Archive for the ‘Lens-Artist Photo Challenge’ Category

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No little thing challenge can sneak by without another view, unpublished until today, of the alien-looking interior of one of our torch cactus flowers.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?

John from Journeys with Johnbo is asking us to celebrate birthdays this week for the Lens-Artists Challenge and in our household, March is birthday month. Both my husband and I have March birthdays, exactly two weeks apart. But this year our birthdays aren’t the important ones because near the end of the month, a new member of the family showed up, our first grandchild and grandson. So without further ado, let me introduce Ryland, naturally the cutest baby ever. 🙂 He’s almost two weeks old.

Since Dad loves to surf and they live only a few blocks from the beach, there’s a definite theme in all their baby clothes, books, etc. We’ll have to be sure to insert some other influences such as things with a Western theme or maybe Ohio State or Nebraska just to be sure he’s not one-sided. But you see here what we’re up against (and in this case, what he’s up against.) As you can imagine, we’re looking forward to our first visit to meet him in person in a few more weeks, the delay only because of my husband’s work schedule and the need to be around to finalize tax things. ❤

Just FYI, although I have a copyright on these shots, I didn’t take them, our daughter did. However, no one is allowed to use them for any reason, thus the copyright. Thanks.

I’m thrilled and thankful to report that we are now grandparents. Wow, does that sound old! 😁 Our first grandchild/grandson was both last night. ❤️❤️❤️. Much rejoicing here. God is good.

Ann-Christine has set us a most enjoyable challenge this week, looking for curves…except that there are so many choices!! I just started scrolling through my photos and picked some of the first examples I found that I liked. Then I stopped and went back to watching Six Nations Rugby Super Saturday games (writing this on Saturday.) Let me take you through some of natures curves, as I don’t have all the many of my own to share. 🙂

In our bones we need the natural curves of hills, the scent of chaparral, the whisper of pines, the possibility of wildness. Richard Louv

I could smell the curves of the river beyond the dusk and I saw the last light supine and tranquil upon tide flats like pieces of broken mirror, then beyond them lights began in the pale clear air, trembling a little like butterflies hovering a long way off. – William Faulkner

In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves. ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

As all curves have reference to their centres or foci, so all beauty of character has reference to the soul, and is a graceful gesture of recognition or waving of the body toward it. Henry David Thoreau

Frustration!! I had my post completed, edited to make one change, and it disappeared. Definitely odd, making it the perfect lead-in to this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge by Tina: “Odds and Ends.” In February, Becky’s Squares challenge was SquareOdds which was so much fun that I hated to have it end. Today I can have a bit more fun with odd photos. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some sculptures my husband and I pedaled past some years ago while cycling near Indiana Dunes National Park. I like how this gent appears to have a green mustache.

Nearby were some rock stars trying to remain anonymous behind their shades. It worked! I have no idea who they are.

Some things don’t need explanation.

But since we’re supposed to have odds and ends, I need to include some ends to go with my odds. Here’s the first.

And this one is the end.

Tina’s challenge this week is a fun one and plays off the end of Becky’s February SquareOdds Challenge that just ended. Instead of leftover photos, I’m going with odd photos or photos of odd things. The problem becomes which photos to choose.

On a bike ride in the Indiana Dunes area some years ago, we cycled past some odd lawn ornaments, although the house was up much higher. You can see the steps to the right of this mustachioed gent.

I have no idea who these rock stars are but they’re obviously trying not to be recognized, hence the dark glasses.

Need I say anything about this one?

OK, there you have your odds. Now for a couple of ends. After all, Tina did say “odds and ends.” 🙂

And now this is the end. 🙂

For those of you who know me, the location of my special place in the Big Horn mountains near Sheridan, Wyoming won’t come as a surprise to you. I’ve gone there for some amount of time every summer since I was in college with the exception of two years. I think you can see why from this first photo.

But Wyoming is a three-day drive from our part of Arizona, so I need special places a bit closer. In our backyard is a torch cactus that has the most gorgeous flowers…but for only one day each. They’re a special place close to home.

Macro photography takes me to special places.

I wasn’t the only one who found this datura special.

Thanks, Karina, for hostessing this special episode of the Lens-Artists challenge.

As we near two years of living in Arizona, the challenge of sharing photos of water is somewhat amusing a/o daunting. Our city averages 9 inches of rain per year and if we have enough that we can’t count the raindrops, we think it’s a pretty good rain. Okay, that’s a little exaggerated, but not much. The most common water I see is in the canal where I walk and although not especially picturesque, canals are the lifeblood of the area.

Water serves a number of functions other than simply hydrating us and everything on earth. Here are a few I’ve found and enjoyed:

Water as power…

Water as nature’s jewelry…

Water as mirror…

Water as home…

Water as food source…

Water as art (a sort of pointillism perhaps)…

Water as beauty…