Jez is a guest host this week for Lens-Artist Photo Challenge. Thank you, Jez, for this favorite theme of mine. He said, seeing double is all about reflections.
When I travel, I enjoy taking photos of reflections. There are reflections in the ocean, the lake, the pond, the fountain, the puddle, or the glass window. It’s delightful to take photos with the already perfect mirror images when the water in the pond or fountain is still. It’s equally intriguing to see the wavy reflections in the lake, the river, or the ocean.
I have a collection of reflection images from Spain, China, Hong Kong, Santa Barbara in California, Huntington Library in California, and Portland in Oregon.
This week, the theme from Tina Schell, for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is focused on one of the most well-known and widely used rules of photography, the Rule of Thirds. She said, “For those who would like to study the concept further, there are many online descriptions and examples. Adobe offers an excellent summaryhere. Basically, the rule is a compositional guideline that encourages placement of your primary subject on at least part of three equal rows and three equal columns as illustrated below.”
The Adobe article entitled: How to use, and break, the rule of thirds
Rule of Thirds Grid
The idea is to place your subject on one (or more) of the grid lines, or even better on the dots, theoretically making the image more pleasing to the eye.
I’ve been taking photos since I was a teenager when there were only Black & White photos. As indicated in the Adobe article, “The more you do it, the more it gets ingrained into your head.” I apply the Rule of Thirds most of the time in my photo compositions.
I learned drawing and painting at a young age, the Rule of Thirds also applies to the composition of drawing, painting, and some other forms of art. I’ll post my photos and two of my paintings in this post.
There are many kinds of butterflies in my garden, Swallowtail, Monarch, Mourning Cloak, and Cabbage butterflies. A Monarch came back from the south early this year and is busy laying eggs. I collected 10 eggs so far. Three are in the chrysalis form, two are growing strong, and five are 1/8″ babies. I’ll post some Monarch photos later. I saw a Nymphalis antiopa, known as Mourning Cloak, a few days ago but didn’t take good photos. I took the following one a while ago.
There are many turtles in the lake within walking distance from home. This colorful turtle was sunbathing when I walked around the lake one day. The entire colorful body is attractive. The reflection of the sunlight made part of his body draw more attention.
I took the following photo in Maui, Hawaii. The crashing waves evoke my imagination. I strive to take photos with droplets dancing in the air as the waves splash the rocks.
The following are my two paintings. Naturally, the tree is the focus of the first painting and the butterfly is in the second painting.
This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Sofia Alves invited us to look at bokeh in photography. The following is her discussion.
“What is bokeh? We all have seen this effect; we have photos of it. The term bokeh was first used to distinguish normal motion blur from the blur obtained when things are out of focus. It literally means blur in Japanese. The Nikon website, after a more complex and technical explanation, reduces it to simply this: ‘bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus blur in a photograph’”.
My newest photo today would do the job.
This is my first caterpillar of the year. I saw a Monarch flying around a few weeks ago but didn’t expect to have caterpillars soon. This little guy is early. Basically, my milkweed from last year is not grown yet. I bought two pots with one in a good shape, enough to feed one caterpillar. After this little guy, I’ll wait until summer to raise more butterflies.
This week, the theme for Lens-Artist Photo Challenge from John Steiner is Birthdays. I don’t have fancy birthday celebrations. But I love going to birthday parties, especially my grandchildren’s birthdays. My husband and I just returned from a trip to my younger granddaughter, Nora’s birthday. She turned two.
In the previous years, my daughter had outdoor birthday parties for the girls. When Autumn turned one, we had a party at the park. It started raining toward the end. Many friends helped to pack up things. Last year, when Nora turned one, we had an outdoor party. It was raining before and after the party.
I thought it was a good idea when I found out Nora’s birthday party was indoors. The mask mandate was just lifted. Many people came without masks. A few people were still wearing masks. The outfit has a nice setup of various activities and playrooms. Grown-ups had a wonderful time visiting with each other.
My daughter brought cheese and crackers, fruits, and cupcakes and bought Starbucks coffee. She made the raspberry-filled cupcakes. The staff helped to do the decoration and clean up afterward. It was a lot easier than setting up the outdoor party.
We had a wonderful time with the kids. We went to the nearby school playgrounds twice, but mostly we played with the kids and read with them at home. This is also the time for Mercy and Will to take a break. They had date nights while we fed the kids, bathed them, and put them to bed. Autumn loved to have me read to her at bedtime because she could ask me to read many books. Nora is attached to my daughter and prefers mommy put her to bed. We somehow managed to do the job.
Going to the playgrounds
Playing, playing, playing
Reading, reading, reading
I booked the flights to spend Mother’s Day with my daughter and see the grandkids again. In fact, I also booked the flights in September for Autumn’s birthday. The birthday after that is Mercy’s birthday, the day after Christmas. I enjoy going to these birthdays.
The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week is Memorable Events. Ann-Christine invites us to show some memorable events – new ones or delightful memories!
Our family trip to Hong Kong and Japan in January 2019 was full of memorable events and emotions. My husband Lynton, my daughter Mercy and her husband Will, their daughter Autumn, and I traveled to Hong Kong to attend my nephew’s wedding. We took advantage to stop by Japan on our return trip.
We arrived on January 12. Three days later, I got a message from sister #12 Yolanda, mother-in-law to be. She said sister #8 Canty was in the hospital. Later that day, Canty’s son messaged me that his mom had liver inflammation, hydrocephalus, and congestive heart failure. On the 17th, the third day of being in the hospital, Canty’s condition made a sharp decline at noon. The family was rushing to the hospital by taxi. She died in the evening with the family by her side.
Canty was passionate about Ballroom Dancing. She took part in the Dance Championship Fundraising on November 4, 2018, two and a half months before she passed away. Here is the video – 1:42 minutes. She wore purple and yellow.
My nephew’s wedding was a marathon ceremony. They played Chinese traditional games when the groom picked up the bride in the morning. The bridesmaids made up the games and the groom and best men responded. When the games had favorable responses, they opened the door for the groom to pick up the bride. There was a church wedding in the afternoon. After the wedding, we went to a restaurant for a cake ceremony in the garden. We took a break to wait for a nine-course Chinese banquet in the evening. The bride and mother-in-law (my sister) changed their gowns four times during the banquet.
Here is the wedding photo gallery.
Two days after the wedding, we were in Tokyo for four days visiting Mercy’s and Will’s college friends. Both husband and wife were engineers there on a five-year contract. We took the bus sightseeing.
Tokyo’s Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are some of the most interesting sites in the city. We stopped by several.
We went to the top of Arashiyama to visit the Monkey Park.
In the Reindeer Park in Nara, Japan, the reindeer are used to the visitors. They were persistent in asking for food.
There were about 1,500 deer living in the park in July 2017. Wild Sika deer freely roam in Nara Park. This deer bowed to us asking for food.