Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Soft, Blue, and Patterns

First, here is my entry for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Patterns.

We finally built a deck last year (Was it two years ago?) And I was fascinated by what I saw below the deck.

The last photo was taken at The National Portrait Gallery. I wish I was using my D750 instead of my iPhone!

We have held our family gathering once a year at Chesapeake Bay for several years now. This year, almost every day, we blanketed with beautiful soft light. When I saw Tina pick “soft” as the theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (Soft) two weeks ago, I smiled.

And I remember Dad said, “Your mom’s heart is soft like tofu.”


Finally, here is my entry for last week’s challenge… Patti had selected “Blue” as the theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (Blue) last week.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Time to Relax

This is my submission for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Time to Relax. Please follow the link to read Amy’s post.

For me, time-to-relax means: go see mountains.

Time-to-relax means: go sit by a water fall, a lake, an ocean, a river…

Time-to-relax means: stop and smell a flower or take care of flower plants.

Cooking, cleaning house, eating dinner with friends … Wait a second, it seems like I have been relaxed most of the time, if not all the time…

Time-to-relax means: retiring 😉

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Bicycles: Times Past


This is my first submission to Irene’s Times Past, and this month’s subject is: Bicycles.

(I’ve noticed that my English is getting worse and worse. Many commonly used words become unfamiliar to me. I need to do something, so this is my effort to save the rest of my English brain.)

Baby Boomer – Tainan, Taiwan

Learning Biking

In this photo, you see 3 sisters: my big sister was riding the bike; my younger sister sat in the back; I was a happy observer. Believe it or not, that bike in the photo was the bike I used to learn how to bike.

It was one afternoon when I was in 3nd grade. Everyone was busy, and I got bored. I pushed the bike to one end of our yard, and carefully move one leg to the other side of the bike. The bike was taller than me; placing my hands on the handlebars, I felt as if I was reaching to stars. Back and forth, I pushed the bike from one end to the other. After several back-and-forths, I managed to stand on one pedal; my arms felt much better. More back-and-forths later, I was able to ride the bike. Of course I had to stand on the pedals; the seat was too high for me.

I began biking to school when I was in 4th grade. Bike was the means of transport in Taiwan back then. (Motorcycles have replaced bikes nowadays.)

Biking Games

Back then, almost everyone was a biking expert. We could carry almost anything, big or small, when we biked. I bet I could texting if we had cell phone back then. 😉

Forcing others off their bikes was one game we played. We didn’t have fancy toys; we had to be creative in making games. We biked in the yard and each would try to corner the other so he would have to get off his bike. I think I won most of the time. I am sure my friends think they did 😉

A Red Bike

When I was in high school, my mom gave me a new bike – an old bike, but it was new to us. It was a cute red and white bike. I wasn’t too crazy about how it looked, but I didn’t argue. However I was shock when I first rode it – it would take 3 or 4 turns and finally the chain would be properly connected (not sure how to describe). So when the traffic light turned green, you could see my feet draw 3 circles quickly before the bike making a move. I hated it, but I didn’t say a word to my mom. I understood we didn’t have a lot of money.

One day, my sister Karin needed a bike; she asked me if she could use mine. I hesitated, wondering if I should tell her about the secret of that bike. She wasn’t too happy for my hesitation. “Only for a short while, “ she said loudly. “Sure,” I said. A minute later, I heard her screaming. “What kind of bike is this?” she said. I didn’t respond, hoping my mom didn’t hear anything.

Owing a Bike again

I didn’t bring my bike with me when attending college, only rode it during summer or winter vacation. After coming to U.S., for many years I didn’t have a bike – I didn’t think it was safe to ride one, and I finally bought one several years ago. The first thing I noticed was that the handlebars is not as stable as any of my old bikes; this didn’t bother me, since, in my mind, I am a biking expert and I can handle it. What I didn’t expect was that after riding for 5 minutes, my butt started hurting; I had never experienced this in my many biking years. (Can I have my old bike back?)

