Lens-Artists Challenge #219: Treasure Hunt

I enjoy a good treasure hunt, especially when it involves photography. I’ve participated in a couple of outings that involved finding treasured objects, and had fun. This week Tina encourages us to participate in her treasure hunt. So here goes!

I found all but the moon. But that was for extra credit since I do have a sun image. Each image is captioned.

Thanks Tina, this was fun. It’s good to be back with LAPC after being gone on an enjoyable vacation. I’m sorry to have missed some challenges, but without internet, it was not possible to participate. If you haven’t posted your response yet, be sure to link to Tina’s original post when you do. Next week, Patti will host the LAPC challenge. Be sure to look for her post.

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

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 #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.

In search of red buds: U.C. Davis Arboretum

Sometimes the spirit is more willing than Mother Nature wants to give us. Recently Laura and I went to the U.C. Davis Arboretum, in Davis, to photograph the red buds and the wildlife it attracts. Yes, our spirits were willing to take the images, but there were hardly any red buds and birds. We did find some.

I’m guessing there might be more now. But we did find some nice scenery. I had my 55 – 200 mm lens on my Fujifilm XT3 so I did a lot of stepping back for some of these landscape shots.

We did come across a group of cormorants sitting on the shore of the creek. I focused on this one.

And, I couldn’t resist photographing flowers and more in close up.

When I needed to rest, Laura went further while I sat on a bench and people (and dog) watched.

So, our red bud search gave us a beautiful walk and a lot of photo opportunities even if we didn’t see many red buds on the trees.

Lens-Artists Challenge #186: Low Light

I like standard time during the winter months because it means the sun sets early making photographing in the dark more feasible, getting me home early in the evening. Thank you Sofia for offering this challenge that fits perfectly with a recent visit to Old Sacramento.

My small group of senior photographers visited the waterfront last month to capture the new Ferris Wheel installed as an attraction to draw more visitors.

When we arrived, we came upon a guy break dancing. He kept on performing as darkness fell and his jar filled with dollar bills.

We then walked out on the Tower Bridge (A Sacramento landmark) to capture the Ferris Wheel and waterfront. I’ll be honest, we did not use tripods (which is suggested in low-light photography). As the cars went over the bridge, the resulting rumble would have made the tripods useless.

We then walked back to the waterfront to get a better view of the Ferris wheel.

While we were photographing the wheel, the sun had almost set. I ran to a vantage point and fortunately got a decent sunset and reflections.

Now, back to the bridge for the Ferris wheel in action after nightfall.

As we were walking up to the street, I was lucky to see this image: A restaurant with the Ferris wheel reflected in the window. I couldn’t resist photographing it.

I had so much fun this evening which included a cup of hot chocolate. Low-light photography presents challenges but the rewards are great. I’ve also enjoyed light painting and indoor photography.

Thank you Sofia for this fun challenge that fit perfectly with my photo activities. Please be sure to link your post to Sofia’s, and use the Lens-Artists tag. Next week I’ll be presenting the challenge.

Lens Artists Challenge #162: It’s all about the light

While I would like to take photos when the light is just right, sometimes I can’t. Then I go with what I’ve got! Yes, photography is all about the light or maybe the absence of it. This week, Tina has given us the challenge to share images that show the power of light.

I’ll start this post with a shot from Yosemite at first light in the Valley.

As the sun rises throughout the day, we get shadows depending on how high the sun is. Of course, when it’s directly overhead, that’s not the best time to take photos. The next two were taken in Locke California in the partial morning sun.

We can see how colors become dramatic when the sun hits them. Sedona, Arizona.

I think when the sun shines on even a mushroom it adds dimension and helps the picture pop. Here are two examples of sun and shade.

I love to take photos of flowers. This tulip almost looks as if it has a candle glowing inside because of the way the sun is hitting it. Taken at Ananda Village.

As the sun sets objects seem to have a glow. Taken at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert.

And finally the sun goes below the horizon and we have darkness–no light except man made. The Tower Bridge in Old Sacramento.

Controlling the light is another challenge for me. I bought diffusers, but haven’t used them yet. I guess I need to get started! Thanks Tina for this insightful challenge!

A Visit to Lodi: Micke Grove Park & the Deshmesh Sikh Temple

About an hour south of Sacramento is a municipal park that houses a Japanese Garden and a small zoo. Of course we, Ray, Richard and I, had to go visit Lodi and Micke Grove Park. This park is part of the San Joaquin County park system and home to a Fun Town for children, zoo, Japanese Garden, small lake, golf course, softball fields, water play features, horseshoe pits, museum and children’s playgrounds. We walked the garden and zoo.

