Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #116: Symmetry

This week, Patti invites us to explore Symmetry as a way to create dramatic and impactful images.  I made a quick review of symmetry in photography and learned something new. Thank you, Patti.

There are four most common types of symmetry in photography

Vertical Symmetry

Vertical symmetry is the most common type of symmetry. Draw an imaginary vertical line at the center of the photo, if both sides are symmetrical, your photo will look visually appealing. Vertical symmetry is often used in architectural photography.  It emphasizes the size, shape, and design of buildings.

This Tea Garden at a restaurant in Hong Kong in which my nephew and his wife had the tea ceremony before the wedding banquet.

Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara, Japan, is famous for its many bronze lanterns, as well as the many stone lanterns that lead up the shrine.  

The Champ de Mars is one of the most beautiful, large public green spaces in Paris, France. This is one of the 360o views on the viewing level of the Eiffel Tower.

Horizontal Symmetry

Horizontal symmetry is often used in landscape photography. Especially when a body of water is present. This can be confused with reflective symmetry. The difference is that horizontal symmetry does not necessarily have to feature a reflection. Reflective symmetry always does.

The following beach photo shows the horizon reaching the sky, and the horizontal lines of the waves, and the line between the sand and water.

Seville was one of our stops during the Spain tour. This photo shows both vertical and horizontal symmetry. This is the Plaza de España in Seville built in 1928. It is a landmark example of Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles of Spanish architecture.

Radial Symmetry

Radial symmetry usually involves shapes that go round and round with the same patterns. This is often associated with ripples, succulents, domes, wheels, etc.

There are many circular layers in the Central Garden at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Reflective Symmetry

As its name suggests, reflective symmetry is all about reflections. We can find reflections in water, surfaces like glass, and buildings to create a mirror image.

This is the Patio de los Arrayanes in Alhambra, Spain. The image of the building is reflected in the pond.

Our favorite get away is the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles. This part of the Chinese Garden is reflected in the pond.

LENS-ARTISTS PHOTO CHALLENGE #116: SYMMETRY

Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration

This week for Lens-Artists Challenge, Tina invited us to explore the theme of Inspiration. I could name many aspects around are my inspiration. I finally decided on three for this post.

Gardening is my hobby and my joy. My life is enriched by the inspiration from gardening. There are several basic things for a healthy garden. 1) Good soil. I started a butterfly garden and vegetable garden this year. Several sections have heavy clay soil. I dug at least one foot, soaked the soil and drained, mixed in several inches of organic soil. Use the correct amount of fertilizer periodically. 2) Watering. Test the daily watering to ensure the soil is moist, not just wet on the surface. 3) Proper planting space. The full-grown milkweed will be several feet in diameter in the butterfly garden, whereas the Zinnias are several feet tall but several inches wide. 4) Trimming the withered limbs according to different plants by season or regularly.

Learning from gardening, I need to continuously cleanse, nourish, and make changes to my mind, my heart, and my action to be a healthy person.

Traveling gave me the opportunity to see the wonderful nature near and far. We were at awe with the vast Denali wildness in Alaska, over 10,000 hydrothermal features such as geysers, hot springs, mud pots, travertine terraces, and fumaroles in Yellowstone, and four active volcanos in Hawaii, to name just a few.

Nature comes in all shapes and forms, all kinds of temperature, and different colors as reflected in our human life.

The maternal instinct in the animal kingdom was my inspiration and touches my heart at the deep spot. Humpback whales migrate farther than any other mammal on earth. They can travel around 3,000 miles between their breeding and feeding grounds regularly. During the migration with the newborn, the female Humpback would lift the calf above the water for it to breathe. The female and the calf are caressing each other constantly for affection.

A nest in my front porch was a cradle for four births of baby Mourning doves. The dove eggs are smaller than chicken eggs. I observed the female doves lay two eggs at a time. It takes about 35 days after hatching for the baby doves to fly. Last year, one baby was ready to fly and left the nest. The female dove left for a while but came back in the evening to stay with the second baby, kept him warm until he was ready to fly. The bigger baby also came to keep the little brother company. Then they flew away together.

