Beach Patterns: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge

“Leave behind on the fabric of this planet a pattern of yourself.”

Dominic Rouse

TIED UP IN KNOTS

TIED UP IN KNOTS

This week Ann-Christine has challenged us to find patterns; man-made or natural, home or away. As one who loves the patterns often found in the sand of our beautiful beach, I’ve chosen to share a few of my recent favorites.

TIDEPOOLS

TIDEPOOLS

“Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, light and darkness which it provides.”

Junichiro Tanizaki

Sometimes the patterns are created by the wind, other times by the waves, and sometimes, as in the capture below, by the beautiful creatures who frequent our shores.

THE BIRDS, THE BIRDS

THE BIRDS, THE BIRDS

“Art is pattern informed by sensibility.”

Herbert Read

Mother Nature gifts us with patterns everywhere. Her delicate footprints can often be found alongside our own at ocean’s edge. Happily, our avian neighbors seem to enjoy them as much as we do.

STRIPES

SOARING OVER THE STRIPES

“We artists have been affected by patterns in nature since day one.”

Kristi Bridgeman

 

Thanks to Ann-Christine for this week’s interesting challenge.  For more information on how to participate, click here. Remember to tag your post “Lens-Artists” to make sure it appears in our reader section.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Blue

“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time.”

Haruki Murakami

BEACH AT BLUE HOUR

BEACH AT BLUE HOUR

This week our challenge (thank you Patti) is Blue, surely among many photographers’ favorite colors. Like Patti, I’ve chosen to highlight  captures made during the blue hour. In my opener above, a shot of Kiawah’s beautiful beach as day turned quickly into night. The sun gasped it’s last breath as the sky’s clouds turned an ever-deeper shade of blue. No flash needed thanks to the Fuji X-T2’s ability to shoot at high ISO without much noise.

GORDES SUNSET

GORDES SUNSET

“I need the shade of blue that rips your heart out.”

Cath Crowley

A few years back my husband and I spent a month in Provence, France. We were heading back to home base in Boulbon when I looked back at Gordes, the town we’d just left. Any reasonable photography course will remind you to always look behind yourself, especially at sunrise and sunset. It’s scenes like this one that demonstrate how important that can be – the blues in this case tinged by pink and violet. 

Reaching still further back, the scene below, from beautiful Dubrovnik, captures a combination of the golden glow of sunset with the arrival of blue hour at the window. A good friend told me this week she’s headed there for a mother-daughter vacation. It reminded me how truly magical the place is, especially as the sun casts its final rays on the ancient stone archways and corridors.

BLUE AND GOLD

BLUE AND GOLD

“The sky beyond the door is blue.”

Ryan Stiles

Finally, an image of downtown Charleston at blue hour. Having just returned from a month away, its a reminder that no matter how far you travel or how much you love your journey, nothing beats home sweet home!

BLUE HOUR, CHARLESTON

BLUE HOUR, CHARLESTON

“I look up in the sky and what do I see? Well, blue.”

Omer Abazi

 

For more information about participating in the lens-artists challenge, click here.

To see Patti’s BLUE challenge, click here.

To have your post show in the lens-artists tag section of the WP Reader, please tag it as lens-artists. Be sure to include the hyphen and the final S !

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: SOFT

“The Earth is Art. The photographer is only a witness.”

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

SET OF SOFT SHEEP

SET OF SOFT SHEEP

Although is can sometimes be used as a derogatory adjective, implying weakness or limited intelligence, for the most part the word SOFT conjures up a warm, happy feeling. Soft-hearted, soft-touch, soft-spoken – you get the idea.  This week as I think back on our visit to rural New York state, I remember the softness of many of the farm animals, especially the two little sheep above. 

HIGHLAND CATTLE

HIGHLAND CATTLE

“A soft heart is a strong heart, and a hard heart is a weak heart.”

Criss Jamie

Of course, there are all kinds of soft creatures around the world. One example – the long-haired Highland Cow above. He was one of my favorite finds on our visit to Scotland several years ago. I wondered how on earth he was able to see anything at all through those soft bangs.

ALPACA ON ALERT

ALPACA ON ALERT

“Just because you are soft doesn’t mean you are not a force.

Victoria Erickson

In Patagonia we were entertained by a small herd of alpaca grazing in the hills. Their fleece provides some of the warmest, softest, most luxurious fabric in the world.

 

This week show us your interpretation of SOFT. Is it something as simple as a puppy’s fur, or as personal as your favorite quilt or sweater? Maybe it’s the soft light of dawn or the whisper of a soft breeze through the trees. Let us know in your response what SOFT means to you.

