Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #160 – Your Inspiration

Our host Patti has challenged us to show what our inspiration looks like. I find my inspiration in the natural world.

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.

John Muir

Starting the day by watching the sun rise adds inspiration to any day.

The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.

Claude Monet
Black Eyed Susans
Sunflower on a sunny July Day
Gulf Fritillary on Mexican Sunflower

The natural beauty found in America’s National Parks never ceases to inspire me.

Grand Canyon North Rim Roosevelt Point
Giant Redwood in Redwoods National Park
Hot Spring, Yellowstone National Park
Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California

If you truly love nature you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gogh
Spoonbill and Snowy Egret
White tail deer
Great Egret

The weekly challenges from the gifted lens-artists hosts Tina, Ann-Christine, Patti and Amy always inspire me to be a better photographer. I’m also inspired by all of the talented WordPress bloggers who respond to the challenge with their wonderful photographs.

Many thanks to Patti for this challenge. Be sure to visit her original post at Lens-Artists challenge #160: Your Inspiration.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #150: Let’s Get Wild

Guest host Dianne Millard of Rambling Ranger has asked us to get wild for this challenge. On her blog she says “I’m talking about Mother Nature untouched and untrammeled, allowed to get on with her work without human help or hindrance.” Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska meets all of those criteria. It’s the wildest place I’ve ever been.

The landscapes in Denali are breathtaking whether seen from land or from the air.

Wildflowers growing in the middle of the riverbed
Denali Wilderness, Alaska
View from overlook on Denali Park Road
Morning walk near our campsite
Mt. Denali
The high round snow covered peak is the south peak of Mt. McKinley
Flying over a glacier in Alaska

We were always looking out for wildlife. Except for a couple of moose, most of the wildlife was too far from us to get a good close up picture.

Dall Sheep in Denali National Park, Alaska
Moose in the Denali Wilderness
Grizzly Bear in Denali National Park, Alaska
Caribou grazing in Denali National Park

Many thanks to guest host Dianne Millard for the challenge. Please be sure to visit her post at Lens-Artists Challenge #150: Let’s Get Wild

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Begins with S

This week’s challenge from Patti asks us to find images of objects that begins with the letter S. I chose a few objects found in or around sand or things that are made of sand.

Seashells and seals on the sandy seashore

Seashells on a Georgia seashore
Clam shell on sandy beach in Haines, Alaska
Harbor Seals on a sandy beach in Oregon
Hawaiian Monk Seal on Kauai’s North Shore in Hawaii

Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Many thanks to Patti for this week’s Lens Artists photo challenge #136: Things that begin with the letter S.

Lens-Artists #96: Cropping the Shot

This week, Patti has asked us “show how cropping helped to improve an image and create a desired effect.”

I enjoy wildlife photography and even though I usually use a zoom lens the animal or bird I am photographing is often too far away to get a good close up. I crop many of my wildlife photos in order to make the animal the focal point of the image.

Here is the before image of a Ruby Throated Hummingbird at a feeder. The hummingbird is the focal point of the shot but he is too far away to see his face clearly and there are too many distractions around him.

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Original Ruby Throated Hummingbird

After cropping the photo, I was able to get the desired effect of a closeup of the bird without all of a extra space around him.

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Cropped Ruby Throated Hummingbird Male

All this spring I’ve been watching a  pair of Painted Buntings who come by my feeder almost daily. This week was the first time I was able to get some photos of the female. In the original image she’s too far away and I didn’t like having the bird bath in the shot.

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Original Female Painted Bunting

After the crop, the female Bunting is the star of the show.

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Cropped Female Painted Bunting

The before picture of a Blanket Flower in my garden is ok, but the bricks and mulch take away from the vibrant colors of the flower.

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Original Blanket Flower

When I cropped the photo into a square, the colorful flower takes center stage.

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Cropped Blanked flower

Many thanks to Patti for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Cropping the Shot

 

Throwback Thursday #16 – January 16, 2012

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips. This January I am highlighting our January, 2012 snowbird trip to Florida.

Part 3 of our January, 2012 RV trip around Florida

On this day eight years ago, January 16, 2012, we were camped in Everglades National Park in Flamingo, Florida. This was the southern most location of our 2012 snowbird journey.

One of our favorite drives in Florida is Highway 41, a National Scenic Byway which goes  from east and west through the Everglades. We stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve for a look at the alligators before continuing on to the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park.

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We stopped at the Oasis visitor center on Highway 41 to check out the alligators

Our first time camping was three years earlier (more about that stay at Throwback Thursday #13 – December 5, 2009). The big difference between our 2009 visit and this visit was they had added electricity to some of the sites. There were only a few electric sites and they were available on a first come basis so we made sure to get there early enough to score the last one! Woo hoo!

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Hawk hanging around the campground in Flamingo

The sunrise was spectacular over Florida Bay.

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Sunrise in Flamingo, Everglades National Park, Florida

The birding was also spectacular.

Flamingo is remote, natural, and wild. My kind of place.