Archive for the ‘Lens-Artist Photo Challenge’ Category

Donna at Wind Kisses, creator of beauty through photos and words, is guest hosting the Lens-Artists Challenge this week in honor of her joining the over-the-hill gang in the same week. 🙂 (That includes me, so I feel free to say that.)

When somebody says to me-which they do like every 5 years- “How does it feel to be over the hill?” my response is, “I’m just heading up the mountain.” — John C. Baez

Sometimes the path leads literally over the hill as it did here in Cape May, New Jersey quite some years ago. There’s something intriguing about a path that leads through a portal, don’t you think?

Sunset in Wyoming. I was down near the cabin when I decided there might be a wonderful sunset in the offing, so I ran up a very, very long, steep hill (at 7,000’+ altitude) that the horses take some time getting up. I wasn’t over the hill but the sun certainly was. I was simply exhausted but managed to keep the camera steady.

I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top. — Will Rogers

Plants that are seemingly over the hill still may manage to keep their beauty. Of course diamonds always add to that!

Sometimes “over the hill” is a bit more permanent than just being old. This is being ancient!

These rock stairs invite you to go over the hill in Descanso Gardens in California.

One early morning on the way home, the Bighorns once again stunned as I drove over the hill (think mountain and very unimproved road) and get ready to put it in first gear and head down the mountain. You never know what view might await over the hill.

Over the hill means the hardest climb is over and the view is terrific.
~found on a coffee mug

Finally, we’re now in autumn and in many places leaves are now over the hill, aging gracefully and beautifully.

“Here Comes the Sun” conjures up dawn and sunrise, my favorite time to be out walking and taking photos, so thanks to Amy for the theme, although it did make it hard to choose. 🙂 So I have to interrupt the retrospective of my Wyoming vacation to go for the sunshine.

This shot was taken on my way down the mountain in Wyoming as I headed home in 2017, the day of the eclipse. As you can see, it began in a stunning way, really more beautiful than the eclipse itself.

At the Preserve here in Arizona…

Sunshine inside the house…

In the morning in Illinois…

As backlighting…

Jez is our guest host for this week’s challenge and as I’m posting this on Monday morning, maybe one or two of you really are seeing double after a rough weekend. I hope not. But this challenge might make you feel that you are, even if you had an abstemious two days.

Double pizza on offer at Manhattan Pizzeria at Manhattan Beach, California. Didn’t try the pizza but enjoyed the wall art.

These two pelicans did everything together for the longest time: swam, ducked heads under the water to fish, raised wings, turned, repeated. Someone told me they often do that but I’d not seen it before. Ballet on the water.

Matching boojum trees. I’m not making this up or taking it from Dr. Seuss (of whom more later.) These “trees” are actually succulents from the occitillo family and are fascinating, protected, and expensive! You can read about them here and I promise you it’s an interesting read. The name comes from a poem by Lewis Carroll, “The Hunting of the Snark” which ends:

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,

   In the midst of his laughter and glee,

He had softly and suddenly vanished away—

   For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

Coffee with a friend. These decorations could be a metaphor for us: although we’re not exactly the same, we are definitely a lot alike in the ways that count.

Be the sun on the right!

Bottoms up!

Yes, a repeat but it works so well for this challenge, don’t you think?

Finally, I can’t resist seeing double things here, catnip-filled things that, along with the catnip Cat in the Hat that I cropped out on the left, were a Christmas gift for our younger daughter’s cat last year.

Tina’s challenge to us this week is to feature eyes. Let’s have a little fun with that theme.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”
― Martin Buber

What do you think these eyes are saying? Are they wistful or just enjoying what they see? Apologies for any imperfections but I took this photo through the car window with my phone, stopped at a light I hasten to add.

Here I offer you two eyes and one I in some California street art. 🙂

“His eyes are so intense I want to look away . . . or never look away, I can’t decide.”
― Kasie West, The Distance Between Us

Hunter’s eyes.

“I watch what I eat every day. I mean, who actually eats with their eyes closed?”
― Brian Celio

But what if it’s looking back at you??? Pancake eyes.

Soft but stubborn mule eyes or at least one of them.

And finally we have ramen eyes, one of tastiest types of eyes. I told you we were going to have fun and now you have a delicious meal as well. Eye yie yie yie!

Thanks for a theme that let me have some fun, Tina. I hope everyone of you is having a wonderful weekend.

Oh, Sylvia, this is a very, very difficult challenge for me, not because I don’t have any door photos, but because I have hundreds, having participated in Norm’s, now Dan’s, Thursday Doors challenge for years. I guess trying to choose is partly why it’s called a challenge. 🙂 I’m going with an eclectic gallery, starting with a church door from Philadelphia, a city full of interesting doors.

