Lens-Artists #211: My Photographic Groove

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC), Anne asks us to share photos that display our photographic groove–the area of photography that we love. Like Anne, it took me a while to figure this out. I used to take photos of just about anything and everything. Well, that can be overwhelming and doesn’t help when you’re trying to write a blog. I do have thousands of photos, but I’ve noticed that most of them are nature themed. Any time I find a cute animal, peaceful landscape, or intriguing macro-view of wildlife, I try to take a photo of it.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, at end of Bonzai Pipeline season.

Some of my favorite photos are close-up shots. I have a work-around with those shots because I still don’t have a macro lens. I usually take the shot with my Nikon DSLR and either get real close with the 50-200mm lens or zoom in with my 300mm lens. Because they’re not taken with a macro lens, I typically label these photos as “close-up” shots instead of “macro”.

Close-up of male Rufous hummingbird in southern California.

When I don’t have my Nikon close by, I grab my iPhone 12 Pro Max, shooting up close with it. I am still pleasantly surprised by the effect, including the details on the subject or the bokeh effect I get in the background.

Close-up shot of yellow rose in my spring garden.

Raindrops on yellow rose in my spring garden.

When looking through my stash of photos, I noticed a trend within my nature shots. If I see animals, they’re most likely going to make the cut. You would think all of my photos were of the sunset or the ocean, but that’s not the case with this next photo of pigeons. I was intrigued because they did not look like the ones in the southwest and were not shy at all.

Hawaiian pigeons sharing an oceanfront view with me in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii.

Disneyland is another of my favorite places to take nature photos, including the annual baby duck arrivals. I’m not as brave as some people who tote around their DSLRs at the park, so my Disney photos are taken with my iPhone.

Spring arrivals at Disneyland, California.

With nature, the weather is always changing, which I find fascinating to watch and photograph.

Los Padres National Forest from the Rancho Cielo Vista Point near Santa Barbara, California.

The coastal areas are my particular photographic groove, whether it’s during a hike or just relaxing on the beach.

These next photos are from my Week 6 hike (1.34 miles) on a trail in El Moro Canyon at Crystal Cove State Park, culminating in a relaxing day at the beach, until it started raining (of course, we did not leave–stayed under the umbrella). The best kinds of hikes in the summer are when it’s overcast (but not thundering or lightning) and I get to take a lot of nature photos. Also sharing for Terri’s Sunday Stills — Summertime and John’s Cellpic Sunday.

While I love spending time at the coast and taking nature photos there, I also enjoy hiking other trails where there’s greenery and its peaceful–especially when I get can get some cool shots. For Week 7, we hiked the Shady Canyon Trail (1.77 miles) in Irvine, California. Fog can be seen drifting over the hills, which creates perfect summertime hiking weather.

I can’t resist taking photos in nature, even when I should probably be concentrating on what I’m doing. If the setting intrigues me or is just too beautiful to pass up, I will be photographing it, which is why I think that my photographic groove is nature photography.

I took these last shots while kayaking this summer at Dana Harbor in California. True to form, early morning fog covered the area, making it eerie yet peaceful. I may have rocked the kayak a bit to take the photos (I’m still a novice at kayaking), but I could not resist. Also sharing for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC) – Connecting to the Present Moment because there’s nothing like kayaking in the calm bay waters through thick fog to ground you and connect you to the present; also sharing for Weekly Prompts Colour Challenge – Greyish and Jez’s Water Water Everywhere (for obvious reasons).

Nature is all around us, making it easy for my photographic groove to be tied directly to it. I look forward to sharing more nature photos with you all soon.

I hope everyone is having a peaceful week!

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.

49 thoughts on “Lens-Artists #211: My Photographic Groove

  1. You hit the photo challenge quintuple+ dip with all your challenge links, Dawn! It’s fun to be inspired and I really love that foggy coastal summers in SoCal made the cut! The images are refreshing to see just about now. I really like the nose of the red kayak punctuating the images 🙂 BTW, as I understand the differences, your close-ups are truly close-ups. I read that macro photography is the art of making something tiny look big. Your yellow rose is a great example of a macro image 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 I’m glad you enjoyed! Sometimes I get nerdy and efficient and link to multiple challenges. 😎 Well then, I guess my photos are macro…I will keep bugging my family for a macro lens anyways. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    2. All of your photos make me think about nature from many angles and makes me pause to enjoy the intricacies of that surrounding. The photo of the calm, foggy bay was particularly eerie but reminded me that nature does sleep before another spectacular day! So enjoy your photography skills!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you! 😊 Kayaking in the fog was eerie but very peaceful. I was wishing I had my GoPro on the kayak but I think my iPhone takes better photos…just a bit wobbly sometimes. 😎


  2. I’m glad you nailed down your groove. These are beautiful nature images from all over. I especially like the macros taken with your IPhone. It does a great job and so do you. Thanks for joining in!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a wonderful response to the challenge Dawn. The humming bird would be a favorite for me but all of your landscapes are stunning. You captured the light beautifully in so many of them. Thanks for sharing these photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 I’m glad you enjoyed them. 😎 That forest is always pretty and often overlooked because it’s so close the Santa Barbara (where everyone goes instead).


    1. Thank you! 😊 I’m glad you liked them. I’m missing my roses in this heat, but they’ll be back for another round this fall. Luckily, I have the beautiful morning fog to kayak in. Thanks for stopping by! 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your images are absolutely stunning, Dawn. I’ve never quite understood the difference between close up and Macro either.
    I’m very impressed at how you linked to multiple challenges, you have more patience than I have. Thank you very much for including Weekly Prompts and sharing with our Greyish Challenge. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 Someone told me that macro is close-up, so I guess I could call them that. It would be fun to have a macro lens too—although it would be hard to get a close-up of some things like birds or mammals with that type of lens. 😎
      Thanks for hosting Weekly Prompts. Hope you didn’t mind the many links—sometimes I have a lot to share and there’s many challenges that fit. 🤓

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We don’t mind multiple links at all, I admire those who use them.
        My old Sony DSLR has a long lens attachment that has a macro switch, I’d had it for a number of years before I actually used it or even knew what it meant! It takes ages to get a good image because I’m either too close or too far away. I find a close up with either my phone or the Sony looks just as good with less effort tan using the switch.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great collection of nature photos. I really love the Dana Harbor set. The fog, when it’s not too thick, has such a calming effect. The view of Los Padres National Forest looks absolutely breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 I definitely love the fog in the summer, as it is nice and relaxing. Ironically, it clears out when the crowds show up (and about the time I’m done kayaking). 😎
      The Los Padres area is beautiful; not too far from the foggy coastline.


  6. Wonderful, Dawn – macros and water – animals too. Love them all. You must live in a beautiful area, where your nature groove is perfectly suited! Thank you for sharing these wonders!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 I’m glad you liked them! I am fortunate that California has a lot of beautiful places, but even when I lived in the desert, I still looked for the beauty in nature and found things to photograph. (I also try to be patient and wait for the right shot when it gets crowded here. 🤣)


    1. Thank you! 😊 It was eerie that morning. The water was like glass, adding to it. I tried to venture out past the harbor to the ocean but I couldn’t see a thing out there (only heard seals barking).

      Liked by 1 person

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