Lens-Artists Challenge #165 – Going Wide

Bryce Canyon, hoodoos, clouds
Hoodoos, Bryce Canyon

“Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah-ha’.”

Ernst Haas

Last week Sofia asked us to look up or down. This week Patti has given us yet another directional challenge, this time to “go wide”. When I sold my Nikon equipment to move to mirrorless technology I did not replace my wide angle lens. Instead I subscribe to Mr. Haas’ philosophy of stepping back to capture a wider scene. There are times though when a wide-angle clearly does a better job. So this week I’ve used images taken with my Nikon and a 10-24mm lens, such as the scene above from Bryce Canyon in Utah. It would have been nearly impossible to capture the breadth of the landscape without a tripod and a wide-angle lens due to the limited ability to “back up” to capture the scene.

Rice Fields, China, Longsheng
Longsheng Rice Fields, China

“Sometimes I look with telephoto eyes, sometimes with wide-angle eyes.”

Alfred Eisenstaedt

Likewise in the image above I was looking to capture not only the beauty of the rice fields but also the village below. Again, I was walking along a narrow ledge around the fields and could not have backed up any further to capture the scene.

“Try to approximate as much as possible the way we see, focusing on details, opening up to wider angles…”

Beat Streuli

Sadly, Old Sheldon Church (shown in the images above) is no longer accessible to photographers as it becomes ever-more fragile. I was fortunate to have visited a few years back with a friend to shoot the church ruins at sunrise. I thought the first (left) image with its sunburst best expressed my reaction to a place that for hundreds of years housed the faithful in communion with their God. I also loved the huge live oak tree gracing the second image. I’m curious to hear which of the images you prefer.

Scottish Loch, flowers, rocks
Beautiful Scotland

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”

Henry Ward Beecher

For the image above, my husband and I were vacationing in Scotland with our daughter-in-law’s family. They’d rented a large home situated on a beautiful loch to house all of us. I set my camera and wide-angle lens on a tripod at the edge of the water and walked out to the scene several times to capture the landscape as it evolved. The image I’ve shared here was my favorite because of the evening light and the lovely sky.

Bar Harbor, fog, Maine
Foggy Morning, Bar Harbor Maine

“Set wide the window, let me drink the day.”

Edith Warton

I captured the scene above from a hotel window in Bar Harbor, Maine. I loved the peaceful feeling of the fog and mist creeping across the bay. I’d set the camera up the night before to capture what turned out to be a rather boring sunset and was up at dawn the next morning while the camera was still in place. It was simple luck that I’d awakened in time to see the scene. Shooting from a window, only a wide-angle lens could have captured the breadth of the landscape.

Glacier National Park, fog, flowers, purple, valley
Fog in the Valley, Glacier National Park

“Life is short and the world is wide.”

Simon Raven

Finally, my image above was NOT captured with a wide angle lens, nor with a tripod. Rather I used my Fuji X-T2 with it’s 18-55mm kit lens while leaning on a rock wall. I include it as proof that one does not necessarily need a wide-angle lens to capture wide-angle images. As long as there is room to back away from a scene we can capture landscapes such as this one quite well. This particular day a good friend and I were bemoaning the miserable fog which was ruining our opportunity for good images when we suddenly broke through the clouds and ended up above them on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. It was EXACTLY the kind of ah-ha moment espoused in my opening quote by Ernst Haas.

My thanks to Patti for pushing me to think about wide-angle shooting which is not something I typically do. I hope you’ll join us in response to her challenge – if so, be sure to link to her original post here and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. Thanks also, of course, to Sofia for guest-hosting last week with her Looking Up/Down challenge. As always you rose to the challenge beautifully and with some amazing variety. We hope you’ll join us next week when Ann-Christine leads us on her Leya blog. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.

In closing, a note on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and to all those affected by the tragedies of man’s inhumanity to man. May we all find peace in our lifetimes and remember those who have served to protect us..

“Imagine all the people, living life in peace.”

John Lennon

Lens-Artists Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China, steps, waterfall, bridge
Looking Up AND Down, Tiger Leaping Gorge

“The most interesting points of view for contemporary photography are looking down from high up or up from down low.”

