Category Archives: photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#99: Old and New

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.

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In Hong Kong, the few boat people (fishermen) live side by side with people living in high rises and those who own boats for recreation.

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Last year we went to my nephew’s wedding in Hong Kong. The modern wedding is often combined with a traditional ceremony (I snapped the second photo in a park).

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#99: Old and New

 

 

Sunday Stills: Straight

Straight is this week’s theme for Sunday Stills photo challenge. Thank you to Graham of Graham’s Island for the theme idea!

On Aug. 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina became a Category Five storm, with winds blowing at about 175 mph (280 kph). The storm turned north toward the Louisiana coast. The storm weakened to a Category 3 storm before making landfall along the Louisiana-Mississippi border on the morning of Aug. 29 with sustained winds of 120 mph (193 kph).

Hubby and I planned a trip to North Carolina in mid-September. Even though the storm didn’t hit straight through, the damage was significant. Hubby had diving in mind and he didn’t want to cancel the trip, so we proceeded. The hotel we booked was near Beaufort, closed to the waterfront. After we got there, the hotel owner said the building was leaking and asked us to go inland seven miles before checking any hotel availability. We followed his advice and found lodging. The weather was pleasant. We visited Fort Macon, the Historic Museum, and Cape Lookout. Hubby even booked a diving trip.

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The Battle of Fort Macon was fought there during March and April 1862. The canon points straight toward the possible battle ships.

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The Fort Macon was constructed with red bricks, curves, and straight lines.

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We went Straight across the bridge and straight up the lighthouse.

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The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is 163 feet high with 207 steps to climb to the top. It’s pretty hard to climb straight to the top. We went to the upper level of the visitor center.

Sunday Stills: Straight

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98 – Delicate Colors

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98, Ann-Christine invited us to look at the delicate colors. I include two sets of photos here.

The first set:

These are the full moon photos from January 31, 2018. I captured the full moon when it rose above the trees and buildings before it was too high in the sky. The distance would be greater when the moon is high. By zooming, I captured different colors and shades of the moon.

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The second set:

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc’s (Font màgica de Montjuïc in Catalan) at Barcelona, Spain is a spectacular display of color, light, motion, music, and water acrobatics. A mixture of these elements together in just the right combinations is pure magic.

We were there in the summer of 2016 to celebrate our anniversary. The tour guide secured a spot for us to get a great view.

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Here is a short video. I hope you don’t get a motion sickness because I moved the camera to adjust the height of the water!!

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#98 – Delicate Colors

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97- Pastimes

Thank you, Sue (Mac’s Girl), for hosting the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week. COVID19 gives us more time to stay home and spend more time on our hobbies and pastimes.

I have many passionate hobbies, enough to occupy three times of my lifetime. For this post, I only focus on two activities I’m engaged in daily, which are gardening and enjoying the amazing creatures in my garden.

 

There are four fruit trees and two grape vines in my garden. I have a different story about the plum trees this year. In the winter of 2018-2019, there were seven weeks of rain that soaked the plum trees to produce gorgeous blooms. The warm sun came to keep the clovers strong and pretty to invite the bees. The bees found their way to pollinate the plum blossoms which yielded 1,100 plum. Well, the rain, the clovers, the sun, and the bees didn’t coordinate this year, and I could see about 10% of the plums growing compared to that of last year.

 

I appreciate the year-round flowering of the hibiscus and roses. Their graciousness, loyalty, and steadfast to bloom were the inspiration of my poetry.

 

I started watching and feeding the birds in 2014. My regular visitors are the Mourning Doves, House Finches, and sparrows. The Scrub Jay and Pin-tailed Whydah paid occasional visits. I used to put the bird seeds on several spots of the top of the retaining wall closed to the slope where they searched for food. Unfortunately, the stray cats crept under the bushes, darted upward to snatch the Mourning Doves, then dashed away. It made me so mad. I used the chicken wire to fence off the area, but the cats outsmarted me. My new spot for the bird seeds is now on the patio ground.

 

I would like to have flocks of butterflies, but only a few visited. The Mourning Cloak butterflies came a few times. The Monarch came, but there were only two. I planted the Butterfly bush, but the growth is too slow to attract butterflies. Last week, a Monarch delighted me to visit the Salvia plant. The bees and the hummingbirds love the Salvia plant also. Two days ago, I bought four of the 2-gallon pots Salvia and planted them strategically to feed the hummingbirds and attract bees to pollinate the plum blossoms next year.

3 Mourning Cloak Nymphalis antiopa butterfly

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97- Pastimes

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

This week, Patti invited us to use cropping a shot to bring out the better quality of photography. I’m always interested in doing that, especially when I take photos in a hurry or have a limited choice of my position where I take the photos. The photos may extra elements not desirable to me.

