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.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 191 Curves

Ann-Christine thought we would find more examples of curves: funny, beautiful, unusual – roads, paths, art, architecture, animals, plants – anything that interests you. Because, curves are everywhere around us. And she is correct.

Visiting my brother-in-law’s AMPG factory in Indianapolis, Indiana
I liked the way the curve of a concrete table played upon the dark, rocky background
An amusing look at machinery. Do you see what I mean?
I visit many farms in Yolo county. Rusting equipment always capture my imagination
Here is another curvy image.

Nature presents many opportunities to see curves. One of my favorite curves is the “S” curve.

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Refuge taken during wetter times in 2007.
This abandoned behive shows off some curves.
This spectacular maze is found at The Getty, a place I would like to revisit.

Enjoying the coastline curves at Laguna Beach, the rocky coast of Northern California or on the Island of Kauai

Where ever the road may take you.
A rural pathway
A bannister at the Crocker Art Museum
A close look at a piece of art reveals curves.
And finally, this flamingo at the San Diego Zoo has perfected the “S” curve!

Keep looking for curves. It makes for amazing photography. Curves make the world go round.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #185 Changes (Another Change)

John states, “Given that change is inevitable, for this week’s challenge consider change as it applies to you. Maybe it’s the changes in your family over the years, the change of seasons in your favorite park, or even the change in the technology of your camera equipment. In short, what does “change” mean to you?” Photography and camera equipment have been bouncing around in my thoughts, so here goes my journey through camera changes.

Last year I bought myself a Nixplay digital frame.

Nixplay Digital Frame

It has brought me, and my husband a lot of pleasure. I receive photos from people I love who are far away. I upload favorite flora and fauna photographs. My dogs make an appearance. I turn the frame on in the morning and with my coffee it brings back memories of the past. Seeing my grandchildren grow. Watching as my puppy changes. Noticing the changing seasons.

My cameras have evolved over the years. For my nineth birthday I got my box camera.

I saw my box camera, Imperial Debonair at a Swap Meet and had to have this reminder. The models with the fold out lens is like the German camera I had. Interestingly, my Uncle Mark still had the same one the last time I saw him. Wish I could have it. The Nikon is my first SLR.

Then as my father got a new camera I inherited a rather complicated, 35mm German camera. I had to manually set the f stop and shutter speed. For this I used a light meter. The shutter needed to be screwed in each time. I mastered this and captured many family moments in my teens. My father moved up to a Canon slr and I moved up to a Yashica rangefinder camera. I used this camera through college, and until my son was born. My next rangefinder camera had two distance settings. I was simplifying, but understanding the limitations of my tool.

When I went back to teaching, I liked to use my camera as a tool in my classroom. All my photos were printed, and I found places that printed duplicates. On the first day of school I would take a photo of each student as I got to know them, and then on Back to School Day the parents could find their student’s desk. Activities in class were documented, and placed in a photo album. Field trip volunteers got a photo taken with their student. And the last day of school students could take any of the duplicates as a reminder.

There is something about having the printed photo in an album. I just invited my first cousin from Israel to lunch. We really did not know each other. After lunch I brought out my parent’s albums, and we found common ground in looking at pictures sent from over 70 years ago. So special.

I dabbled in video for a while, but I didn’t want to learn how to edit properly. So my next step was to a SLR. In the last years of my teaching profession I was pulled back into the artistry of photography by the high school students photo work displayed outside my library. I purchased a Nikon N80 and began my lens collection. My photo were still printed, but I moved into slides for a while.

My first connection with digital came with my Sony CD Mavica, 3.3 mega pixel camera. Cute, compact and it wrote the files to a cd, but oh so slowly. I took a photo of my toddler granddaughter and she was in the next room by the time the file had recorded.

The idea was good, but technology kept innovating.

Then came the Digital slr. Now I was intrigued. My first serious look at digital was with my Nikon D70.

Taken at the Sacramento Zoo with my Nikon D70

I could still use all the lenses I was purchasing for my N80 slr and I saved images on my compact flash card. As the technology improved I graduated to a D200

Peeking
Taken at the Oakland Zoo with my Nikon D200
Another from the Oakland Zoo

Nikon D7000 upgrade

My Liberty Love poses
My Nikon D7100 at the Sacramento Zoo
Libby has an eye on the prize with my Olympus

The Mirrorless Digital cameras came on the scene and the smaller size, and quality appealed to me. I moved to the Olympus line, but I never felt like I was having any fun. I loved the size, quality of photographs, but I never got the hang of the menu system. So I switched to Fuji. I first tried the Fuji 100f. This is a great camera for street shooting. I have had great luck taking pictures, but I am mindful of the single focal distance available. Once that menu system was understood I sold my Olympus system and purchased the Fuji xt2.

Changing over to my Fuji xt2 I capture wild horses in Nevada
My Fuji 100f captures there 2 Lagatto Romagnolo at a dog show

My Nikon system sat for a while and finally I sold my workhorse Nikon D7100 to a friend. Sold all my lenses and purchased a Fuji xt4 at the start of the pandemic.

Dragonfly landing on a lotus

Which brings me back to upgrading my iPhone 8

My Charlie visits the snow. My handy iPhone 8 got this one.

I just got my Phone 13 Pro. Always with me, and the capabilities are there to grab a good shot for my Nixplay Digital frame.

My first attempts with my iPhone 13 Pro

Technology changes but I still remain to same in wanting to capture some great memories.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155 – On the Water

This week John doesn’t, “…want participants to think that this challenge is all about oceans, lakes, and rivers. The theme “On the Water” encompasses whatever manner of water floats your boat (or doesn’t).” 

A Sacramento summer calls out for water. In my case I can choose between a shower or the blue pool I have for my puppy. Or I can sit in front of a fan and look over my photo library. Being from the east coast I am drawn to the beaches found on Long Island, N.Y. Many a 4th of July was spent in traffic on the causeway leading to Jones Beach. I get a calm feeling listening to the waves crashing. My last year of college I had an apartment a block away from Long Beach (New York), and in the spring mornings I would go down to beach, and nap on the sand. Now on the west coast I enjoy the waves found in Pacific Grove, Ca.

The crashing of waves at Laguna Beach in Southern California
Pacific Ocean off of Kawaii

As a photographer water takes a big step forward in my search for subject matter.

I like to look for reflections.

Taken in Yosemite National Park

There is a certain playfulness found when people are around water.

Catching the last frog in the fall before winter hibernation. Taken at Effie Yeaw, a nature center in Carmichael, Ca.
Heading north from Santa Cruz on Highway 1 we stopped to watch wind surfers.

The ripples in the water reminds me of impressionist paintings.

I use shutter speeds to freeze droplets

Frozen droplets
Action stopped by fast shutter speed during a swim meet

Or create a silky flow created by using a slow shutter speed.

Waterfalls in Hilo Hawaii
This fountain dances to music in front of the Bellagio
Playful fountain of water.
More fountain playfulness.