Tag Archives: Spain

Lens-Artists Challenge #124 – Now and Then

Happy Thanksgiving from Beach Ford! | Beach Ford

This week Amy invited us to reflect on our time staying at home mostly due to the pandemic, compared to what happened to our life prior to this situation. What happened then, and what happened now?

“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.” — Albert Schweitzer

It has been over eight months since COVID-19 hit. Did time go by fast?

It did not; it was like forever. The second week of March was difficult to be confined at home. I wanted to run outside to do something. I wanted to shout or talk to someone. It was boring to do the same things day after day. There were no special events such as travel, movies, family and social gathering, birthdays, or holidays to punctuate the different seasons. As time went by, I accepted the new normal and set up my new routine. In fact, I appreciated the concentrated time to do certain tasks without interruption. Even when the social distancing was relaxed, I was not ready to take risk except going to see my granddaughters with great caution.

On the other hand, time went by fast. This one enormous bubble of a single day was in fact eight months long. Yet, it will not last forever. History told us that this will end. I will do my part to observe the safety regulation. I will stay safe and keep healthy, so when this is over, I can fully enjoy my family.

We had been doing major traveling since 2000, went to Australia, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Germany, Austria, Spain, and China, to name some countries. We didn’t go anywhere except Portland to see Mercy and her family. I spend a lot of time gardening.

Toledo, Spain

Thanksgiving is our major family gathering time. Two sister-in-laws and I took turns to host the Thanksgiving dinner. Mercy and her family came to California to join us. Two weeks ago, California, Oregon, and Washington jointly announced a new restriction. Upon arriving in Oregon, we would have to be self-quarantine for 14 days. The new spikes of cases spread throughout the country, it is worse than March when the pandemic started. Hubby and I will spend the holiday just the two of us, and cook a 15-pound turkey, eat some and freeze some for later.

Autumn had a big birthday party with many friends her age in 2019. We are not big cake eaters. Autumn had a birthday pie. This year, she had a smaller birthday party in the front yard serving a cake to her friends and aunties and uncles. They came in masks keeping the social distancing.

Nora is growing fast. The first two years of a kid’s life is the fast growing period in proportion to the remaining of one’s life. When I visited her in August, she was not sitting up yet. She turned eight months two days ago. She is now sitting up and enjoys eating many mashed veggies.

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Lens Artists Challenge # 124: Now and Then

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121: Focus on the Subject

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121, Patti shared “some helpful techniques from the experts that can help us create images that lead our viewers to our subject.”

Using Lines and repeated patterns to bring focus to the subject

At Valencia, Spain, we visited Hemisferic which is a splendid Laserium, Planetarium, and IMAX cinema (over 900 square meters of the screen). It is in the City of Arts and Sciences complex. The building was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The lines and repeated patterns draw the viewers’ attention to the shape of the eyes (one eye opened, one eye shut).

The tour bus arrived at a large parking lot. We entered a 124 m (407 ft) tunnel which leads to an ornate elevator that ascends the final 124 m (407 ft) to the building of Eagle’s Nest in Germany. The lines on the wall and the lights point to the elevator at the end of the tunnel.

Using colors and contrast to draw attention to the subject

The contrast light color of the flower and dark green background bring the attention to the single yellow Daffodil.

Using arches and doorways to frame the image

This is the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon. The bridge has a 1,207-foot (368 m) center span and a total length of 2,067 feet (630 m). The arches of the bridge towers framed the Gothic cathedral-like image. The adjacent park and neighborhood of Cathedral Park are named after this appearance.

Using freezing the moment to capture the subject

Hummingbirds flap the wings more than 60 times a second. I had fun freezing the moment of the hummingbird flapping the wings. My baby Ruby Throated hummingbird was in a “standing” still position.

Using the eyes to draw attention to the subject

I had fun finding the eyes of the animals for you to fall in love with them. The cat in the neighborhood, the deer, and the monkeys in Nara and Kyoto, Japan.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121: Focus on the Subject

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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 #84: Narrow

This week, Amy invited us to explore the theme of Narrow. She said the reason she chose narrow for the theme is, “Travel has taught me that once we go through a narrow path, alley, and/or road with a little patience, at the end it always opens up to pleasant surprises. The experience certainly has broadened my horizon allowing me to see the world through different eyes.” 

Here are the photos I share this week.

“There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire” – William Congreve

Haleakalā East Mai Volcano

We drove on this road many times to visit the Haleakalā (East Mai volcano) which is 10,023 high.

Rhododendron Garden, Portland, OR

On this Mother’s Day, my daughter, along with her hubby and daughter Autumn took us to Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon. The beautiful flowers, plants and trees surround the lake. We admired the water creatures on this narrow bridge.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau

Haleakalā National Park Maui

During our trip at Maui, Hawaii last year, we went hiking on this trail through the bamboo forest to see the waterfalls and pools in ‘Ohe’o Gulch, Haleakala National Park Kipahulu.

