All posts tagged: photo challenge

WordPress.com – Upsetting the Balance

As of the end of this month (and 2,000 Daily Prompts, 380 Photo Challenges, 260 Community Pools, and 100 First Fridays later), we will no longer publish new posts, prompts, or challenges on this site. – Ben Huberman, WordPress.com The Daily Post – As you can see from the announcement above, WordPress Prompts and Photo Challenges will soon be a thing of the past. It isn’t the first time that WordPress has suddenly discontinued a feature that many bloggers faithfully use and enjoy. I’ve been submitting photos to the Photo Challenges for almost 8 years. Polite words can’t express my disappointment that they have decided to terminate access to our community of photographers. As a replacement, WordPress suggests that bloggers try this: post a photo (any topic you feel like) and tag it with ‘photo challenge’. Then, open your WordPress Reader and type ‘photo challenge’ in the search bar…  Really – you think that makes it a challenge? Nope –  it’s just a bunch of posts with photos. WordPress, you remind me of this rock …

A Line Up of Sunrises

We have a roof top patio in Arizona – a perfect place for watching sunrises, sunsets, and star gazing. The science behind contrails is fascinating. Contrails should never be a cause for alarm; after all, folks don’t flip out on chilly days when their breath forms a cloud. If it’s cold enough and the air is still, you might even notice a cloud hanging behind you for several meters. – What really comes out of an airplane? Contrails, not chemtrails, The Washington Post – Are you on a flight path? Are the planes loud and noisy, or so high you don’t even notice them? This week’s WordPress.com photo Challenge is Lines.

Recipe for a Dramatic Sunrise or Sunset

Are the sunrises and sunsets in your part of the world ho-hum? If they are, then you could follow this recipe to make them spectacular! – start with clean air, preferably in the fall or winter season. (You might have to travel somewhere to find these conditions.) – marvel at the blue of the daytime sky, which is caused by the selective scattering of sunlight by air molecules. This scattering favours the shorter wavelengths of violet to blue. – consider the much longer path through the atmosphere that sunlight has to travel in the morning and evening. It scatters more violet and blue, which creates the opportunity for reds and oranges to reach our eyes. – finally, add some clouds to catch the red-orange rays and reflect this light to the ground. It wasn’t until I investigated the science of the colour of sunrises that I realized that not everyone gets to see such a thing regularly! Now I know how fortunate I am to live in two parts of the world where this frequently …

I’d Rather Be… Here than There

March is a strange month. It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations – I’d rather be here where it is warm: Than there where it is cold: This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is I’d Rather Be… Where would you rather be?

Faces in the Car Show Crowd

January and February are the best time of the year for the car buffs in Arizona! This year The Car Guy went to Russo and Steele, Silver Auction at Fort McDowell and the Fountain Hills Concours in the Hills. He would have gone to Barrett-Jackson too, but got tired of trying to find a place to park. At my other blog, Almost Artistic, I used several filters on the same photos – the faces are not nearly so recognizable: Faces at the Car Show. This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is A Face in the Crowd.

Experimental – Snow Scenes

In this Experiment, I will coat the landscape with a heavy frost (duration: 2 days). Then, I will add a thick layer of snow (duration: 1 day). Next, I will illuminate the scene with approximately 32,000 (or maybe more) lumens per square meter of sunshine, and quickly photograph the results in sub-sub freezing temperatures. I will run the photos through a ‘filter machine’ called Topaz Studio. The experimental results are as follows: Experiment Conclusion: Filters are a great way to alter a photo and spend time indoors – out of the cold. Winter has arrived a bit early here in Alberta. It is warm and dry in Arizona. While I am glad I had the opportunity to experience this ice/snow storm, I’ll be glad to finally head south for a few months in the New Year… This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Experimental.

Temporary – Blog Posts, Laundry and Hair Cuts

It is my 8th Anniversary of Blogging. Is that long enough to say blogging isn’t a temporary pastime for me? My blog posts, on the other hand, are only of temporary interest to the blogging world! Other temporary things in my life: laundry – if I ever get ‘caught up’, it will only be for a few hours… hair cut – if it is perfect, it won’t be for long; same with fingernail length cuts, scrapes, bruises, a cold weather, seasons batteries ripe fruit, ice cubes in a drink, gum flavour shiny copper or silver, empty dishwasher new car smell, full tank of gas fresh-cut grass, perfect flowers family vacations, Christmas Spirit bubbles Fall leaves and the berries from the Mountain Ash Tree Snowflakes What things would you put on your list of temporary things? This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Temporary.

A Peek at Bourton-on-the Water

Bourton-on-the-Water is a village in the Cotswolds Area of Gloucestershire, England. The houses and shops in the village are constructed of the yellow Oolitic limestone that is found in the surrounding hills. Cotswold stone is easily split into blocks and is quite weather-resistant. The Cotswold hills cover an area that is about 40 miles across and 120 miles long. It is an extremely popular tourist destination. A peek over just about any hedge or stone wall will give you a glimpse of why at least 117 buildings within Bourton-on-the-Water have been listed as Grade II or higher. This designation means the building has ‘special architectural or historic interest’. The building’s owners have to apply for consent to do most types of work that affect their home. A peek inside this wobbly hedge! I sure wouldn’t want to be the one who keeps it trimmed. In old age, and having been sprained by the weight of snow over the decades, the hedges now wobble along, imperfect, but full of vegetable dignity… – Description of Walmer Castle …

Pumpkin Meets Drill

A well-rounded and compact head – a good description of a cabbage, but it works for a pumpkin too! This year I used a drill to make almost perfect round holes in my jack-o’-lantern. (Did you know that the term jack-o’-lantern comes from an Irish folktale? Large turnips and potatoes were used by the Irish in Ireland, but they switched to the readily available pumpkins when they came to America.) ‘Jack’ doesn’t look all that handsome in the daylight, but he really ‘shines’ in the dark! When I was looking for a quotation about pumpkins, I found a musing by Alexander McCall Smith. It reminded me of transporting my pumpkins last year.  I secured them in the back seat of the Jeep and briefly thought about what quiet, friendly companions they were. The pumpkin looked delicious—almost perfectly round and deep yellow in colour, it sat on the passenger seat beside her so comfortably as she drove out of the car park, so pleased to be what it was, that she imagined conducting a conversation with …

On a Scale of Carousel to Roller Coaster, How Scary is this?

