52 Weeks of Life Seen Through My Eyes

Ida's Photo Theme Challenge


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Week 12 #3. Before/After

Photographing whatever captures my attention at any given moment on any day, has often led to unexpectedly pleasant surprises found within the parameters of my own yard. My attempts at learning how to use my camera and the challenges that accompany it, inspire me to venture outdoors frequently. On this particular day, while endeavoring to capture flitting, elusive butterflies, my camera focused on a dandelion instead. Being easily distracted, I took a break from butterflies-in-constant-motion to a stationary dandelion, a far less daunting proposition. Never anticipating publishing the image, it was one of those unexpected surprises I had discovered in a little corner of my world. The delicate, wispy filaments of the dandelion contrast effectively with the barren head alongside it, lending itself to the Before/After theme within one frame.

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Week 11 #51. Upside Down

Wandering around the yard of our favorite house at Playa Barqueta, camera in hand in case something interesting appeared, I spotted several very ordinary looking spiders in tangled, messy webs. These partially disintegrating webs of thin silken strands, suspended between the flowering shrubs, glistened as they caught the light of the mid-morning sun. The small garden-variety spiders hung upside down, patiently waiting for their intended prey. I crouched down to take a couple of shots, observing their lightning-fast speed as they pounced on the teeny insects that ventured too close to their sticky traps. It was quite a lovely surprise to see their markings once the photos were uploaded. Those little 8-legged creatures were interestingly patterned and not quite as drab as I had previously thought.

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Week 10 #42. Silhouette

I could have used these images for S.O.T.C. (Straight Out Of The Camera) as absolutely no adjustments were made, not even cropping, but selected them for “Silhouette” instead.

We were atop the hill at Grand View Park in San Francisco embracing the colors of the changing skies as the sun sank lower on the horizon. A solitary young man was seated on the only bench overlooking the city and Golden Gate Bridge, taking in the glorious views as were several others scattered on the hilltop. Before anyone else popped into the picture, I was able to capture him against an impressive scene partly showing beyond him.

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I was asked in my previous post if sunset photos were imminent. The orange sherbet sunset rapidly changed to shades of pink and purple as the fog rolled in quickly, amassing heavily to completely obscure the sun and leave the scene an extremely chilly grey. So, these two are for you, Patricia!

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Week 9 #11. Descending

We had already climbed the many, many steep stairs to get to the top of one of the many, many hills that overlook the city of San Francisco, including the ones we had specially detoured to see, a staircase of impressive mosaic beauty.  However, seeing there was still at least an hour before sunset, and having enjoyed the views and snapped a considerable number of photos, we decided to make a quick return to some funky, vivid graffiti we had sighted earlier. By the time I finished capturing that art on camera, we returned to the hill to catch the sunset. This time we decided to park closer on the opposite side of our original climb so it wouldn’t be quite as arduous. As we began our ascent, I saw this young man beginning his descent and thought it was worth attempting a shot. We then continued upward as he stepped down towards us. We stopped to take a few photos of city scenes, beginning to feel the consequences of our previous zillion steps walked. About half way, the young man greeted us with a smile and said it was definitely worth reaching the top as the view was fantastic. Little did he know that we had already taken it all in and were back for a repeat. But as he said, the view was definitely worthwhile with the fog rolling in and the sunset changing rapidly from a glorious orange to a soft swirl of pastels.

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Week 8 #48. Three of a Kind

I wasn’t out looking to photograph birds; we were simply on our way home when we chanced upon a trio of Yellow-Headed Caracaras crossing the winding dirt road a few yards in front of us. They flitted into a garden beyond a gate. My husband rapidly came to a stop while I hauled out my camera and quietly and slowly emerged from the car, hoping to snap a few photographs before these birds of prey disappeared from view. The mother flew up onto the gate to keep a watchful eye on this intrusive photographer, determined to protect her offspring from harm. The youngster squawked noisily on the driveway while Papa Caracara nervously flapped around him, ultimately succeeding in enticing him further from the gate onto a large birdbath where junior continued his cries. It was a totally unexpected and priceless encounter we felt privileged to witness.

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