Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Small is Beautiful

Fargo, North Dakota.

This week, Amy asks us to share those small things that attract our attention (those of us who like to dabble in macro photography anyway). Her challenge is pretty ‘open-ended’ asking that we simply share our images that fit our own concept of “small is beautiful.” You can read her entire challenge post here. Over the last few years, I’ve dabbled in macro photography, especially since the purchase of a 16-300mm lens. With it almost fully extended, the images it creates are truly full-featured macro photography. In the opening photo, dew on a prairie grass gathers along a single spider web and around the plant.

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Downtown Disneyland

Anaheim, California.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in Anaheim, less than a mile from Disney’s Magic Kingdom. My work there precluded going to the park, yet somehow I was feeling I would be missing out if I didn’t spend some time in the land of the mouse. The Disney theme parks are not inexpensive so if that’s your destination, you need to consider the amount of time available and plan to spend several hours there. For those of us who simply didn’t have the time, we are fortunate that in 2001, after the construction of the second theme park and the Disneyland Resorts, a large promenade housing restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues provided enough of a taste of Disney to satisfy me.

Best of all, there is no admission fee (as that should be… after all, it is a shopping mall.) The mall acts as a core area for transition between resort hotels and the Disney theme parks. Ticket windows and queues are available in the area for entering the theme parks, or you can simply head westerly past those gates and enjoy the atmosphere.

Along the way, street musicians and other buskers entertain the crowd, which was pretty large on the Saturday evening of my visit. Our conference hotel is about a mile south of the parks, and we didn’t have vehicles to worry about so we didn’t worry about parking. Disney parking is not free, but if you purchase at least $20 from one of the businesses, you can get three hours of free parking validated at the location you visited. Sit down restaurants provide up to five hours of parking with validation.

The goal for my visit was twofold… pick up a souvenir for my grandson and find a nice place for dinner. There were plenty of choices for food, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a food truck grill. I ordered a cheeseburger, onion rings, and a drink and spent around $15, far less than I expected.

My grandson is always looking for new Lego projects to add to his very large collection. Once I stopped in, I found that I really didn’t have the space in my travel bags to carry home a Lego kit. The sculptures inside and out are all Lego constructions and they are pretty impressive.

I ended up walking into a gift shop and found Disney t-shirts. It would be no big deal to add three child-size T’s in my garment bag. I was not about to leave Anaheim without picking up something from the land of the mouse.As you might imagine, the entertainers are quality acts. I’m sure they are selected by the Disney entertainment team. The band in the image above entertained us as they were will within earshot of our choice for evening meal. We spent about two hours wandering around and could have stayed longer, but it was our last evening in Anaheim and it would be an early Sunday morning departure via the shuttle taking us back to John Wayne Airport. It was too soon time for us to walk back to our hotel and call it a night. All of the images are available in most browsers for a more detailed view. Select an image to enlarge it for a better view.

John Steiner

Cellpic Sunday – 16 September 2018

Somewhere over southern North Dakota.

I’m writing this on Saturday evening. Yesterday we brought our Civil Air Patrol glider from its home base in eastern North Dakota to Mandan, in the south central part of the state. Our plan was to give cadets in the western part of the state orientation rides, one of many benefits that cadets receive from being a member. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Fences

This week, Ann-Christine asks us to focus on fences (or the lack thereof.) I have many shots that don’t include fences, so I decided to share a few that happen to contain a fence, either as the main subject or as an ancillary part of the scenery. You can read the original challenge post here. The fence in the photo above was created for a purpose, of which I don’t know as I couldn’t see behind it… but what I do know is that the color pencil fence at the Red River Zoo in Fargo was a fundraising project. The dark area at the base of each fence post contains a placard that identifies the name of a person who contributed that pencil. Continue reading

But I Digress – Action Shots with the Nikon D500

As I’ve branched out in photography from landscape to other types of photography, I’ve added new, more versatile tools to my camera bag. In late 2016, I made my biggest photo investment in a new camera body, the Nikon D500. Reviewers at the time heralded its capabilities in action and wildlife photography. In my nearly two years of ownership, I haven’t taken the opportunity to focus much on either genre, but I have at least taken advantage of the camera’s power in these areas. If you’re looking for a review here, you’ll be disappointed. My only purpose here is to share some images I’ve considered successful and probably not likely to be duplicated with my other cameras. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 9 September 2018

Santa Ana, California.

Last week on Cellpic Sunday I featured an image of the Anaheim Convention Center. I was in that neighborhood for our annual Civil Air Patrol National Conference. The nearest airport is in Santa Ana, John Wayne Airport (SNA) was designated as the departure and arrival airport. As is my usual practice, I always show up at the airport well over an hour prior to boarding, often two hours ahead of time. I prefer to arrive at the airport, go through security, and overspend on coffee or breakfast at my leisure content that I will be sitting in the gate area reading in plenty of time to board my aircraft. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Action

Buckeye, Arizona.

This week, Patti Moed asks us to “Capture nature, people, objects, or animals on the move. You can read Patti’s entire challenge post here. Coincidently, I am gathering action images for an upcoming blog post on my “Travel Tuesday” posts, a review of how I use my Nikon D500 for action shots, one of its best capabilities. In the shot above, a barrel racer in the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association rounds a barrel on her way to the finish line. Continue reading