This week we’re getting in or out of focus, however the fancy takes us, for the Photo Challenge set by David at The Daily Post. I have a multitude of images that are unintentionally out of focus. I’ve even tried using them for competitions, claiming artistic license, although the judges just weren’t buying it. I do have a number of pictures that, all things considered, are quite sharp. And then there are those that, by some miracle, just seem to have the right balance. It’s sheer luck when this happens as I’m not one to fiddle around making adjustments to the camera when I’m out shooting. Even if I spent time reading the manual that comes with the camera, I’d probably never remember all the technicalities.
I like this shot of a swan at the Chicago Botanic Garden for a couple of reasons. The flowers in the foreground add some color to the picture but also, being slightly out of focus, give the impression that we are hiding behind them watching as the swan goes gliding by. A similar effect can be seen in this image of a moose taking it easy at Snowbird Resort near Salt Lake City in Utah, although who was hiding from whom I’m not sure.
I think the following images benefit from having the background out of focus, allowing us to concentrate more fully on the subject: flowers at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, a young man playing the part of a soldier at the Fort on Mackinac Island and a goldfinch enjoying some sunflower seeds in our garden.
For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Focus
Seeing the world through a child’s eyes can very often help us to appreciate the magic in the little things in life. I know my grandchildren have given me a whole new perspective on things.
The magic of butterflies. Watching this amazing thing of beauty flutter its wings and take its first flight. Keep very still little brother and perhaps it will rest on your shoulder.
The magic of flowers. Who knew there were so many lovely colors and cool smells! I wonder if there are any fairies at the bottom of this garden.
The magic of exploration. Which way shall we go? It’s a big world out there and who knows what we might find! A magic kingdom perhaps.
The magic of music. What a great new sound! Now he’s in his 20’s and playing guitar in his own band. Still making musical magic.
Halloween magic. Catching sight of his reflection in a shop window. Wow! Look! There’s a kangaroo just like me!
The magic of unconditional love. A quiet moment shared with a best friend. Someone to tell all those secrets to.
For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/magic/
Over the years, I’ve made a conscious effort to look at subjects from many different angles and, when possible, I’ve tried to get at least one shot that included a ‘frame’ so, when Nancy suggested this topic for the Weekly Photo Challenge on The Daily Post, I was ready.
The most recent opportunity came on Mackinac Island when I captured this image of the harbor framed by a doorway at the historic Mackinac Fort.
This archway made a nice frame for a colorful flower bed in the Cottage Garden at Green Bay Botanical Garden.
At Frederik Meijer Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, this piece of ‘artwork’ seemed to make an appropriate frame for a similar sculpture and the gazebo behind it. If I had to take the shot again, I might do it from a slightly different angle but I think at the time I was trying to incorporate the tree on the left.
This shot is really one from the archives. Taken back in 2006 at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Bartlett, just two years after it opened.
For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/frame/
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week calls for images that included the colors orange & green.
An orange signpost amongst the greenery points the way to a gnome garden at the Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa.
Not only did we find gnomes in the garden but also beautiful orange canna lilies.
An orange dinosaur crushing pumpkins on the green at Goebberts Farm in South Barrington.
Pumpkins and other kinds of squash in a slightly more tranquil environment at the Morton Arboretum.
Despite the fact that this orange truck only has a hint of green, I find my eye immediately drawn to the color, perhaps because it is something of a leading line. Found at Bluesmobile Cruise Night in Mount Prospect.
We found this old tractor at West Street Sculpture Garden in Galena. Artist John Martinson works with scrap metal to make some interesting if rather bizarre pieces of sculpture and we weren’t entirely sure whether this was one of the exhibits or just something that he uses to move the pieces around. I think probably the latter.
A hummingbird and flower made of Lego on display at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to http://ceenphotography.com/2015/11/17/cees-fun-foto-challenge-the-colors-orange-and-green/
Introducing the incredible Billie; probably one of the smallest toys ever made. I was only very small myself when I was given this little guy, which makes him well over 60 years old. Billie and His Seven Barrels, manufactured in the UK by Kiddiecraft from 1945-55, was designed by Hilary Page who was possibly better known for his design of the original interlocking building brick which later became famous as Lego.
According to the packaging, the toy consisted of “Seven colored plastic barrels which unscrew in the middle and all fit into the largest barrel. In the tiniest barrel is Billie.”
Sadly I no longer have the barrels but amazingly Billie is still with us. This diminutive fellow survived the move from London to the suburbs when I was yet a child. Mum kept him safe at home when I emigrated to the US in the early 1970’s and brought him with her when she and Dad came to live with us ten years later. Here he remains, a small but very important reminder of my childhood.
A Japanese anemone, one of the smaller flowers in our garden, blooms in spring and later in the autumn.
A little sparrow making the most of a mild day in October at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to http://ceenphotography.com/2015/10/15/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-small-subjects/
One of the largest photo files that I have is the one dedicated to images of the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Garden is probably my favorite place in the Chicago area to visit and I suppose you could call it my Muse.
It’s refreshes the spirit and soothes the soul.
I can’t imagine a world without the Garden. It’s a tonic for the mind and the body, providing color, fragrance and texture to a sometimes mundane life.
It provides inspiration not only for my photography but also my own attempt at gardening.
And when I try my hand at a little painting.
For more on this week’s Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go tohttps://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/muse/
Continuing on the numbers theme, this week’s Fun Foto Challenge on Cee’s Photography Blog calls for Three Items or The Number 3.
Three water fountains in the Rose Garden at Cantigny Park.
Three road wheels on a tank at the First Division Museum in Cantigny Park.
Three butterflies enjoying some purple flowers.
Lucky number 3! A racehorse at Arlington Park.
Three fish cruising in the waters of the Garden of Reflections at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to http://ceenphotography.com/2015/06/23/cees-fun-foto-challenge-three-items-for-the-number-three/