Weekly Photo Challenge – Fresh

Fresh Flower

Fresh Flower

I’m late to the party this week. Peter and I were up skiing for our last trip of the season. It was so great at Breckenridge yesterday that we stayed all day and got home late. Anyhoo…here’s my offering for this week’s challenge.

I had some time in the studio last week so I was delighted when I saw the word “Fresh!” For those photographers out there – this photo was shot with a Lensbaby Composer Pro using the Sweet 50 optic and the macro converters on my Nikon D600. I LOOOOVE these lenses. They allow me to move the sweet spot of focus around on the frame instead of just in the center and this wonderful company out of Oregon has created an amazing array of optics that are interchangeable with the Composer Pro. I also have a Composer Pro for my Olympus micro four thirds camera and I can use my optics on either camera. Check it out: Lensbaby.com Warning: these things can be addictive! Also just to tease you some more, they have created a lens for your cell phone. I haven’t played with it much yet, but I’m enjoying the effects that I’m getting.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Wall

Coral on the Wall

Coral on the Wall

To a Scuba diver, a wall means something very special. Jumping into the water from the back of the boat, we descended to about 30 feet and finned along a sandy bottom for a short distance until we came to the edge. The sandy bottom disappeared and below us was the vertical wall descending to what seemed like infinity, and along its structure, amazing corals, tiny shrimp, anemonies, fish. Frequently swimming along the wall out in the blue, we saw Eagle Rays and sharks – they seem to like to cruise at around eighty feet.

Certain parts of the world host coral reefs living along these walls – Grand Cayman is famous for them – with the wall extending several thousand feet into the depths. This particular lovely coral lives on the walls of Belize in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll system. I love the textures and colors of these amazing colonies of creatures. So here is my offering for this week’s challenge – and it seems to be celebrating the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, doesn’t it?

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Orange

Many sea creatures living on the coral reefs adopt a very effective camouflage strategy. Believe it or not, they utilize the colors in the warm range – bright oranges and reds to protect themselves from predators. How could orange be a camouflage color, you might ask? Well, ocean water absorbs light – the greater the depth the darker it gets in general, but the water also absorbs wavelengths of light in a specific way. Longer wavelengths are absorbed first and on the light spectrum, those wavelengths produce the colors of light. From longest to shortest in our visible light range we see red, orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple. So at a depth of 15 feet, reds disappear, and our color for this week’s challenge, orange, disappears at 25 feet!

Our fishy friends have evolved to display brilliant colors that literally blend with their environment – the water! This strategy helps to protect them from larger predators including Mr. Shark! Here are just three wonderfully orange creatures from my underwater adventures. Oh, and by the way, most divers carry an underwater light with them (mine’s on my camera frame) so they can see these spectacular colors in the muted ocean waters even during daytime dives.

 

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To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Reward

Early Morning Reward

Early Morning Reward

Last summer, Peter and I took a road trip to South Dakota. I wanted to capture the beauty of Badlands National Park on “film,” so the day after arriving in Wall, SD we got up early to explore this wild country. Shortly after entering the park, we rounded a large sweeping curve in the road and were greeted by a bighorn sheep surveying her domain. She quietly rested here while I photographed her – our reward for getting up early!

To learn more about The Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rule of Thirds

French Angel Fish

French Angel Fish

A basic and powerful guideline for composition whether in photography or other visual arts, employing the rule of thirds can make the difference between producing a snapshot and an artful shot. I use it all the time and work consciously to frame my photos to take advantage of the rule of thirds. By dividing the frame into thirds in both directions, vertical and horizontal, and placing the main subject on one of those lines, a shot can create a sense of tension or ease.

To take the rule even further, the places where those lines intersect can add even more interest. Called power spots, one can compose the shot so that the entire subject or part of the subject, such as the eyes, fall on one of those intersections. As I scanned my photo files, I found this shot of a French Angel Fish taken on a recent trip to Bonaire. It was one that I had overlooked, but I realized that I had framed the shot with that fish smack-dab in the center of the left lower power spot. This shot was not cropped in any way during post processing – a happy circumstance since they move really fast!

To learn more about The Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Symmetry

Daffodil

Daffodil

I haven’t posted a flower shot in a long time, and I don’t usually photograph symmetrical subjects symmetrically. But since this daffodil is a symmetrical flower, I decided to share its portrait for the challenge.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.