Alexander Rodchenko

We are excited to welcome Sofia Alves of Photographias as our host this week, along with her interesting “Looking Up/Down challenge. In response, I’ve revisited some of my favorite images from our travels, including the image above from Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China. Renowned for its incredibly beautiful hike, we chose instead to descend and then climb the 1,000 steps from top to bottom. One of the worlds deepest gorges, it soars 12,000+ feet from river to mountain top.

Chinese, script, paint, sidewalk
Looking Down to Write

“You’ll never find rainbows if you’re looking down.”

Charlie Chaplin

Also in China, we were mesmerized by a group of Chinese men artfully painting script on large pavement blocks in a local park. It was very much like a dance as we watched them paint so rhythmically. If only we’d known what the symbols meant. I’ve left the painter’s toe in the image to illustrate the size and complexity of their work.

South America, vineyard, window, crow
Looking Down – A Bird’s Eye View

“Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.”

Leonardo da Vinci

From China we move to South America where a very observant bird caught my attention as I looked through the rather dirty window across the vineyards to the snow-capped Andes Mountains beyond. The wine was every bit as amazing as the view.

eagle, sea
Looking Down at the Sea, Baha’i Gardens

“Look up at the sky. There is light, a beauty up there that no shadow can touch.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

This watchful stone eagle can be found surveying the grounds of the renowned Hanging Gardens of the Baha’i in Haifa, Israel. At the center bottom of the image you can see a glimpse of the gold-domed Shrine of the Bab, the founder of the religion. 1500 steps carry visitors along the 19 beautiful terraces which look down toward the port of Haifa.

windows, clay figures
Looking Up in Tel Aviv

“It’s all a great mystery….Look up at the sky and you’ll see how everything changes.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In Tel Aviv, I looked up as we were walking along scenic Rothschild Boulevard admiring the many Bauhaus buildings. Imagine my surprise when I saw these quaint characters adorning one of the home’s window ledges as we passed by. I found them so unique and sweet I simply had to capture the scene.

church, holy spirit
Looking up to the Holy Spirit

“There is always a reason to look up.”

Adrienne Posey

In Jaffa, Israel, we looked up at the beauty of this sculpture high above the altar at Saint Peter’s Church. Originally built during the 13th Century, it was later destroyed and finally rebuilt in the 1800s. It commemorates Saint Peter’s raising of Tabitha, one of Jesus’ disciples, from the dead.

Looking Down at Sunspots, Scottsdale, AZ

“Greatness does not approach him who is forever looking down.”


Finally, an interesting pattern I noticed while strolling along a street in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona. I may be wrong but for some reason I believe this was an Apple store. Right or wrong, I found the sunlight playing through the overhead roof made for an interesting image. Can’t you just imagine a few young children hopscotching along the spots to their hearts’ content?!

Sincere thanks to Sofia for joining us as host and for her very interesting challenge. Be sure to link your responses to her original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us all find you. Thank you also for your fun responses to last week’s Keep Walking challenge. If ever we needed inspiration to get moving, your responses gave us an extra bit of motivation. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Patti leads us once again on her Pilotfish blog. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #163 – Keep Walking

Beach, umbrellas, colorful, ocean, Bethany

“Life is a summer, full of fun. At the beach, under the sun.”

Debasish Mridha

This past week after nearly two years I was happily participating in a family reunion at Bethany Beach, Delaware (shown above). Although I’d seen one or two of my family members, I’d not seen most of them in nearly two years due to COVID precautions. Everyone made a major effort to gather, such that when all was said and done there were 24 of us, including my husband and me, my four brothers and their spouses, their children and their grandchildren (6 of whom are under the age of 5). So, in response to Amy’s “Keep Walking” challenge, I’ve decided to share some images from a fun walk my husband and I took one afternoon to explore the nearby attractions.

Jitney, Bethany Beach, bus, blue

“Beaches are God’s poetry.”

Steven Maraboli

My opening image captures the crowds sharing their spots in the sand as the ocean’s calm and the day’s heat combine to delight them. As someone used to Kiawah’s wide open beach and limited smattering of people, I’m always amazed at the crowds in more populated areas. Parking is a precious commodity, so many residents and visitors use the jitney busses such as I’ve shown above to move more easily from place to place.


