Sunday Post: Flowers

Jakesprinter always animates his challenges.

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I respond unanimatedly.  The topic this week is flowers, and what woman can resist that?  This first picture came from Pikes Peak Market in Seattle.  The assortment of flowers amazed us, and the price was so affordable that if I had shared a room with anyone, even for a few days, I would have purchased a bouquet.

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My friend Sally and I went to an iris festival last year.  Showy flowers like irises and roses seem to gravitate towards my camera.  The sun was much too bright on this May afternoon, so I darkened this picture some.

TC Iris Festival

Purple ruled my camera’s heart that day.

TC Iris Festival

How much more difficult it was to take beautiful pictures of flowers among the wildflowers in the foothills last spring.  This year I imagine there are none, and the grass is mostly dusty dried up blades.

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Wait for it.  Even my tripod got tired, but beauty is there.

SFW Wildflower class20130420_30 (1)When there are thousands of flowers from which to choose, is it any easier to find a good picture?Botanical Gardens

I looked through all my Botanical Garden pictures, and the same few are still my favorites.  My camera wasn’t as picky with these gems.  This time out, I picked a picture I haven’t shown you because it is so busy, and darkened the contrast to accommodate for too much sunshine.  You can imagine how overpowering it is to walk into and entire garden this beautiful.

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Flowers grab us and our cameras wherever they are.

Just so you know, our peach trees are starting to turn the fields pink here in Tulare County (no camera with me).  Downtown Visalia and Woodlake are in bloom already.  We are supposed to get snow in the mountains today which we need desperately.  How is your weather today?

By the way, I finished self-editing my book after two fairly solid months of work.  It turned out to be just over 61,000 words.  I am now ready to send it to a real editor to have it hacked up a little more, then I plan to self-publish it.  A friend asked me how I was going to market it.  I feel like I’m having a baby that is obviously not going to be living on its own right away, and I hadn’t counted on it needing so much loving care!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Juxtapositions, what a great word for a challenge.  Even greater to find pictures that fit the bill.  I went back to a trip to Solvang, CA.  Going through the outdoor corridors provided juxtaposition enough if you look at the Danish building across the street from the shaded corridor.  I added to the effect using Photoshop to place the entire corridor from where I was standing looking both directions.

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I love framing shots.  A good frame makes everything look more interesting to me.  Using a close up camera lens was my favorite shot, but the wide-angle revealed more juxtaposition of old and new.

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While we were there, I came across a beautiful quilt shop.  the quilts hung side by side, but one quilt was a particularly good example of juxtaposition of images.

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Solvang, CA is a beautiful area to visit in the spring, fall and winter.  By summer the temperatures soar into the 100s, and I can barely walk around.  According to my real estate sales person husband, Vince, there are currently ninety-six homes available in Solvang.  Many of these are trailers starting at $59,000.  Oh no, he found a house he liked for only $299,000.  Fortunately for our pocketbook, neither of us bought the objects of our affections.   What do you like to shop for, but rarely purchase?

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This last picture I chose for the wires.  The windmill created energy long ago, yet we still have to have wires to deliver it.  The sun is the juxtaposition in the second picture.  I just happened to notice that wires ran through this tree as well, so I tried lining up the wires for a different effect.  Ok, forget the lining up!  It’s the idea that counts.

I hope you like my juxtapositions.  Click here for more examples.

By the way – WATCH OUT for careless quilters!  This weekend we stayed in a hotel full of quilters.  About ten of them ambled across the street after the light going against them turned green.  I stopped to let them all cross, but the car coming over the hill behind me did not know why I stopped.  By the time he did, he had just enough time to jackknife his car and screech to a stop before hitting my car.  I feel grateful to be alive today, and even more grateful that I didn’t end up killing any careless quilters.

 

 

 

Travel Theme: Illuminated

Without illumination, there would be no photography.  Even the worst pictures illustrate illumination.  That being said, shooting into the sun illuminates.  When the sun is blocked, an interesting outline appears.  I scooted under a huge anchor to take this picture.

Luau Kalamaku in KauaiIf an object is translucent, it acts like a filter shadowing what is behind it.  To me this looks like a little alien carrying a pappoose pointing its finger at something.  We had gone to a Luau in Kauai.  The grounds attracted us back the next day for closer inspection.

