Sea Blue Lens


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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.

Three:

Berry BowlPerfection

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

Hand(s):

AaronAaron

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.

Fence:

Old FenceOld Fence

New FenceNew Fence

I couldn’t decide, so you get both.

Cuddly:

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.

Sign:

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.


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The Long Way Home

Where we left offWhere We Left Off

It’s Walk and Click Wednesday and time to finish up that walk I started two weeks ago. I’ve left you waiting at the mailboxes long enough. Let’s venture on up that road.

DesolateDesolate

I don’t know if this place is abandoned or not, but it had a forlorn and forsaken look to it.

Good fencesBoundary

Robert Frost wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors,” in his poem “Mending Wall” but the saying has been around a lot longer than that. I thought this rail and cactus made quite a good-looking fence.

ShellShell

I’ve been curious about this little roofless building ever since I first saw it, so I decided to explore.

FramedFramed

It is, I believe, an abandoned well house. The capped-off well head can be seen inside.

TracksTracks

I walked up this small wash alongside the road. When I turned and looked back, there were many doggish tracks to be seen. My guess is coyotes — we often hear them howling at night, sometimes very close to the house.

TreasureTreasure

I found three of these old tiles in that wash and brought them home with me. Why? Well . . . I don’t know, they were interesting and . . . I guess it’s like collecting sea glass at the beach. [Susan and Jenny, stop laughing.]

Going UpGoing Up

I noticed this dirt track going up the hill. It was evident that no vehicle had been that way for a long time, so I headed up to see what I could see.

Still StandingStill Standing

This yucca was growing alongside the track, still bearing flower stalks from last year’s bloom. When I moved here near the end of last May, the hills were covered with flowering yucca. It was an amazing sight. I’m curious to see if the show will repeat this year, or if it was a special welcome just for me.

The Other Side of the MountainThe Other Side of the Mountain

It looked like there was once a structure on the top of the hill, but nothing is left but a water faucet, the foundation of a wall, and some concrete rubble. This was the view down the other side. See that fenced area on the side of the mountain over there? We can see that from our house, too, and always wondered what it was for. When I downloaded my photos and zoomed in on this image, I could just make out several horses in the upper left corner of the fence. So now we know: it’s pasture.

Eyes Upon MeThe Hills Have Eyes

Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched? I got that feeling and when I turned around was startled to see these two characters checking me out.

Looking DownLooking Down

So I headed back down and homeward again.

Horse CountryHorse Country

They’re quite serious about these signs. I often pass riders on this road.

Through the FenceThrough a Fence

Why did the photographer cross the road? To capture an irresistible vignette spotted from the other side, of course. I was seriously hoping no one from the house was watching!

Against the SkyAgainst the Sky

I turned onto a smaller side road to make that circle back home, and loved this old fence atop the roadside bank.

Gate to NowhereGate to Nowhere

Almost there! See that trail? It will take us right to the back of the garage.

Watch Where You Step!Watch Your Step!

But don’t go too fast, or you’ll miss these tiny flowers growing right in the middle of the path. Each of these blossoms was only a quarter of an inch (or less!) across.

Finish LineFinish Line

And here we are, home at last. This line of posts, all that’s left of a very old fence, marks the boundary of our property. I hope you enjoyed our little hike!

Linking with Walk and Click Wednesday, with thanks to Lissa for hosting!