Sunday Stills: Monthly Color Challenge—#Glacier #Blue

macro water bottle

Welcome back to the Sunday Stills Monthly color challenge. Last October and November I thought it would be fun to share images based on a color theme. For January, “glacier” blue seems like a good choice.

If you have seen a glacier, there is a particular color of blue, almost turquoise, that is found within the compacted ice. Some reference glacier blue as a décor choice which is more of a grayish-blue. Think of icebergs floating in cold arctic waters.

In this image I borrowed from Unsplash, you can get the idea of the colors.

Glacier Blue
Photo by Valdemaras D. on Unsplash

Perhaps you are lucky enough to have pictures of a glacier or icebergs in your archives. Once again, we are going for the color, not necessarily an actual image of a glacier.

Let’s take a look at some ideas of the colors from my perspective.

Staring right at me while composing this post was a bottle of water. I shot this macro to show more of the glacier blue color. Coincidentally, the brand shows a glacier-like image.

macro water bottle

At a neighbor’s Christmastime wedding two years ago, I photographed their lovely decorations.

Christmas blue decorations

I had this image of blue flowers, known as lithodora, in my archives, from a neighbor’s home in Sacramento. Did you know that blue is the rarest flower color? Various shades of blue are seen on only 10 percent of the 280,000 flowering plants on Earth.

A photographic study in blue densely packed flowers.
Lithodora

Submitting for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

House Update Uplift

I know it’s a stretch but my house color exterior is grayish-blue. It’s a good excuse to share an update. In this photograph, the house was set onto the foundation and put together on January 4. Our spirits were “uplifted” to be able to walk around inside, even though a lot still has to be done before we can move in. We selected this house purely by floor plan and online photos, so we are pleased with the roominess and layout.

manufactured home set

As soon as temporary power is available, the contractor will continue work on the outside of the property. Simultaneously, the home construction crew can finish the interior, which still may take up to 4-6 more weeks. We are pleased with the progress so far, and marvel at the work being done even under these cold conditions.
This section is partially inspired by Becky B’s SquaresUp challenge.

I am looking forward to your interpretation of this week’s color challenge. Next week the theme is fog and clouds.

Join me Monday for my review of Jacqui Murray’s book, Against All Odds.

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Sunday Stills: Up #Close and Personal to #Green

clover and rain drops

This week’s Sunday Stills Photo challenge has you getting THISCLOSE to something green!

I always think of March being a “green” month what with St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th and all. We can expect spring to show its glory with colorful florals and wondrous greens!

“If the subject you are photographing is small and you want to make it look big, you end up with a “macro” view of a “micro” subject.
Close-up photography is the act of photographing objects such as flowers or insects in close range so the subject you are photographing fills the frame.”

SLR Photography Guide

I am sharing four images today from my front yard that were taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ mobile phone. Images were post-edited in PicMonkey.

The featured image of the clover leaves with raindrops, to me, symbolizes the month of March.

clover and rain drops

The second image is of the same clover cluster with an unopened flower adorned by a raindrop. You can see the clover leaves magnified in the droplet. Amazing!!

Green Clover flower
Dragon-flower?

I really had to get “up-close and personal” by unceremoniously squatting down in the rain-dampened yard to get the shot! Do you think it looks like a dragon?

The third image was posted on Instagram last week. Our fruitless mulberry trees were just showing new buds. Within a few days, these buds are now covered in yellow pollen, which is one of the few things to which I am allergic.

Mulberry bud close-up
Bud of fruitless mulberry tree

On that same tree lurks a forest filled with strange and wondrous plant life. We call it moss!

Macro Moss Forest
Macro Moss Forest

The clover images are submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day Photo Challenge.

I hope you love green as much as I do or at the very least, can find something green to share for Sunday Stills this week.

Please title your post differently than mine so Google can find YOUR post!

As always, I look forward to seeing your creative ideas in the form of images, stories, poems, and music!

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Sunday Stills: It’s A #Bug’s Life

Bee on Lavender

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is all about a bug’s life.

Do bugs bug you?

I am tolerant of most bugs except black widows, ants, and cockroaches. In other words, I will go out of my way to save a hapless spider or insect that is trapped in the tub, or the random crane fly (they look like giant mosquitos) that gets stuck in the house.

I’m not alone in my thinking…

“I never kill insects. If I see ants or spiders in the room, I pick them up and take them outside. Karma is everything.”

Holly Valance

My husband and I both love dragonflies. This one was at the end of its life and had flown onto the outdoor sofa at our delta campground. I took it inside and put it up onto the blind valance where it rested peacefully and beautifully until the end.

Dying Dragonfly

By now, you know I love shooting macros and close-ups, either with my camera or my Galaxy Note 10+.