These Alleys in Toledo, Spain are amazing. We went on one alley which was not too much wider than these two, I was almost ran over by a car, the size of a Mini Cooper.

We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.Mark Lawrence

IMG_7158 Catheral & Roman Bridge, Cordoba

I took a photo of the Roman bridge on the way to the Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain. During its history, the bridge was restored and renovated several times and now only the 14th and 15th arches (counting from the Puerta del Puente) are original.

Stay tuned for Tina’s (Travels and Trifles) LAPC #85 on February 22nd. 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #84: Narrow

 

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #79: A Window With A View

This week, Amy invites us to explore “A Window With A View” and asks us to share some photos we’ve captured through windows.

“Throw open your window and let the scenery of clouds and sky enter your room!” – Yosa Buson

Summer Palace, Beijing

Summer Palace, Beijing, China

Several years ago, nine people from our extended family traveled to China and Hong Kong. While in China, we visited Beijing, Xi’an and Guilin. This photo was the view from looking out the window of the Summer Palace.

 

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Great Wall, China

The tour guide took us to one entrance where some of us went to a steep side of the Great Wall and some went on the other side for a leisure walk. The Wall seems to go on forever from the view of the Wall window. As of Jul 31, 2019, the length of the Great Wall is 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers).

 

“I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.” – Bill Withers

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I saw this beautiful design of a mirror at Laguna Beach, California where we visit often. After positioning myself several times, I found an angle to take this photo without seeing my reflection in the mirror.

 

“The window of opportunity opens and closes as fast as a camera’s shutter.” – Warren Criswell

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Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Hubby and I went to Spain three years ago for our anniversary. We visited Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona in that order of our itinerary. I love the architecture in Spain.

Alhambra is the palace and fortress of the Moorish monarchs of Granada. The name Alhambra, signifying in Arabic “the red,” is probably derived from the reddish color of the tapia (rammed earth) of which the outer walls were built.

 

“My favorite journey is looking out the window.” – Edward Gorey

Innsbruck, Austria

Our hotel room in Innsbruck, Austria

Hubby enjoyed the view from our hotel room in Innsbruck, Austria.

When we travel, hubby likes to have a hotel room with a nice view. I argue that we don’t stay in the room long enough to enjoy the view. Eventually, I understand that we are not “on the go” all the time during the trip. A window with a nice view makes our stay pleasant.

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #79: A Window With A View

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #35: Architecture

The theme for Lens-Artist Photo Challenge from Amy this week is: Architecture. During our travel, we have seen amazing architecture. 

The Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival Palace on a rugged hill top above the village of Hohenschwangau with an elevation of 800 m (2,620 ft) in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The fairytale castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II as a retreat and a homage to the king’s favorite composer Richard Wagner.

Walt Disney was so inspired by the fairytale architecture of Neuschwanstein that he used it to create Cinderella’s castle in the 1950 animated film, and the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. Wikipedia My travel post is here.

IMG_1065 Neuchanstein Castle, Bavaria (2) Read more

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #31: Landscape

Amy‘s theme this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #31 is Landscapes. I included some photos of natural landscape and architecturally designed landscape.

I took this photo on the Alaska trip when our train passed by Hurricane Gorge, Alaska. They named it because the wind could go 150 miles per hour. The train slowed down for passengers to take photos from the bridge. The Hurricane Gulch Bridge is a 918 feet long steel arch railroad bridge and is 296 feet above the Hurricane creek. It is both the longest and tallest bridge on the entire Alaska Railroad.

Alaska 7 Read more

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: #21 Splash!

My husband and I went to Spain in the summer of 2016 to celebrate 20th anniversary. The tour covered Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona. We were in Barcelona on the day of anniversary. Most of the restaurants were open for dinner late in the evening but we preferred early dinner. After walking on the street for half an hour, we found a restaurant serving pizza. We had a bottle of wine and a large pizza.

The tour guide took us to a water show at night and we watched a spectacular show with beautiful splashes.

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: #13 Look Up

When I saw Patti’s prompt for Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: #13 Look Up. I know exactly what photos I have for this post.

Among all the countries we’ve traveled, Spain is one country where I spent a lot of time “looking up.” I love the Spanish architecture in general and I was most impressed with the architecture of cathedrals. When we visited the Great Mosque of Córdoba, I was walking with my head tilted, looking up and taking photos to an extent that I lost my tour group. I was panic because that place is enormous. The tour guide took the group to go from one Chapel to the other. Fortunately (most of the time), I could locate my 6’4″ husband. I quickly rejoined the group.

It was fun finding the photos from my Spain trip for this post.

1. Sagrada Familia Cathedral Barcelona

Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona

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