June 2013 Challenge: Vacation, Clouds and Summertime

July 02, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

 

 

In Summer

  by Paul Laurence Dunbar


Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.

And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air's soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.

I envy the farmer's boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.

He sings to the dewy morn,
No thought of another's ear;
But the song he sings is a chant for kings
And the whole wide world to hear.

He sings of the joys of life,
Of the pleasures of work and rest,
From an o'erfull heart, without aim or art;
'T is a song of the merriest.

O ye who toil in the town,
And ye who moil in the mart,
Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong
Shall renew your joy of heart.

Oh, poor were the worth of the world
If never a song were heard,—
If the sting of grief had no relief,
And never a heart were stirred.

So, long as the streams run down,
And as long as the robins trill,
Let us taunt old Care with a merry air,
And sing in the face of ill.

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Our June summer theme warranted a bit more than eye candy. Paul Dunbar was born in 1872 to former slave parents. He didn't have enough money to attend college, but this didn't hinder his writing career, which started when he was first published at the age of 14. He won the attention and encouragement of James Whitcomb Riley and Frederick Douglass. One of the first nationally known 'colored' writers, well-known for his novels and poems, he died of TB when he was only 33 years-old. Your history/culture lesson is over. Hope his poem helped get you in the mood for our assignment.

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Let's see what picture poems were submitted for our June Challenge. We'll see everything from Vacations, to Clouds, and plain ol' Summertime fun. So sit back and enjoy the ride.

We'll let Don lead the pack with his cloud/vacation pictures and a little rule bending: "Nothing but generic clouds this month from my house. Maybe I need to get out more. So, I'm bending the rules slightly and sending you some cloud photos from our vacation in 2010. If it helps at all, I enhanced them this month in the new Elements 11 program. I'm starting to love this now that I'm learning how to use it. I'm even getting the hang of Windows 8 after coming close to tuning it up with a hammer."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John's vacation photos feature the cool of the beach, something we all would like this blistering week. He says, "A couple of shots from our recent vacation in Santa Cruz... No clouds but we did have some fog and rain.  It was a great adventure and a nice way to beat the recent heat wave."

 

 

 

 

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Old Davy didn't get to go on any vacations in June, but there was plenty of summer fun to enjoy, including an outdoor wedding and an excursion to the county fair. I used my Nikon D5100 and 24-85mm for the outdoor ceremony shots. This lens has its pros and cons. Not as wide as I'd like, and not as much reach as I'd like, but it was pretty good for the occasion. And I rarely use it, so thought I'd better not let the cobwebs get too thick on it. This first photo is one of the guest shots as everyone was sweltering in the 95 degree sun while waiting over 1/2 an hour for the entourage to golf cart it to the scene. This one girl was hugging her mom while cooking in the sunshine. I zoomed in to a full 85mm, and this is a 100% crop of a much larger scene.

 

 

My second summertime photo was taken at the county fair - after the barrel racing and mutton busting events. I used the D5100 with a 55-300mm lens with a 1/1000 shutter speed at ISO 400 to get this action shot of this flyboy. I suspect this kid used to tie a towel around his neck and jump off his roof like the rest of us when he was younger.

 

 

This next picture was also taken at the fair during the barrel racing event. They didn't mind if you went down to the fenced arena area and staked out a place to take your photos, so I scouted for the best light on the east side, but sometimes, the riders were only showing their shady side. I increased the exposure value on the exposure to a +0.7 while using a 1/1600 shutter speed and 400 ISO.

 

 

Just one more to add to the summertime theme of kids being kids at the fair. This shot was taken in the small livestock area, where the rabbits, roosters, other assorted varmints congregate. Rather than chase girls or ride the rides, these boys would rather impress each other with their gaming skills. Oh, well. Here, I've switched lenses to the 18-70mm for a wider view. I held the camera over the top of them while taking the picture. I do this a lot, actually, and have found that a high angle of view works great. People look at me cross-eyed when I do it, but too bad for them.

 

 

 

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Megen's two girls are enjoying their summer break by keeping Mom busy. Question is, "Where's the pool?"

 

 

 

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Our last guest is Miss Ginnie, who took advantage of her vacation on the north coast to capture some wonderful shots of the area. Ah . . . I can feel the cool breeze. Thanks!

"We went up to Point Arena for a week early in June.  Was incredibly wild and beautiful in that area and not so touristy as we see around here.  We drove west along the Russian River to the coast then headed north on Hwy 1.  Our cabin was about 2 miles from the lighthouse and on the edge of a huge open space preserve where you could hike for miles along the cliffs (watch out for cows).  It was windy and cool, but wonderful the week we were there.  Took side trips to Ft. Bragg and Mendocino.  Didn't see any pot farms. All shots were with my D40 and a polarizer. No shots were enhanced except for the rain forest which I darkened and added some contrast."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So that's it for our June Challenge. It was great seeing a bit more of our wonderfully beautiful world. Thanks to everyone who sent in their work.

Now for the July Challenge theme: Americana. This can be things political, historical, social, traditional -- anything that is unique to this grand country of ours. So get out there and shoot pictures of the flag, men and women in uniform, rodeos, museums, cars, and anything else that America lays claim to as its own. And be sure to send me a blurb about your pictures if you want. Explanations and shared feelings go a long way in 'communicating' your photos.

Remember, you can see all of Old Davy's pictures of the recent wedding and county fair on his photo website. [Shameless plug, I know]

Until we meet again, enjoy the wonderful world of photography. Happy shooting!

 


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