Lens Artists Challenge – A One Lens Walk

This week Anne wants us to “take a lens for a walk.” I have 3 favorites that I use on a regular basis. First up is the canon 24-105mm. I use this one primarily for family and pet photos.

But is also works nicely for landscape photos.

My next go-to lens is the canon 100-400mm. If I’m trying to photograph birds or distant subjects, this is the lens that I use.

Although the 100-400 is not a macro lens, it works well for close up photography as long as I can maintain the minimum focusing distance. For this reason, I will more often than not take this heavy but useful lens on hikes.

The last lens that I use regularly is my canon 100mm macro which is absolutely my favorite! I love bringing detail to life. Early in my career as a clinical laboratory technologist, I discovered that I loved microscopy. Being able to see red cells, white cells, platelets, bacteria and fungi close up was fascinating to me. Below are 2 macro images with the 100.

The 100mm macro also serves as a great prime lens which is something I need to remember more often.

As my love for macro photography grew over the years, I investigated getting into microscopic photography. Deciding that it might be too expensive, instead I purchased the canon MPE 65mm which is a 1X – 5X macro. It is full manual, requires great light and absolutely no movement of subject or camera. It’s great for rainy days when I don’t want to walk.

Thanks Anne for a great challenge!


Lens Artists Challenge – Looking Back

For this week’s challenge, we are looking back into the passing of time using photos to represent this topic. As I was going through my photos, I chose music as my subject. My father was a self taught, successful musician. His instrument was guitar and in his early 30’s (during the 1940’s) he was a member of the Sammy Kaye Orchestra in New York (“Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye”). Eventually he struck out on his own in the 1950’s. Here are a few photos that depict changes in the music industry of that time.

Advertising for a musician “back then”.

78 RPM Demo Records – Does anyone remember 78 RPM??

The advancement to to 45 RPM’s with the little thing you had to put in the middle of the record in order to play it.

Radio was a popular medium for listening to music. I’m sure the equipment in the photos below was considered quite sophisticated at the time (taken at a wax museum in Nashville, TN).

Fast forward to the 1960’s and what I consider “my music” – the British Invasion – starting with the Beatles. 33 RPM Vinyl – it’s making a comeback!! I’m glad I saved all of my old records.

What’s interesting to me is that the instruments have not changed that much. The guitars shown below are well over 75 years old (both belonged to my dad).

Today – music is at our fingertips through multiple streaming sites. Personally, I love it – but every now and then I love to hear the pop and crackle of an old vinyl record.

Thanks Sofia for the trip down memory lane!!


Lens Artist Challenge – Favorite Images of 2022

For our first Lens Artists Challenge of 2023 – Journeys with Johnbo asks us to share our favorites from 2022. For this post, I’ve decided to share mostly nature and outdoor photos. First up is waterfowl. When we were in Florida, I had the pleasure of seeing these white pelicans and mergansers.

Birds are always a favorite and here are three of our local visitors

Also, these winged critters are wonderful to see.

Of course, beach time is the best!

Sunset and the Blue Hour provides it’s own beauty for photography.

Lastly, I’ll close with some fun photos of our dog at Christmas. She loved her stocking but could do without the outfit. She’s a good sport as long as her humans throw her ball and give her lots of treats and above all – love!!


Lens Artists Challenge – Last Chance

Tina has chosen a great topic for this week. Our posts are to be of photos that are among our favorites for 2022 but have not yet been posted to WP. This post is about the many changes that occurred this year in the Leonard household. Those who follow me may remember that we sold our 2700 sq. ft. home last year and moved into a 700 sq. ft. one bedroom apartment (lensball photo below) while we waited for the right time to start building. That time came in December 2021 and the framing started January 2022. As the building commenced we also saw evidence of the local wildlife (bear).

My husband was quite involved in the construction of the home, so we spend quite a bit of time at the site, but we were able to do some fun stuff too like time at the beach, taking a trip to DC and going to a local aquarium.

At last, we moved in end of July and 6 weeks later on Sept 9, celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. A dear friend sent me a Christmas ornament to commemorate our anniversary.

One of the reasons for the move is to be closer to family. This has paid off in a big way for us, most recently with Christmas cookie baking at our home.

I’ll close with a few nature photos taken around our home; backyard sunrise across the fairway and 2 birds I have never photographed – an eastern phoebe and a yellow bellied sap sucker.

I wish everyone a blessed holiday season and a happy new year!!


Lens Artists Challenge – Topic – Exposure

This week Sophia is leading us through a study on exposure. I must admit, many of my exposure changes take place in Lightroom. There are times where I may purposefully go for a high or low key exposure “in camera” but most often it’s just a slight exposure nudge to the right or left depending on the image I am taking. Here are some examples where I used Lightroom to tweak exposure. The original is on the left and edited version on the right.

The first is a slight increase in exposure/highlights creating a more high key image.

The second image is a water/sky abstract. In this case the image was darkened to create more contrast.

The last image is a white flower on a white background. For me, these images almost always need work in Lightroom to get the white balance correct as well as the “whites”.

If you would like to join these challenges, you can find the info here


Lens Artists Challenge – Flights of Fancy

Many of you know that we sold our beloved home of 33 years in April 2021 (pictured below). It was more space that we needed, 2 stories and we wanted to move closer to our daughters and their families.

Little did we know that the price of lumber would delay us to the point where we lived in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment for over a year. During this time, building a new home definitely seemed like a flight of fancy plus since we are both over 70, I did not expect us to be doing this at this time of our life..

In December 2021 we started clearing the lot, finalized our plans and worked on colors for walls, floors and cabinets.

After a LOT of planning and waiting, construction began and we have decided that this has been the best decision ever. We got to plan our new home from the ground up and there is little we would go back and change. Plus it’s wonderful to be less than 30 minutes from our daughters and families. Here is a peek at our new home.

If you would like to join these challenges – click here


Len’s Artists Challenge – Over the Hill

This week the Lens-Artists community invites us to share images of what over the hill means to us. I have plenty of mountain pictures but the first thing my mind went to is some of the photos of our grandchildren playing on hills. For children, hills mean adventure. Some of my best childhood memories are of rolling down a hill of soft green grass. Here are some photos of the joy of a hill from a child’s point of view.


Lens Artists Challenge – Opposites

We have finally settled into our new home – so there’s time for a little photography. Recently we went to Washington DC with our family and took a fun trip to the zoo. The grands loved it! The visit brought back many childhood memories for me however I was disappointed we couldn’t find the giraffes and the aviary was closed for renovations. The photos below are from that trip.

Spots and Stripes

Brunette and Blonde Brothers

If you would like to join these challenges, you can find the info here


Lens Artists Challenge – Treasures

I am at the stage of life where how I spend my time is my treasure. These are the areas where I like to spend the majority of my treasure of time

In nature taking pictures

At the beach

With family

And with my goofy husband of almost 50 years this September (check out the t-shirt)

If you would like to join these challenges – you can find the info here –