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.
This week, Amy is asking us to find a place where a river runs through it for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. We always seem to be drawn to water on our travels and, very often, rivers feature quite a bit on these trips. There’s something fascinating about a river as it makes it’s way through so many different kinds of surroundings, from the quiet countryside to the bustle of a big city. The first two shots of the Bad River and its tributary,Tyler Forks, were captured at Copper Falls State Park in Wisconsin.
The next three images are of the Eau Claire River at the Dells of Eau Claire in Wisconsin.
The next two places are a little closer to home. The first is the Des Plaines River as it flows placidly through Joliet, Illinois. The next is the Fox River tumbling over the dam at St. Charles.
Normally, the Chicago River would just be gearing up for a busy season of river traffic but who knows what things will be like for the next few months. I’ll miss these familiar sights. I’ll be staying put for the foreseeable future, but these rivers will keep flowing on. Stay safe, everyone.
I realize that I’ve already submitted an entry for Amy’s Framing the Shot, this week’s subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, but I was in Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago yesterday and when I saw this composition I thought how it would have fit right in with that theme, so I hope you will forgive me if I throw this one into the mix. Wishing everyone a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend.
I was sorry to have missed the past couple of LA Challenges but I have finally caught up with everything after a hectic few weeks and now I can spend some time looking through the photo files. Amy has chosen Seascapes or Lakeshores as the subject for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and I found a few shots that might fit the bill. The first one was taken in downtown Chicago along the edge of Lake Michigan which, in the city, very often consists of nothing but concrete slabs.
Below, part of the shoreline at Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in Michigan. The song ‘Edmund Fitzgerald’ kept running through my head as I stood looking out over the scene. It’s hard to imagine these calm lake waters becoming rough enough to sink a ship weighing 26,000 tons.
The image above shows part of the shoreline of Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
Below, a little patch of lakeshore on Mackinac Island, overlooking the mighty Mackinaw Bridge.
Here is my second entry for Becky’s Spiky Squares photo challenge. One of the best places to study nature in the Chicago area during the winter months is the Field Museum and this has to be one of their earliest exhibits; those giant battling African elephants with their pointy tusks. We had a great family day out there on Saturday.
This week, Cee is looking for flowing water for her Black & White Photo Challenge. A couple of months ago we took a trip to Minnesota to visit, among other places, Minnehaha Falls. It was a very dull, wet day when we were there so we probably didn’t see them at their best. I think, in this instance, the black/white treatment does them and the resulting flow of water more justice than the original color shots.
Closer to home, here are a couple of images from my visit to the Air & Water Show in downtown Chicago. Walking back from the lakefront, I took in Buckingham Fountain and a slightly less well-known fountain outside the Chicago Art Institute.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Flowing Water.
This week, Ann-Christine asks if it’s better to blend in or stand out in a crowd. Frog and Toad evidently feel it’s a good idea to blend in with their surroundings. They know their lives may depend on it, the frog in a pond at Spring Valley Nature Center and the toad crouching on a dry river bed in Lafayette, Indiana.
The monarch butterfly, however, enjoys flaunting its gaudy patterns in the open and doesn’t seem too concerned about standing out in a crowd. These two, in downtown Chicago and at the Morton Arboretum couldn’t resist showing off their true colors.
So is it better to blend in or stand out? The next picture was taken in our garden and shows another creature who likes to remain inconspicuous among the leaves, a praying mantis, and its hapless victim, a monarch butterfly. So I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Here is just a sample of the wildlife that we see from our window here in the NW suburbs of Chicago. Not included are the deer that on the rare occasion take a stroll down our road, the skunk that lives under our front doorstep, coyotes that sometimes trot past the house after a night of hunting small animals, the many different varieties of birds that we see on a daily basis and an eight-legged possum, reported by my father, that turned out to be two of these creatures following very closely one after the other.
The term ‘wildlife‘ would seem to be something of a misnomer as all these creatures appear to have made themselves quite at home in our backyard.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Wildlife
The Chicago Bears may be a dismal disappointment (again) this year, but these Chicago bears are anything but. A firm favorite with visitors to both Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos, the Polar bears are always a big attraction and never fail to please their fans which is why I picked them for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.