“In every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”

Rachel Carons

Clearly the residents of the area take great pride in their homes, many of which are seasonal rentals. I was enchanted as we walked by the white picket fence shown above with its beautiful flowers gracing one of many such homes. The town is small and quiet for the better part of a year, until summer’s visitors arrive to swell the population exponentially.

beach, kite, sunset

“There can’t possibly be anything more beautiful than a seaside Beach at sunset.”

Bryn McCarren

As sunset approached and the day’s hot sand no longer burnt one’s feet, several visitors took to the beach to fly kites. I loved the one featured in my image above, a whirling, swirling octopus which reminded several of us of Harry Potter’s “dementors”. Fans of the series will know exactly what I mean by that 😊.

signs, locations, colorful

“There is no place like the beach… where the land meets the sea and the sea meets the sky”

Umair Siddiqui

After four full days of driving and four days of chaotic family fun, my husband and I returned to walk the beach on Kiawah (below). I was only a bit facetious with my “Kiawah Crowd” title on the image. As this is the final week before Labor Day, the “unofficial” end of the summer season, there are a few more people than I’ve shown, but not many LOL!.

beach, Kiawah Island, walking

“Walk along in that wide, peaceful, whispering hush of the sea that gives every sound, near or far, some mysterious importance.”

Thomas Mann

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little walk and encourage you to visit Amy’s much more exotic and beautiful examples in her original “Keep Walking” post here. Remember to link to her post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us all find you.

Finally, sincere thanks for your amazing response to last week’s “It’s All About the Light” challenge. I cannot imagine a more diverse and compelling display of the incredible affect of light in photography. Speaking of which, we hope you’ll join us next week when we’re honored to have Sofia Alves of Photographias joining us as Guest Host. Her theme will be “Looking Up/Down”. Be sure to use the link to check out her beautiful and always-interesting blog. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It’s All About the Light

Breaking Through

“The photographer must be dedicated to the glory, the magic, and the mystery of light.”

Jacque- Henri Lartigue

This week the Lens-Artists team invites you to join us in exploring the magic of light. Sometimes we plan ahead and rise in the early morning hours to capture the sunrise, only to find it obscured by clouds. Other times we await the sunset only to find it less than spectacular. And sometimes, every now and then, we just get lucky and a boring scene becomes magical. Such was the case when clouds and fog rolled in late one afternoon here on Kiawah. Slide the arrows left and right to see the difference the changing light had on the scene above in a matter of a few minutes.

“Light is the shape and play of my thought…my reason for being a photographer.”

Barbara Morgan

When I previously featured the image on the left in an earlier post, a friend asked me why the rock color was different from some of the Petra images she’d previously seen. The image on the right is a visual explanation of the reason. I captured the scene on the left as a shaft of light poured into the canyon, versus the image on the right captured earlier in the day. The quality of light within a scene can often be the most important element of your “equipment”, adding significantly to your final result.

The Sea of Galilee, Israel

“Photography is a litany of light.”

Moses Oliver

While visiting Israel, I worked to capture the Sea of Galilee in some interesting light. On the right, an image I made in the late morning. On the left, the same vista captured just after the sun had dipped below the hills. I was fortunate to see both a marvelous sunset and the appearance of another person appreciating the moment. While the image on the right is just fine, I thought the image on the left did a better job of illustrating the beauty of the scene.

Beach Vista, Kiawah Island

“I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.”

Trent Parke

I’ve often included images of Kiawah’s beach, and love chasing the light and its magic there – I rarely shoot during the day unless something else has caught my attention. In the image on the right I was focused on one of our many shrimp boats. Compare the color of the water, the sky and the beach between the two images. For me, the magic of the light at sunset, and somewhat less frequently sunrise, is something of which I can never get enough.

Sunrise, Botany Bay SC

“Light is the stuff which holds a photograph together; it breathes life, passion and emotion into your vision.”

