Sea Blue Lens

Third Thursday and SHS 5.19.13


It’s a twofer! I decided to combine the Third Thursday Challenge , a monthly linkup at How to Feather an Empty Nest, with this week’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday. I recently bought a new lens, a Nikon 35mm f1.8, but up til now have not used it very much. I’ve been wanting to get better acquainted with it, so for my Third Thursday Challenge, I decided to take on the scavenger hunt using only that lens. My goal was to create images that would work with no (or minimal) cropping or other post-processing.

I couldn’t miss this week’s Scavenger Hunt, since the list was sponsored by my dear friend Susan (Happy No Ears). The target items for the hunt were Three, Hand(s), Fence, Cuddly, and Sign.


Berry BowlPerfection

First they posed for me. Then I ate them. They were just as good as they look.



My daughter made this doll for me with her own hands a number of years ago. Using no model except her imagination, she sculpted his head, hands, and feet from porcelain clay, which she then fired in her own kiln. She sewed the body from scraps of fabric and dressed him in a preemie-sized outfit, and gave him to me for Christmas. His realism amazed me then and still does, all the more because she has no children and, really, no experience with babies. I call him my third grandchild.


Old FenceOld Fence

New FenceNew Fence

I couldn’t decide, so you get both.


Pink ThrowThat Warm, Fuzzy Feeling

I have no babies or pets, and I’m mad at the oh-so-cute cottontails this week for eating my portulaca, so I’m not going to feature them! I love cuddling up on the couch with my soft, cozy mohair throw, so that will have to do.


WelcomeCome On By

Friends are always welcome. Stop on by if you’re ever in the neighborhood!

Results of My Challenge:  The strawberries, both fences, and the pink throw are full-frame. The baby doll was cropped slightly to remove a distraction from one corner. I cropped the welcome sign image quite a bit, since I decided after the fact that I preferred a tighter view. There are a fence and shrub in the way that prevent me from framing this exact view without cropping.

This experiment took me back to my early, pre-zoom days of photography, when all I had was a fixed-focal-length “normal” lens for my SLR. I enjoyed “zooming with my feet” to frame these images as I wanted them, though I confess that I often found myself trying to zoom the lens just from habit.

There was one moment when I really wished for my telephoto zoom:

Visitor farSOOC (straight out of the camera)

But I got what I wanted anyway, thanks to the magic of cropping in Lightroom:

Morning visitorMorning Visitor

Many thanks to Brenda at How to Feather an Empty Nest for the Third Thursday Challenge that encourages me to prod  myself out of my comfort zone. And thanks to Ashley at Ramblings and Photos for the always entertaining Scavenger Hunt Sunday linkup.

25 thoughts on “Third Thursday and SHS 5.19.13

  1. That baby looks so real!!

  2. Love the images with your new lens. That doll is amazing. At first I thought it was real.

  3. Great shots – that doll is amazing!

  4. These are all amazing! The doll, wow!!

  5. Great use of your new lens. Cuddly looks so inviting.

  6. Beautiful images! I love my 50mm lens for the same reasons you noted here. It’s fun to use and makes me think of my first camera and learning to compose images. You did a great job with these!

  7. Great photographs. I love especially the coyote shot and the strawberries especially. I do a lot of “foot zooming” with my Lomography cameras. I am going to steal that term. I hope that you don’t mind.

  8. You were (are) a phenomenal water colorist… I love watching you blossom with each new technique and toy as a photographer! Great photos, the doll is truly a work of art. The strawberries should be on the cover of “SIMPLE”, love the lines of both fence pictures… but you can keep those coyotes wandering in your yard!

  9. Super photos Lee! I have found zooming with my feet is also quite enjoyable. That same lens has become my all around favorite.

  10. Fantastic pictures. Yes, using a fixed lens is kind of a challenge in itself, but usually putting restrictions on yourself and your artistic work in many ways frees up the imagination and the creativity instead. I have to that doll your daughter made is quite astonishing.

  11. Well aren’t you awesome doing the ol’ two-fer. I’m at “wow” on those strawberries. That is awesome clarity there and the contrast-did I say wow yet? I can’t believe that doll your daughter made-wow on that too. Love the old fence, tho’ maintaining the new version is much easier. Your cuddly shot totally looks cuddly.
    As for a new lens….jealous. I hope you enjoy it. I finally got my tax return money and I’m trying to pull the trigger on a 50mm f/1.4. I had the cheapy “nifty fifty” 1.8 until it broke-and think this may be a good step up. I need something beyond the kit, it’s just $$$$. You know? I’ll be curious to know if you like this choice you made.
    Happy day my dear friend.

  12. I also have that lens! That ceramic baby is amazing. Even the details on his fingers…wow!

  13. Hi, I’m just revisiting after the blog hop. Thanks so much for popping by! Looks like you are having lots of fun here and getting some beautiful results!!

  14. Lee – what a great challenge – to get better acquainted with your lens and to limit your shooting to the weekly SH prompts. I would say you succeeded mightily with both. Because I have a fixed-lens camera, the in-and-outs of different lenses aren’t something I am very familiar with from a technical standpoint but I admire your willingness to experiment and try it out. Exactly what the Third Thursday Challenge is all about.

    Beautiful images – I love the strawberries – such wondrous light. It does look like a magazine cover in its perfect simplicity. Love the contrast between old fence and new fence – I can understand why you couldn’t choose.

    Thanks so much for participating!

  15. Very enjoyable set. I liked both fence shots although I think my favorite of the 2 was the new fence.
    Wow that doll was amazing.
    Strawberries are my favorite fruit. Three would never be enough, I have an entire bowl full!
    Great shot of the Coyote. I too wish for a zoom lens at times. Guess I need to save up.

  16. Pretty clever of you to combine challenges! Your results are terrific! I’m really surprised at how versatile your fixed lens is. I’m doing the 50 mm project, and just shooting with my 50 mm lens — it’s good to use our feet sometimes. The strawberries look very yummy!

  17. Hey, it all looks awesome. Now I want strawberries. I hope you don’t nosh on all your models, though!

    I’m glad you took a picture of Aaron – I’m not sure I had any photos of him. That was a really fun project! 🙂

  18. The results of using your new lens is fantastic! I love those strawberries, such beautiful light on them! Your daughter is very talented…what a treasure!

  19. Lovely photos, it’s fun playing around with a new lens. I think you’ve had a successful experiment! Love the look of your cuddly spot on the lounge 🙂

  20. Lee, the doll your daughter created is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Really, really beautiful, and what a very special gift.

    Glad you are enjoying your new lens. It is a wonderful lens, especially on the street.

    Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

  21. Great post, beautiful photos:) Greetings

  22. The Aaron story is amazing–your daughter must be very talented! I also liked what you did with the longshot of the fox/coyote/?? We are fortunate to have so much e-magic at our fingertips!

  23. What a wonderful series of images!! The coyote is incredible…and the doll your daughter made – WOW!

  24. Love those strawberries – and on such a cute background. Also love your mohair blanket shot. Great set of images and great job on the coyote. 🙂

  25. Next time you are on Skype remind me to tell you an odd story that the doll reminded me of…

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