Then there are ancient doors that are difficult to reach on purpose! This is Montezuma Castle in Arizona. Coming home late? Be sure someone leaves the ladder out for you!

This French crypt has a rather wonderful door but as it’s ajar, I hope no one’s gotten out. Reminds me of the old joke of “When isn’t a door a door?” “When it’s ajar.” 🙂

Then there are moving pizza doors,

unique Colmar doors,

fancy furniture doors,

doors that might be a bit difficult to access,

doors that don’t even get noticed, and

details that make the door.

If you really enjoy doors, you should join Dan’s Thursday Doors, started and formerly hosted by Norm up in Canada, eh? Click on the highlighted link to find the entries for this last week and check in with Dan on Thursday at midnight EST or later to see his doors and link your entry. It’s lots of fun but very addictive!!

Are you a minimalist or a maximalist when it comes to photography? Do you crave space or enjoy having lots to contemplate? There’s no right or wrong; each brings its own beauty. Bokeh has a lot to do with minimalism in my mind so let’s start with a photo filled with bokeh or basically filled with space: a damselfly over a Wyoming lake.

Looking up from bed one morning at the ceiling fan that’s a life saver in the heat and humidity of Illinois (or the dry, very hot heat of Arizona), I decided it would make a good photo.

There’s more filling this photo but it’s basically still one tomato with a stem.

Does minimal means fewer objects (there’s only a background and the face here) or is it the busy-ness of a shot? This photo gives you the chance to decide.

This final shot from Tlaquepaque, Sedona’s village-like shopping area, has a lot to see but is less busy than the previous photo, also from Tlaquepaque. Which one seems to better fit the term “maximal” and why?

Thanks, Sofia, for a challenge with maximum fun!

Amy, I love you for choosing this theme, one that’s near and dear to my heart and camera. While I, like Tina, often do close-ups and macros from six feet or so away with my telephoto, the phone is also great for that type of shot. I deliberately didn’t include a flower with a bee, although I love those. Let’s see what I did chose and whether or not you like them.

My Christmas cactus in full bloom lured me into a great number of photos with its sensuous curves and beautiful color.

This unidentified but brave insect ventured much closer to these cactus spines than I ever would!

Our daughter had some beautiful gladiolus flowers, so I just had to get (a lot) closer.

One of these is not like the others.

Although I know many think me crazy for it, I long for some winter, real winter with cold and snow and ice, something we don’t get in the Phoenix area. But go south an hour and a half or so, then head up Mt. Lemmon and if conditions are right, you might spot frost in places where the sun hasn’t hit yet. Seeing some made my day. Really!

No little thing challenge can sneak by without another view, unpublished until today, of the alien-looking interior of one of our torch cactus flowers. I’m endlessly fascinated by them.

Although I spend a good deal of my photographic life (and life in general) avoiding the mechanical/industrial as much as possible, John’s set us the task today of sharing photos of exactly those things. I accept the challenge. Here are a few I like.

I love these lights at my local Black Rock Coffee shop.

I often walk underneath the street when walking along the canal, much easier than waiting for a break in traffic and then rushing across without getting hit or stranded on the median. One day I saw what I think was an owl flying quickly to the other side as I approached this spot, an intersection of nature and industrial/manmade.

For mechanical, there’s nothing quite like a classic car, even if I couldn’t avoid several selfies in the process.

Light and shadow, a symbiotic relationship that Patti’s asking us to explore this week. Without light there is no shadow and I do love both light and shadow.

“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

The Visitors Center at Saguaro National Park is full of wonderful shadows and you know there’s lots of sun in Arizona to do the light part of creating shadows!

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Götz von Berlichinge
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You can find shadows inside the house as well.

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. ~Junichiro Tanizaki

Light and snow can create beautiful shadow images such as this one taken from a second story window in our home in Illinois.

“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

And then there are more subtle shadows created by the combination of late spring light and vegetation.

But as attractive as shadows are in these instances, may your week be filled only with light and may the only shadows cast be those that are beautiful.

Sophia has set us the task of sharing photos that show bokeh, a fancy way of saying that your background is out of focus which puts everyone’s attention on whatever you want to spotlight. 🙂 I use this often in nature shots and here are the first three I came across in one of my files featuring McDowell Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois, my spirit park when we lived there. 🙂 Hey, I’m sure “spirit park” must be a thing.

Oops! Sorry, I lied. This first shot is from the our backyard in Naperville where we were blessed with a whole raft of these in season.

Now to McDowell.

I find spider webs in particular benefit from bokeh, don’t you agree?