Lens-Artists Challenge: Colorful Expressions in Nature

The colors in natural scenery have always drawn me in. I think I like nature so much because of its colorfulness. There’s such a diversity in nature’s palette that it beckons to be photographed and remembered forever.

These first two photos are from my neighbor’s garden, where there’s splashes of color in a sea of green. My neighbor has nurtured the plants and flowers for over thirty years. It’s truly amazing how she can grow just about anything, and I love her style with plants growing where they want and in symbiosis with each other. This abundance of plants in her gardens brings a lot of wildlife–bees, birds, squirrels, raccoons, turtles, and even a den of foxes (I’m looking forward to getting photos of these!).

Gardens with a lot of green and touches of bright colors are inviting; captured with 50mm DSLR lens.

Here are some photos of my garden. While it’s not as large of a space as my neighbor’s, it has some brightly colored roses that are all in full bloom right now. The bushes are well over six feet tall in some places with a few roses bigger than my hand in diameter. My neighbors think the roses were planted about forty years ago. Needless to say, I’m drawn in by all of the colors. It makes me happy to see the colorful garden outside my office window–it gives me a nice little break in between work to gaze out my window at the myriad of colors in my garden with the green grass and trees in the background.

Brightly colored roses highlight the garden in my front yard; captured with iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Many of the roses are fully bloomed–showcasing a huge burst of colors–with some bigger than my hand in diameter; captured with 300mm DSLR lens.

Vibrantly colored roses attract birds and bees, which helps with increased pollination; captured with 300mm DSLR lens.

View from my office window; variety of colors splash green landscape and provide a peaceful view; captured with 50mm DSLR lens.

I don’t always photograph a rainbow of colors, but I do like contrasting colors to highlight the scene. I also like taking photos of really green or really blue colors, especially at the beach. I think it’s very peaceful and serene. And admittedly, it probably has a bit to do with leaving California when I was younger, then living in the mostly brown desert for over twenty-five years, and then returning to beautiful California. Don’t get me wrong; I have photos of stunning desert landscapes (more on that in a minute), but I prefer the wild ocean, trees, and flowers of California–so many more colors!

Many blue colors of Pacific Ocean and the sky stand out against the flowers and ice plant on the cliffs; captured at La Jolla, California, with 50mm DSLR lens.

Vibrant ocean colors stand out against pale blue sky and also create a contrast for shoreline life in foreground; captured at La Jolla, California, with 70mm DSLR lens.

California beaches have beautiful shades of blue that contrast with the shoreline colors, but further inland, there’s more greens–unless you count the blue jay that felt compelled to be in the next photo–I can use to create those contrasts. Right now, the apple orchards in the foothills of the mountains are blooming, creating soft pinks, bright pinks, and whites against a green background of blooming vegetation and a bright blue sky. I love the contrasts; I think it is pleasing to the eye and brings just as much calmness as the colorful ocean scenes.

California scrub jay provides blue contrast to pink apple blossoms and green background; captured with 300mm DSLR lens.

Pink and white apple blossoms in an orchard provide contrast to bright blue sky; captured in Oak Glen, California, with iPhone 12 Pro Max.

A variety of apple blossom colors against a green backdrop helps to capture birds’ and bees’ attention; captured with with 70mm DSLR lens.

Apple blossoms in Oak Glen, California, stand out against blue sky; captured with 300mm DLSR lens.

And, as promised, the southwestern deserts do have colorful scenes, when you look for them. I was depressed by the surrounding brown colors when I lived there, so I often looked for the most colorful scenes to photograph.

The yellow sagebrush flowers help to highlight green saguaros against blue sky; captured at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Cave Creek, Arizona.

The Painted Desert in northern Arizona has many colors and stands out even more on a cloudy day; captured with 50mm DSLR lens.

Whether or not we get to travel that far from home, I think it’s important to find the joy in nature, which means looking for pleasing scenery with a variety of colors. Softer colors bring calmness, contrasting colors can highlight interesting or beautiful subjects, and vivid colors spark happiness. Earth tones, blues, and greens remind us that the earth is alive and needs to be taken care of, if we want to continue enjoying its many colors. I am sharing these photos for Anne’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #194 – Colorful Expressions, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC) – Water, and Jez’s Water Water Everywhere (WWE).

Published by Dawn Palmer

I am an avid nature and ecology lover and enjoy sharing my photography in my blog writings. I will often be out early in the morning or late in the evening with my camera, trying to capture the peacefulness and beauty around me.

15 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge: Colorful Expressions in Nature

      1. You capture the beauty of color in your photographs. You are right when you state we need to reserve nature so all living things can thrive. You seem at peace with your beautiful rose garden and ocean adventures.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Dawn, our paths went opposite directions. I lived in beautiful California for 35 years, and now am in Prescott, AZ. You have captured beauty in both places. I love the CA coast, and if I could choose anywhere in the world to live, it would be there. I love your roses and the buds on your apple trees. You have some gorgeous colors here. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š I am from CA but lived in Peoria for a long time. I always liked escaping up to Prescott. If I could live anywhere, it would definitely be right on the coast. I havenโ€™t won the lottery yet, so I drove to it often. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You aren’t too far from where we lived near Visalia. ๐Ÿ™‚ We haven’t won the lottery either. We are coming that way soon to see friends and family.

        Liked by 1 person

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