Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #30: Unexpected

This is my submission for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #30: Unexpected. Unexpected what? “It’s up to you,” Ann-Christine says.

What can you do to sweaty windows? Most of the days, I just ignore them. Once in a while, I would dry them with a towel. I didn’t like sweaty windows and had never taken a second look at them. However, yesterday morning, unexpectedly, I saw beauty in those water droplets.

Since I already got the camera in my hands, I might as well shoot another one.

Wait a second, there is something in those water droplets…

Our maple tree! Let me take a closer look…

So cool! I started running around from one window to next, clicking like crazy. I even found some diamonds!

And this morning… it begins to look like Christmas…

Thank you, Ann-Christine, for a fun challenge.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #29: Cityscapes

This is my submission for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #29: Cityscapes.

In this challenge, Patti asks us to share a cityscape of one city or several cities with populations in the thousands or millions.

San Francisco (One raining day)

Honolulu, Hawaii

Taichung, Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

Wish I have better photos for you ;-( Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Brenda’s A Photo Study: A Color Primary

I found treasures in Brenda’s A Photo Study: A Color Primary! I mean other than Brenda’s usual wonderful writing, that is. Let me give you 3:

1. I love David M. Kessler’s Simple Color System! I have seen several color wheels in the past. Whenever I wanted to be sure which color was the complementary color for a specific color, I would find a color-wheel online. And this one is one of the bests. You may want to see David’s video to understand his color wheel better.

2. Adobe Color CC app is amazing. And it’s fun to play with. I am impressed even though I’d only spent a few minutes glancing at it. I want to learn, I mean play, more!

“Adobe Color is an internet application that lets individuals try out, create and save various colour schemes, each of which consists of a set of five colours.”

Adobe Color CC is a simple way to capture inspiring color combinations.

Users can export a color scheme straight into Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign and Sync to Adobe Color service.
— Crozdesk

3. Pete Turner’s photos had opened a brand new world for me!

(Brenda, I can’t thank you enough!)

So, this morning, I was looking for colors in our house (it’s cold outside). Hmm… that was harder than I thought. Finally, I remembered my coloring pencils, pens…

Do you think what I am thinking that color does make a difference?

The next two photos… I was trying to find a color that would look good with this coffee creamer bowl. I wasn’t happy with the first photo, and quickly came to a conclusion that these colors didn’t look good together. I was going to try a different color right away, but decided to improve the light first. After fixing the light, to my surprise, I like the photo much better. So much to learn…

Another great lesson! Thanks, Brenda.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Brenda’s A Photo Study: Light

Brenda, in her A Photo Study: Light article, said, “Today’s blog which is being guided by H Zehr’s, discussion of light (The Little Book of Contemplative Photography) has suggested to me that an effective study guide of photography should introduce the topic of light as part of compositional and technical topics.” And she then gave us several quotes from Zehr., including the following.

To photograph is to draw with light. To photograph is to receive and hold light; a photograph is ‘frozen light.’ Light is the essence of photography. Without light, there is no photograph.

Although from time to time, I was attracted by what light had presented to me, a lot of times when I took photos, I wasn’t thinking of light. Thanks to Brenda that from now on, I will definitely pay more attention to light.

I read Brenda’s post several times… maybe more for the purpose of looking at each of Brenda’s photos. I am amazed at all her egg photos. And I enjoy watching both videos (using egg to learn how to see light is one of them) she shared with us.

At first, I was going to photograph eggs (what else?) But it seemed to me that Brenda had already done a “complete” set of egg photos; what more to shoot? My second thought was: it would be a great learning experience if I could duplicate each of Brenda’s photos, because by doing so, I would understand light better. But would that be fun enough for me? I wasn’t sure. At the end, I decided to go with something else. A very simple object, that is. And I found one – a sake bottle.

In this exercise, Brenda asked us to “Use one or more light sources; e.g., diffused light from a window that has some sheer material or bounce light off a wall or a white poster board. A directed or ‘spot’ source can be created with a flood or spotlight in a clamp or a desk light.” Among the following photos, some were taken with diffused light, one bounce light, and some spot source. I wonder how easy it is to tell the difference (from looking at the object, not from background).

It just happened that PictureCorrect recently has published an article Photo Lighting: Things You Should Know. And in that article, I found answers to a couple of my questions 😉 But that’s only a part of the reason I mention it.

William Beem (the author of the article) said, “Some photographers get hung up on the difference between natural light and artificial light. The problem is that there’s no such thing as artificial light. It’s all electromagnetic radiation.” And he concluded that “Light is light.” I found this very interesting. It’s something I want to think more for sure.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #28: Curves

This is my submission for Tina’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #28: Curves.

“How are you dealing with life’s little curveballs?” Tina asked.

A lot of time, I simply step aside; let the ball pass me. Sometimes, I learn the lesson and move on. Sometimes, I ask (beg?) higher beings to help. All of the time, while dealing with life’s little curveballs, I would repeat to myself: “I love you no matter what!” 😉

Thanks, Tina.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: My Travel to Alpine Countries (Part 4)

This is the 4th part of my travel to Alpine Countries for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: My Travels.

Continue from my previous post… (Due to popular demand, story will go on… Ok, ok, Manja was the only one who asked me to continue my story. So, for Manja… )

Simplon Pass

The Simplon Pass (French: Col du Simplon; German: Simplonpass; Italian: Passo del Sempione) (2,005 m or 6,578 ft) is a high mountain pass between the Pennine Alps and the Lepontine Alps in Switzerland. — Wikipedia


We stopped at Simplon-Pass for a restroom break, I think. I don’t remember if we had lunch there or not. My guess is we probably did, but that part of the trip is totally blank. Other than remembering seeing some Swiss Army guys eating food there (Wei took some photos of them), I had no recollection of food.

