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!

Photo Opportunities Expand Cultural Awareness

I attended the Sacramento Valley Scottish Games and Festival held in Woodland April 2015. Along with great photo opportunities, I learned much about the Scottish culture from the participants. One area is set up as “Living History”. Collins English Dictionary defines living+history as, “any of various activities involving the re-enactment of historical events or the recreation of living conditions of the past.”

Fighting amongst the clans
Fighting amongst the clans

I saw historical events acted in costume, crafts, games, and entertainment played out, and daily activities pursued.

Historical reinactment
Historical reinactment

These teachable moments showed visitors that crocheting used only wool, that women were not taught how to read, and many games were played without batteries (lol).

Wool is spun and then crocheted
Wool is spun and then crocheted

Game played using dice
Game played using dice

Lad sets it on the top after pulling it from the bottom. Look familiar?
Lad sets it on the top after pulling it from the bottom. Look familiar?

Athletic events emphasized strength. The caber toss required a man to carry a heavy long pole a distance then toss it so that it flips over at least a half turn.

Caber Toss. This competitor is in his sixties.
Caber Toss. This competitor is in his sixties.

Cabers on display
Cabers on display

Another  event  is the Stone Throw.  weight height where a 56 pound weight is tossed over a horizontal pole.

Weight for Height Competition
Weight for Height Competition

Weight for Distance or Weight Throw where a metal weight with a chain handle is thrown.

Weight for Distance
Weight for Distance

Stone Throw
Stone Throw

Stone Throw. Many techniques used. Similar to modern Shot Put.
Stone Throw. Many techniques used. Similar to modern Shot Put.

Highland Dancing
Highland Dancing

Using electronics to tune this bagpipe
Using electronics to tune this bagpipe

Last minute touches to prepare for competition
Last minute touches to prepare for competition

Met some folks who came from Ireland to compete here in Woodland, Ca.
Met some folks who came from Ireland to compete here in Woodland, Ca.

Meeting the clans as they parade
Meeting the clans as they parade

Instead the usual food available at a Festival I enjoyed a meat pie.

Authentic meat pies of varying types available. Yummy!
Authentic meat pies of varying types available. Yummy!

Entertainment included a Beard and Mustache Contest.

Beard & Mustache contest.
Beard & Mustache contest.

Many categories for the Beard & Mustache Contest
Many categories for the Beard & Mustache Contest

Even the lads got into the action!
Even the lads got into the action.

Obviously this beard is judged for length.
Obviously this beard is judged for length.

Scottish Animals are active participants.

Clydesdale Horses show off their moves in this demonstration. Here they manuever in tight turns.
Clydesdale Horses show off their moves in this demonstration. Here they manuever in tight turns.

Scottish Highland Cattle
Scottish Highland Cattle

I can take care of that itch!
I can take care of that itch!

Friendly Scottish Terrier posed for photograph
Friendly Scottish Terrier posed for photograph

I saw many interesting and I didn’t get over to see the crafts and vendors. Conclusion: this is a more realistic festival. Lots of fun, lots of photo opportunities, and good spirits!