I found several photos in which I applied the cropping. I’ll explain the reasons of doing so. You can let me know if you agree with them.

Before the crop

In this photo I took on the way to Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii, I liked the cliff but it is in the center and I wanted the focal point to be a little off center to make the composition interesting.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped a little of the foreground and part of the slope on the left to change the composition.
  2. I increased the clarity to being out of the texture of the cliff and have more contrast between the land and the waves.

Before the crop

In the next photo I took in the Kowloon Park in Hong Kong, I included a group of flamingos. It was a smoggy day, and the air was not clear.

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After the crop

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I took three steps:

  1. I cropped of a scattered part of the flamingos on the left and the man on the bench.
  2. I increased the intensity of the color to being out a little more of the pink in the flamingos.
  3. I increased the clarity, even though there’s no way to add sunshine to the sky.

Before the crop

I took the last photo in Nara Deer Park in Kyoto, Japan. With the busy tourists taking photos of the deer, it was hard to get in front of the deer to get them to look at me. This deer turned to me, so I took the shot regardless of the busy surrounding.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped the immediate tourists who were taking photos.
  2. I increased the clarity to bring out the texture and the clarity of the deer’s eyes. Now I got the deer looking at me.

Tina suggested to crop less to include the tourists as part of the story. Here is the one with less cropping.

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Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think!

Next week, Sue of Mac’s Girl will be our special guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97 on Saturday, May 16th. Our regular schedule for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98 on May 23rd will have Ann-Christine as our host.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy said, “Due to the lock down, we are spending more time at home. But, hopefully this isn’t limiting our interest in photographing. This week, we invite you to share photos taken at home.”

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home.” – Thorton Wilder

This is the seventh week staying home for me. Like most of the people, I go out only when it is absolutely necessary. I face each day with the hope to stay healthy to enjoy my grandchildren when the pandemic is over. There are enough things at home to keep my life interesting such as gardening, checking my daughter’s Tinybeans account where she posts the photos of my grandchildren, reading or re-reading paperback books, exercising, and even cooking a couple times a week (my hubby took over the full time cooking when he was retired in 2016. Lucky me!).

Spring is in the air. The buds are all over my 30 rose bushes. I started with 12 pink rose bushes. Eventually I added 10 white iceberg rose bushes, and some orange and yellow roses. Now it’s not so boring looking at the roses.

Most of the plants in my garden are low maintenance. I do have several patches  for annual flowers and this is the time to plant new flowers.

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Nothing gives me greater joy to see the photos of my granddaughters every day.

When weather permits, I go on a walk in the neighborhood. On some other days, I can do yoga at home.

Piles of book for reading and re-reading.

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My new cooking is this Sausage and Vegetable Casserole. One 9″ x 13″ dish last for three alternate days for lunch. On the other four days, hubby cooks his regular lunch.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Morning

The theme from Ann-Christine this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 is Morning.

“Although time seems to fly, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest. In each waking day, you will find scores of blessing and opportunities for positive change. Do not let your today be stolen by the unchangeable past or the indefinite future! Today is new day ! Good Morning ” – Steve Maraboli

 

My morning routine these days is about the same as before the pandemic. On any day, I spend an hour to be with myself before getting on any business. There is a family of four hummingbirds in my garden. One of them was born in my backyard in May 2018. Apparently another baby was born this year, but I don’t know where they built the nest. The first thing in the morning when I go downstairs is checking on the hummingbirds. I have one feeder outside of the kitchen window and another one in the backyard. The hummingbirds mostly rely on the sugar water from the feeders, although they also like the nectar from the purple Sylvia flowers.

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After making sure the feeders have plenty of sugar water, I then brew my coffee. My favorite coffee mug has the image of Thomas Kinkade’s painting. It holds 12 ounces. Two cups of coffee would start my day just right.

 

While sipping the coffee, I make my round checking the flowers in the front yard and backyard to see if any spot needs more watering. The two grapevine plants started growing. I usually train the vine before they get all tangle up.


The next thing to do before sitting down at my desk is to feed the birds. There are about twelve to fifteen mourning doves and several house finches coming to my backyard for feeding. Yesterday morning, as soon as I put the seeds on the ground, a scrub jay flew by making loud noises. There are two scrub jays pay me a visit from time to time, but they are not the regular visitors. I was glad to have my phone, so I snapped a few shots. Then a squirrel came by. He is not afraid of me. He even poses for me to take photos. Well, he just stared at me.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Morning

 

 

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