Category Archives: Picture Galleries

Morning in Africa

I am not a morning person. Not really a night owl either. I have a couple of good hours around 10 in the morning most days.

Elephant at Sunrise, Masai mara
Elephant at Sunrise, Masai mara

Since I can’t seem to get up early to take pictures except when I have jet lag here are some pictures taken when I was up early because of jet lag.

 

Sunrise in Mulundi Village, Kitui, Kenya.
Sunrise in Mulundi Village, Kitui, Kenya.
Lion taking an early morning stroll.
Lion taking an early morning stroll.
Hot air balloon flare at dawn.
Hot air balloon flare at dawn.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Early Bird.”

Under Obstruction

I walked to the store today, an exercise in frustration.

Ten years or so ago our area was designated an “Urban Village.” That means that they are building  like crazy, lots of new residential units that are not required to have parking…everyone is supposed to walk and use public transit.

They startedby reducing bus service. Now they are building on every corner.

Apparently we aren’t supposed to walk until they are done.

Desert in Bloom

Here are a series of pictures playing with desert wildflowers,  landscapes, scale and observation. The flowers are quite small, the dandelions were the largest, so it was difficult to get a viewpoint that has both the flower and the overall sense of the desert that I wanted, to show the flowers as a frail and fleeting bit of color in a harsh environment.

These two are both taken with the same stand of dandelions at approximately the lower right rule of thirds intersection point:

These flowers are shown first looking down from above, neither is particularly obvious in the shot of the desert floor. But they are pretty and colorful when I put the camera on the ground beside them.

This blue flower was more noticeable from a distance. I deliberately did not try to exclude the piece of debris as the desert is full of it after being used as an informal garbage dump for so long.

Light and Warmth

This is an experiment. I took three pictures of each subject one with the sunlight coming from behind, one from the side, and lastly front lit.

Driftwood and crocosmia leaves:

Dandelion:

Cherry blossoms:

Daffodils:

It is interesting to see the effects side by side. In general I tend to like the back lit and side lit ones a bit better. What do you think?

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Weifang, where my son lives has one major claim to fame: the International Kite Festival. They love their kites.

You can buy your own set of wings:

Several colorful butterfly kites hanging on a wall in a kite shop.
You can buy your own set of wings. Kite shop in Weifang, China.

I had a serendipitous backwater experience in Weifang last spring…I got to fly a kite with an older Chinese man who did so as a hobby. Even though we could not “understand” each other we somehow understood each other.

Meet Mr. Xu Xue Lian and his butterfly kite:

 

With your feet on the ground you’re a butterfly in flight, with your fist holding tight to the string of your kite.

Chinese man holding the reel of kite string flying a kite.
With your feet on the ground you’re a butterfly in flight.

Send it soaring up through the atmosphere:

Kite soaring beside a tower.
Soaring up in the atmosphere.

(it is a Chinese city so the air isn’t clear!)

Oh, let’s go…fly a kite!

 I couldn’t believe it when he handed me the controls ! I think he wanted to share with me the exhilarating feeling of controlling the kite so high up in the air. I have never experienced anything like it. And he had a really good time playing with the camera (one more advantage to having an inexpensive easy to use camera!)

I learned his name because a young woman who spoke a little English and worked in a nearby coffee shop was out walking in the park during her lunch hour and stopped to chat.

 

What is Serenity?

This was harder than I thought. I didn’t know what the word really meant and had to look it up. Going through my pictures I realized that I have some serene baggage.

Dawn looking out over Masai Mara, an infinity pool in the foreground reflects the clouds and a hot air balloon is flaring.

My five elements of serenity:

  •  It needs light, but also an edge of darkness.
  •  It needs to have sky in it, but not perfectly clear.
  •  It needs water in it, unruffled water.
  •  It needs to have land in it.
  •  It needs life in it.

 

A courtyard of the Forbidden City in China, It has stone paving, a basin holding water, a couple of trees and tile roofs.
Forbidden courtyard

I am not sure why I like my sky cloudy and my water smooth. But for every rule there is an exception:

Agapanthus Flowers with a backdrop of the  harbor of Crescent City on the California coast.

 

Then of course there is his Serene Highness:

A profile of a lion in grassland facing the sun.
His Serene Highness.

Aren’t dictionaries great?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Serenity.”