Tag Archives: Australia

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155 – On the Water

John Steiner is the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155. He says throughout history, people have gravitated to water for trade and for relaxation and he invited us to share the photos on the water.

This week, I have fun reflecting and finding the quotes and sayings about water and ocean. Please enjoy the scenes and the wisdom about Water throughout history.

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu 

Toledo, Spain

“Water is soft and humble, but it is the most powerful and is the most endurable.”Debasish Mridha

Huntington Library, California

“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay

Newport Beach, California

“Dance with the waves, move with the sea, let the rhythm of the water set your soul free.” – Christy Ann Martine

Maui, Hawaii

“Water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing, in the end, can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.” – Margaret Atwood

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Moulton Falls, Washington

“Life is like the ocean; it goes up and down.” ― Vanessa Paradis

Bondi Beach, Australia

“To reach a port we must set sail. Sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Pacific Ocean, Ensenada Cruise, Mexico

“We ourselves feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

 “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ― Ryunosuke Satoro

Sunset, Ensenada Cruise, Mexico

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155 – On the Water

Thank you for your visit. I welcome your generous comment.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #126: An Alphabet Challenge – A: Australia

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #126, Patti invited us to go back to basics–namely, the ABC’s. We’re starting at the very beginning with the letter A.  I chose A for Australia.

Australia was my husband, Lynton’s birthplace, and childhood home for 10 years. When we started our travel journey, it was logical that it was our first choice. We like to fly nonstop as much as possible and it was a 17-hour flight from Los Angeles, the longest flight we have had.

Our first visit was to tour the Sydney Opera House. I was especially interested in the design and the structure. From the tour I learned that 233 designers submitted the designs for the Opera House international design competition held in 1956. Jørn Utzon from Denmark was the winner, receiving ₤5000 for his design. There are over 1 million roof tiles covering approximately 1.62 hectares sitting over the structure. They were made in Sweden. Besides the tour, we watched an opera available during our visit.

The Sydney Harbor bridge opened in 1932. It is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world, measuring 134 meters (440 feet) from the top to water level. It spans about 500 meters (1,650 feet). You can walk and cycle across the bridge. We joined the guided tour to climb the Bridge. We wore the special hooded suit that wrapped around us with nothing loose outside the suit.  There were belts and connecting straps buckled on to each climber of a group and each climber had hooks attaching to the steel railing leading to the top of the bridge. The view on top of the Bridge was breathtaking. It was a climb of a lifetime.

Lynton’s aunt and uncle lived in New South Wales which is less than a two-hour drive from Sydney. They took us to Blue Mountain, and we went down to the visitor area that provided a spectacular view to the Jamison Valley below the Three Sisters.

We went to Koala Park Sanctuary in Sydney. Koalas are cute and calm creatures. They could cling on to the tree trunks for a long time without moving. We had photos taken with a koala at a photo booth.

Koorana Crocodile Farm was established by John and Lilian Lever and was open in 1981. It was the first crocodile farm in Queensland. The person at the gift shop told us that the average heart rate of crocodile is 9.8 beats per minute, and it can reduce to 2–3 beats per minute to save energy as reduced cellular respiration. Crocodiles do not have sweat glands and release heat through their mouths. They often sleep with their mouths open.

We flew from Sydney to Cairns and rented another car. At Cairns, Lynton went diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the corals lost the colors due to climate change. The dive was his highlight of the trip. I don’t dive but had a pleasant boat ride and a spectacular view of the ocean. We drove north to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation before flying back to Sydney to return home.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #126: An Alphabet Challenge–A: Australia

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Lens-Artists Challenge #125 – Save the Ocean

This week it’s all up to us – Tina asked us to choose our subject and to share whatever it is about it that we find interesting. 

I’m always interested in our planet earth. April 22 this year marked the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. For this post, I would like to reflect on what oceans mean to us and the part we play to save the ocean.

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and all the creatures that live there. They cover nearly three-quarters of the earth and hold 97% of our planet’s water. We depend on the oceans for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and even the products that keep us warm, safe, informed, and entertained. Ocean water can give our brain and senses a rest from overstimulation, get into a mindful state, and trigger insights and ideas. It also inspires us to be more compassionate and connected.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay

A morning walk with some lady friends on Huntington Beach, California.

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides, and, in its depths, it has its pearls too.” – Vincent van Gogh

My husband dived in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. His diving buddy took the photo.

