CFFC: Shiny: Photographic Effects and Mistakes

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme this week is shiny.  Using photographic manipulation and mistakes added to the shiny-ness of some of these photos!

Icicles – I got the effect I was looking for in this shot, with the late afternoon sun shining behind the icicles to create a golden glow. (Taken from my living room window)
The full moon rising in the darkness plus the bright holiday lights on people’s balconies brought out the contrast between dark and light. Using my cellphone camera made the moon look larger and shinier than it actually was. (Taken across the street from my church in Des Plaines)
I cropped this shot to focus on the shiny golden table surface with the reflection of a shiny wine glass. (Restaurant in Cairo, Egypt)
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This photo needed no modification – the shiny white marble floor of this mosque reflected the architecture around it, creating an awe-inspiring effect. (Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo, Egypt)
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel is easy to spot with its shiny golden dome standing out against the shades of white of the old city. I enhanced the contrast to emphasize this magnificent building.
This photo was an accident – I had my camera on the wrong setting so this photo of sailboats on the Mediterranean Sea (at Cesarea, Israel) was overexposed. But I liked the effect and the shiny surface of the Mediterranean casts a white glow on the scene. (I also discovered I needed to clean my lens!)
The day following this, we drove along the coast of the Dead Sea by motorcoach on our way to Masada. It was still relatively early, so the rising sun made a shiny reflection on the surface of the Dead Sea, our first view of it.  Once again, my cellphone’s sensitivity to bright light made the sun bigger and brighter than it was.

Camouflage and Contrast

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge for this week is Standing Out or Blending In.

Camouflage (blending in) is a common way in nature for animals to hide from predators or so they cannot be seen. It was hard to spot this eagle at first, because his brown feathers blend in so well with the tree branches.SONY DSC
There’s a giraffe in these woods somewhere…his long neck and spotted coat blend in with his surroundings.
On the other hand, some animals want to stand out to attract a mate with their bright colors. It is usually the male bird that has vivid colors, while the female’s feathers tend to be more muted so she can camouflage herself in her nest. Here is a lilac breasted weaver, who stands out against the sky.
Autumn is a great time to photograph things that stand out. The bright colors of the leaves on the trees, for instance…
or the brilliant orange canopy in sharp contrast with the bright blue sky.
Some things which remain hidden during leafy seasons of the year, stand out once the trees shed their leaves, such as this fairy-tale house in Des Plaines, which I can only get a good photo of in the fall or winter.
And during long December nights, holiday lights and the light of the moon stand out against the darkness.

WPC: Making the Temporary Permanent

The Weekly Photo Challenge theme this week is Temporary. Nature’s beauty has an element of permanence, in that there is always beauty to appreciate at any time of year and the fact that the seasons come and go and nature “repeats itself.” Still, in spite of this repetition, none of nature’s beauties are ever exactly the same, and as summer changes to autumn, and autumn to winter, I find myself nostalgic for warm weather, for flowers, for the brilliant color of sugar maples in the fall, and the wonder of growing children.

Here are some temporary beauties I have appreciated over the last several months.

I often pass a house in my walks around the neighborhood, where beautiful and changing flowers bloom along a white fence, such as these pink cone flowers, white lilies and purple phlox.
A special moment is getting close to a loon on a Wisconsin lake…

and the full moon rising through the trees over that same lake.
I love the beauty of a sunset behind a marina in San Diego…

…or accented by the streak of a jet stream  in Indiana…

…as well as the perfect fall leaf.

Most wonderful of all is watching nieces and nephews grow and change (clockwise from top left: Rosie, Leslie with sons Max & McKay, Maggie with daughter Frances, Xavier, Grace & Sylvia.)

Although all these wonders are temporary, I am comforted by having captured them all permanently in photographs, which I am able to admire again and again!

