Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta

•September 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

One of the first things my husband and I did when we moved here was to get passes to the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. I’m a supporter of both of these facilities because of the effort that goes into making the habitats naturalistic, the enrichment the animals receive, the research performed by the facilities, and the educational efforts they make. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend either of these attractions. Take a camera and be ready to learn! 🙂

Sea Horse

Manta Ray

Weedy Sea Dragon

Enjoying the coral reef

Sleepy Panda

Tree boa

 

I have a gallery full of zoo and aquarium images as well as animals in their natural habitats at my website.

 

 

 

Getting the word out.

•September 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I am very bad at updating things. Like this blog. I should work on that more, really. But I do have some things I update a little more often. Like Instagram. My Instagram user name is Jen_Grace, feel free to follow me. The web URL is http://web.stagram.com/n/jen_grace/. I also have a Tumblr account. My problem is that I don’t get out as much as I would like to take pictures. I know this is my own fault. In Orlando, I had no problem going somewhere by myself because I was so familiar with the landscape and the people. Atlanta is a little different. I haven’t met a lot of people that share my interests or that, at the risk of sounding a bit snobby, I actually care to hang out with. There are a few people I really like, but it can be hard to coordinate schedules and whatnot. Again, more excuses. But that’s where I stand.

Life in Georgia so far

•December 9, 2011 • 2 Comments

Moving to a new state after over 20 years in the Orlando area definitely took some adjustment.  It’s nice being close to more family, especially our beautiful niece.  Something else I’ve really enjoyed are the fall leaves, which were gone far too quickly!  But the explosion of colors is something that I never really experienced in Orlando.

I’ve found fairly good place for birds too – Sweetwater Creek State Park – right around the corner from where I live.

Chinese goose

 

Canada goose

These are just a few of the things I’ve enjoyed so far about living in Georgia. I recently returned from an amazing camping trip in the northern part of the state and can’t wait to go back when the foliage is looking beautiful again. I’m also excited about visiting some nearby natural attractions like Lake Lanier and Stone Mountain. More posts to come!

Romance

•July 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I love taking pictures of people in love and celebrating the start of a new life together with friends and family. I’ve helped shoot a few weddings now, and although it is exhausting and somewhat stressful, it is also very fun and rewarding. Now that I’ve gotten myself a camera that actually does really well in low light, the Nikon D7000, I’m even more excited about shooting a few more weddings.  These are a few of my favorites, and more can be seen at my Romance Gallery at Jen Grace Images.

Michelle - taken with the D7000

Michelle & Jon - taken with the D7000

Jennifer & Matthew - taken with the D80

Jennifer & Matthew - taken with the D80

EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival

•April 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I had the pleasure of going to Disney’s EPCOT with a good friend and my camera for the Flower & Garden Festival, which I had never been to before. Aside from a rude guest that cut in line for frozen Coke, we had a great day taking a LOT of photographs (and truthfully even the rude guest experience wasn’t that bad because my friend told him to “JUST SHUT UP”). It was an exceptionally sunny and breezy day, but I still feel like I got a good day’s worth of shots including butterflies, fireworks, and (*gasp*!) flowers.

Here are a few of my favorites. Click on the picture for a larger version. The link for the entire gallery is here.

I think this is some kind of yucca flower.

Monarch

Tinkerbell's escaped

BOOM

Pet Portraits

•April 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I love taking pictures of pets. Here are a few of my own, taken with the 50 f/1.8, one of my favorite lenses.

Ginger

Oliver

Can she see me?

Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, aka Viera Wetlands

•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

About a half an hour south of Merritt Island is a quiet community called Viera.  Rich with zero-lot housing, shopping villages, and golf courses, it’s not really the sort of place you’d expect to find a great little wildlife preserve. But they’ve managed to take a water reclamation facility and turn it into a habitat for alligators, turtles, otters, and native and migratory birds such as blue-winged teals, hooded mergansers, terns and even caracaras. I’ve been out there perhaps a dozen times so far (and plan to make a lot more trips in the future) and I am always pleased by what I see. As far as I’m concerned, the Viera Wetlands is a much better wildlife-watching destination than other nearby, more well-known areas such as Merritt Island’s Blackpoint Wildlife Drive. Here is a small sampling of things I’ve seen.  Enjoy!

Click on the image for a larger view.

Anhinga with chicks

Sandhill Crane

Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Great Blue Herons on Nest

Limpkin with a snack

A rare treat

•January 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

There are many things I want to see in my lifetime. Most of them are big – humpback whales, Alaska, Vatican City…well, you get the idea.  There are some small things, though, and recently I got to see one of them – the Florida scrub jay, an animal that may well be extinct in my lifetime.  Florida scrub jays seem to like living in prime potential real estate.  More human homes = less scrub jay homes. They’re limited to such a small range, and they also have the distinction of being the only bird endemic to Florida.  I took some friends to a place where I know the jays have been spotted before, the Helen and Allan Cruickshank Sanctuary in Rockledge.  We walked along the footpath, seeing nothing and getting more discouraged by the minute. “So, are there dinosaurs on this dinosaur tour?” joked one of my friends.  Haha.  After a few minutes though, we heard a raucous call and saw a shape flit up into a tall pine tree.  “A scrub jay!” I almost shouted, I was so excited to see one, even from a distance (I know, I know…I’m a big geek). Then we heard a rustling all around us, and we looked at the shrubs along the path and found ourselves surrounded by no less than half a dozen of them!  I think I almost fainted (like I said, I’m a geek!).


Testing the 70-300VR – Fun with Kitesurfers

•November 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Saturday, I was in Ormond Beach to help shoot a wedding (post forthcoming) and got there a bit early, so I drove along the beach and found these kitesurfers having a great time. The conditions were great for kitesurfing – strong winds and a high tide. Unfortunately, strong wind is not usually great for taking pictures. I was pleasantly surprised with the results from the 70-300VR.  The Vibration Reduction system definitely made a difference in the clarity of the pictures.  Here are a few samples. The 17-photo gallery can be found here.

Live and Let Live

•October 22, 2008 • 3 Comments

Everyone is guilty of having judged. Whether it’s one person or a group of people, we form notions and conceptions on them and create biases. When it came to the GLBT community, I was always in the “live and let live” category. I didn’t really care one way or the other. Through friendships I have learned a lot about GLBT, and I am still in the “live and let live” category, but I care. I care about their rights. I think a gay woman should have the right to visit her partner in the hospital. I believe that gay couples can give a child a loving and functional home (if gay parents = gay kid, then straight parents = straight kid, right? … um, not so much).

On October 12th, I had the opportunity to go to an Orlando event called “Coming Out With Pride.”  It is an event that educates people on many issues, including civil rights and hate crimes against GLBT.

The event took place around Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando.

I know a sense of humor is not exclusive to gay people, but I have never met a gay person that wasn’t funny – I’ve met plenty of unfunny straight people.

But they face a hatred that one would think should be reserved for heinous criminals. So many have fallen victim but in many places this is not considered a “hate crime.”

Despite the hatred they face, they still love.

Amendment 2 could take away their civil union rights, such as insurance…

…and hospital visitation. Can you imagine not being able to see the person you love if they were in critical condition at the hospital?


“C’mon, let me love whoever I want!”

People who believe homosexuality is a lifestyle choice are certainly entitled to their opinions.  But likewise homosexuals are entitled as human beings to love whomever they want to love, whether it is a choice or the way they are made.

 
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