Steve Coleman

Speaking of sunrise, I’ll close with one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. A friend and I had gone out at what she calls “zero dark thirty” aka pre-dawn, to shoot the sun’s rise at Botany Bay. The area had long been a favorite for photographers because of the phantom trees that survive in the ocean waves. Sadly, the beach has since been destroyed by a hurricane but that day it was absolute perfection. I was astounded by the color of the light that morning, nearly spiritual in its portrayal of our beautiful world. Would’t it be nice if we would give it the amount of attention and care it deserves?

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for her fun Feet and Shoes challenge last week. I was amazed to have found so many images that fit the topic, and suspect you were too. There were many smiles as we saw the variety of your responses! This week your challenge is to share images that illustrate the power of light – even better if you also include the same or a similar scene at a different, somewhat less beautiful time. (Hopefully my first attempt at using WP’s “image compare” feature is working correctly.) Remember to link your post to my original, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week as Amy leads us on her Share and Connect post. In the meanwhile, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #161 – Feet and Shoes

rain boots, boots, color, girls
Rainy Day Fun

“Anyone in kindergarten knew that a girl should wear shiny red or white boots on the first rainy day, not to keep her feet dry, but to show off. That’s what boots are for – showing off, wading, splashing, stamping.”

Beverly Cleary

This week Ann-Christine invites us to have a look at feet and/or shoes. I’m taking the opportunity to respond with some images from our travels including my opener above and the image below. Both are from the fun, artsy Neve Tzedek area of Tel Aviv. I hope the little girls there follow the advice of my opening quote!

ballet shoes, umbrellas, Israel
Dancing Feet

“Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.”

Erol Ozan

The beautiful display above was part of the Suzanne Dellal Center for contemporary dance. I just loved the colorful dancing feet and couldn’t resist including them this week although I’ve used this one on a previous post.

piano, baby, music
Musical Feet

“There are words in the soul of a baby, wanting and waiting to be written.”

Toba Beta

One final image from Tel Aviv, the capture above shows a young child using his pudgy little feet to play a musical rug in a local park. Although I couldn’t swear to it under oath, I’m fairly certain the “piano” actually made music. I DO remember how much he was enjoying his own serenade!

shoes, blue, high heels
Fancy Footwear

Tell me where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?”

William Shakespeare

Back in the U.S., the image above goes back quite a long time, to my niece’s wedding. As she and her bridesmaids were getting ready for the big day, the ladies had lined their shoes up waiting to be worn at the last minute. As most women know, there is NOTHING comfortable about high-heeled shoes – surely they were invented by a man – just sayin’ 😊

sparkles, shoes, pink
Future Cinderella

“I’m just a common girl wanting to be someone’s Cinderella, hoping that the shoe fits only me.”

Namrata Gupta

Like the image that precedes it, the sparkly pink shoes above were worn for a wedding on New York’s Hudson River, this time by a young attendee. As you might guess, it was an outdoor service and rather than throwing rice, flower petals were provided for tossing at the exiting couple following the ceremony. Hopefully before she reaches a bit more maturity high heels will be out of vogue.

shoes, Budapest, memorial
Shoes on the Danube Bank

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Richard Puz “from an Irish headstone”

I’ll close with one of my favorite images everan example of shoes that are clearly not meant for fun. The shoes were among 60 pairs that are part of a memorial we visited on the Danube River in Budapest. The memorial represents the shoes that were left behind when 3,500 people were made to remove them before being shot and falling or being pushed into the river in 1944 and 1945. It is an extraordinarily moving monument that for me personalized the horrific events of that terrible time.

A big thank you to those of you who joined us for Patti’s Inspiration challenge last week. We were inspired by every one of you! We hope you’ll join Ann-Christine and the rest of the team for this week’s feet and shoes challenge. Remember to link your response to her original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you in our WP Reader section. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week here on Travels and Trifles as I lead our next challenge. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #160 – Inspiration

impressionist, path, steps, flowers
Come into My Garden, Middleton Place

“In their biographies, artists like Michelangelo, da Vincci and Bach said that their most valuable technique was their ability to inspire themselves.”