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The night before at the luau, illumination came from man-made lights.  Since it required longer exposures, the photographer has to be careful not to move.  When a tripod isn’t available, that is difficult, but the results can still be interesting.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Slow motion shows up when illuminated.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Some surfaces reflect back the sun or lights when the photographer shoots toward them.  Nothing behind or underneath the reflective object is visible.

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I visited Santa Monica to get this sparkly picture.  My bird friend is well illuminated.

Clouds change colors when illuminated.  Cameras capture the sun as it truly is, a gaseous object.  People everywhere take sunset shots and it seems that we never tire of them.

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Santa Monica at sunset combined both artificial and fading natural light to illuminate the ferris wheel.

I hope you enjoyed my beachy tour of lights.  To be further illuminated, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows in Chicago

I’ve needed a place to post some of these wonderful pictures I took in Chicago.

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I bet they are seeing different scenery out of them than Randy and I did when we visited in October.

No snow in October
Randy was happy to report, “No snow in October.”  Is the strength of plexiglass affected by extremely cold temperatures?  hmmm

The temperature on October 12 in Chicago was over 80 degrees.   Randy and I took the Chicago River Architectural Tour, which I recommend.

Chicago_0128The height of these buildings made it almost impossible to photograph the entire building as we passed by slowly.  Can you imagine how many windows are in the Chicago high-rise buildings?  And each window represents many working Americans.  Amazing isn’t it?

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One of the wonderful things about windows is their ability to reflect.  These buildings look resplendent wearing nothing but their own sparkles.

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Some windows clothe themselves in their surroundings.

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Or can you just see through the building?  Windows fool us.

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Sometimes they create a scene, but we don’t accuse them of being temperamental.  🙂

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Many of the buildings had so many windows we wondered how they stayed up.  We could hardly see their framework.

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Buildings without many windows depress me. I wonder if the people who work in this brick building suffer from depression more often than the ones in the buildings with lots of open windows?  Our eyes are tiny in comparison to windows, so does the size of the window matter?

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From the outside, windows that are not square and have details appeal to me.Chicago_0262

Architects love to decorate windows with balconies.  Inside, some folks want to cut off the view with blinds or shades.  Other folks leave their open.  Which way do you function better?  Windows open or closed?

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Up close these windows are probably flat, but from a distance they remind me of windshields because the building curves.  I wonder what drives the people inside?

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Simple rectangles decorate these windows.

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Even the bridges in Chicago had windows.  Engineers just didn’t bother to put glass in the windows.  Does glass make the window?

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For some challenges I have to go out and take pictures to have something to share.  I had the opposite problem here.  This was one city, and a fraction of the pictures.  My dad used to show slide shows when people came to visit.  I always fell asleep there were so many slides.

Dad droned, “And this is… ” zzzzzz

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Hope you stayed awake watching my blog show.  If you are still awake, there are lots more windows here.

How to Recognize a Great Museum

When I was a kid, it seemed like museums stored old stuff that only grandparents recognized.  Now museums come in all shapes and sizes in every community.  Representing agricultural Tulare County a gigantic steel barn in Mooney Park houses everything from large equipment to a farm worker’s cabin from Linnell Camp.  Of all the museums I’ve dragged Vince to see, Bishop Museum was his favorite – ever.

It doesn't look like much from the street, but I'm from Indianapolis.  I was sold.
It doesn’t look like much from the street, but I’m from Indianapolis. I was sold.

What made Vince choose Bishop Museum as the best of the world?

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The layout of the grounds and the architectural structures took our breath away.  It didn’t hurt that they were in Oahu.

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Lots of exhibits alone don’t make the museum enjoyable, but a museum needs many exhibits, and some changes so that local folks don’t get bored.

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The exhibits grabbed you and pulled you in.  The more you looked, and read, the harder it got to move on.

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Variety of exhibits gives each person in the family something to remember.  I apologize for the blurriness of some of the photos, but I still wanted to share them.   Believe it or not my astigmatism has been mostly corrected.  🙂

Imagine wearing a cape of feathers.
Imagine wearing a cape of feathers.

You knew you couldn’t see it all in one visit, and maybe ever.

Only one of the buildings held more than we could see in one day.
Only one of the buildings held more than we could see in one day.

At the end of the visit, you needed a nap to rest your eyes and brain.

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The Bishop Museum had so many more excellent qualities, you would need a break after reading this if I listed them.  What is your favorite museum ever, and why?