Even though I was not able to be a stay-home mom when my daughter was a baby, I’m now a big fan of stay-home moms for them to treasure and enjoy those precious moments.

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LENS-ARTISTS CHALLENGE #115 – INSPIRATION

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #18 – The Great Symphony

This is Weekly “Fiction in a Flash Challenge” Week #18. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #18 Image Prompt.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

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The Great Symphony

Life is a continuum of a Great Symphony.

Adagio airs a soothing melody of sweet love,

laments the inner sorrow, and

the melancholic soul.

Maestoso pitches the triumph of a noble spirit,

pronounces the victory of a long and

hard-won battle.

Fortissimo frees the shout from the depth of the heart,

proclaims the greatest joy

has ever been told.

Pianissimo whispers to your ears, the faintest sob,

breathes the darkest secret

only to you.

Now and then, it comes the rest, and the rest.

Silence!

What tranquility it is, in the Great Symphony of Life.

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Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #17 – Message

This is Fiction in a Flash Challenge Week #17. Each week Suzanne Burke will be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the week #17 Image Prompt.

message-in-a-bottle-3437294_1920
Image by Antonios Ntoumas from Pixabay

Message

A letter curled in the bottle of brown

Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

After floating miles away carrying English tea

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Left adrift aimless in the open sea

Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

After floating miles away carrying English tea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

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Sparks echoed the shimmering sunbeam above

A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

A tug in a wandering heart yearning for love

The mysterious message begged to be free

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A gentle soul gazed upon the glittering wavy sea

Vessel reached the shore; no sailor drown

The mysterious message begged to be free

from a letter curled in the bottle of brown

(Pantoum Poem)

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Pantoum poem comprises a series of quatrains (stanzas) rhyming ABAB in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the next quatrain. Each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD. This pattern continues for many stanzas except the final stanza. The first line of the poem recurs as the last line of the closing stanza, and the third line of the poem is the second of the final stanza, rhyming ZAZA.

1 2 3 4

2 5 4 6

5 7 6 8

7 3 8 1

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Book Review of Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach

My Review of Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach.

I must say Liars and Thieves kept my attention and I stayed up past midnight for two nights until I finished reading the book. There’s a map at the beginning of the book. I even printed out the map and follow the characters and events throughout the story.

My Review

In Liars and Thieves, Diana built a believable world of three races and three characters representing each. The goblins dwelt in the mountains. They were terrakinetic, a skill in their possession in manipulating, moving, and transforming rocks and minerals into altered shapes, into alloys, into machinery. The changelings inhabited in the jungle in human form but could shift into animals and insects, known for being thieves and spies. The elves lived in the river plain but invaded the changeling’s territory when cutting trees.  

Borderland was a common area where the Council meet. The Council leadership comprised of nine members—three representatives from each race. All races were free to live and work and die in the Borderland. The Veil in the far north held the secrets of eternity. It divided the Known World of the three races to the unknown. Those who had attempted to cross through had never returned. The common denominator for all three races was the crystals. The goblins mined them, elves needed them to power their weapons and homes; and changelings used them to shift shape.

Naj, the half-elfin, half goblin, used reasoning to make decisions. Alue, an elf who acted on her impulse, and made mistakes at every turn. Talin, the changeling, gained the queen’s favorite by being her spy.

After building the foundation of the fantasy world, Diana skillfully unfolded the chaos and resolution-seeking among the races and the characters. Over the years, the explosion in the north collapsed the mine. Some members from all three races disappeared, but there were no remains. Each race was suspicious over the others for killing their kinds and stealing the crystals. When Naj, Alue, and Talin questioned by their leaders, they selected and omitted details to report only what the leaders wanted to hear.

Individually, these three were not enemies to each other. They acted on the commands of their leaders. During trials, when one was in danger of being executed, the other tried to extend the defense. As reflected in the actual world, these races tried to form an alliance with one race to go against the other. When circumstances changed, they retreated and changed their mind to protect their own interest.