The garden was small but beautiful. However, it was either in super sunshine or dark shade. In retrospect, bracketing would have been what to do, but I didn’t take my tripod. Here are some images. I liked the water reflections.

Next we went about a block to the zoo. It was a lot smaller than our Sacramento Zoo, the enclosures were thicker so we couldn’t have the fencing disappear, but it was interesting.

Some of the birds.

They did have a snow leopard.

After leaving the park, we had lunch and then went to visit the Deshmesh Sikh Temple which we happen to spot on our way to the park. They were very courteous and let us inside with our cameras.

It was a fun day in Lodi. There is more to Micke Grove Park to see though. We just might be back!

Never enough: The Lotus are blooming, part 2

It’s like chocolate, there’s never enough. Okay, sometimes I’ve reached my full level of chocolate, but it’s always good. That’s the way a visit to a lotus pond is, always delightful. Sometimes I like watching the people more that shooting the flowers. Onlookers faces light up, and smiles are abundant. Nature does have a way to bring joy into a bleak year.

So, here’s the rest of my images from William Land Park in Sacramento. If you looked hard enough through the large leaves, you could see some floral reflections.

And then some lucky duck finds a rainbow.

And now on to the Vedanta Society of Sacramento and their small lotus pond. This was a quick visit, and I was dismayed to miss seeing the peacocks. Usually they roam around the area. And in the water lily pond, I saw only leaves, no flowers. But the lotus were not disappointing.

Lotus, like chocolate, begs to be re-visited. Maybe soon, at different angles, different time of day? And did you know that lotus bring you good luck? After posting part 1 of my lotus images I was asked to join the Lens Artists group. I am honored!

Goodbye 2019! Land Park & Effie Yeaw

Yes, goodbye to 2019!! I can’t say that it’s been the worst year, but it hasn’t been the best for me personally. I feel like my photography journey is on a roundabout and is unsuccessful in getting off to continue down the road.

I think my health is under control now, but with the beta blocker I’m on, any shooting beyond 8 p.m. is not happening. I just get too tired, but my heart is beating better. I call it my new normal!

December has been a rainy, cold, overcast and damp month which adds to the photo blues. I’ve tried to make the most of partly cloudy and sunny days, but they are few. Here, in California, December, January and February are traditionally our rainy months. The rest of the year is pretty dry, so we are hoping for more rain, and, of course, more complaining. My photo buddies and I are trying to think of more indoor places to take our cameras to. You might see some familiar places in the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, let’s finish up some of 2019 with visits to William Land Park in Sacramento and Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael.

Jeanne and I went to William Land Park to catch some Fall Color in mid November. There was barely any left, but we did shoot for about an hour.

Next is Effie Yeaw. Marlene and I went to capture the deer rutting. They weren’t rutting that morning, but there were many deer.

Oh, I did get my calendars, and they look good. But, they are not exactly the way I wanted them to be as far as lay out. There’s always 2020. If I don’t blog again before, Happy New Year!!

Discovery: Christmas at the Capitol Building, Sacramento

I have discovered Color Efex Pro, and I love it. I love it just as much as I do Silver Efex Pro which I use all the time when editing for black and white. I don’t edit my photos that much because I still have not gotten into Photoshop or other programs. So, these presets are a great way for me to give my images a fresh look and a start at creativity. I do work on them after I apply the preset.

I’ve been using Color Efex on my outdoor landscapes. You’ll see some of it when I start posting my Kauai pictures (I still have the last day to edit.). I can see the opportunity. I can compose the image. I can do the basic editing. But, when it comes to giving the image that creative touch, I’m unable to do it on my own. I can’t see the final image in my mind, let alone know how to get it there! In comes the preset or profile. They give me ideas to jump off on. Then, away I go. Maybe with practice, I can do it on my own in Photoshop with layers, filters and more.

Every year, I promise myself that I’ll get into Photoshop, but it never happens. Life takes up the time I’ve set aside. I remember when I ran my home-based business, and I actually blocked off office time. I’ll have to do that for studying processing. It’s not only Photoshop, I’ve got other programs that I haven’t learned.

In the meantime, I’m so happy with the Nik collection. Take a look at a recent outing to the Capitol Building in Sacramento and the beautiful tree on the front lawn.