“The sea knows no limits, makes no concessions. It has given us everything and it can take everything away from us.” – John Ajvide Lindqvist

Our last trip to Maui, Hawaii, on the way to Road to Hana.

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” – William James

We loved to visit Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii.

“Dance with the waves, move with the sea, let the rhythm of the water set your soul free.” — Christy Ann Martine

This was one of the surfers paradise day with waves at 10 feet high at Newport Beach, California.

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” – Robert Wyland

I was so excited to see the school of dolphins swam under our diving boat in North Carolina.

“Like the ocean that remains calm in its depths even when waves rage over its surface, and like the sun that continues shining on high even during storms, we can at each moment create value and develop our state of life, enjoying our existence to the fullest in times of both suffering and joy.” –Daisaku Ikeda

Our first day of the Ensenada cruise on the North Pacific Ocean.

Ocean Threats and Solutions

Human Activities are threatening the health of the world’s oceans. More than 80 percent of marine pollution comes from land-based activities. From coral bleaching to sea level rise, entire marine ecosystems are rapidly changing. Global warming is causing alterations in ocean chemistry and many oceanic processes, and it is threatening many species of marine animals that cannot cope with higher temperatures. Overfishing is a serious problem in many parts of the world.

Conservationists advocate creating expansive marine reserves to protect the biodiversity of the oceans. We can play our part to reduce carbon dioxide, use reusable instead of single-use plastic products, properly dispose of hazardous materials, use less fertilizer, pick up garbage and littler near beaches, and buy ocean-friendly products and eat sustainable seafood – Sustainable seafood guide.

The Economist Group’s World Ocean Initiative asked Sir David Attenborough and four other leading thinkers on ocean conservation how they would invest $1 billion to protect the ocean.

YouTube June 8, 2020 12:11 minutes

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Lens-Artists Challenge #125 – Save the Ocean

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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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Lens-Artists Challenge #85 – Treasure Hunt

This week Tina invited us on a Treasure Hunt! The challenge is to search for specific items – either from our archives or newly captured – from the list below.

  • Challenge Items: Sunrise and/or sunset, Something cold and/or hot, a bird, a dog, a funny sign, a bicycle, a seascape and/or mountain landscape, a rainbow, a church, a musical instrument, a boat, a plane, a waterfall
  • Extra Credit Items: An expressive portrait of one or more people, a very unusual place, knitting or sewing, a fish, an animal you don’t normally see, a bucket, a hammer, a street performer, a double rainbow, multiple challenge items in a single image. Her opening image, for example, includes a sunrise, a seascape and birds in a single shot.

I found several treasures from my archives:

1.Sunset at cruise

The first day of our cruise to Enchilada, Mexico, the weather was right at sunset. I captured this photo with drifting clouds and a seagull flying by.

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We took this helicopter ride to the top of the mountain with Glacier landing at  Anchorage, Alaska. Lynton flies helicopter and had an enjoyable conversation with the pilot.

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A mother-in-law-to-be and a friends were overcome with joy at this bridal shower for the bride-to-be. A treasure moment shared among family and friends.

4.Koala bear in Australia

At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane Australia, we observed the koalas and had photos taken by holding one such as this.

Koi fish at huntingyon labrary

Koi fish are plentiful in the pond of the Chinese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art  Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles.

6.IMG_6129 Canada Goose

The goslings tried to cuddle under this Canada Goose at the Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – The Koala Kingdom

July 11, 2019, prompt: “My kingdom for a koala!” In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom. You can create a character out of Norah’s koala and give it a Vermont adventure. Or you can make up a story however you want! Can you pull off a BOTS (based on a true story)? Go where the prompt leads!

Koala

 

The Koala Kingdom

“Welcome to the Round Table. The top agenda today is on Koala.”

“We had that six months ago.”

“I’ve met with Koala King. His concerns are about the millions of acres of their kingdom being destroyed.”

“By the developers for housing?”

“And the wildfires too. There’re no consistent legislation or adequate resources from the government to protect them.”

“What do we do?”

“The researchers suggested upgrading the Koala status from Vulnerable to Endangered. We’ll recommend that the government declaring the Koala habitat a sanctuary.”

“Yes, the Koala Foundations will jointly go to the government for securing the Koala Kingdom.”

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge – The Koala Kingdom

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #45 – Street Art

When I go places near my home or travel abroad, I’m attracted to the sculptures, wall paintings, and different art forms. I included samples of these art forms in this post.

