#Sunday Stills, #Lens-Artists 133 My Landscape Journey Started with Dad

Terri Webster Schrandt who hosts Sunday Stills invites us to post our favorite landscapes. Amy from Lens-Artists shared her photographic journey and invites us to do the same.

Dad and Randy (6’3″) in front of an Indiana snowbank in the 70’s

Childhood Photography

My dad didn’t get much credit for doing good things in my life, but one thing I appreciated was his love and talent for photography. He started taking me with him on photo shoots when I was ten.

“You’ve got the eye for what makes a good picture, Marsha.”

I was over the moon with that compliment for the rest of my life.

Neither my brother nor I have his expertise, but we share the love of photography. I don’t know who took this picture of my dad and brother but it came from Dad’s slide collection.

Before Blogging

Shortly after Mom died, Randy and I took our first vacation alone together. We started out at one of our favorite stomping grounds Cascade Locks, Oregon. We at at our favorite hamburger joint looking out at the Bridge of the Gods.

The Bridge of the Gods is a toll bridge spanning the Columbia River to connect SR-14 in Washington to I-84 in Oregon. The bridge is owned and operated by the Port of Cascade Locks in the city of Cascade Locks.

As I picked out my favorite landscape pictures throughout the most prolific years of my life, I noticed I have a propensity to take pictures of bridges. Our next stop was Depoe Bay on the Oregon Coast. Much of the time the Oregon coast is cloudy and gray. We couldn’t have had a more perfect day for taking photos.

After Blogging

Until I started blogging, and taking digital photos, I did not take the volume of pictures I take now. Leanne and Carol, two Australian bloggers made a huge difference in my photography and my writing. I went to see them in December of 2016-January of 2017. These next pictures may not be landscape photos, but they are part of my photographic journey.

By the way, Russel Ray taught me about how to do frames and create a signature. For some reason, the size I’ve been using forever seems huge in comparison to my photos. You’ll find a few less annoyingly narcissistic-sized signatures. I am lazy and didn’t want to redo all my photos a third time.

For one photo shoot Leanne Cole picked us up at about 4:00 and drove us to the Docklands. The weather that December day was cool and breezy, a perfect summer evening for taking pictures.

Primarily a waterfront area centered on the banks of the Yarra River, the Docklands was originally swamp land that became a busy dock area as part of the Port of Melbourne in the 1880s. It fell into disuse by the 1990s and was revived into the bustling entertainment area in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The Webb Bridge in Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia is my favorite bridge in the world. It felt like we were walking on the inside of a slinky. Everywhere Leanne stopped, I stopped and clicked about a third of the number of pictures she took. Carol and Christine, another photographer with us, found their own way. Leanne taught me the rule of thirds, keeping my pictures straight, not chopping off people’s feet, keeping the shadow’s off people’s faces and many more basic composition tools.

The U.S. Journey

As is probably evident, I have not had much photographic training. I took a wildflower class where I learned to take macros with my Canon Rebel and how to use a tripod. This picture came from Tulare County at Norris Ranch east of Porterville, CA. Tulare County Office of Education owns this property and uses it for student research.

Since we’re in Tulare County, where I called home for 35 years, let’s continue our virtual journey there at Bellavista, the name we gave our home in Woodlake, CA. where we lived for twenty years. In the background are the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Twelve miles east of us, Kaweah Lake, provides a beautiful prelude to the Sequoia National Park. Terminus Dam created the lake from one of the steepest inclined rivers in the U.S. Built in the 1960s it controls floods and provides water for the many acres of farmland in the valley.

Almost everyone has been to Yosemite, National Park in Fresno County. I had the fortune of going here with an artist. I noticed what pictures she took and I aimed in the same direction. Hers turned into beautiful paintings. Mine are here.

This is another photo I like taken at Avila Beach when Carol and Glen came from Australia to stay with us for a week.

This is a favorite landscape of mine in Maui, Hi. The place to eat there for a special occasion is Mama’s Fish House. This is the view from the open windows. The light ocean breeze feels just as scrumptious as the ocean view and the food they serve.

Come on now, you can’t stay in Hawaii for ever. But I’m not going to bring you back to reality just yet. Let’s go to Sedona. The first picture, one of those golden hour shots, showed up right at our resort, Los Abrigados. I’m not sure of the name of the rock formation.

One of the reasons we moved to Prescott, was the beautiful rock formations in Arizona. I will have photo shoots for years to come.

This will be my last shot for the post. It comes from Wilmington, Delaware where I visited my mother’s first cousin, Hal. He spent his career working for DuPont as a chemical engineer creating plastic that is used in car engines. In Delaware, DuPont is all over the map.

By 1802 DuPont had begun making the explosive in a mill on the Brandywine River near Wilmington. The DuPont company became a major supplier to the U.S. military. After a tour of the museum/factory. We roamed around outside where I enjoyed the placid-looking Brandywine River.