It was the first time we saw mountains right in front of us –Day 10 of this trip! I felt like running toward them. “I bet our slightly overweight tour guide can’t catch me!” I thought to myself.

Soon, it was time to leave. “I am NOT leaving. Pick me up on your way back,” I said.

Our tour guide laughed. “This is nothing. You’ll have better views later,” he said and went straight to the bus, leaving me behind.

The ground was pretty wet; sitting on the ground kicking legs was definitely not an option. Deduct $5 from the tip, I noted.


Lucerne was actually after Zermatt. But I want to save Matterhorn to the last.

Pilatus, also often referred to Mount Pilatus, is a mountain massif overlooking Lucerne in Central Switzerland. It is composed of several peaks, of which the highest (2,128 m (6,982 ft)) is named Tomlishorn.
The top can be reached with the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest cogwheel railway…
– Wikipedia

(Mount Pilatus – Lucerne) We rode a train like this to the top!

(Mount Pilatus – Lucerne) See the train?

(Mount Pilatus – Lucerne)

Zermatt/ Gornergrot

The ride up from Zermatt to Gornergrat was crowded (We shared the ride with two traveling groups from Taiwan!) We were lucky to find seats – of course, all window seats were taken. Although Wei doesn’t care to shoot through glass window, with scenery like this, he couldn’t resist. He started shooting from the wrong side of the train. A couple from Washington State, who sat by the window, kindly offer me their window seat. I kindly pass the opportunity to Wei. Wei was happy. Click, click, click… Many clicks later, he seemed suddenly remembering that he has a wife; he stepped aside and let me take some photos. I quickly took a few. Noticing several Chinese tourists envyingly looking at us, I said to them, “Come on, take some photos!”

Three jumped out of their chair instantly, rushing to the window. Click, click, click… Many clicks later, I began to see that they had no intention to leave the spot. Wei was waiting to take more photos; he became impatient. He wasn’t happy for losing the spot, I was sure. avoiding Wei’s eyes, I turned to the Washington-State couple. While talking to them, I checked on Wei’s situation, from time to time, with the corner of my eyes.

I have a problem… I don’t know why… Wei’s angry face often makes me laugh. Trying hard not to burst into laughter, I could feel my face started twitching. In spite of all my effort, a couple of smiles managed to surface. I looked like a crazy old woman!

It took a while, but, at last, Wei got the spot back. I felt relieved. Time to sit back and enjoy watching him having a good time.


The photo above shows the train station where we got off the train. The view was spectacular (need me to point it out?) A wet and somewhat icy staircase will bring us to an even higher ground. High altitude made it difficult to breath for Wei. He told me to go up by myself and he would wait at where we were. I suspected that the problem was more mental than physical. I said to him, “We don’t have to rush. Let’s take one step at a time. If you want, we can always turn back.”

We made it. Then we found out there is an elevator somewhere.

I was surprise to see the national flag of Republic of China was used by one tour leader from Taiwan as the guide flag (not sure what it calls). I borrowed it so Wei could take a photo of me holding the flag. In no time, I sent the photo to my friends back in Taiwan. They were as surprised as I was.

Matterhorn Mountain

The Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. It is a large, near-symmetrical pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, whose summit is 4,478 metres high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. — Wikipedia

… (Not sure what more to say…)

On our way back, we visited Rhine Falls, Black Forest… etc. Frankly, I don’t remember a thing…

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: My Travel to Alpine Countries (Part 3)

This is the 3nd part of my travel to Alpine Countries for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: My Travels.

Continue from my previous post…

On our way to Innsbruck, we stopped at a small restaurant for lunch. The food wasn’t something to remember, but the view was good.

One guy bought a flask of coffee liqueur. “Only $6, “ he said happily. Only $6! I went to bought one, too. I told the owner I didn’t need a bag, thinking my carryon bag, which I left on the bus, still had plenty of room. Minutes later, when our tour guide saw what I had in my hand, he said, “Oh, no, you don’t want that. Do you even know what it is?” He looked concerned.

Before I could answer, he brought me to see the owner like how teachers would drag their trouble-making student to see the principal. He said to the owner, “She wants to return this. She had no idea what she was buying.”

The owner looked at me; I guessed he was waiting for me to explain more. My eyes were attracted by all different liqueur flavors displayed on the wall right behind him. Should I take blueberry liqueur instead? Pineapple? After giving some serious consideration, I decided I liked what I had – coffee flavor. I said, “No, I am not returning it!”

Our tour guide’s jaw dropped. I quickly walked away, thinking maybe he doesn’t know I am old enough to drink.

(That coffee liqueur was so delicious. It took me several days to finish it, and I enjoyed every sip of it. 😉


It was at Innsbruck, we saw the first McDonald on this trip. I don’t know about other Americans… for me, seeing McDonald in a foreign country, is as warm as seeing American Embassy 😉 I don’t like eating fast food. In fact, Wei and I had many arguments because he likes eating fast food as much as I dislike it. But when traveling, I don’t mind eating at McDonald. (We didn’t eat here though.)

St. Moritz

(Roseg Valley) Now we are talking… 😉

(St. Moritz)

Lake Como

Oops… it seems like I need a part-4 for this trip. I thought by skipping a couple of places, I could cover the whole trip in 3 posts, but I was wrong. Part 4 will be photos only. Trust me; you don’t want to be disturbed by any stories, not even mine. Ha. What you will miss are (1) one hotel has an amazing towel rack. There is a switch to turn on the heat and it works great when you want to dry your clothes quickly (2) The McDonald we visited later charges a small fee for ketchup packages. Of course we didn’t get any.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Posted in photo, photo and thoughts, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged | 18 Comments