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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Winter

This week, Ann-Christine invites us to share some Winter images for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I have to admit that I am a creature of comfort and rarely stray too far from home during the winter months. The older I get, the less appealing the idea of getting togged up in boots, scarf, mittens and heavy winter coat becomes.  These shots, three at the Chicago Botanic Garden and one at the Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg are a few in my very sparse collection of typical winter photos.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Autumn

This week, Patti is looking forward to Autumn for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. For so many reasons, autumn is probably my most favorite time of year. Primarily, I love the colors, and then there’s the cooler weather, not to mention less biting bugs and irate red-wing blackbirds. Of course, any time of year is great at the Chicago Botanic Garden but autumn is a very special season full of bright flowers and glowing foliage.

Autumn is one of the few times in the year that most of our family is able to get together and there is nothing more fun than our Family Fall Festival which is usually held at our daughter’s house in Indiana. She really puts on a terrific show with festive decorations that include Halloween characters, many of which are animated. The kids love it!

The Morton Arboretum in Lisle is the ideal place to visit in autumn when the trees are at their most colorful. A membership to the Chicago Botanic Garden gets you into the Arboretum for free and you can spend the day taking in the sights.

And what would autumn be without a trip to the pumpkin farm. This one is in South Barrington, Illinois, but we also visit a couple in Indiana and Wisconsin. They are a little more low-key but usually just as enjoyable.

And finally, one of my all-time favorite Halloween shots. “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog,” and a Big Mac to go, please.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Cropping The Shot

This week, Patti suggests that we try Cropping the Shot for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.  One of the most useful tools in the image-processing arsenal is the cropping tool.  I can’t tell you how many shots I rescued from the trash with a little judicial cropping.

I can even ‘zoom in’ by the simple expedient of the cropping tool, giving me a closer look at something way off in the distance, as I did with this shot taken at Arches National Park in Utah.

And if I’m really lucky I can get four shots for the price of one with the aid of the cropping tool, as I did with this image that was captured along Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago, each picture focusing on a different aspect of the overall scene; the more leisurely pace of the bike path, the hustle and bustle of the traffic on the Drive and the work going on aloft.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – All Wet

When Tina suggested All Wet as the topic for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, I didn’t have to go any further than the sea lions at Brookfield Zoo in my photo files.  As a non-swimmer I’ve always admired their graceful movements in the water and even on-shore their ungainly bodies seem to have a certain elegance of posture as they bend and curve to catch the sun’s rays.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Morning

This week, Ann-Christine has chosen Morning as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.  Things have settled down into a fairly dull routine here which is why I’m looking forward to being able to get out and about again. The Chicago Botanic Garden is probably the first place I’ll visit once the lockdown is eventually lifted and it’s reasonably safe to venture out, preferably first thing in the morning before the crowds get there. I have a feeling there will be quite a few of us with the same idea. Have a good morning and stay safe, everyone.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Going Back

This week, John, who is our guest host for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, has asked us to Go Back and take a second look at places we have visited in the past. My reason for wanting to go back and visit the first three places is that I was using a film camera at the time and was extremely limited as far as the number of pictures I could take. So, Niagara Falls (from the Canadian side,) Cypress Gardens in Florida and Virginia Beach are definitely on the list.

The same could be said of the Badlands in South Dakota, although we did go back eventually, one of the first places we visited after I acquired my original digital camera, but I couldn’t get out of the habit of being sparing with my shots and always regretted not taking more while I had the chance.

These days there’s no holding me back and I take literally hundreds of pictures when we’re on our travels, but time was against us on Antelope Island in Utah. We had already visited the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City in the morning and by the time we got to the island a big storm was brewing so we had a quick look around and headed back to base. We had planned on going back to Utah the following year to visit our daughter but instead, she moved on to Texas. As it turned out, much of the island’s vegetation was destroyed by wildfires that year so it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea anyway but, if I had the opportunity, I’d love to go back to Antelope Island.

To be honest, I’m not sure who took these pictures but it was with my husband’s film camera nearly fifty years ago, so it could have been either one of us. These images represent my final memories of home in England. We’ve never been back, for various reasons, and will almost certainly never have the chance now. If I could magically transport myself back there, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Thanks to John for giving us the opportunity to Go Back and revisit some of our favorite places.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Simplicity

This week, Patti has chosen Simplicity as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Where I would normally, at this time of year, be enjoying lawns studded with colorful crocus at the Chicago Botanic Garden or photographing woods glowing with golden daffodils at the Morton Arboretum, I am now content with a few simple flowers in my own garden. They bring an enormous amount of pleasure at a point when even the sight of a bee going about its everyday business makes me want to jump up and down with joy.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Distance

This week, Tina has chosen Distance as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Let me say right up front that I can’t take credit for this picture, but I thought it was so cute that I wanted to share it. My daughter sent it to me. They just arrived at their new house this week, the move having been planned long before all this virus business got going. There’s no social distancing between these two. They are best buddies and have lived in three different US states together so far. For the past year or so, the only view they had from their 10th-floor apartment window was the offices across the street. Now they can look out at a garden and even see bunnies if they’re lucky. The distance between us is further than it was, but long distances mean nothing now that we can no longer visit. All I can do is pray that they stay safe. I can’t wait for the day when I can look out of this window with them.