A Word A Week Challenge – Face

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in the A Word A Week Challenge. This week’s theme is “face”.  I encourage you to click on each photo to see a larger view. If you like what you see, please subscribe to this blog to receive updates of the new photos I post, usually 3 to 5 times a week.

Nature can display faces in so many ways and places. There’s the cute face of the mama panda bear.

A word a week - face of a giant panda bear
A word a week – face of a giant panda bear

The big bug-eyed face of the orange dragonfly.

A word a week - face - orange dragonfly with big eyes
A word a week – face – orange dragonfly with big eyes

There’s the face of the tiger longwing butterfly (Heliconius hecale) with his rolled-up proboscis.

A word a week - face with proboscis of a tiger longwing butterfly
A word a week – face with proboscis of a tiger longwing butterfly

There are the faces of two brother grizzly bears enjoying some intimate moment.

A word a week - faces of two brother bears
A word a week – faces of two brother bears

There are the faces of animals carved in the wood on purpose.

A word a week - faces of animals carved in wood
A word a week – faces of animals carved in wood

And the face of a woman that Mother Nature drew in this tree trunk for us to notice.

A word a week - face of woman in tree trunk
A word a week – face of woman in tree trunk

Mother Nature also likes to use rocks to make faces.

A word a week - face of man in a large rock
A word a week – face of man in a large rock

These hidden faces of a man and a dog (profile angle) are some of my favorite faces to spot in nature. Can you see them?

A word a week - face of man and his dog in rock cliff
A word a week – face of man and his dog in rock cliff

And finally even the sky can show you faces, like this smiley face in the clouds!

A word a week - smiley face in the clouds
A word a week – smiley face in the clouds

WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “from above”. Most photos I take are from a different angle than right from above, but sometimes when it comes to close-ups and macros, placing the camera right above can capture the best picture.

Here are a few samples of photos taken from above. Remember you can click on each photo to view it in a larger format. And if you like what you see, I invite you to subscribe to this blog so you can get new updates as they come. I publish new photo posts 3 to 5 times a week. Enjoy!

I love photographing raindrops, especially as they linger after the rain has gone. If the sun shines a bit, it can makes for a really nice picture.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above - Raindrops on the leaves of a rose tree
WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above – Raindrops on the leaves of a rose tree

I don’t like spiders but I like how raindrops sit on a spider web. Here’s an example of a spider web right above smooth river rocks with raindrops on top of it. I have more examples of this type of raindrops here and here, but this photo is a few weeks old.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above - Raindrops on a spider web
WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above – Raindrops on a spider web

I usually don’t photograph flowers from right above but these flowers below seemed like the perfect exception. Look how the center of the flower seems almost white as the petals go from yellow to red. Only a shot from above can amplify this pattern.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above - bright yellow red flowers
WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above – bright yellow red flowers

Of course I can’t talk about flowers without talking about bees. I like photographing them from above to show their beautiful wings. On this photo I shared a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something quite special. Take a close look at the bags of nectar the bee is gathering on its back legs. What an efficient way to gather a lot of nectar!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above - Bee carries bags of nectar on legs
WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above – Bee carries bags of nectar on legs

Finally you also can’t talk about flowers without mentioning butterflies. When they stay put and leave their wings wide open, you have the opportunity to photograph beautiful colors from above.

Here’s a beautiful orange julia butterfly (Dryas iulia).

WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above - Orange julia butterfly (Dryas iulia)
WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above – Orange julia butterfly (Dryas iulia)

And here’s a postman butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene).

WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above - Postman butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene)
WordPress weekly photo challenge: From above – Postman butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene)

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme is earth. At first, I thought I’d skip this photo challenge theme because I couldn’t think of any photos to use. Then I read Cee’s description of earth and I figured, hey I could do that! Earth: Clay, Rock, Dust, Sand, Mud, Crystal, Powder, Shadow, Space, Darkness, Gravity, Bone, Silicon.

Below is my personal take of this theme. Remember you can click on any photo to view a larger image.

Southern California is covered with dirt and rocks, not much green overall. Cactus, succulents and short bushes like California Sage Brush are what grow best here.

