Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #211 What’s your photographic groove?

Anne’s challenge this week is, “What’s my photographic groove? What type of photography do I truly enjoy doing?  I will show you wonderful images and tell you about them.

This challenge has me thinking. When I was enrolled and pursuing my Photography Certificate, I was exposed to many photographic experiences. My practical mother continued to ask me what I intended to do with my photography. One idea was to start a Pet Photography business. Another idea I had was to author a picture book. I had just retired from a Library/Teacher career of 25 years. I didn’t know way direction to take. Life happened. My parents and grandchildren needed my attention. By the time I finished 40+ credits I decided I was going to do photography on my own terms – for my own personal enjoyment. I didn’t need another job. So I guess you can say my photographic groove is “Focus”. I use my camera to help me see the world around me. I capture whatever I come across.

Often, my camera helps me connect to my surroundings. Sometimes nature, sometimes people, and sometimes taking a quirky look.

My camera connected me to a good group of friends. This group has taken me to many places and spaces in the area. Visits out of town to Niles, Ca. Trips to the Sacramento Zoo. Visiting a local urban micro Farm at End of the Road in Orangevale, Ca.

My photography helps me focus on the present, and preserve memories to reflect upon in the future.
I have been raising my second puppy in the past 2 1/2 years. Glad I have photos of my Charlie.

Puppies grow into dogs and seem to change overnight. Waiting for them to calm down may take just a bit longer. This is where my iPhone comes into play.


My 4 youngest grandchildren have moved back and forth from Sacramento, California to Knoxville, Tennessee (about 2500 miles). They returned last week for the third time in less than three years. Photos and FaceTime helped during these times of separation. I so enjoy my Nixplay digital frame.

But as of last Thursday, I can see my grandchildren in person. We celebrated the first day of TK and First Grade, and the last day of vacation for my 5th grader with some ice cream at Handels.

Great challenge. Sorry for the late post. I have been having “words” with my WordPress!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #205 The Eyes Have It

Tina challenges me to explore the concept that, “In photography, the most successful portraits will, with rare exception, include focus on the eyes.”

Eye Spy billboard captured in Times Square

The movie titled “Big Eyes” told the story of an American artist Margaret Keane. These murals reminded me of that style.

I have been shooting this smiling sun for over 20 years when I stop in Gilroy, Ca. for cherries on the way to Pacific Grove in May. I try to photograph this from a new perspective.
I printed this photograph many years ago and called it, “Peeking”.

The Sacramento Zoo provides many photo opportunities. This time I was focused on the eyes.

Alpaca after shearing. What is she trying to tell me?
Fish Eye

A salute to a dear photo friend who left us too soon. Greg loved to wear hats. Here he is at the Highland Games in Woodland many years ago.

Greg Morris

I found these odd eyed dogs at some dog events around town.

My Liberty (Libby) Love expressive eyes

Charlies had the most beautiful eyes

Moxie is really starting to vary her expressions. Raised eyebrow when the word “treat” or “dinner” is mentioned.

Did I hear the word, “Dinner”.

Thank you for stopping by to see how I focused on EYES! I would love to read your comments!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 203 Local Vistas

What are your local vistas? Where do you photograph when you don’t have a lot of time or are not on vacation? What about your hometown excites you? Is it the countryside, city, gardens, amusement venues? This week, Anne Sandler: Slow Shutter Speed wants me to tell and show local vistas.

Sacramento has been home since 1980. Yet with my local camera group I still find new things to photograph. There is a certain seasonal flow of vistas that show up during the year. For instance, Anne and I visited the Lotus Flower Garden “Peace Pond” this week. When I turned on the television Rob on the Road was interviewing the person responsible for this amazing Sacramento site. Started in 2005 this is now another reason the go to Land Park.

Within Land Park there is also the WPA Rock Garden. Always something to photograph.

The Sacramento Zoo is also located in Land Park, currently. There are exciting plans afoot in the coming years to move this zoo to Elk Grove so that it can provide a better habitat for the animals. Just a little further to drive.

The flamingos welcome you at the entrance of the Sacramento Zoo

In the coming weeks the sunflower fields located in Yolo County calls for photo captures. This image was taken last year.

No sunflowers were harmed in the taking of this photograph.

For people watching I head to Old Sacramento. No matter how many times I visit I find something new to focus on. But it is often the people wandering around. And people with dogs are my favs.

Trawler and his owner live on a houseboat that was docked in Old Sacramento.

This dog wants to share a drink.
Musician on a lunch break. His dog has his eyes on the fries!

Located in Old Sacramento is the California State Railroad Museum.

I find museum locations good when the temperature rises. This week June 2022 the temperature will be over 100° for multiple days. Also a good time to be home and blog!

Well that is just a touch of what I find locally around Sacramento.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #202 Minimalism/Maximalism

Sofia’s challenge is called Minimalism/Maximalism. It could also be Simplicity/Complexity or Sparce/Full. It’s up to me to show how I approach this challenge. I’ll have to think about this as I look over my library of photographs.

Life during the pandemic gave me time to think. Since I was home, as many of you were, I had time to look around my house. The idea of ‘Decluttering” and “Reimagining” space in our homes found its way into the media. Television, podcasts, and how to books popped up. I think I vacillate between the two. When I have my cleaning staff come to may house, I put away many things on my counters. The house is cleaned, and when I look around I have some satisfaction. But I still need some eye candy. On my new kitchen counter I place a Nixplay Frame. In the morning I turn it on, and throughout the day I am reminded of times in my life. l love my frame, and I am constantly adding new photographs. I also have some kind of silk flower arrangement, and two plants that require little water. Anything else makes my kitchen feel cluttered.

I ebb and flow between straightening out things, and letting life happen. But then the sentimental side shows up. I enjoy having things around that bring back good memories. Some items came from my parents house from when I was younger. Other items were given to me, and I remember the occasion. And other objects just seem to fit in a particular space.

My photography finds new ways to grow. Looking over my library I discovered that the coast is a great place to create minimalist photographs.

Taken on Florida’s beaches with my Nikon D70, my first dslr
Simple structure at Pt.Reyes
Seagull joins the family on the beach.

Many of my photographs have a busy quality. One teacher criticized me for this. I just say that it is my artistic preference. Sometimes I like to let my eye wander.

Taken on a photo shoot to Bodie, Ca. with my class. This is an example of “arrested decay”.
More from a town frozen in time, Bodie, Ca.

In the following photographs I like to look for familiar things within. Pareidolia used to be seen as a mental illness, but now is considered normal creative thinking.

Black Chasm Caves in Volcano, Ca.
Do you see what I see?
Here is an example of maximalism in a window display in Carmel, Ca.
Putting a smile on your face with some minimalism to end this post.

So I guess minimalism and maximalism both have a place in my photography.