Recently I took my dogs for an early morning walk and saw the bees buzzing around the neighbor’s lavender bush. Placing my phone carefully among the flowers, some bees still chased me a little as I hurriedly backed away, but I think I got a great shot!

Bee on Lavender

In another nearby garden, the butterflies flitted happily among the colorful flowers.

yellow butterfly on pink flowers

I get inspiration from a lot of things around me – nature, hills, people, and even insects.

Ruskin Bond

Here are some oldie-but-goody images of other insects I have captured with my lens.

Remember the molting dragonfly? I was truly transfixed by this moment and lucky to capture it all.

Molting Dragonfly: The Wonders of Nature

Recently, with my camera, I caught the lovely pink lady in the Sierra Foothills last June.

Pink Lady Butterfly

My last blog post about bugs was The Bugs of Summer, where I showed my image collection of some interesting bugs!

This whip spider, found in Mexico, was quite frightening!

October’s Sunday Stills themes are available here!

What wonders of the insect world can you share? I can’t wait to see what sorts of bugs you like or would like to see eradicated from the planet. But keep this in mind…

We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics.

Bill Vaughan

Until next time,

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Sunday Stills: Seasonal #Layers

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge: Layers

It was two years ago that the now-defunct WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge had “layers” as its theme.

It seems like the right time to experiment with some layers for the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge this week.

I thought I would approach this week’s Sunday Stills’ theme with a seasonal look at layers.

Fall Layers

I responded to that WordPress challenge with this one since I love Fall leaves so much. These are the wonderful ginkgo leaves found on the Sacramento State campus in November.

Layers of Yellow Leaves

We still have our typical 90-degree heat for most of September, so the look and feel of Autumn comes a little later, usually by October.

Winter Layers

Layers of altitude in this central valley view of the High Sierras, from the sea-level orchards to the 13,000 feet elevation.

Snowy mountains
A look at the snowy Sierras on the drive home.

But photographing layers is not just about landscape photography.

Spring Layers

You can find layers in macro photography as well. Here we have layers of raindrops on layers of rose petals.

layers of droplets on layers of  rose petals

Summer Layers

And one of my favorites from November 2014 when I first started blogging, this perspective I call the “long walk up.”

a long walk up from Lake Tahoe shore
Long Walk Up

I had originally thought of “homework” as a Sunday Stills theme but nixed it in favor of layers. But just for fun, you can see an example of the layers of homework I will have to grade later this Fall.

Stack of papers to be graded
Stack of papers to be graded

I hope everyone had a nice summer break. I am starting to see more bloggers back to it. I’m sure you have new and old images that depict layers!

Please join me in welcoming four “new” photobloggers who shared their works for Sunday Stills in August. Chasing the Blooms, QueenandIni, Beautiful Photographs, and Travels and Trifles.

In the spirit of sharing, please visit Sally’s blog Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – # Potluck, where my oldie-but-goodie posts are being featured this month.

Until next week!

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Sunday Stills: Are You Ready for Your #Close-Up?

Macro Plumeria

Calling all photographers and creatives who really like a challenge this week! Last July 2018, I challenged Sunday Stillers to a macro-photography challenge. I thought it was time to offer another macro or close-up photography challenge this week.

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.

Dorothea Lange

I felt like going with a movie theme with the headings in the post today. After all, according to Wikipedia, a “film still (sometimes called a publicity still or a production still) is a photograph taken on or off the set of a movie or television program during production.” I guess I got inspired by the words “close-up.”

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, 1950

In case you are confused, today’s Sunday Stills theme is macro or close-up photography.

To understand the difference between the two types, read last year’s post.

Are You Ready for Your Close-Up?

It’s all in the details. Flowers within a sunflower.

sunflower details

A macro view of a white plumeria.

Macro Plumeria

A macro view of droplets on my pink plumeria. So close it almost looks fake! But it is not.

Plumeria water droplets

Close-up of my photo-filtered hydrangea. I don’t think these colors exist naturally in hydrangeas, but it makes a stunning image.

colorful hydrangea

These are both submitted for Snow’s Friendly Friday “Fake.”

My favorite? Macro-photography makes this bee look larger than life. How do you like the pollen on the bee’s head and legs?

Bee on sunflower macro

Flower images are also submitted for Cees Flower of the Day, and for Irene’s Macro Monday.

Believe it or not, I captured these images with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone! I have voice-activation set up to shoot, so no fumbling with fingers!

Go Ahead, Make My Day

Last week’s mellow yellow theme sure resonated with a lot of bloggers! Not only did we have 30 links to the theme, but 6 were new to Sunday Stills! We welcomed Quincy Harley, Heart to Heart, Take a Walk, Jez Braithewaite, Lifelessons, and Sandra Matteotti.

