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 #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.

The Natural World around me!

I have gone on a couple of photoshoots since the reopening from quarantine. Each was outside and I mostly stayed to myself. Usually, after an outing, my CTD group likes to grab a bite to eat. I’m not there yet and pass on the friendly banter with my fellow photogs.

Old Fair Oaks Village provided the backdrop of my first time out with my friends. Easy for me since it is about 5 minutes away.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

WPA Rock Garden and Land Park Pond provided a nice opportunity to get out and use my Fujifilm 80mm 2.8 macro lens with my Fuji xt2.

I captured the magenta and green combination in the morning light.

Walking around William Land Regional Park I find all kinds of wildlife enjoying the pond. Dragonflies, ducks, and turtles all using the pond in peace.

Since none of the Lotus flowers were in bloom I headed over to Vedanta Society of Sacramento.

Now this is how to keep social distance when meeting friends.

The Sacramento Zoo has now reopened. As a zoo member, I was invited to preview the new format as it reopens. Only members were allowed during the first two days with a set appointment time. CoVid 19 guidelines are stated online. As I entered the zoo I was reminded to stay with my flock, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet away from others. I had a 1pm appointment time. Not my usual zoo time since I like to visit first thing in the morning. I was lucky, and the weather was very mild. Perfect.

The zoo has been closed for 3 months, but the facility has been making some changes to accommodate new zoo occupants. Flamingos welcome the visitors.

I’m practicing social distancing!

And these flamingos have gotten all sorts of mixed signals. It’s confusing! And possibly not in the best interest of the flock, or in the case of flamingos a flamboyance.

Black Crowned Cranes are dealing with issues.
Ok. All is good with Black Crowned Cranes.
Got an itch.

An ostrich, a duck, an emu, and a Himalayan Monal all walk into a …….

Don’t bother me, I’m napping.

Usually, when I arrive at the zoo in the morning the Red Panda is sleeping. Found this one ready to pose for a close-up.

I wonder what the front of this animal looks like?
Here is an Okapi. One of two that reside at the zoo.
Just hangin’ out. Glad to see visitors.

New residents here at the zoo.

A new giraffe joins the tower.
American Alligator takes his place at the Sacramento Zoo.

As a nod to Tom Paxton and the cd Goin’to the Zoo I’ll call this “Allen gator. A little alligator with a great big bite, he was Allen gator he wanted to do what’s right!”

And I hope that everyone does what’s right!!!