Ralph Gibson

Inspiration – we all seek it, we find our own ways to achieve it, and we surely recognize its importance. Unlike the artists in my opening quote, I’ve not been the best at self-inspiration. For me, it is the company or encouragement of others that often inspires me. Whether in a class, working with other members of our local photography club, or simply out shooting with friends, I’m inspired by the company of those I respect and whose friendships I cherish. My opening image, for example, was captured this spring in an outing with a good friend during a visit to nearby Middleton Plantation.

flower, yellow
Mellow Yellow

“Photography is food and inspiration to the artist.”

Max Dupain

I’ve been fortunate to participate in classes and photo shoots with many renowned professional photographers thanks to my association with the Kiawah Photography Club. I am always inspired by their commitment and talent as well as their generosity in sharing their thoughts and expertise with us. I also find it inspiring to help others. My image above for example, was captured as I was showing a good friend how to make the most of portrait mode on an iPhone.

photographer, purple hair
Working the Scene

“My goal as a person and as a photographer is to …share the precious gift of thought and inspiration we are all endowed with.”

Guy Tal

In the same outing as my previous image, I was drawn to the purple hair of the artist above. She was photographing LA’s beautiful Getty Museum garden as well as sketching it. I captured her silently from behind, then introduced myself and asked if she’d mind my photographing her. She laughed that I should be interested in her and happily complied. My favorite image of all though was my first, the candid capture shown above.

flower, iris, purple
The Color Purple

“Take inspiration from everywhere. Be aware of everything.”

Lee Widdows

I enjoyed focusing this week on a personal inspiration, and invite you to visit my previous post on the subject about some of the other things that inspire me. I’m looking forward to seeing what inspires all of you. Be sure to link your response to Patti’s original post here and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our WP Reader section.

I’ll close this week by joining Lens-Artists team member and this week’s host, Patti of Pilotfish, in acknowledging and offering heartfelt thanks to our Guest Hosts this past month. John Steiner, Anne Sandler, Rusha Sams, Beth Smith and Ana Campo did us proud with their creative and thoughtful challenges. We also, of course, thank all of our followers for your continued support and participation. We look forward to returning to our normal schedule and hope to see you next week when Ann-Christine leads our challenge. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #159 – Postcards

Junk, Ha Long Bay
Among the Karsts, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

“I’m just hoping we can keep the spirit of the humble postcard in mind while looking at people, places and things.”

Martin Parr

This week Ana has offered us a very interesting opportunity with her Postcards challenge. As I thought about my response, I remembered a set of old postcards I’d seen during a visit to Southeast Asia. Because so much of what we’d seen felt like time had been standing still, I chose to edit my images as I thought postcards might have looked long ago.

asian rice hats, fields, workers
Working the Rice Paddies, Vietnam

“The world before us is a postcard, and I imagine the words we are writing on it.”

Mary Pearson

Here in the U.S. we think of history in terms of hundreds of years while in Asia it is thought of in centuries. Seeing images of people and places there takes one back to times long before the appearance iPhones, digital cameras and the other modern-day technologies we use to capture scenes of local life. The simple postcard wouldn’t have been so simple at all “back in the day”!

Guardians of the Past, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

“Postcards chosen according to a passing mood begin to trace an itinerary, to map the imaginary country that stretches out before us.”

Chris Marker

I suppose there are many in our blogging community too young to remember a time when postcards were an important way to stay in touch with family and friends. We’d visit small shops displaying a myriad of cards, choosing just the right scenes for those at home. We’d purchase them for a few cents, add stamps for a few more, and mail them off knowing they’d arrive in a week at best, often after we’d already returned from our journeys!

Bicyclist, South Vietnam

“Why do you have to be out of town to write a postcard?”

Jim Gaffigan

I was fascinated by a world filled with people and places I’d only read about in books or studied in history classes. It is an amazing thing to experience how dramatically our perspectives change when we take the time to understand other cultures. We learn quickly that our similarities far outweigh our differences.

Casting Off, South Vietnam

“If you put two postcards in the same post box, they don’t necessarily come out in the same order you put them in.”

