Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #140 Change of Scenery

I have accepted Beth’s (Wandering Dawgs)challenge to get out and look for a change of scenery. It is officially Spring, and that means the natural world around me is changing. This is especially true here in the Sacramento area.

Almond Trees blossom in the Capay Valley orchards.
Almond trees blossom anywhere from February to March
Camelia showing off its beautiful flower
We have some late ripening oranges ready to pick from our tree.

This year instead of planting tomatoes, squash, and peppers my husband is preparing to plant a lemon tree (very pretty), and a mandarin tangerine.

Mustard blossoms all around
My Subí Blue ready to search out a change in scenery!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #139 – Special Moments

This week Tina reminds us that we should appreciate our days. She wants us to look beyond the life-changing events and share some everyday special moments and what they mean to us. This is not an easy task, but I will try and be selective of the special moments.

Life as a Merry-Go-Round

Looking back over my photographs always brings back all those special moments for me. This box camera started my desire to capture a lifetime of moments. I soon learned how to use my father’s 1940’s German 35mm fully manual camera. I don’t know where that camera went, but my uncle had the same one. I used a separate light meter, needed to screw in the shutter release, set the manual focus, and f stop. I never got into film development, and I mostly used a natural light source. My tiny black & white images are in my photo album. When my father moved up to a Canon 35mm I got his Yashica Lynx. I used this one through my college years. With each camera, the taking of photos became more automatic. Around 2002, I purchased my first Nikon N80. In 2001 I entered the digital age with a Sony Mavica. In 2004 the Nikon D70 became my camera of choice. Upgrades followed with Nikon D200 and D7100. After many satisfying years with Nikon, I made my move to my current mirrorless setup with Fuji xt4 and Fuji x100f.

A gift from my parents for my 9th birthday

I now look at the 45,000 images and the ones that really stand out have either people or animals as the subject. I am not a portrait photographer, but my memories are sparked by the images of people. So I will introduce you to some of my memories.

This is Liberty Love my first dog. Black dogs are harder to photograph, but she was such a good subject.

These images were taken in Old Sacramento along the Sacramento River. Some subjects posed for me, others I captured in the moment.

I attended The Scottish Highland Games held in Woodland, Ca. with my photo friends.

Often I meet up with fellow photographers at Effie Yeaw Nature Center along the American River, or UC Davis Arboretum, or at the monthly Yolo Art & Ag Days.

Early morning fishermen along the American River.

These days are special to me because I learn more about places close by that I may overlook if I didn’t take the time to explore.

With my camera in tow I get to spend time with friends, discover new things about life around me, and I get time to stop and smell the roses or lotus flower!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #137 Soft

My next Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Soft. Anne-Christine asks what does the word Soft mean to you? Is it something that you touch? Is it the undefined notion that is the opposite of hard? Is it the contrast to sharp from a photographer’s point of view? This is not so simple a concept.

My first thought was that of a baby. We want everything about this new being to be soft. Soft blankets, soft toys, soft skin, soft colors, and soft sounds Nothing hard, or harsh. We want the world around us to be soft and welcoming.

The soft touch of father and son.

Only a week later, my Charlie joined the world. We follow his first developing steps on a webcam.

Charlie arrives home at 7 weeks.
His fluffy soft fur needs tending to. Every evening we bond over grooming

Nature softens the world around me.

Light falling softly on this lotus flower
The dandelion flower pod beakens us to spread its seeds with one soft blow.

My most favorite photographic technique is shooting with a large aperture setting. This narrow depth of field clarifies the subject. This blurred background is called the bokeh. I pay particular attention to this when deciding to purchase a lens for my Fuji x system.

My featured photograph is that of clouds. Soft, fluffy and white. What do you see? When you hear the work “Soft” what comes to mind?

Lens-Artists Challenge #135 A Glimpse into Your World

Over the past year, I followed many photographers as they shared amazing images. I decided that for me to grow I would need to open myself up to this experience. So this week I accepted Sheetal’s challenge to, “Show us the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.”

Charlie has captured my heart. My Australian Labradoodle just celebrated his first birthday. My life has revolved around this boy, and the bond is strong. The day starts when he says it does. He quietly calls out to me that he is awake. With his collar on, we head to his round bed where we snuggle for a time. Then out for our short walk in our court. Six houses and I take in the changes from day to day. Occasionally, we greet a neighbor or see a jogger. Then home to have breakfast. With no plans for the day, we settle on the couch, catch up on emails and take a morning nap together. I am the person who trains and cares for Charlie’s needs. We take a walk and play fetch. We have one training session a day, one game of “Find It!”, and one grooming session after dinner. Some indoor fetch and he settles while my husband and I watch television. Charlie has found a place in my husband’s heart. When I am away, Charlie keeps him company. Charlie is a people magnet. I just hope that he soon becomes more relaxed being out and about with me and my camera.

Charlie has us wrapped around his paws. Discovering each other, training together, and becoming part of the family.

This litter of 10 adorable Australian Labradoodles is 1 year old (put together by Jo)

Camera in hand, looking out at the world makes me happy. What I capture in the frame just depends on what catches my eye at the time. Small objects, funny signs, colors or shapes, patterns, contradictory images, animal and people expressions, and the people busy doing things. I don’t see myself stuck on one subject. My only limits are what kind of lens I can carry, and I usually only carry two. My camera has an added value in my life by connecting me to wonderful photo friends.

Amusing signs

The pandemic has slowed down life, and I try and appreciate this new pace of life. One day, one goal. Thinking back over the decades I now wonder how I kept up that frenetic pace. I am home with my husband that I have known now for 54 years. We take turns arguing with the television over the news coverage. We share opinions on how to fix the world, if only they would listen. We read the newspaper and find books to read on our iPads. We play Scrabble, and figure out what we want to eat for dinner. It is a serene existence. We talk about what we want to do after “the pandemic”, and when will life return to normal. Actually, we also discuss what that normal will look like. Hopefully, eating out, traveling both near and far, and feeling less restricted to be around people. I look forward to new adventures with my husband and my Charlie.

I am taking the first step in sharing with the Lens-Artists. This is my new challenge, and I hope that I will be able to meet it!