “art!”

And here are some true odds and ends I did find in my archives. First the lumber jack from the LumberJacks restaurant and a metal chicken sculpture nearby. These were taken while out with my friend Marlene. We were looking for a metal horse sculpture. Never found it.

I must include these photos from 2020 just before the pandemic hit because I haven’t been able to get good photographs of almond blossom trees since. In 2021 we had a BIG wind storm before we were supposed to go out to photograph an orchard, and all the blossoms were blown off the trees. This year we were one week too late.

I’ll end with an iris from my garden. The plant bloomed one year in 2020 and never again!

Thanks Tina, from now on I’ll leave some Odds and Ends as I process.

Thank you all for participating in Karina’s (Murtagh’s Meadows) Special Places challenge last week. It was interesting to visit your special places. Next week Patti will host the challenge.

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/

In need of photo penicillin: Green Acres Nursery

I’ve not been feeling well, but I wanted to get our with my camera. Where to go that’s close? Maybe somewhere I can do macro photography. Of course, Green Acres Nursery in Citrus Heights! And it’s about 10 minutes from my home. I met Marlene there and we set out for some photo penicillin.

I like this particular Green Acres because their flowers are under shade and easier to photograph. We stayed about an hour and then went out for lunch. A short but sweet visit. Here are some images from that trip.

It’s great to have such a wonderful garden nursery nearby that allows photographers to take photos. Thanks Green Acres!

Lens-Artists Challenge #187: Water

Just think about the photographs you’ve reviewed lately. I bet a lot of them include either a foreground or background of water. Water enhances our photos, adding impact. Photographing it is also fun and sometimes a challenge.  My dear friend Jean, who passed away recently, loved to photograph anything water. In fact, many outings were diverted because she saw a sign saying there was a lake or other water nearby. This was taken on one of Jean’s detours.

The San Francisco Bay near Port Costa.

Water is featured in many landscapes.  This ocean picture was taken in Pacific Grove.

This Folsom Lake image was taken before the drought hit last year. The sailboat is the focus, and the water gives it location.

Bridges usually go over water and in Sacramento County we have many that help us get to the other side of the rivers. I took this one recently of the Rainbow Bridge, a Folsom landmark, and the American river. Reflections in the water add a certain dynamic.

Water can also be the focus of our pictures. Waterfalls, from the great Niagara Falls (the American and Bridal Veil falls), to the small falls at our local Dry Creek are focus points. At Dry Creek, I was handholding the camera and trying to show water as silky by slowing down the shutter speed. I’ve yet to master that because I don’t often carry my tripod! One day I will get up early, plant myself at the ocean, put on my neutral density filter and photograph beautiful waves as they hit the rocky shoreline.

Here’s another handheld close-up image of water coming out of a pipe. This just shows that water of any kind can be fun to shoot. Next is a macro image of a water drop on a leaf. I had a lot of fun taking that one. Finally, the last of this trio shows simple drops of water on lotus pads.

Oh, the last bit of water I’ve had fun with is the snow. Fortunately, here in Sacramento we don’t live with the snow, but we can visit it. Here’s an image of a home in Blue Canyon one hour up the interstate. The second image is of icicles (And their reflection in a window) on a cabin at Donner Lake which is 1 ½ hours away.

I’ll end my show and tell here, but what water fun have you had? Please show us your water fun and tell us about it. Go through your archives and retrieve some memories or find new liquid delights to photograph this week. We’re anxious to see your images. Please remember to use the Lens-Artists tag and to link to this post.

Thank you for participating in Sophia’s challenge of “Low Light” last week. Next week we are pleased to have Karina of Murtagh’s Meadow as our guest host. I wonder what she has in store for us.

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/

 

Lens Artists Challenge #178: You Choose

In this weeks challenge, Tina asks us to choose our own topic. For most people that might be easy, but for me, it’s a bigger challenge. You see, I just can’t make up my mind. After thinking and thinking, I decided to focus on the 365 Challenge.

After 2 years, I knew I needed something to help me along with my photography hobby. I’d heard about the 365 where you shoot a photograph each day for the year. It was the best decision for my taking control of my camera and photo habits.

Here are 2 photos from week one of 2015.

If I were to take the same images now, I would process the sunset shadows better and not put the rose in the middle of the frame. Moving on to week 15, family and pets were a favorite subject. My dog now leaves the room when he sees a camera!

Week 22, getting better with floral composition and macro.

Week 42, I visited Dry Creek near my house often and I finally got a decent one of Gem. Now I know how to lighten up his face a bit.

Week 52, I think this is how I developed my love for macro. On the last day, I had an image in mind. Through the year, I learned how to time things for the optimum light and was on my way to photograph a fence with the sun casting a deep shadow. However, I got a flat tire on the way, and here’s my closing shot for the year–not planned, but well executed!

Doing the 365 helped my photographic abilities and my focus on the hobby. Now I need to go out at least once a week with my camera. If you haven’t tried the practice, take the plunge. You can also do the 52 challenge where you obligate yourself to one picture a week. Most of all, have fun doing it.

Macro and more: Bushnell Gardens

Just let me put my macro lens on my camera and I’m happy. Add to that a nice windless morning and newly watered plants and I’m euphoric. That’s what we found one morning at Bushnell Gardens, Granite Bay, one morning.

I began slowly, being a bit dismayed when all I saw were trees, but then I found the plants. This nursery is simply beautiful in its landscaping. It’s a relaxing place to photograph. Here are some macros I shot that morning.

In addition to plants and trees, they have many other beautiful things that you could fall in love with, or photograph!

Inside the store, Christmas had already arrived.

Our morning continued on Douglas Blvd. in Roseville with a building that caught our attention, but you’ll have to wait for my next regular post to see it!