Lens-Artists #67: Candid

This week, Ann-Christine has challenged us to capture candid shots of people and/or animals.

This challenge was a difficult one for me because it’s hard for me to get good photos of people. Usually my candid shots are epic fails, either blurred or someone has a funny look on their face. As I searched through my photos I found some candid shots from our trip to Ireland and Scotland earlier this year.

On that trip we visited more than a few pubs. I couldn’t help but capture a few candid shots as we enjoyed a pint and dinner after a busy day of taking in the sights.

Bartender pouring our first Guinness pint at the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Brewery
Bartender at the beautiful Crown in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Decisions, Decisions… in Edinburgh, Scotland

I loved hearing the music in the pubs and seeing the street performers.

Musicians in Dublin
Musicians at a pub in Dingle, Ireland
In the shopping district in Galway
Bagpiper in Edinburgh, Scotland

I managed to capture a few people doing everyday things.

Waterville, Ireland
Dingle Boat Harbor, Ireland
Surfers at Inch Beach, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

I can’t end this post without including some candid animal shots.

A shepherd tending to his flock during a sheep dog demonstration in Ir
Highland Cow at Fernie Castle, Scotland

Many thanks to Ann-Christine  for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Candid


Lens-Artists #66: Filling the Frame

This week, Patti has challenged us to bring attention to the subject in our photo by filling the frame with that subject. I chose a selection of photos from this year’s butterfly garden.

Bee in the Butterfly Garden
Gulf Fritillary on Zinnia

Although several varieties of butterflies visited the garden this summer, the Monarchs have been few and far between until today. Early this morning, there were about eight different Monarchs feasting on the flowers.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch on milkweed in early October
Monarch on Mexican Sunflower in early October

Many thanks to Patti for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Filling the Frame


Lens-Artists #65: Pick a Place

This week, Tina has challenged us to capture the spirit of a place that is vivid in you memory.

My husband and I have been fortunate to be able to travel to most of the United States, parts of Canada, and a few other foreign countries. The one place that I think of most often is the state of Alaska.

It’s been six years since we towed our fifth wheel over 14,000 miles to Alaska and back. There are so many things that make Alaska memorable. The people are friendly and proud of their state. The mountains and glaciers took my breath away every where we went. I was constantly on the lookout for wildlife and often saw bears or moose beside the road. Sometimes we would be the only vehicle on the road for miles.

One of our favorite towns was Haines. We loved all the great people, the Hammer Museum, eagles and bears, and fresh Dungeness Crab for dinner. Probably best of all was the waterfront view from the campground. We enjoyed our cocktail hour searching for whales and watching the ships go by.

It's only raining to the left
View from our campground in Haines

As we traveled around Alaska we would sometimes drive for miles without seeing another car. I was constantly on the looking for bears and moose.

Beautiful view along the highway
Gorgeous scenery every where we went
Moose cow and calf crossing the road

One of our most memorable days was the day we left the fifth wheel in the RV park in North Pole and drove north on the Dalton Highway. After stopping at the Arctic Circle we continued on to Coldfoot, the farthest north we have ever traveled. At Coldfoot we turned around and arrived back at the camper after 10:00 pm and it was still daylight.

We traveled behind the motorcycle as we followed behind a pilot truck
Behind a motorcycle on the Dalton Highway

On a wildlife cruise from Seward, the captain turned off the engines so we could hear the ice calving at Aialik Glacier.

Calving on Aialik Glacier
Ice calving on Aialik Glacier on the Kenai Fjords trip from Seward

One of my favorite things in Alaska was seeing wildlife.

I’ll never forget the Orcas cruising close by our boat on a wildlife cruise from Valdez.

Pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez

The mama bear was too busy finding fish for her cub to pay attention to us.

Mama bear looking for more fish
Mama bear looking for more fish near Valdez
Black Bear Cub
Black Bear Cub

There were more bald eagles in Alaska than anywhere else I’ve ever been. As we rode close to the shoreline on one of the wildlife cruises there were too many eagles perched in the trees to count.

Pair of Eagles
We spotted this pair of Bald Eagles as we cruised by on a wildlife and glacier cruise from Valdez
Eagle soaring over bluff at Russian Orthadox Church
Eagle soaring over bluff at Russian Orthadox Church in Ninilchik

Riding on a train and a taking a plane ride to land on a glacier after seeing Mount Denali up close were two of our favorite excursions.

Going down the tracks
A ride on the Alaska Railroad to the Hurricane Turn
We went really close to Mt. McKinley
Mount Denali from the air

It’s been over six years since we were there. One day we will return…

Many thanks to Tina for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Pick a Place


Lens-Artists #64: Countryside and/or small towns

This week Amy has challenged us to show countryside and/or small towns.

We’ve traveled many back roads during our travels around the United States. As we drive along I love seeing the crops growing in the fields and knowing where our food comes from. I am grateful to all the hardworking farmers who grow the food and other crops that we need.

California Vineyard
Illinois Corn
Cotton in Arkansas
Barn in Illinois
Red Barn in the Midwest

Sometimes the countryside is filled with colorful wildflowers and other interesting sights.

Boots and Bluebonnets in Texas
Cows crossing the levee road
When traveling the back roads, you never know what you’ll see crossing the road

Many thanks to Amy for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Countryside and/or Small Towns


Lens-Artists #63: Magical

This week, Ann-Christine has challenged us to show what is magical to us.

What is more magical than an ancient castle? As we traveled through Ireland and Scotland earlier this year one of my favorite things was seeing the many castles.

For me, the most magical of all was Dunnottar Castle in Stovehaven, Scotland. Sitting on top of a cliff that juts out into the North Sea, it seemed to magically appear out of a thick fog.

Dunnottar Castle on a Foggy Day, Stonehaven, Scotland
The North Sea was barely visible below Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland
A path led down to the sea at Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

Occasionally the fog would clear just long enough for a clear view. Even without the fog, it was a magical site to see.

Foggy day at Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Magical