Lens-Artist Challenge #200 – Every Little Thing

“The older I get the more I realize

the things that cost nothing hold the most value.” ~unknown

Purslane Bud – Macro

This week, Amy invites us to share every little thing that makes you smile. I like this challenge because the further I move away from my days in Corporate America (it’s been four years now) into my “re-wirement” journey, the more I appreciate the little things life has to offer.

Most of those “little” things I find in my own backyard like this cute little chipmunk. He and his friends come out in the mornings and evenings to gather what the birds have dropped below the feeders. They move quickly and are quite entertaining to watch!

“There is good in everything

if only we look for it.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Chipmunks & Petunias

One part of my garden that brings me joy is this wall of Limelight Hydrangeas. We planted these in late 2019 and last year was the first year they bloomed. I can’t wait to see how many blooms they have this year!

“When a gardener gardens, it’s not just the plant that grows,

but the gardener themself.” ~Ken Druse

Limelight Hydrangeas

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know my favorite “littlest” things are the hummingbirds.

“A hummingbird is the spirit of pure joy. She is the messenger of beauty and wonder.

She reminds us to taste the sweet nectar of life.” ~unknown

There are so many other “little things” I enjoy, but I’m afraid there isn’t enough time (or space) to capture them all in this post. But hopefully these give you a glimpse of what I enjoy and maybe even brought a “little” smile to your face as well.

~donna

P. S. Next week, Ann-Christine will be our host. Be sure to visit her site.

P.S.S. If you would like to participate in our weekly Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us on Saturdays at noon EST: Lens-Artist Challenge

P.S.S.S. If you are interested in purchasing unique notecards, photography or digital artwork please visit my Etsy shop by clicking on the button below.

“A Photograph is….”

What do you see when you “look into” this photo? Do you see an old worn-out railroad bridge? Or do you see history telling a story of days gone by?

Next time a photograph catches your eye be sure to “look into” it. You never know what you might discover.

~Donna

By the way, this image is available in my Etsy shop as a matted 5″ x 7″ or in Digital Artwork format. (Link in bio or copy and paste 👉👉 https://www.etsy.com/shop/donnarobinsonphoto)

Lens Artist Challenge #198: Light and Shadow

This week Patti invites us to explore light and shadow in our photography (Lens Artist Challenge #198).

When you research the history of photography (Wikipedia: History of photography) it’s quite clear you can’t have an image absent of both light and shadow. Light highlights the objects and their elements. Whereas shadows bring contrast and definition.

Mother Nature reigns when it comes to creating light and shadows. I’ll even take it another step forward and add color to the mix as well. Take for instance these shots I took from a blood moon eclipse event a few years ago. Science tells us the moon shines as a result the sun reflecting off the side of the moon visible to us. In the photos below you see how the light shows us the details of the craters and as the moon rotated around the earth shadows formed until the moon was covered in darkness. As the eclipse progressed through the night sky, the shadows disappeared reveling the moon again, but it had turned red.

It was pretty spectacular to watch this event occur, although it was pretty cold that night!

Or, what about clouds! In the photo below the light fills the clouds, their formation gives way to shadows producing depth and definition in both the clouds and on the city skyline. Don’t you want to just jump on one of these clouds and float away?

How about a storm rolling in at sunset? This image faces South, so the sun was setting to the right of the frame, reflecting in the glass building. But notice what happens to the rain cloud as your eye moves right to left away from the building. Because of the setting sun the clouds/sky change from a pinkish/blueish rain shower to a somewhat clear, blue sky over the city. This was a pretty fascinating storm to watch.

Who can resist watching a thunderstorm? We were sitting on our balcony one night and I must have taken over a hundred photos to get this shot. I love how the electricity in the air is so full of light that it transforms the dark sky into a pinkish/purple hue while giving way to the outline of the storm cloud. Doesn’t the lightning strike look like a giant spider next to the city skyline?

Then there’s a rainbow just after the rain when the sun along with the atmosphere creates a prism of color. Not only does the sun create the rainbow, but it colorizes the remaining clouds and skyline below.

Thank you, Patti for this wonderful challenge. I’ve enjoyed seeing everyone’s collection of amazing photography and interpretation while revisiting my own experiences with light and shadows through nature. I’m looking forward to seeing what Ann-Christine has in store for us next week.

Until next time!

~donna

P.S. If you would like to participate in our weekly Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us on Saturdays at noon EST: Lens-Artist Challenge

P.S.S. If you are interested in purchasing unique notecards, photography or digital artwork please visit my Etsy shop by clicking on the button below.

