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 #206 Treasures

This week Aletta has chosen the topic Treasures. It can be wealth or riches like precious metals, money, jewels, or anything a person values greatly. I started out thinking of things that surrounded me in my home. I have a number of things that I collect: spoons, bears, and heart-shaped stones. I also have many things that my mother collected: crystal and tea cups. But after thinking about this topic I came to the conclusion that what I truly treasure are the memories that come with every item. Where I was, who I was with, and my experience. Or in the case of my inherited objects just thinking about my parents.

That is probably why photography itself is something that I treasure. It is not just capturing the perfect image, though that is an added bonus, but the experience, who was there to share it with, and taking the time to take in my surroundings. A quiet time, a fleeting moment, and a time to reflect.

But in order to appreciate much of these treasures, I depend upon my eyesight. I have inherited macular degeneration from my mother. By eighty her vision was severely limited, and this loss caused her to be dependent on others. The adjustment was hard. So far, I am doing well, but I can tell my left eye is not pulling its full weight. The human body adjusts and I have no limitations yet. So I am treasuring every moment I can get out with my friends and take photographs. I joke with my friends, and say when I can’t see can I still go out and pretend to take pictures?

I absolutely treasure my dogs. I waited so long for my first dog, Liberty because I wanted the time to be right to care for her. Charlie came next after the time had passed, and then I waited till he was born. But after he crossed over, he sent me my Moxie Love so I wouldn’t be without this companion. I am busy working to train Moxie so that she can come with me when I am out and about. My goal is to take the AKC Good Citizen Test at the end of the summer. In the future, I would like to visit assisted living communities.

There are families that have the quintessential family portrait, then there is my family. Currently, everyone is scattered. I have two married children and seven grandchildren. Grandchildren range in age from 2 years to 25 years old. Each child is a treasure in their own way. Maybe one day I will have a full family portrait, but I will not hold my breath.

This is a challenging blog to write. It does make me take time to appreciate the treasure time and the world around me. It is easy to get off track and think about day to day life. What do you treasure?

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 #159 Postcards

Ana provides the challenge this week. “I would like to encourage you to participate, in any way you want. You can show us some of your pictures that you would send as postcards to someone you love. Or you can simply share with us images of your favorite places.”

As a child I was a collector of things foreign. I collected coins from around the world. I loved to look at picture postcards. I spent time separating them by subject, or country. In my high school years I lived overseas, and I thought that travel would be a larger part of my life than it turned out to be.

Bee enjoying the flower

In May I thought I would be traveling around the state of California with my Australian Labradoodle Charlie. I’m glad we were able to take a trip to Pacific Grove with Charlie. Sadly, Charlie now plays across the Rainbow Bridge.

When it is very hot here in Northern California, and my friends grab their cameras and head over to Green Acres, a local nursery. My photography friends and I feel welcome to bring our macro lens and take advantage of the great defused lighting. The following would make a great postcard to brighten up someone’s day.

Some of my postcards spell out exactly your vacation destination.

Postcards with amusing animals may find themselves in a mailbox.

These are some of the postcards I would be glad to receive in my mailbox. How about you?