Vint Cerf

I’ll close with an image of Angkor Wat, an iconic site discovered in 1860 in the jungles of Cambodia that would surely have been featured in postcards of the past. Built in the early 12th century, It has since become a source of national pride, even finding a place of prominence on the Cambodian flag. Most recently, new technology has shown it was part of a large urban landscape with a sophisticated network of canals and dams controlling the flow of water.

angkor wat
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

“Your memory creates postcard images, but it doesn’t really comprehend the world at all.”

Olga Tokarczuk

Many thanks to Ana for her thoughtful challenge – be sure to link your response to her beautiful original post and to use the Lens-Artists tag to appear in our Reader section. We appreciate all of our Guest Hosts stepping in for us this month, as well as those of you who have participated along the way. We hope you’ll join us next week when we return to our normal schedule, beginning with Patti on her Pilotfish blog. Her challenge will be Your Inspiration – she’ll ask you to share with us a place, a subject, a person, a book – just about anything that inspires you. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #158 – Back Country Roads

cows, numbers, farm

“The beaten path only gets you where most people go. Be original and explore new roads.”

Nanette Mathews

This week our guest host, Beth of Wandering Dawgs, has invited us to leave the beaten path and wander some back country roads. Over the years my husband and I have often set off to do just that. I’m happy to have an opportunity to share some of our exploits, starting with the beautiful bovines above. We came across them and the farmstead below in our adventures along the country roads near the home of our family in upstate New York.

farm, tractor, silo
Down on the Farm

“A farmer is a magician who produces money from the mud.”

Amit Kalantri

In beautiful Montana , a good friend invited me to join her in photographing the glorious yellow canola fields. The colors of the red barn, blue sky and yellow canola flowers were a photographer’s dream!

canola field, red barn
Canola Fields, Montana

“Is there any sight more exquisite than a field of canary yellow rapeseed on a day of blinding sunlight?”

Stewart Stafford

Speaking of red barns, the image below is one of my all-time favorite scenes. Captured during a getaway in New England some years back, it’s an example of the importance of timing. We originally saw the barns at mid-day and I captured several images of the scene. That evening I was disappointed when I reviewed my results. We were fortunate to be able to return late the following afternoon and the images I’d envisioned were there for the taking in the waning light.

red, barns
Red Barns, New England

“Painted oxide red, silhouetted against colored skies of a setting sun, the barns were a dramatic, strong architectural presence.”

Hemalata Dandekar

I’ll close with a few images captured along the winding, crazy curving “off the beaten path” road which leads to my brother’s home in the Colorado mountains. I made these images one chilly morning as the sun was just beginning to rise. Fortunately the time change traveling west means sunrise is a bit more manageable for an Easterner like yours truly.

sunrise, woods
Sunrise, Colorado

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

Jo Walton
aspens, impression, panning
Impression of Aspens in the Snow

“I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.”

Joyce Kilmer
red barn, american flag

“Freedom is a privilege, not a right. And as such, I have no right to ask anything of it, but I have the privilege of giving everything to it.”

Craig D. Lounsbrough
deer, woods
Local Residents

“How can a deer tell when a leaf falls silent in the forest? She hears it breathing differently”

Richard Bach

I hope you’ve enjoyed my stroll down memory lane (aka the back country roads) as much as I did – I look forward to seeing your responses to the challenge. Be sure to link them to Beth’s original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. We thank Beth and all of our guest hosts this month, and look forward to next week when our final guest host, Ana of Anvica’s Gallery leads us with her Postcards challenge. Most importantly, we thank all of you for your participation in our challenges and for your continued creativity and commitment. Until next week, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #157 – Getting Away

Getty Museum, stairs, windows, white
The Climb

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

Maya Angelou

This week our Guest Host, Rusha Sams invites us to get away from it all, and for me it couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband and I arrived home from a short getaway very late last night. Ms. Angelou’s quote describes exactly what we needed, and with the help of some very good friends we were able for the most part to leave our worries behind. My opening image, captured at the beautiful Getty Center in Los Angeles, symbolizes the long climb with which we’ve been faced, but like the figure in the image we’re hopefully past half-way and headed for the summit.

Welcome to Denver

“Be kind to yourself give yourself a break.”

