Archive for the ‘Lens-Artist Photo Challenge’ Category

Last week was a treat as far as my birding “career” goes, as I saw my first spoonbill and osprey at the Preserve. But I’ve already posted about them, so when I saw today’s theme/challenge, I was disappointed. However, I quickly realized I had more treats to share.

We’ll start again at the Riparian Preserve, my soul food walking spot here in Gilbert. While three birders with enormous lenses sat on their portable stools on the opposite side of the lake, I realized that if I followed the direction of their lenses, I could likely see whatever they were seeing but from a different and much closer angle. What I saw was this snowy egret primping. Try doing that on one foot at home!

While snowy egrets are a dime a dozen (yet still full of surprises and always worth photos), this was the first spotting for me of a Northern Shoveler trying to keep a low profile among a bunch of coots. Joni Mitchell may think you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, but I didn’t know what I’d got until I zoomed in on my photos. Pretty snazzy gent, I’d say.

Final treat for that day, another sighting of the roseate spoonbill perched high atop a pole. Must be more difficult to preen when your bill’s spoon-shaped than for the snowy egret with its thin, pointed bill.

(more…)

This week’s Lens-Artists Challenge might have you seeing double. Although most things aren’t truly symmetrical, many are so close that you can’t tell the difference or you feel that you’re seeing symmetry.

When I think of symmetry, the William Blake poem springs immediately to mind:

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Fortunately for you, there’s nothing fearful about the symmetry I’m sharing today. The snowy egret in this first shot is almost dancing on the water and with the water’s smooth cooperation, it’s almost perfectly symmetrical.

“Symmetry is what we see at a glance; based on the fact that there is no reason for any difference…”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Here’s another almost symmetrical shot from the Riverwalk in Naperville, Illinois.

Although this photo is less symmetrically perfect than the previous ones, there’s still a pleasing almost-symmetry about it and it feels balanced.

(more…)

for Lens-Artists Challenge #115: inspiration

I hate to be negative, but Amy’s asking us to go that way this week and I must comply. I actually use a lot of negative space when taking macros, so I had a difficult time deciding what photos to use even when only going through a couple files, trying for some variety.

Thanks for stopping by and hopefully you’re enjoying your weekend.

for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #114: Negative Space

Patti today has set a challenge which for me is very difficult. One of the things I love doing with my photography is to take unusual photos of everyday objects, although often my objects are outdoors. Today, however, after spending a long time browsing through files and amassing way too many possibilities for the challenge, I finally decided on just four, plus a quote I came across only minutes before the challenge arrived but what I’d like to think inspires my photographic aims.

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. ~Roald Dahl

Let’s start with a little something for the body as well as the soul.

Sometimes when cooking, or in this case baking, I have to quickly get my phone to take a photo. These are liquid ingredients for a recipe.

Years ago, my sister-in-law and I went on a splendid trip which included Vicenza, Italy where I found some beautiful perfume bottles which I managed to get home intact. 🙂

Finally a little something from our living room in Illinois, where nothing is free of the possibility of being decorated for Christmas.

One enjoyable sidelight of this challenge was seeing many photos I hadn’t seen in some time and was delighted to discover all over again. Thank, Patti.

for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #111: Everyday Objects

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir, The Mountains of California

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

(more…)

Cee’s Len’s-Artists Photo Challenge this week features single flowers. I realized I’m spoiled for choice, but that’s not a bad problem to have.

My first photo, an iris, was taken with an iPhone and has been one of my most popular photos. Of course, the light is what makes it and I never again could get that same light. Then the older man who grew these beauties on his tree lawn died and the family dug them up.

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”
― Luther Burbank

Now that we live in the desert, I think it only fitting that I should include a shot of a cactus flower. Although you might not think it, the cacti have some of the most beautiful blooms you’ll ever see. Just be careful when getting a closeup!

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

(more…)

Some days everything seems clear, even when the road ahead might appear long and far away.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Other days, you can’t really tell where you’re headed and feel as though you’re descending into darkness.

“Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty.”
― Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird

(more…)

Amy at The World Is A Book challenges us this week to show old and new. I challenged myself to find an illustration of that pairing in one photo and I think I did it. As I type, we’re experiencing our first dust storm warning in the desert. The sky is dark, the wind is wicked, and if we were back in Illinois, the temperature would have plunged. As we’re in Arizona, at 7 pm it’s down (if you can call it that) from about 111F to 102. I feel positively chilled. 🙂

In deciding to answer this challenge from the desert, I realized that a great many of desert colors are bright and vibrant. I guess they have to be to stand up to the bright sunshine. It wasn’t easy to find delicate colors. Here are a few, although the first one makes it obvious that delicate and soft or gentle aren’t necessarily the same. 🙂

(more…)