Remember to add the Lens-Artists tag to your post, and to link to this one. Be sure to tune in for Patti’s challenge next week on Pilotfish

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE? 

Last week Xenia treated us to a wonderful verse and a tranquil scene at Scotland’s Cairngorms National park . Catch her post here.

Pauline shared the many ways Aussies relax in her post. To see her response click here.

 

For more information about our challenge and how to participate, click here.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Time to Relax

“Relax. No one else knows what they’re doing either.”

Ricky Gervais

YESTERDAY SCENE

YESTERDAY SCENE

This week Amy has invited us to take some time to relax. As the dog days of summer are upon us, a ride through the countryside of upstate New York provided me with just that opportunity. Above, a typical scene from a day spent meandering through the nearby hills and fields.

GRAZING

GRAZING

“Relax, Recharge and Reflect. Sometimes it’s OK to do nothing.”

Izey Victoria Odiase

There were many idyllic moments along the way, including these two beautiful white horses. They were a bit skittish at first, perhaps never having faced a lens 🙂 but before long they too relaxed and continued to enjoy their grazing.

TOMORROW'S SUCCOTASH

TOMORROW’S SUCCOTASH

“Remember the time to relax is when you don’t have time to relax.”

Sidney Harris

Happily, we were just in time for fresh-picked corn on the cob – one of nature’s sweetest treats.  Beautiful fields of corn dotted the countryside throughout the area, along with the ever-present hay bales seen below.

FIELD OF BALES

FIELD OF BALES

“Just relax and enjoy the magnificence of life.”

Debasish Mridha

I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of driving, but somehow meandering through the countryside is a whole different thing. No traffic, no noise, no anxiety – just peaceful relaxation. What could be better?!

COUNTRY ROAD

COUNTRY ROAD

“The universe doesn’t even know that you exist, so relax!”

Carl William Brown

 

If you missed Amy’s challenge, click here.  For more information on how to participate in the Lens-Artists photo challenge, click here. And last but not least, remember to tune in to Travelsandtrifles next week for our next photo challenge!

 

Fuji X-T2 images processed with Nik Silver EfeX Pro2

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cooling

“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.”

Walt Whitman

SHIMMERING

SHIMMERING

This week as those of us in the US continue to experience the heat of summer, Ann-Christine has asked us to share some images of cooling. Since my husband and I are enjoying the low humidity and lovely breezes of New York’s Hudson Valley this month, we are fortunate to have found several ways to keep cool. Above, the beautiful shimmering leaves of a tree canopy at nearby Bash Bish Falls (gotta love the name, don’t you?!)

INTO THE LIGHT

INTO THE LIGHT

“Good words cool more than cold water.”

John Ray

Speaking of trees, I was captivated by the cooling shade created by the alley of pines we found at the Columbia Golf & Country Club in Claverack, NY. I couldn’t resist treating the capture above with some impressionist touches, as the path to the light was so enchanting it seemed more like something Monet or Degas might have created.

BABBLING BROOK

BABBLING BROOK

“Keep a cool head and a warm heart.”

Mike Love

I’ve been amazed at the difference in temperature between sun and shade, and the added element of water which lowers the temps still further. On our way to Bash Bish Falls we strolled along the babbling brook above, created by the falls’ torrents. We especially enjoyed the sounds of the waters as they made their way through the rocks. After a fairly strenuous uphill walk, we came at last to the falls – where we found several others frolicking in the natural pools below. Obviously they’d found a wonderful way to keep cool!

FALLS FROLIC

FALLS FROLIC

“One cool judgement is worth a thousand hasty counsels.”

Woodrow Wilson

Although nothing beats a natural waterfall, I was impressed with the waters falling from the beautiful fountain centerpiece of the Culinary Institute of America.  Located in charming Hyde Park, NY (home of FDR), the institute has trained some of the most famous chefs in America. Originally founded to train veterans returning from WWII, today the institute has campuses around the world including 2 in California’s wine country. Some of their well-known graduates include Anthony Bourdain, David Burke, Michael Chiarello and Michael Mina among many others.

SHOOTING UP, FALLING DOWN

SHOOTING UP, FALLING DOWN

“Keep cool; anger is not an argument.”

Daniel Webster

Finally, there is a way to restore a peaceful spirit in the cool quiet to be found behind the doors of a country church. I was drawn to the aura of this small oasis of calm that we came upon during our meanderings along the country roads. It seems there are churches of every variety around every corner of this area. This one in particular, located in the village of Philmont NY, caught my attention for it’s weathered wood, red doors and beautiful stained glass.