Diana skillfully made her imagination visible in the lines such as:

“Waves bulged along the Veil’s magnetic lines like sound along an instrument’s string.”

“The elders leaned toward each other, their murmured comments passing to the ends of the arc and back like ripples in a pond.”

“The ancient goblins gasped as Naj’s skull flattened and muzzle protruded, baring deadly canines. His limbs shuddered and contracted. Shoulder blades and hip bones tilted as his body contorted on the floor and spine lengthened. Joints tore apart and reformed into new connections.”

I developed a personal liking for the characters and wanted to know what happened to them next. I stayed up for two nights to read this book. There were two FREE chapters for Book 2, and I can hardly wait for it to be available.

Liars and Thieves Global Purchase Linkhttp://a-fwd.com/asin=B08FGQ2W3Q

Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

Author the Author

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck #Photography – Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#99: Old and New by Miriam Hurdle

I’m over at Sally’s blog today. She shares my photo challenge post of old and new. Please head over to visit her magazine blog of many interesting features as well as book promotion for indie authors.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope:Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the second post by poet Miriam Hurdle and this week I am sharing one of Miriam’s photography challenge posts with some stunning images of the old…the Terracotta Warriors and the new from her Nephew’s wedding in Hong Kong.

The theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #99 this week from Amy is Old and New.

The original Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, China and their new replica.

China XianDSC02600 (2)

In Hong Kong, the few boat people (fishermen) live side by side with people living in high rises and those…

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Lens-Artists Photo CHALLENGE #114: Negative Space

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 114, Amy invited us to look at Negative Space in photography.

This is my first time explored negative space in photography. It made me interested to do a quick study about the subject. I only looked at three photography sites and the following is the basic idea.

Negative space is the area surrounding the main subject in a photograph. It allows us to create a dramatic image that attracts viewers to lead their eyes towards the smaller area of positive space.

Negative space should take up more of the image than the positive space. It has the effect of making us notice and inspect the main subject even more. It can be an unoccupied area.

This was three days before the full moon in July 2017
California fires: 3,154,107 Acres Burned, 7,718 Incidents, 20 Fatalities, 6,334 Structures as of Sept. 12, 2020
(Photo from my backyard Sept. 6, 2020 4:00 p.m.)

The contrast in size makes us more curious about the main subject. The smaller the subject in the positive space is, the more noticeable it will become.

A grasshopper the size of a grain of rice sitting on the African Lily in my garden.

The negative space does not have to be an empty space. Things surrounding the subject are peripheral. They almost blend into the background, but they should never be the main subjects.  They cause you to focus even more on the subject.

Rose bud in spring
I captured this yacht during a whale watching trip.
My husband turned around for a photo before he dived in the Great Barrier Reef.

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LENS-ARTISTS PHOTO CHALLENGE 114: NEGATIVE SPACE

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Remembering September 11

9/11 Remembrance | Remembering september 11th, Remembrance, September 11
A Political Geographer in New York: Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

“On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m., killing everyone on board and hundreds of people inside the building. It was initially viewed as an accident until, just a little over 15 minutes later at 9:03 a.m., hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower, killing those on board and several hundred inside the edifice.” Newsweek

The school superintendent came to our office a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. as part of his routine visit on that day. Someone called our attention and we turned on the TV in the meeting room. No word could describe the horror we felt within the first half an hour of the crash. It was a day I would never forget.

The following Sunday as friends got together at a meeting, a couple who worked for Morgan Stanley shared that a few days before the attack, they were at the Headquarter on the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The wife remembered looking out at the surrounding buildings from the floor to ceiling windows. As she shared, she was shaken with tears in disbelief of what had taken place.

No matter how you choose to reflect on this day, images of what happened on 9/11 will forever serve as a reminder of the resilience we had—and still have—as a nation in the face of tragedy. As the world continues to change, the suffering and strength of that day will always remain a part of us.

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New Release of War of Nytefall: Ravenous by Charles Yallowitz

It’s with great pleasure I welcome Charles Yallowitz to my blog today to celebrate his new release of War of Nytefall: Ravenous.

I’ll let Charles tell you all about Volume 5 of the War of Nytefall series, and more.