Sunrise this morning. It was quite spectacular and changing rapidly. I quickly took a picture, then retreated back into the warmth of my house. When I uploaded the photo and enhanced it with a light touch of HDR in Topaz Studio, I realized that I had captured something much more sinister than a typical Alberta sunrise. It was a winged creature, with a skull like head and sunken eye sockets. It was covered with woolly dreads. It rode on bolts of fire… Without HDR, it looked more like a poodle, I suppose… Do you see a safe ‘carousel’ sky, or a scary ‘roller coaster’ sky? ‘On a scale of’ usually has a range of one to ten – but here are some other ‘Scales’ to think about: On a scale of Voldemort to Pinocchio, how Nosy are you? On a scale of Mother Teresa to Adolf Hitler, how evil is your President? On a scale of Under the Porch Mat to Osama Bin Laden how good was my hiding spot? On a scale of Pennies …

Windows – Watching a Fall Snow Storm

The first snow storm of the winter season, except it is supposed to be Fall… Oh, the weather outside is frightful! But furnace heat is delightful. With the roads closed we can’t go, Stop the wind, stop the cold, stop the snow! – Margy, with help from the Christmas Carol ‘Let it Snow’ – Here are some other Window posts I’ve done and a Gallery of Window Photos I’ve taken: Reflections in a Window Seeing Through Windows and Doors Paths – Water on a Window Cleaning Windows This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Windows (again). Has the weather been unseasonably anything in your part of the world in the past few months?

Leaves in the Fall – When the Smoke Cleared

Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia settled into Alberta for much of the summer – but it finally cleared late last week – when it snowed… Today was the first day that more normal early fall weather arrived. It was a perfect day, one you wish you could bottle and save for winter. Layers of clouds piled up all the way to the snow capped mountains (which you can just see along the horizon if you imagine hard enough.)  Mixed green and gold foliage contrasted with the changing colours just beyond the fence line. Wild raspberry leaves are turning colour – they stand out in sharp contract to the layers of greenery that haven’t yet responded to the frosty nights. The spider web layer – fortunately clearly visible or I would have walked right into it! What is the first thought that pops into your mind when you hear the word ‘Layered’? This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Layered.

Layered Treats – S’mores and Rice Krispies

There are many layers of history for the ingredients in this  S’mores and Rice Krispies® recipe! – Chocolate has been around for more than 2000 years. Sweetened chocolate didn’t appear until Europeans discovered the Americas and sampled the native chocolate drink, which was bitter. They added sugar, and by the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink. – Marshmallows were originally a plant based product that was used for centuries for medicinal purposes. When the plant sap was replaced by gelatin in the late 1800’s, today’s marshmallow was born. In 1927, the Girl Scouts Handbook came out with a recipe for ‘Some More’ which quickly became ‘Smores’. – Graham crackers are made from Graham flour, which is named after it’s inventor Sylvester Graham who began making them in the 1830’s. – Kellogg’s Rice Krispies® debuted in 1927. Their Rice Krispies Marshmallow Treats® recipe was first advertised in 1940. It became a popular food for mailing to service people abroad. Here is how you put all these things together to make this layered treat! You’ll need: …

Muskrat swimming

The Elemental Muskrat – Reshaping the Banks of Their Watery World

One evening I watched some Muskrats ‘working like beavers’ at a friends farm. The muskrat is a largish rodent that looks like a stocky rat. It seems harmless enough, but has the ability to reshape the banks of any body of water it decides to call home. In this photo, you can see a cut in the bank where one of its underground dens has perhaps collapsed. If they dug bank burrows under the windmill on the other side of the dugout, it might eventually cause a big problem! Muskrats primarily eat a wide variety of plants. This pair were transporting sweet clover – doesn’t it almost looked like a bridal bouquet!? I really was disappointed when I downloaded my muskrat photos and looked at them on my computer. The early evening light wasn’t optimal for capturing detail with a zoom lens. I fancied the photos up with a few filters, but all in all, I’d say they are good examples of what ELJAYGEE calls  Second Best Shots… This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Elemental. …

A Satisfying Day at the ‘Gamma Dogs’ House

We recently became ‘Grandparents’ to a puppy, though the term ‘puppy’ seems odd for a dog that never was very small and is growing really quickly. Our daughter and her husband are taking their puppy, Ghost, to puppy classes and are making good progress in establishing themselves as the ‘Alpha Dogs’! This training is quickly forgotten, however, in the excitement of a day here at our rural Red House. We joke that I am so far down in the dog’s ‘hierarchy of obedience’ alphabet that I am the ‘Gamma Dog’. “So many smells. I wonder if any of them are dog approved food. The ‘Alpha Dog Lady’ sure didn’t like the dead gopher I found here last week.” “Sniffing, running, digging, rolling! People – I need a bowl of water!” “And I’m done. Could someone carry me to the car?” This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Satisfaction. Are you a dog owner? Or – do you just enjoy a dog when it visits, then get to send it home with the owners?