Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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Wood – July 16, 2014

I’ve always been enthralled with trees that cling to life in harsh environments.  Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah is one of those environments with cold windy winters and blazing hot summers that are occasionally interrupted with lightening, strong winds and short torrential downpours.  It is here these extreme elements converge and shape the twists and turns of these trees.

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Squares, Triangles and Angles – July 5, 2014

After a very busy week following our latest adventure we are getting back into the swing of the blogging thing.  For this week’s challenge we think it’s appropriate to turn the lens towards Washington D.C.  Enjoy our interpretation of the challenge.

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Things with Edges – June 10, 2014

Last year a landslide blocked the main road between Utah and Arizona thus forcing a detour through Marble Canyon.  Many people may have cursed the long detour while others like Wooly and Raeski relished the side-trip into a lesser known canyon in Arizona.

There is no doubt that the canyons of the Southwest have edges.  Here we are treated to those edges plus two bridges (with their own edges) that span those edges.  The bridge on the left is the old bridge that Arizona left standing as a walking bridge.  Should you happen to drive through this canyon make the turn into the parking area and marvel at the solid rock the Colorado River cut through to form the canyon.

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Flower Macros – June 6, 2014

Just a few more…

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Critters on Flowers – June 5, 2014

Sometimes you just have to photograph what’s on or in the flower.  The first butterfly is a cropped down image of one of my favorite photos of all time.  I think you may recognize it as part of the banner of WoolyandRaeski.com.

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Flower Macros – June 4, 2014

Cactus blossoms are unbelievable.  They must be seen to believe the colors are truly that bright and vivid.

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Hiking the Catalina’s – May 20, 2014

Quick… think of a place with mountains, cool breezes, aspen trees, streams and fern lined trails.  Where a hike leads you to grand vistas where you can see for miles and watch clouds gather and burst forth into afternoon summer thunderstorms.

Did you think of southern Arizona?  I didn’t think so.  However a place like this exists high in the Santa Catalina Mountains that tower over Tucson.  As you drive 40 miles up the mountain the temperatures cool as you gain elevation.  While Tucson swelters in the desert heat, it’s a refreshing 35 degrees cooler at the end of your drive.

It’s hard to fathom that a mere few miles away Tucson is in the 100′s while it’s only in the 70′s where you are.  In Arizona elevation makes a huge difference and you are 6,000 feet higher in the Catalina’s.  Hiking may be a bit more difficult due to the thin air but you don’t mind.  You’ve escaped the heat at least for a while.  And it’s kind of fun making your way through chest high ferns instead of side-stepping cactus

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Animals – May 13, 2014

Last summer we saw many amazing places and lots of wildlife.  Some were expected and others were a complete surprise.  The first surprise was spotting a young bighorn sheep in Zion National Park.  In Rocky Mountain NP we saw elk.  Driving in Wyoming I had to stop the car to get pictures of a herd of antelope.

In Yellowstone we were hiking on a trail and had to walk by that big bison.  Being that close did make me a little nervous.  After all, he was definitely a wild animal.  Further north in Glacier NP is where we saw the adorable young mountain goat sticking close to mom.  On the same hike to Hidden Lake we saw the furry little marmot.  Legend has that they will eat anything they can sink their teeth into.

It wasn’t until we got to Canada’s Glacier Waterton NP when we finally saw bear.  It’s hard to tell from the photo whether this is a brown bear or a grizzly.  A brown bear’s nose is fairly straight and a grizzly bear has a more rounded nose.  It’s hard to tell from the photo which it is and I stuck to using my telephoto lens instead of getting closer.  And finally we saw caribou near Jasper Alberta.  They are huge!

I am always happy when I can photograph animals in the wild and feel fortunate when I spot them.  When asked why I’m an environmentalist who wants to save habitats, these photos are my answer.  One of my favorite presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, recognized that states cannot be trusted to save the land and protect it from commercial exploitation.  I abhor what’s going on in the West with a few people who feel the federal government has no right to protect land for future generations.

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Leaves and Trees – May 6, 2014

Choosing these two photos for the challenge was an easy choice for me.  I believe I may actually have a unique photo from one of the most photographed monuments in the world.  If anyone has seen an Eiffel Tower photo that is similar to this one, I would appreciate hearing from you and possible a link if you have one.   Until then I’m claiming a unique shot of the Eiffel Tower.  The other photo is a pathway to the Louvre.  Paris is a wonderful place to visit in the fall.  I hope you enjoy two of my finest photographs.  Cheers, Wooly.

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South Mountain Spring – May 4, 2014

Covering 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park in Phoenix is the largest city park in the U.S.  Spring is a wonderful time to hike in the park not only because of the ‘cool’ weather but also the flowers.  If the desert has been blessed with winter rains it explodes in brilliant color.  Fuchsia, yellow, orange, and blues.  And the Cacti have unworldly brilliant blossoms.  Enjoy spring in Phoenix.