Two Tuesday Challenges: After dark…

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is 4-letter words starting with the 4th letter (D) and Dutch Goes the Photo’s challenge is dark, so this works for both! I was even inspired to write a poem to go with my photos, but the pictures were all taken this year so the last three photos haven’t been taken yet! 😉

After dark,
the Ferris Wheel shines neon bright.
After dark,
skyscrapers light up the night sky.
After dark,
colorful fireworks explode overhead.
After dark,
a full moon rises orange over a lake.
After dark,
children yell “Trick or Treat!” on my doorstep.
After dark,
red and green lights twinkle on my neighbors’ houses.
After dark,
We sing Christmas carols by candelight.

After dark…

…the Ferris Wheel shines neon bright.
(Taken from inside Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier in February)

…skyscrapers light up the night sky.
(Taken from inside our car at Navy Pier in April, after a play let out.)

…colorful fireworks explode overhead.20170704_211628
(Taken on July 4 at Elk Grove Village fireworks show)

… a full moon rises orange over a lake.
(Taken on Lower Kaubashine Lake, Wisconsin, July)


All photos taken with Samsung Galaxy 7.

WPC: Night lights

Some of the most spectacular “shining” comes from the moon. I have often tried to capture the full moon as it rises or sets. Night shots can be somewhat eerie, appropriate for Halloween!

Here are some of my efforts, for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine.

Moon over Beau Drive, Des Plaines (February)

Full moon appears above a red maple tree - Prairie Lakes parking lot.
Full moon above a red maple tree – park district parking lot (October)

Full moon casts a glow on snow-covered fir tree. (February)

Full moon through tree, as seen from our deck (early March)

Full moon filters through the canopy of leaves above our deck.
The light of the full moon filters through the canopy of leaves above our deck. (October)

Moon setting behind our neighbor’s house across the street (early March). I was amazed to see the moon going down one early morning, something I had not witnessed before.

Full moon rising (left of pillar) and artificial lights  at an outdoor concert (September)

Street lights create some spooky effects, too.

Street light casts a glow on new fallen snow in front of our house. (late November)

Snowy evening: street light illuminates a snow-laden tree
Snowy evening: street light illuminates a snow-laden tree. (late November)

Note: All photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy 4 or 5, in Des Plaines, Illinois, except the concert which took place at College of duPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois.


Word(s) of the Week: Nyctophilia and Nyctophobia

How would you feel if you were in this scene?
How would you feel if you were in this scene?

Nyctophobia (also called noctiphobia or scotophobia) is defined as an abnormal fear of the night or of darkness. A person with this fear may be characterized as nyctophobic. Here is how the night might sound for one who suffers from nyctophobia:

Scary Sounds from a night in the wild

Am I nyctophobic? I’m not afraid when I’m in my house in the dark, but I am afraid to walk outside in the dark . In some countries, like the U.S., this may be considered normal, since women are susceptible to being attacked at night. I don’t like dark parking lots either, for the same reason.

empty parking lot

Is the last car in the parking lot yours?
Is the last car in the parking lot yours?

This word is pronounced: nick – toh – FO – bee-ah. It’s origin is from from Greek nukt- + phobia.

Conversely, the opposite of nyctophobia is nyctophilia: This is a preference for the night or darkness. It is also called scotophilia.

night sky thru treesPeople who love the night may hear it like this:

Beautiful night sounds

I love the night when I feel safe: in a natural setting, perhaps, where I may hear the crickets, frogs and night birds.I love being in a rural area where I can look up and see a canopy of stars and galaxies.

night in tent

Camping in a tent with these sounds enveloping me can be very soothing. Also, you can download 30+ minutes of night sounds like the sample above to play at home when you want to go to sleep at night.

To find out if you tend toward nyctophobia or nyctophilia, watch the following video of the full moon with night sounds by Tall Sky YouTube videos, filmed in 2011.

Tall Sky


How does this scene make you feel?
How does this scene make you feel?

Note: All photos were downloaded from Google images using search categories: scary night, empty parking lot at night, peaceful night.