The world of the Dawn Fangs is about to explode into chaos thanks to Desirae Duvall.

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Blurb:

In the shadows of Windemere, fangs are sprouting from the least likely of maws.

News is spreading that wild beasts with vampiric natures have been attacking mortals and carrying off random victims.  With the Dawn Fangs still a secret from mortal society, Clyde fears that these strange creatures will reveal his peoples’ existence before they are ready.  Old enemies and trusted friends begin to disappear as the investigation goes deeper into a business that has been lurking in the shadows of Windemere for decades.  Those who return are beholden to a new master whose cunning is matched only by her primal desires.  As his allies disappear, Clyde is left with the one he trusts the most in all of the world to help him solve this mystery.  Too bad Mab has her own secret that can cause more damage to Nytefall than any vampiric beast.

Is this how the Dawn Fangs will be revealed to Windemere?

Still need more to wet your appetite? Then enjoy this excerpt:

Titus shrugs the girl off his shoulders and grips his blades, but refuses to draw them to avoid causing a scene. The warriors around him are on edge from overhearing Lost’s words and seeing his reaction, but they follow his example and keep their weapons sheathed. The Vengeance Hounds know that it is only a matter of time before the mortals with weaker wills lose control and drive the others into panic. They can hear the rumors of a deadly beast stalking the hunting party ripple through the crowd, each telling more gruesome and bone-chilling than the previous version. Several warriors ignore the warnings of their companions and draw their weapons, but keep them out of sight. Two of the casters begin to chant, which is revealed by the sparkle of magic on their lips. One by one, the lines of warriors stop walking and assume various defensive formations. Frustrated by the collapse of her army, the priestess turns around and tries to assure everyone that they are safe. Standing in the middle of the blossoming chaos, the Vengeance Hounds can only watch as the woman loses her temper and shouts at the archers who were supposed to maintain control.

The warriors go silent when a booming roar erupts from above and a large shadow passes over the area. With a gurgling scream, the priestess collapses in a heap and stares unblinking at the sky. The archers move away from the drooling woman, whose breathing has stopped as if she has been instantly turned off. Landing in front of the hunting party, a crimson-scaled Verenstone Dragon unfurls its muscular tails with one to each side and the other arching over its reptilian head. The thick ridge of black hair going down its back rustles and shivers in the breeze, which heats up as the monster bellows once more. Curled against its side are wings composed entirely of blue flame that licks at the trampled grass, but they are not hot enough to ignite the emerald blades. Leaning forward, the terrifying predator sniffs at the braindead priestess and chuckles before swallowing the body whole. In the brief moment that its mouth is open wide, the Vengeance Hounds notice that two of its teeth are changing as if they are stretching out of the gums. The plaque-covered ivory is curved in a way that makes it clear that they are fangs and the beast is in desperate need of a fresh meal. Its eyes scan the mortals and stop on the three Dawn Fangs for a moment, but it is enough to tell them that the cunning creature recognizes their true nature.

“A vampiric dragon,” Titus mutters under his breath.

Get War of Nytefall: Ravenous on Amazon for $2.99!
Add it to your Goodreads To-Read Lists!

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Need to catch up? Then, check out Volumes 1-4 of War of Nytefall!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Interested in more Windemere?  Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Enjoy the adventure by clicking here!

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck – #Family New Granddaughter by Miriam Hurdle

I’m over at Sally Cronin’s blog. She shared a family experience of my new granddaughter during Covid. Please hop over to enjoy many features on her blog. She provides supports and free promotion to authors.

Note: I’m happy that I finally got a chance to see my granddaughters and wrote a post about that here

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope:Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is thefirst post by poet Miriam Hurdle and she shares the birth of a new granddaughter and the fact that she could not be there as planned due to the pandemic. And she also shares the loveliest of photos.

A new Granddaughter by Miriam Hurdle

2

I visited my daughter Mercy at the end of February. Her friend planned a baby shower on Saturday for her second baby. I arrived on Thursday. Her friend called on Friday to cancel the shower because she was exposed to…

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