Lens-Artists Challenge #134: From Forgettable to Favorite

For this challenge Tina has asked us to demonstrate how we use editing to improve an image. This was a fun challenge that took me out of my comfort zone. Usually, I crop the photo and I’m done. For this challenge I experimented with a few other editing techniques using Photoshop Elements.

The camellias are blooming and I’ve been trying to get a perfect shot of them. To focus on the flower I cropped this original into a square and applied the Watercolor effect. The finished image below shows the details of the flower and the rain drops on the petals.

On the left is the original of a Great White Egret in the salt marsh. I wanted a close up of the Egret so I cropped it before adding the Rough Pastels effect.

This last image was taken in Denali National Park in Alaska on a cloudy, overcast day. I replaced the dull sky with a brilliant blue sky to add more color and enhance the image.

Many thanks to Tina for this week’s Lens Artists photo challenge #134: From Forgettable to Favorites.

Lens-Artists Challenge #133: My Photography Journey

I am not a professional photographer. Photography is something I do for fun and I enjoy sharing my photos here on my blog.

I had so much fun getting out my old cameras and going through old photo albums for this challenge. My husband has an old video camera that’s been in a closet for a long time so while I was working on this post he was going through his videos. I would have had this post done yesterday but I am easily distracted and got side tracked watching some of his videos!

Some of my old cameras

I began my photography journey as a kid in elementary school with a Brownie camera. My pictures were pretty bad but it’s fun to look back on them now. I can still remember taking the film to be developed and impatiently waiting to see how the pictures turned out. The first animal picture I can find is of our pet turtles lined up on the sidewalk in front of our house.

Unedited photo of my pet turtles

When we started scuba diving in the late 1980’s I became interested in under water photography. I would just aim the camera in the general direction of whatever I was trying to get a picture of. After many epic fails and lots of wasted film I finally gave up and just enjoyed the diving. Occasionally, I actually captured the fish but they were usually out of focus. Here are a few that kind of turned out. These are cropped and edited to bring out the colors.

Back on land I had better luck with landscapes. Two of my favorite landscapes were shot with the two old Sony Cypershots. At the top of the page is a landscape from Oahu in Hawaii and the image below is of the Pitons in St. Lucia.

I got interested in wildlife and bird photography after we began traveling in the RV. I managed to get a few decent shots with the Cybershot if the subject was pretty close to me.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Elk in Yellowstone National Park (Woming)

A few years later I graduated to a Sony DSLR with a zoom lens after I tried in vain to get a close up shot of a pair of eagles on one of our trips. This was as close as I could get with my old Cybershot.

Pair of American Bald Eagles in south Florida

The next year Henry got me a Sony A550 DLSR camera with two lenses. There were times when the 400 mm lens was too much so I added a smaller zoom lens later.

What a difference these zoom lenses made! I could now get the close up shots of wildlife I wanted. This eagle was high up in a tree in Alaska.

Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK

In addition to the landscapes and wildlife I enjoy close up photography of flowers and critters from the garden.


I’ve never been very good photographing people. Other than taking family pictures I think I’ll stick to nature and landscapes.

Many thanks to Patti for this week’s Lens Artists photo challenge #133: My Photography Journey. Also shared with Terri’s Sunday Stills – your favorite landscape

Bird Weekly Challenge #33: Birds on a wire or fence

This challenge reminded me of a Great Egret we saw perched on the end of a dock at an RV Park in Cedar Key, Florida more than a few years ago. It ignored me as it kept on preening and I kept snapping away.

After browsing through my archives I came up with few more birds that meet the challenge.

Great Blue Heron, Ft. Pickens National Seashore, Florida
Hawk on Fence in Coastal Georgia
Lark Sparrow – Montana
American White Pelicans and Cormorants – Texas Gulf Coast

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly Challenge: Birds on a wire or fence

Lens-Artists Challenge #132: Striped and Checked

In honor of the January 25 birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns my first two images include checked tartans.

Burns Clan Plaid Tartan

Striped lighthouses and Striped American Flags.

Stripes and Checks in Nature

Zebra Longwing on Mexican Sunflower
Bryce Canyon National Park
Checkerboard Mesa in Zion National Park

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for this week’s Lens Artists photo challenge: Striped and checked.

Bird Weekly Challenge #32: Birds with Brown Feathers

I hope you enjoy these brown feathered birds from my archives. The Brown Pelicans pictured above were on the pier in Cedar Key, Florida.

I spotted the next four – a Hawk, Osprey, Juvenile Wood Stork, and House Sparrow – at different times near where I live in Coastal Georgia.

Hawk – Coastal Georgia
Osprey – Coastal Georgia
Juvenile Wood Stork – Coastal Georgia
House Sparrow

The birding was great as we traveled around the Texas Gulf coast a few years ago.

Male Green-winged Teal- Texas Gulf Coast
Northern Shoveler and unidentified brown birds – Texas Gulf Coast

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly Challenge: Brown Feathered Birds