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Earth - succulents growing in dirt and rocks
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth – succulents growing in dirt and rocks

I enjoy painted rocks and these rocks from the San Diego Botanic Garden are a cute and subtle way to ask people to stay away.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth - painted rocks
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth – painted rocks

Of course San Diego is not all dirt and rocks. It also features beautiful beaches, my favorite being Coronado Beach. It is always listed as one of the Top 10 beaches in the U.S. and it deserves it.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth - San Diego sandy beach
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth – San Diego sandy beach

My last photo is from Idyllwild, California. I call it the face in the rock, and it’s pretty obvious why. This is as if Earth was watching us as we walk by.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth - the face in the rock
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Earth – the face in the rock

Sunday Post: Focused Attention

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post photo challenge. This week’s theme is Focused Attention.

If there’s one thing you need to have when taking photos of nature, it is focused attention. Paying attention to your surroundings is crucial if you want to spot and capture something that looks good to the eye. Sometimes, timing is important if you’re trying to take photos of animals, or even skies, which can change any minute. Focus is mostly needed when you’re taking photos up close, in macro mode.

I just received my brand new Canon Powershot SX500 IS a couple of days ago (it felt like Christmas all over again!), so I played with it a bit yesterday, trying to focus on the raindrops that are everywhere because of the rain. It was fun comparing the photos I took of raindrops on the same tree with my other camera. I’ll be doing a full post on these raindrops later this week, but here’s a preview of it. Focused attention can get you a nice shot of raindrops on a thuja tree branch.

Remember you can click on each photo so you can see it in a larger size.

Sunday Post: Focused Attention - raindrop on a tree branch
Sunday Post: Focused Attention – raindrop on a tree branch

You also need focused attention when trying to capture a moving body of water on camera. I did that recently and I still have to go through my photos to pick a select few. Here’s one that came out alright, I think. The sun was already over the hill and the whole aread being shaded gave the water a blue tint. A pretty neat effect.

Sunday Post: Focused Attention - stream water
Sunday Post: Focused Attention – stream water

That same day, I could see the moon high up in the sky in the late afternoon. I wanted to take a picture of it, but I knew it wouldn’t be a great photo if I had nothing else in the photo but the moon in broad daylight. So I looked around and found a way to add to the picture and give the moon some perspective. I’m pretty happy with the way the photo turned out. What do you think?

Sunday Post: Focused Attention - moon in bright blue sky
Sunday Post: Focused Attention – moon in bright blue sky

That’s all I have for this theme of focused attention. I hope you enjoyed it!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Resolved

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Before I forget, my 2013 12-month photo calendar is available at 50% off on my Zazzle online store. Use coupon code CALSLASTDEAL at checkout.

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is resolved, as in New Year’s resolutions. This year I’ve decided to make new year’s intentions. not resolutions (sorry, WordPress people). I’m still working on my list but I love the way my list of challenges is going so far, especially when it comes to my photography. My projects will include this website, my Facebook page, and my Zazzle store. The good thing is, there’s plenty of room for growth and improvement.

This year, I’m also resolved to understand the full features of my new camera, the  Canon Powershot G1X. I’ve mostly figured out how to use the manual settings on my Canon Powershot SX130, and the two cameras work in a similar way, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

Yesterday, I tried to photograph something new. A waterfall. This has to be the smallest waterfall you’ve ever seen but it was great for practicing taking pictures of running water. It’s part of the San Diego River at Mission Trails regional park, in San Diego, California.

Make sure you click on each image for a larger view.

San Diego River at Mission Trails park, San Diego, California
San Diego River at Mission Trails park, San Diego, California

I love the soft winter light that gives a bluish tint to the water in the shade.

Small waterfall at Mission Trails park, San Diego, California
Small waterfall at Mission Trails park, San Diego, California

Considering the small size of my subject, I think I did a pretty good job. What do you think?

Of course, the key will be to find a bigger waterfall in the future. This is quite a challenge in Southern California, where water is so scarce. It’s all about timing here, because after the spring, everything dries up. There’s a nice waterfall in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park  but I believe the park entrance closest to it is has been closed for lack of funding every time I’ve driven by it. How convenient is that for me? I’ll give it another try in the spring, just in case.

Are you resolved to making small and big changes for 2013?