Bernardo Moya

Speaking of summits, the first stop on our journey was Colorado, which invites you into its mountains with an airport vista (shown above as captured from my airplane window) meant to resemble them. The weather was quite warm and hazy (although of course more comfortable than our South Carolina summer heat), which for the most part hid the actual mountains from view. That notwithstanding, we very much enjoyed our visit with family and the break from SC’s humidity.

Balboa park, San Diego
Balboa Park, San Diego

“Everyone needs a break to refuel, recharge, and jump back in full throttle.””

Helen Edwards

Our next stop was Carlsbad, California – just north of San Diego. There we visited with good friends who some 20+ years ago were our northern next-door neighbors. Since we are on different coasts we don’t see them often but it’s always as if we’d only seen them yesterday each time we are together. While there we did a day trip to Balboa Park, which we’d not seen before. In addition to the famous San Diego Zoo, the park is home to several wonderful museums (including a terrific photography exhibit), beautiful gardens, and some glorious turn-of-the-century buildings that seemed more old-world European than American.

flowers, white
White on White, The Getty Center

“Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.”

Russell Eric Dobda

During our getaway, which we ended with wonderful friends in Santa Monica, we enjoyed incredible floral displays in Balboa Park, at the Getty in LA, and at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. I hope to share more of those images in the coming weeks. At the end of the day, we were reminded that friends are truly the flowers in the life’s garden. Yes, there are weeds, but sometimes we need to take a break from pulling them in order to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of the flowers that are blooming.

Sincere thanks to Anne for last week’s wonderful B&W challenge – we enjoyed seeing the results of your image edits. Thanks also to Rusha for her well-timed (at least for me 😊) challenge. We look forward to seeing your responses. Be sure to link them to her original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. Finally, be sure to join us next week when Beth of Wandering Dawgs brings us her Back Country Roads challenge. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #156 – Black & White

portrait, sadness, B&W

“Black and white photography does more to evoke an emotion and freeze a moment in time than any other medium”

Bob Snell

This week our guest host, Anne Sandler, has invited us to share images in Black and White. Among other things, I find B&W particularly well-suited to portraying emotions in portrait photography. Dramatic lighting is much more visible and provides a way for the photographer to focus the viewer’s attention exactly as he or she chooses. The image above was a candid capture of an exhausted ship’s worker as she stole a rare moment of peace and quiet. In Black & White her exhaustion comes shining through.

Simply Twigs

“To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black & white is a delight for the soul.”

Andri Cauldwell

For many, B&W is the purist’s way of looking at the world. While it is not something I use frequently, I find it can deliver opportunities for taking a more artistic approach which strips the subject of any distractions and allows its beauty to come through in its simplicity.

Magnolia in Bloom

“The world may be color, but Black & White transcends it.”

Abbas Attar

There are times when nothing can portray the purity of Mother Nature’s work better than the use of Black & White. Here in the south we are blessed with weeks of glorious magnolias everywhere we look. They draw the eye to their beauty and the nose to their sweet bouquet. For me, B&W strips them down to their essence and presents them in a way that allows their details to draw the viewer into the image.

forest, trees, art, panning
Forest Primeval

“Black and White are the colours of photography.”

Robert Frank

I captured the scene above in camera using a vertical pan. While I liked the image in color, to me the conversion to Black & White took it to a more artistic place. The trees took on a rather ominous feel – conjuring thoughts of frightening creatures lurking beyond. Sometimes if we strip an image of its color we allow the viewer to form their own impressions of a scene rather than dictate their reactions.

A Poem Lovely as a Tree

“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.”

Elliott Erwitt

If we compare the tree above to the one that immediately precedes it, we see that the use of B&W allows the photographer to better portray a sense of emotion in a scene. We move from dark and ominous to light and fanciful simply by the use of the many elements of shading and light available in Black & White. At least, that’s my impression….what’s yours?!

Thanks to Anne for giving us an opportunity to explore our world in Black & White – we look forward to seeing your interpretations. Please remember to use the Lens-Artists Tag and to link them to Anne’s original post here. We also thank you for your responses to John’s “On the Water” challenge last week; a fun thought for those of us enjoying some lazy summer days. Finally, please join us next week when Rusha leads us with her “Getting Away” challenge. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.