Lens Artist Challenge 197 – Rule of Thirds

Ok, so this is my third week joining the “Lens Artist Challenge” and it’s official. I’m hooked! Not only with the challenges but seeing and reading all of the other wonderful posts! It’s truly one of the highlights of my week to participate in the challenges.

This week Tina brings us back to the basics and challenges us with the “Rule of Thirds.” You can read her post here. I must say, I have taken a photography course (or two) many moons ago but had completely forgotten what the 10 Rules of Photography Composition were so this was a fun challenge to revisit rule #1.

The “Rule of Thirds” says your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines and you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.

Landscape photography lends itself well to this rule because you’re trying to capture and recreate in your camera what you see in real life. The rule of thirds can help you determine the focal point and how to incorporate everything else you see.

Take for instance this photo from The Pacific Coast Highway. The anchor (where your eye is drawn) is the carved out wooden stool on the lower left corner. As soon as your eye catches the seat you follow it outward to the road in the background with the coastline running parallel. Funny story behind this photo. My husband and I had passed this spot and he pulled off the road for me to take the photo. I had to turn around in the passenger seat (fortunately we had rented a convertible) to take the shot!

The next photo (also taken on the Pacific Coast Highway) may not quite follow the rule. If you were to put a grid over the photo the lighthouse is pretty much in the center, not on one of the vertical axis (like Tina says, rules are made to be broken). However, your eye is pulled from the lower right-hand corner (the rocky cliff) to the lighthouse. In my perspective the photo would not have told the story about the lighthouse being out on a point, had the rocky ledge in the lower right-hand corner pointed you to it.

When it comes to nature shots, that’s a completely different story. I’m always focused on capturing the subject first and come back to the “Rule of Thirds” when I’m cropping and editing the photos.

For instance, my bird shots. I like to use them for my weekly quotes so it’s important to me to get the shot of the bird and then worry about composition later. This week’s quote about bluebirds is a great example of the process I go through.

When you look at the original photo on the left it needs a lot of cropping to get to the main subject, the bluebird and the feeder (the second photo). I would rather the bird face the other direction, but I had to go with where it landed (trust me I took several shots to get this one). But what I like with the end result is the quote actually anchors/balances the photo. What do you think?

Similar to landscapes, gardening photography lends itself well to the rule of thirds, too.

Like these daylilies and black lantern. The daylilies may first catch your eye first, but because they face in the direction of the lantern, it becomes the anchor.

Or this pink hydrangea cluster. It starts at the lower left quadrant and your eye follows the clusters from left to upper middle to the right side of the image.

As Tina reminded us, rules are made to be broken. Nothing really lines up on any particular axis with this knock-out rose, but it’s obvious the bud is the focal point, accented by the Boka image of the open bloom in the background.

As a closing thought, the “Rule of Thirds” is a good tool if you find it difficult to get balance in your images.

Thank you, Tina for the refresher on the rule of thirds. I’m confident I’ll keep an eye out more when taking photos.

~Donna

P.S. –Interested in joining Lens-Artists? Click here for more information

Lens-Artist Challenge #196: Humor

This week’s host, John of John’s Space challenges us to explore HUMOR in our photography. I had to scratch my head a little bit for this one. Did I have any photos that fell into this category? And then, suddenly a flood of memories of photos I’ve taken over the years started coming back to me.

First up: Backyard critters!

Our backyard critters, like these squirrels, are always quite humorous and entertaining! Seriously, the way they twist and turn their bodies to get to the food is quite fascinating to say the least!

Dogs:

Dogs have such wonderful personalities. They’re like kids and come up with the most unexpected!

And then, life just happens!

Well, the U.S. Post Office may not think this photo is as funny as I did. So much for getting through sleet and snow!

Everyday Humans:

I don’t know if this guy was supposed to be Shakespeare or Christopher Columbus, but he definitely turned a few heads as he came strolling through the bar in Beaufort, SC.

“Feed the birds… Tuppence a bag….” This man was a regular at the Pier on St. Simons Island, Georgia. He definitely had them eating out of his hands and off his head!

Things that make you go “hmmmmm.”

And then there are things you stumble on and wonder about the person who came up with an idea like this?

Signs. Signs. Everywhere a sign.

And of course, you can’t forget about the “signs that are everywhere!

Thank you, John for this fun and humorous trip down memory lane and the reminder that humor is all around us, even when it seems like the world is in utter chaos!

Keep your camera handy, folks! You never know when that once in a lifetime photo-op will happen!

Until next time!

~donna

P.S. –Interested in joining Lens-Artists? Click here for more information