 

The MGM Lion Statue is the largest bronze statue in the Western Hemisphere.  It is 45 feet tall and 50 feet long. It weighs 50 tons and is made up of 1660 pieces of bronze welded together. The sculptor was Snell Johnson, and the designer was M. Smeaton. The statue was installed on February 15, 1997. http://www.lionlamb.us/lion/lvlions.html

1.Las Vegas lion

 

The Walk of Fame was created by E.M. Stuart, its volunteer president of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 1953. By March 1956, the final design and coral-and-charcoal color scheme had been approved, and between the spring of 1956 and the fall of 1957, 1,558 honorees were selected by committees representing the four major branches of the entertainment industry at that time: motion pictures, television, audio recording, and radio. Official groundbreaking took place on February 8, 1960. As of 2018, the Walk of Fame comprises over 2,600 stars. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Walk_of_Fame

2.Walk of Fame

 

The Navy sailor kissing a nurse is 25 feet tall, weighs 6,000 pounds statue called “Unconditional Surrender,” by J. Seward Johnson, although the city of San Diego has officially labeled it the “Embracing Peace” statue. The original image of the moment was captured by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945 at the end of WWII. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/20274

3.Sailor

 

This Marilyn Monroe life-like statue is in front of the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida. The famous picture of Marilyn Monroe laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent was shot on September 15th, 1954 filming The Seven Year Itch. https://shoestringweekends.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/marilyn

 

The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.  The Wall cut off West Berlin from virtually all of surrounding  East Germany and East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on November 9, 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Wall

4.Berlin1

 

The following two are the sculptures we saw in Sydney next to a park we passed by.

5.Sydney1.1

6.Sydney2.1

 

The next two sculptures are among the sculptures, murals and other street art we see at Laguna Beach, California where we often go for a half day walk.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #45 – Street Art

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #9: Action

Action in the air, on the ridge of the high mountains, and in the depth of the ocean – a conservative description of my husband.

My husband is adventurous. He is a helicopter pilot. He keeps his pilot license active but doesn’t fly anymore because the air traffic in southern California is too busy. When he flew, he had a close call experience with a police helicopter. Helicopters are not within the control of Air Traffic Control and pilots must use their judgments.

My hubby rode dirt bikes, but he quit before he got married because I worried to death about his safety. He broke his wrist and ankle three weeks before our wedding. Walking down the aisle with a crutch was the decision, that’s part of life.

He is a diver. Diving was something he continued to do until the Key West trip in 2011. He dived in Aruba, Australia, Maui in Hawaii several times, North Carolina, southern California, and Key West in Florida.

3.NC Diving 036 (2)a Read more

Travel Highlight – Australia

My husband was born in Australia. When we started our travel journey, it was logical that Australia was our first choice. We like to fly nonstop as much as possible. It was a 17 hours’ flight from Los Angeles, the longest flight we have had.

Our first visit was to tour the Sydney Opera House. Besides the tour, we watched an opera available during our visit.

sydney-opera-house

bandi-beach

Bondi Beach

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was quite an experience. We wore the special suit that wrapped around us with nothing loose outside the suit.  It had belts and hooks attaching to the steel railing leading to the top of the bridge. It is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world, measuring 134 meters (440 feet) from the top to water level. It was a climb of our life.

sydney-harbor-bridge

We visited his aunt and uncle who lived in New South Wales which is less than a two-hour drive from Sydney. They took us to Blue Mountain, and we went down to the visitor area that provided a spectacular view to the Jamison Valley below the Three Sisters.

blue-mountain-3-sisters

Other sites of the visit were the Koala Zoo and the Crocodile Farm.

koala-zoo

crocodile-farm

Before we went further north, we stopped by Port Douglas.

port-douglas

My husband always wanted to dive in the Great Barrier Reef. It was his highlight of the trip. I don’t dive but had a pleasant boat ride and a spectacular view of the ocean.

great-barrier-reef

breat-barrier-reef-diving

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Sand

The most impressive sand was what I found on Bondi Beach, Australia. The sand was as fine as flour. The color was beige. The amazing thing was the cleanliness of the beach. On the same trip to Australia, we went to Port Douglas which is north of Caine where Great Barrier Reef is located. We walked on the sand, then took a path to a higher spot overlooking the long stretch of the beach for photos.

As far as sand, I include a photo of the sand beach at Makena, Maui, Hawaii where we got married. We went to spend our anniversary there.

sand 1

sand 2

sand 3

sand 4

Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Sand

 

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