Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 194 Bokeh

Sofia challenges me to primarily think of out-of-focus areas in your photos. Are they an important component of your shot? What is bokeh for you and how do you achieve it? I’ll be looking forward to seeing how your beautifully blurred areas also have a story to tell.

Using a large aperture setting would be how I would describe my style of photography.

While visiting Donner Summit, I borrowed a reflecting ball. The shallow depth of field places the photo in a forest setting and the reflection is in focus.

By using a shallow depth of field here my photo leads the eye in a line.

A line of pigs
Colorful crayons

The story I tell with my flower photographs often is about one particular flower standing apart from the rest.

The bee settles on a flower in the field of flowers
Paws, please!
When my Moxie was a young pup!

While capturing images with people the depth of field helps to tell the story.

Racing fans gather during the Amgen finale in Sacramento

This last photograph was taken in 2004 while visiting my In-Laws in Florida. This is an example of why I recommend not discarding all your old mistakes. This was my first DSLR the Nikon D70. I was not familiar with white balance and forgot to change from the indoor lighting setting to the outdoor one. My images were quite blue. But today, I saw potential in this image. I changed it to black and white. What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed my look at bokeh and how it helps to set the stage for my images. Please comment and let me know.

A Photowalk in Niles

Getting away with photo friends and introducing them to my brother Alan made for an enjoyable and interesting day. My brother lives in Freemont, Ca. and found this little old town flavor in Niles about a mile from his address. Car loaded with friends, cameras, and gas we headed off to Niles. I was driving Subi Blue, and just as we started the infamous I symbol appeared on my dashboard indicating a low tire sensor. We boldly continued the two-hour journey.

After passing under a railroad trestle we arrived in Niles, Ca.

This old restored gas station serves as a meeting spot for car enthusiasts.

Unique stores line 1st Street (Main Street). Forget trademarks here. Plenty of antique stores, but since we are here on a Thursday we find many stores closed.

My brother served as our own personal guide to a town he walks around frequently. He knows most of the small business owners and often photographs events in town. The weather cooperates and we found plenty of photo opportunities in nature and architecture.

This wisteria tree has over the years intertwined with another tree.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.
Tangled
Wisteria in bloom
A Lady Bug

An original house.
Bath anyone?
Each house an individual
I liked the way the light fell on these hats

Silent movies and Charlie Chaplin have solid connections with Niles, Ca. On our way home, we drove through Niles Canyon used as a backdrop for cowboy films in the early days of movie-making.

It turns out the air in the tire was low, so off to find a working air pump, and tossing in a bunch of quarters, and home we went.

This little Tortuga Talavera followed me home.

And we returned safely.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #193 Birthdays

Maybe you had a special birthday anniversary, or you have a new birthday in the family. Do you celebrate your pet’s birthday? Maybe it’s a birthday of an organization, or of your blog. For this week’s challenge, John wants me to show you what is special to me about birthdays.

First birthdays are special. This is probably more true for the parents. After all most kids, especially first kids have no idea about what the fuss is all about. I was invited to my friend’s grandchild’s first birthday. You can tell who was blowing out the candle! The Birthday piñata added to the fun.

On another “First” birthday, I photographed my grandson’s Smash Cake! At first tentative, then he really got into the spirit of the Smash!

Delicious First Birthday
Here is another way to look at first birthdays!

Party decorations add to the festivities. But with my children, the reaction was often unexpected. I remember that my son was afraid of balloons.

Birthdays over the years.

Death by Chocolate is the name of this image

Birthdays often bring the family together. In the past couple of months, I helped celebrate two important birthday celebrations. In December, my sister-in-law invited us to Southern California to celebrate my brother’s 70th Birthday.

Celebrating with my brothers.

The next very important birthday celebration brought many relatives together. Ed and Leti joined us in Sacramento to help my Israeli cousin’s grandson celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. I knew I have cousins in Israel, but the family lost touch. I last saw my cousin when I was 17 and visiting Israel. Through Ancestry.com, his son located and called me and let me know that he and his family lived close by for this year only.

A solemn occasion for a young man at 13
Wait for me family!
First Cousins
Together again.
Fun times

Now I do celebrate my pet’s birthdays also!

Found this graffiti at the beach. My first dog was named Liberty “Libby”

Last year I celebrated Charlie’s first birthday. Sadly, this was his only birthday.

Charlie’s first birthday

April 30th will be MOXIE’s first birthday. I am starting to get ready. Picked up some special treats. On the lookout for some interesting toys. Just discovered non-toxic peanut-flavored bubbles for dogs. Might be interesting. Thinking of photo elements for her birthday picture. Bows? Signage? What would a smash cake look like? Or better still, how long would it last? Again, like first birthdays she won’t know why all the fuss, but I will have some fun!

Have fun on your next birthday! Let me know how you celebrate it!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #192 Earth’s Story

This week, Amy’s photo challenge theme is Earth Story. The natural world has many stories to tell. They are written on the ground, in the mountains and rivers, and on rocks and trees. Let’s share their stories through our lenses.

While out walking my dog Moxie I came across this stump. My pareidolia nature.
The lichen creates designs where ever they grow.
Point Lobos on the California coast.

Earth’s Story is vast. Let’s take care of all of its resources.