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Shadows – April 22, 2014

Okay, I used shadows for my ‘patterns’ earlier.  Today I show a couple more shots of the shadow taken from different angles.

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Shiny Objects – April 15, 2014

When the subject of the challenge came up my thoughts turned to some photos I took of the shiniest object in the sky.  But it couldn’t be just any picture with the sun, it had to be different.  So I found a couple of photos I liked.  One was one of those ‘failures’ that turn out to be a winner, and the other of what I was trying to shoot.

The first photo was taken while I was trying to get the correct exposure settings to shoot the Venus transit of the sun on June 5, 2012.  In spite of the exposure being way off I still got an interesting photo.  Nope, you can’t see the Venus transit, but you do get what I think is a pretty cool image of the sun blasting through the branches of a mesquite tree.

The second photo actually shows the shadow of Venus on the sun.  That black dot is Venus’ shadow and for all you science geeks, this is how astronomers find planets orbiting stars.  When the light output is reduced they know a planet has passed between the star and us.

Turning my eye towards more earthly subjects is a photo of the Eiffel Tower at night when it is lit up.  It was our good fortune to catch it one night where low hanging clouds were pierced by the searchlight on the tower.

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Patterns – April 12, 2014

Sometimes interesting photos appear when you least expect them.  While attended a banquet in which Raeski was being honored as a national semi-finalist for an educator award we walked by this building.  The brisk winter day was coming to a close and I noticed the pattern a tree cast on a building.  It simply was too good to pass by without taking a few shots.

Winter Shadows
Winter Shadows

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Floralis Generica – April 1, 2014

Every day this mammoth 18 ton flower of steel and aluminum opens its six 13 meter petals.  It stands 75′ tall and 52′ wide.  This has been a Buenos Aires landmark since it first opened in 2002.  And as an extra, that’s Wooly and Raeski in the reflection.

 

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Long flowing auburn hair trails from the face.  But others lurk in and around the main character.  A grimace here, a ghostly figure, a mouth pursed as if waiting for a kiss.  How many more are hidden in the texture and grain?  What emotions are stirred in your soul?  An abstract masterpiece created by nature.

How many faces do you see?
How many faces do you see?

I would love to here from you about what emotions this picture evokes.

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Purple

Sometimes you have to break the rules to get something interesting.  Over-saturation can occasionally be used to create a dynamic photo.  This is from a series I call “The World on Acid”.

Fun with oversaturation
Fun with oversaturation

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Two Colors

Near the Seattle Space Needle there are some beautiful gardens that are a must see for any visitor.  Nature always does a great job when it comes to putting complementary colors together.  If you don’t have a color wheel handy, just look outside and see what nature has provided.

Nature's Complimentary Colors
Nature’s Complimentary Colors

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Sepia Tones

Old farm equipment and front yards are great ingredients for a sepia toned picture.  This one is from Colibri Vineyards in Southern Arizona.

Front yard farm equipment
Front yard farm equipment

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White

This week I decided to show a rapidly disappearing resource in the world.  I wish every climate change denier could walk where I have.  The glacier in the photo is rapidly disappearing.  If I had been standing where I took one photo 100 years ago, I would have been buried under over 100 feet of ice and the glacier would have been more than two miles longer.

This glacier used to be 2 miles longer.
This glacier used to be 2 miles longer.

The next time you talk to a denier arm yourself with these facts:

  1. Massive amounts of ice melts because the earth is getting warmer.
  2. The earth started melting at the beginning of the industrial age.
  3. Seven of the hottest years in the history of record keeping have occurred in the last decade.
  4. Antarctica is experiencing a total ice loss.  It doesn’t matter if one side of the continent is gaining ice when the other side is losing more.
  5. Greenland’s glaciers are increasing their speed to the ocean and losing height as they melt at increasing rates.
  6. The U.S. Navy expects an ice free Arctic Ocean by the year 2020.
  7. As the permafrost melts in the Northern hemisphere, massive amounts of methane and CO2 (greenhouse gasses) are being released into the atmosphere.  Nest year the atmosphere will have the highest level of CO2 in millions of years.

And do your part by being as environmentally friendly as you can be.  Every little bit counts.   And here’s a bonus photo below.

Shark Glacier
Shark Glacier

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Orange

Thankfully there are no homeowners associations to protest the brightly colored buildings in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay.   This is part of the South American charm in traditional areas.

Complementary colors
Complementary colors

Here is the sun setting over the Rio Plata.  Taken from Colonia del Sacramento looking towards Buenos Aires.

Sunset over the Rio Plata
Sunset over the Rio Plata

 

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Mark Twain

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