Maybe it was the last “hurrah,” that we had this number of links and responses to Sunday Stills, as I know many bloggers are soon taking short breaks to get their holidays and vacations in. No breaks for me but I’m only posting Sunday Stills challenges as I finalize school prep and get back to weekends at the delta before our campground closes for the season.

Casting Call

I got my cast removed on July 26 and have been using the walking boot to get around when needed. Although my ankle and foot swell each day, I can walk carefully without the boot. My ankle is stiff from being in the same position for two months, but my determination and physical therapy is slowly getting things back to normal. Sorry, no close-ups available!

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.

Elliott Erwitt

I used floral macros and close-ups as examples in my post to help inspire your creativity this week. Remember, the sky’s the limit with your choices of macro images.

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Sunday Stills: A #Fresh Look

Hawaiian Honeysuckle
Hawaiian Honeysuckle
Hawaiian Honeysuckle

For many, Spring is just around the corner. February has been a challenging month for severe weather! Are you as ready as I am for spring’s beautiful colors and the warmer weather it brings?

I got a great shot of this honeysuckle close to our B&B after some rain in Hawaii last year.

Here in Northern California, after at least two months of gray, cold weather, we are happy to see some trees beginning to bud. Many of our fruit and nut trees bud around the middle of February, showing us the promise of spring!

Pink Tree Blossom

“Fresh” is this week’s Sunday Stills theme.

While we are waiting patiently, here are some more photos to help inspire your creativity to the challenge.

Another fresh look includes a close-up of these beautiful tomatoes found last Fall at a local farmer’s market.

Macro view of tomatoes

I love taking close-ups and macros of flowers. I am always intrigued by the tiniest details found inside the petals of a flower.

Macro white blossom

I am also sharing these beautiful blossoms for this week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge: Nature and for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

For this week’s Sunday Stills challenge, show us a fresh perspective on something, some fresh food or flowers, even fresh snow (if you must). In the middle of February, show us the promise of spring. I can’t wait to see what you have to offer!

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Winter Macro in #DecemberSquares

snowy bough

I don’t always get to see snow, but when I do, I am so happy to capture an image that depicts a winter day.

snowy bough

We still have some colorful autumn leaves hanging on for dear life, but wintertime is here!

The pine stays green in winter, wisdom in hardship. – Norman Douglas

Submitting for December Squares and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close Up or Macro.

 

Sunday Stills: #Texture is All Around Us

Textures of autumn flags

This week’s Sunday Stills Photography challenge is all about texture. Textures occur both in nature and in human-made materials, and it all around us. A random photo of a mundane item can yield extraordinary textures you might not have noticed with just the naked eye.

In texture photography, it’s all about patterns, colors and depth, and every single detail of a texture plays a significant role in the overall perception of the photograph.

This photo of Aero laying on my bed shows the contrast in textures of his cocoa-brown fur against the soft textiles of the bed linens.

Textures of Aero and bed linens

In this image captured at our local elementary school, I love the textures of the flags hung on the fence.

Textures of autumn flags

Texture can appear both in macro photography and in landscape photography.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing two photos by Molly from Shallow Reflections. She mentioned Maine has its peak Autumn colors now and graciously sent me several photos to use!

I love the textures she captured in this garden gnome, not only in the carving’s materials, but in the surrounding garden. Totally serendipitous she sent me this photo full of texture…

Textured woodland gnome

Molly also sent me this stunning Autumn image of trees reflected in a lake. I’m sure the live view showed the textural contrast against the reflected two-dimensional view of the trees.

Autumn textures

I’m submitting Molly’s beautiful tree image for this week’s Sunday Trees.

And for Dawn’s weekly feature Festival of Leaves.

Here is one of my own Autumn textures to add:

Maple begins to turn to seed

Textures can also appear in music, food, writing, the list goes on.

How will you interpret “texture” this week? Please link to this post and add to the link-up!

Autumn SIGNature

 

Festival of Leaves: An Inspired Start to Autumn

Autumn leaves amid clovers

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know I love posting photo challenges on Fridays. I have gotten used to the fact the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has gone the way of the dinosaur, but we photo-bloggers have found continuing inspiration with each others’ challenges.

Having joined the pink party a little late at Becky B’s Squares in September, I was inspired by all the shades of pink that surround us in nature. So much so that I have been posting pink photos on Instagram for October’s traditional Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More about this in the Sunday Stills challenge this week!

I was pleased to see that Dawn, from The Day After, is again hosting her photo challenge Festival of Leaves. Because you know how much I dislike Autumn

There is still a LOT of green and very little color this early in October.