This is getting long, so I would stop here. Irene’s challenge brought back a lot of memories. Thanks, Irene.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Brenda’s A Photo Study: Ian MacDonald’s creative composition in street photography

This is my submission for Brenda’s A Photo Study: Ian MacDonald’s creative composition in street photography. Here is the link to Ian MacDonald’s creative composition in street photography- Part One.

Ian’s article has 5 parts. Even though most of things in his article aren’t new to me, I like how he organizes the points and provides plenty photos so it’s easy to understand. Detail Shots (part 5) is the only part that I haven’t heard often. Although once in a while I would be attracted by some details in a scene and decide to take a photo, I don’t usually look for those amazing details. In this area, I have a huge room to improve for sure. 😉

Ian talks about two different approaches for his candid street photography: (1) Set the stage first and then bring different elements together (2) React spontaneously to a moment. He considers himself to be more of a deliberate photographer than a reactionary one. I, on the other hand, consider myself a reactionary one 😉 I guess the difference is that they (serious photographers) are trying to create a piece of art, and I am trying to create something I like.

Setting the Stage

Occasionally, I, too, would take time to wait for something to happen…
The first photo was taken at Salzburg. I don’t know why I wanted a photo of that bridge since I didn’t see anything (light, shadow, subject…) special. I waited for a couple of minutes for her to show up while the rest of the traveling group was stopping at the traffic light.

Reacting to the Moment

Ian also talks two different street photography approaches that is more interactive: (1) Street portraits – he enjoy meeting new friends, and making portraits of them (2) Detail shots – he says, “Purposely cutting off part of a building, or part of a person for that matter, may create tension or mystery in the photograph. Creative use of light and shadow to hide certain elements of a photograph may also have the same effect. “ (I don’t quite understand why “Detail Shots” is interactive. I left a comment asking this question, and will give an update when I find the answer. Brenda, do you know?)

Street Portrait

Like many people, I have a hard time to approach people when I have camera in hands. (I don’t have problem when I don’t carry a camera.) 😉 And that is only one part of the problem. The other part is that no matter how relaxes the person is, his expression changes when he knows someone is taking his photo, and I often like his original expression better. So, talking to a person after taking his photo seems working better for me 😉

Detail Shots

I want to thank Brenda for another great photo-study. Looking forward to seeing the next one.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cooling

This is my submission for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cooling. Please feel free to follow the link to learn more about this wonderful challenge.

I could almost hear him saying, “I am cool; I can’t help it!”

At the same time, his great-aunt (me) was thinking: “So glad this is not my car!” 😉

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Wonder

This is my submission for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Wonder. Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is a new photo challenge. Please feel free to follow the link to learn more about it.

Patti Moed said, “The theme for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Wonder. We invite you to create a post that captures a moment, a feeling, a place, a person—which filled you with wonder.”

Everything is a wonder, when we see through children’s eyes.

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Brenda’s A Photo Study: Red

This is my submission for Brenda’s A Photo Study: Red.

Brenda said, “Red is the color of blood and has a historical association with sacrifice, danger, and courage. It is also the color most commonly associated with heat, danger, determination, strength, activity, passion, sexuality, anger, love and joy. ”

How can anyone not like red? I had a red shirt when I was in college. It seemed like whenever I wore it, I was happier on that day. 😉

I like seeing a splash of red in photos. A red umbrella or a red jacket will do. But that splash of red has to be in a right form at the right place, I think.

I took the following picture in Vienna. My husband, as usual, was walking 20 feet in front of me. I ran, trying to catch up. And this woman caught my eyes (maybe it was that red jacket.)

Should I stop to take a photo? I hesitated for a split second. Oh well, I can find my husband later, but if I don’t take a photo now, this moment will be gone forever, I told myself. So I stopped. (I did find my husband later, in case you wonder 😉

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Posted in photo, photo and thoughts | Tagged | 29 Comments