Announcements

  • This month our  Story Chat features author Anne Goodwin and her short story, “A Post Card from the Past.” Summary coming up Friday. Enough time for you to get your quotable thoughts in.
  • Coming up February 9, a new short story: “Trophy Cabinet” for Story Chat from Geoff LePard from TanGental.
  • Join us for the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic at the Carrot Ranch – a contest, parade, and celebration all in one! There are many ways to participate. One is to visit the prompt image, “Hidden”, at the Carrot Ranch. The prompt image and entry form will go live on Monday, February 1st, 2021. Enter a flash or a poem by Friday, February 19th, 2021, and you could win either $100 or a copy of one of Sue’s books. The form will allow you to give a small donation for Sue and her family, and a link can be found on the contest page. The winning entries will be announced at the Carrot Ranch on March 22nd, 2021.
  • #WQWWC – Respect and Courtesy February 3 here on my blog. There’s still time to write your post for this week on Trust.
  • Frank from Beach Walk Reflections, will host the Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge –Love on February 10th.
  • Frank, is also looking for photographers to collaborate with him on his website. He writes but wants to promote your photographs. It’s a great opportunity for fun and exposure. Contact him here. Collaborators – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking (wordpress.com)

Have a wonderful week.

Can Photography Mirror Perfection?

Easy Answer

Photographers seek to mirror what they see, so in reality, whatever we photograph mirrors life as we see it. Now to dig deeper into the meaning of mirror.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

When he was a lad of 53, my husband pursued a quest for perfection. After twelve weeks, he achieved it. The card he gave me for Valentine’s Day reflected his pride. The card showed a young lover gazing into his loved one’s eyes. He asked his true love what she thought he could see reflected in her eyes.

(I imagined some romantic images intended to spark a romantic night.)

Inside the card read, “MYSELF…And damn, I look good.”

When this picture fell out of the card, I had to agree.

vince-stud-muffin

Had I gazed into his oiled body, I might have seen myself reflected in it, but I doubt that I would have had the same reaction as he did when he looked into “my eyes!” I had not taken the 12-week challenge. 🙂

#Longwood Gardens #1

Reflections at Longwood Gardens

My favorite pictures mirror images that evoke emotion, the thrill, and satisfaction of capturing perfection at last for a millisecond.

Longwood Conservatory
Longwood Conservatory

This reflected at the Conservatory of Pierre Samuel du Pont, marked the mid-point of a perfect visit to Longwood Gardens. Pipe organ music just finished playing the background.

Passing through the glass doors Hal and I entered the water-lily space or garden of a million mirrors.

 hardy water lily gardens
hardy water-lily gardens

To be perfectly candid, I did not notice the mirror images until I looked at the Photo Challenge topic for this week when I got home. The sun got into the mirroring act providing a shadow image of one of the lilies.

Volunteer worker dead heads the lilies.
Volunteer worker dead heads the lilies.

While the flower on top is beautiful enough, if you look closely you can see the sky and a tree reflecting what a beautiful day it is in Kennett Square, PA at the Longwood Gardens. Only a couple of places revealed marred perfection. The Tropical Gardens magnified 84 degrees by 100% humidity to produce rivulets of reflecting power on my face, had you been there to gaze into it.

Hal asked me whether I had been to Longwood Gardens before.

When I told him, “No,” he reflected, “What awful tour guide have you had that has neglected this icon of Delaware and Pennsylvania.?”

“No one is perfect, Hal. Even the most dedicated tour guide,” I said mirroring his jocular self-accusation.

This visit was not too late to enjoy the beauty of these gardens mirrored in their watery beds.

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It is difficult to discern where the mirroring starts and the underwater growth stops. These three Siamese models are stars of perfection.

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Hal told one tourist that she could stand on a lily pad. I’m sure she objected, to his delight.

To prove his point, for Hal likes to be right, he brought along a picture of the young woman he had printed on his computer. True to his promise, she (or rather the picture which mirrored her) stood on the lily pad.

I don’t recommend standing on lily pads for the rest of us. We would surely break the serenity of the water necessary to produce this perfect lily pad reflection. To me, the lily pad looks like the perfect tray for party cupcakes for Alice and her Looking-Glass friends. What do you see reflected here?

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Eventually, I will pack my bags and head home to Woodlake, CA. Reflections abound in this classic truck which came to our Woodlake Car Show, even though perfection may be amiss. The mirrors are present, as are the images. Do you see at least two reflections?

If so, please accept the star of Texaco as your reward.

wp-photo-challenge-mirror100Santa must have found of mirror image of that truck somewhere. This cargo vehicle boasts a mirror as well, but the mirror did not alert Santa to the visitor who knocked at his door. I wonder if Big Ben had been the mirror of perfection all year, or possibly he had been a little naughty and was pleading his case? We would have to ask the Three River’s artist, Nadi Spencer, who drew this picture.

wp-photo-challenge-mirror101If you headed up to Three Rivers this spring, you would find water in Kaweah Lake almost up to the road mirroring the hills. Last I heard the water level more accurately reflects our CA drought.

wp-photo-challenge-mirror103Nothing is as beautiful to a Californian than the reflection of a healthy water supply. We live in a beautiful country where every drop of stored water reflects life as well as the beauty you see in the water. Bravo Lake filled this winter.

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Bonus reflection – my windshield. My mirror reflects more than just my camera and my beautifully painted red fingernails. It reflects the enormous number of people behind me who come to the Sequoia National Park to reflect on the beauty of our natural resources in America. On Memorial Day the line was five miles long. The line in June when I visited the Park with my brother was shorter.

Thank you to Y. Prior for mentioning me in her blog post on Mirrors.

For more reflections on the word mirror, click here.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016