Green autumn leaves

But, the Festival of Leaves is slowly working its way to the ground amid confused pink clovers.

Autumn leaves amid clovers

In a couple of weeks, we may see this!

Red and green fall leaves

Keep your fingers crossed!

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” Elizabeth Lawrence

Cee Neuner posts an extensive list of photo challenges. Perhaps you will find one that inspires you!

Autumn SIGNature

Square in September: “Painnt”-ing with #Pink

pink hydrangea

On this last Friday of Pink Squares in September, I have some images to share. Not just my standard fare, but some used with a mobile app called Painnt (available for Android devices in Google Play Store).

My pink hydrangea with an Autumn flair!

square pink hydrangia

Here are two Painnt images of the same hydrangea.

I found some lovely pink cone flowers in my neighborhood. This was a simple post-edit highlighting the pink against a black and white background.

Cone in black&white

Below is a cropped version of the above image but using the Painnt app filter.

Pink Coneflower

It makes for a fun, yet striking image!

And here is the original image of the pink cone flowers:

Pink Cone Flowers

I had some post-editing photo fun with these images. Thanks to these two photo-bloggers for inspiring me to get acquainted with “paint” apps and programs:

Carol, at Light Words, a fellow Northern Californian, takes wonderful photos and inspired me with her use of MobileMonet which is an Apple app.

Tina Schell, of Travels and Trifles, often uses a photo editor to create dreamy images inspired by impressionists and watercolor artists.

I am pleased with this app and bought the premium version for a whopping $1.99 a month! Don’t worry, I’m not selling anything, but just sharing my discovery of a new way to enhance my images. Needless to say, I am #tickledpink at discovering this!

And many thanks to Becky at Life of B for her Square in September theme of pink!

Also adding this to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (pastel). Do have a look at her gorgeous hydrangeas!

I’m sharing a few more pink images in this week’s Sunday Stills!

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Sunday Stills: #Macro or Close-Up Photography; Is there a Difference?

Macro view of sunflower

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “macro-anything.” Now what does this mean exactly?

Macro photography is also considered close-up photography. However, using a true macro lens yields the sharpest, tiniest details whereas a closeup may not show each detail.

I got a close-up shot of my resident Anna hummingbird perched after feeding. She was quite tame!

Photograph of hummingbird

I don’t have a macro lens on my phone or camera, but I do manage to fill the frame. This time I cropped the photo for a macro effect.

Closeup view of Hummingbird

Sometimes a macro image takes on new characteristics in an abstract way. My backyard windchime featuring a brass dragonfly looks different in its close-up.

Even the mundane becomes an abstract study in geometric shapes. This is the lobby floor of The WELL of Sacramento State University. See captions.

According to SLR Photography Guide: 

“If the subject you are photographing is small and you want to make it look big, you end up with a “macro” view of a “micro” subject.

Close up photography, is the act of photographing objects such as flowers or insects in close range so the subject you are photographing fills the frame.”

Susan at her blog Musin’ With Susan hosted the Macro Moments challenge a while back. Here she gives an example of macro vs close-up.

I’m also adding these shots to Live, Laugh, RV Wandering Wednesday Photo Prompt.

Experiment with your camera, mobile phone or tablet. Take a before and after shot and share your results.

Remember to title your blog post something different than mine!

 

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Still Looking for Photo Challenges?

Summer Zinneas

Since the WordPress weekly photo challenge ended a few weeks ago, many bloggers are still searching for photo challenges in which to showcase their photographic talents and images.

The word “challenge” is a bit of a misnomer, as everyone is not necessarily in a photography competition, but rather, a showcase of our hobbies and talents.

The challenge lies in finding that perfect image that fits the theme of the host’s challenge. I strive to combine some of the challenges when I can.

I haven’t posted for Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge in a long while! This week’s theme is Plant. In the featured image above, these sunny zinneas graced my backyard deck.

In addition to blogging photo challenges, there are other challenges on a variety of social media. I began taking part in the 2018 Summer Instagram Photo Challenge hosted by Leslie at Once Upon a Time Happily Ever After. 

This was posted recently for the aforementioned Instagram Photo Challenge, a beautiful macro shot of a rose. I love how it worked out that I could share this Instagram post and use it for the blog!

Macro shot of rose
I also tried to plant some vegetables two years ago, last spring, and although the tomatoes (shown here) started out promising, they didn’t have enough juice to become a full, red tomato!

But it sure made for a nice macro image!

The newest challenge to hit the blogosphere is Lens Artists featured on four different blogs. You can check it out on fab photographer Tina Schell’s Travels And Trifles.

For a great round-up of photo challenges for bloggers, visit Cee’s Photography page.

And of course, my weekly Sunday Stills challenge.

As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.” Go out and get creative!

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