The World Through My Lens


Week #11, Theme #12 “Wild Card” (“Patterns”)

FL Water Snake

I took this picture of a Florida Banded Water Snake recently while roaming around Corkscrew Swamp in Southern Florida. The moment I loaded this photo into my computer, the word “Patterns” came to mind. My eye is immediately drawn to the pattern of black lines that start just below his eye and extend downward, wrapping under his mouth. An interesting feature is that there is a separation of these black lines formed by his mouth. Yet, when the mouth is closed, the black lines match perfectly!

Next, my eye is drawn to the pattern produced by the white and black “scales” just behind his mouth. Layer upon layer, these scales extend the full length of the snake’s body and are so designed that no matter how the snake positions his body, they interact with each other in such a way as to provide protection for the snake at all times.

Then there is the pattern formed by the lines or ridges that extend along the length of the snake’s entire body. Look more closely and you’ll see that these ridges are formed by yet another pattern of small “links”, the distance between each link appearing to be exactly the same. If that is not enough, these links are so arranged as to form diagonal lines around the snakes body forming another pattern!!

Lastly, there is the pattern formed by the lighter, tan “bands” (thus, the name “Banded” Water Snake) that wrap around the snakes body.

A casual glance and one might say, “It’s just another snake.” But a closer look, outlined above, leads me to conclude, “Wow! What a beautiful creature!” As a Christian, the above only strengthens my faith in the existence of a Divine Creator! This snake, with its lines, sculpted scales, perfectly-placed ridges, etc., is a masterpiece!






Week #10, Theme #51 “Rule of Odds”(Composition)

Rule of Odds

As you all know, I’m sure, the “Rule of Odds” in photography says that images are more visually appealing when there is an odd number of subjects. In other words, if you are going to place more than one person, flower, animal, etc., in a photograph, don’t use 2 or 4. Instead, use 3 or 5 or 7, etc. We recently had our annual Christmas Open House for our neighbors and these globes were a real hit. They are available from an online company, “Frontgate”, are made specifically for swimming pools, can be independently changed to a variety of very vivid colors (via a hand-held remote), have a built-in rechargeable battery, and, because they are so unique,¬† are real conversation starters. In keeping with the Christmas season and for our Christmas Open House, we had them in red, green and white. As a side note, I thought the reflections of the balls in the water were pretty cool (I know, reflections seem to be making their way into a lot of my posts recently!).



Week #9, Theme #22 “Circles” (Creative)

Circles 3 - Copy

Recently, while shopping with my wife for new exterior light fixtures (and while she was being “entertained” by the sales person), I wandered about the store, on the prowl for something I could use in our 52-week photo challenge. There were literally hundreds of fixtures of every shape and size hanging from the ceiling or mounted on the walls. Within just a few minutes, I stumbled onto this very large fixture and almost immediately, the theme “Circles” (Theme #22) came to mind! Consisting of several large and small, globe-shaped lights that were themselves made up of scores of smaller pieces, circular in shape, this fixture was, I thought, the perfect fit for the theme “Circles”. As you can see, there are circles everywhere! If you look closely, you can see even more circles reflected in the top half (chrome finish) of each light. There was some color in the original photo and the cords supporting the lights were visible but after playing with the picture for a while, I decided to go with a black and white finish and remove the cords, leaving the “circles” suspended in mid-air!


Week #8, Theme #8: “Wild Card” (“Reflection”)

Water Lily Reflection

I took this photo on a recent trip to Shark Valley (located in The Everglades National Park) in South Florida. When I loaded the picture into my computer, I was taken by the beauty of the reflection of the lily’s petals on the water; thus the title I’ve given this wild card: “Reflection”. As I studied the photo, the thought occurred to me: “Reflections reveal reality.” When we look at our reflection in a mirror, we might not necessarily like what we see….but….reflections reveal reality! Put another way, it is what it is! But don’t let that discourage you! The good news is that if we don’t like what we see, whether looking at ourselves physically, spiritually, morally, or in any other way, we can change!

On another note, I started to use the theme “Water Drop” (Theme #33) for this photo but decided against it. You see, when I took this picture, I was not aware of the water droplets which can be seen on the underside of one of the petals on the left (especially in the reflection). However, Theme #33 calls for a “water drop” (singular) so I will use that theme at a later date. Hope you enjoy!


Week #7, Theme #25 “SOTC” (Technical)

PACC Sunset

A great benefit of living in Sarasota, FL (on the Gulf of Mexico) is that we enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen…..last¬† night was no exception! Perhaps the Psalmist was looking at something similar when he wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psa. 19:1 NIV).

The IPhone 6S camera, in my opinion, leaves a lot to be desired and the picture I’ve posted for Week #7, Theme #25, “SOTC” (straight-out- of- the- camera) explains why. This picture was taken from the #10 green at the Palm Aire Country Club (Lakes Course) in Sarasota. I know it leaves a lot to be desired but this one will have to do for this week. As I said in my last post, I have fallen a little behind and am trying to catch up. Thanks for your patience!


Week #6, Theme #14 “Humor” (Creative)

Yea, Yea, Yea!

One of my favorite places to photograph a variety of water birds is “The Rookery” in Venice, FL. This particular rookery is located on an island in the middle of a not-very-big pond in one of Venice’s residential neighborhoods. At around 6PM each day the birds start arriving and within a matter of about fifteen minutes, as many as a hundred birds arrive and settle in for the night.

I’m being a little lazy, I admit, to use this particular picture but I have fallen behind and need to post a few photos rather quickly to catch up. Anyway, as I scanned the list of themes, I thought this picture would do for the theme “Humor” (Theme #14). You see, the Great Blue Heron on the right arrived first. When the one on the left arrived and seemed to get a little too close to the earlier arrivee, the one on the right started in on him, as you can see. The one on the left raised his right wing as if to say, “OK! OK! Give it a break already!”


Week #5, Theme #5 “Macro” (Technical)

Best Macro Lily Stamen

Recently, I and one of my sisters (Sandy) spent a few days with our older siblings, all of whom live in Southern Michigan; she and her husband traveled by car from Georgia, while I flew in from Florida. The day before leaving Georgia, a friend gave my sister a beautiful bouquet of flowers as a birthday gift, which she very thoughtfully brought to Michigan so we could enjoy them, as well. The bouquet included some beautiful lilies and as I examined them more closely, I couldn’t help but think of Theme #5 of our 52-Week Challenge: “Macro” (technical). As you know, macro photography has to do with close-up photography, usually of a very small object or living organism (like insects, plants, etc.) in which the size of the subject in the photograph appears to be larger than life size.

For the photograph pictured above, I was literally looking down the “throat” of one of the lilies in the bouquet. I zeroed in on the “stamen”, the male pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower. The stamen consists of two parts: the anther (where the pollen is produced and stored) and the filament (the long, slender shaft upon which the anther sits). More prominently displayed in the center of the photo is the female reproductive organ of the lily (called the “pistil”). The pistil is comprised of the “stigma”, the velvety, heart-shaped, oftentimes sticky object seen sitting atop the shaft (sometimes referred to as the “stalk”). Because my focus was the pollen and the stigma, the filaments and shafts are not quite as sharp as I’d like…..but I’m still learning! Enjoy!