DOORWAY TO PEACE

DOORWAY TO PEACE

“Be still and cool in thine own mind and spirit.”

George Fox

Thanks to Ann-Christine for this week’s challenge entry. Stay tuned for next week’s Lens-Artists Challenge to be published by Amy of ShareandConnect. For more information about the weekly challenge, click here.

 

Note: all images created with Fuji X-T2 except the CIA fountain, which is an iPhone 8+ capture.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: WONDER

“May you see the world with wonder.”

Charlene Costanzo

LIGHT AT END OF DAY

LIGHT AT END OF DAY

This week Patti has invited us to explore “wonder”, a concept that offers many possible interpretations. To me, nothing is more wondrous than the incredible world around us. Amazing as nature may be in full color, I thought it might be interesting to revisit some recent scenes that drew my attention by studying them in black & white.

MAGNOLIA IN BLOOM

MAGNOLIA IN BLOOM

“To lose wonder is to lose the true element of religion.”

Oswald Chambers

Without the distraction of color, black & white allows us to see detail more clearly. It casts shadows more deeply and draws one into the light – always the most critical element of any image. Contrast becomes more important in a B&W composition as does texture and pattern. 

SWAMP MAGIC

SLIVER OF SUNLIGHT

“Imagination makes the world and all the wonders in it.”

Eric Micha’el Leventhal

An image in monochrome brings one’s attention to its mood, often creating more drama or stillness.  There is an added element of timelessness, and sometimes a sense of purity. Although the image below was made on a beautiful blue sky day, I find I prefer the simplicity of the capture in black & white.

SPECIAL DELIVERY

SPECIAL DELIVERY

“There is wonder in everything, the only thing you need to change to see it is your perspective.”

Taylor Schaken

Finally, there are times when conversion to monochrome can give new life to an image that  might otherwise be a throwaway. I loved the image of the little girl below but she was wearing many competing colors and prints, and was standing in a terribly glaring spot on a bright sunny day. For me the conversion to monochrome gave new life to the image.

PERUSING PEACHES

PERUSING PEACHES

“Wonders happen either way. With you or without you.”

Sergey Vedenyo

Thanks to Patti for her creative challenge – looking forward to seeing what wonders other bloggers have found. 

 

To see more information about the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come Join Us! A NEW Weekly Photo Challenge

Do you miss sharing your creative ideas and photos each week in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge? We do. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us for the new LENS ARTISTS weekly photo challenge. Our goal is to continue our creative community on WordPress.

Each Saturday at noon EST we will publish a photo challenge similar in form to the now-defunct WPC. If you choose to participate, please make sure to tag your post with the name of our group LENS-ARTISTS so that all of the responses can be found together in the WP Reader. Please also include a link to the challenge moderator’s post. One of our 4 moderators will host the challenge each week.

Week 1 – Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/

Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/

Week 3 – Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/

Week 4 – Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

Be sure to subscribe to all 4 blogs to receive the weekly challenges. Patti will post the first challenge on Saturday, July 7.

To remind us of what we’re missing, here are two of my personal favorite photos from previous WPC challenges.

First, a capture of Kiawah’s amazing beach at low tide from April 25, 2018’s “LINES”. This image caught the attention of another Kiawah resident who ordered a framed 16×20 canvas for her home 😀.

LINES IN THE SAND

LINES IN THE SAND

And from further back in the archives, October 2016’s Challenge “LOCAL”, a capture of a local shrimpboat headed out at sunrise. This one I framed for myself and hung over my living room fireplace.

SHRIMPBOAT AT SUNRISE

SHRIMPBOAT AT SUNRISE

We hope you’ll join us as we continue to support the wonderful community of creative sharing we all greatly value. We look forward to seeing you next week.

Colors of Summer

“In every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”

Rachel Carson

BLUE ON BLUE

READY FOR RELAXATION

This week my husband and I had a beautiful stroll along Kiawah’s beach and were surprised to find that many of the island’s summer visitors had already arrived. Our beach is never very crowded but we had plenty of company on our walk. There were swimmers, surfers, bicyclists, sun-worshippers and families with children all along the way. The thing that most got my attention though, was the myriad of colors everywhere I looked – especially after the drab browns and grays of winter.

THE BIG DIG

THE BIG DIG

“The month of June trembled like a butterfly.”

Pablo Neruda

We passed many a colorful scene like the one above. I found myself wondering whether the holes were meant to lead one to the water, or to dig to some foreign part of the world! (I don’t know about you but I remember as a child being told that if you dug deep enough you’d reach China  😊).

KIDS AT PLAY

KIDS AT WORK

“The island is ours. Here, in some way, we are young forever.”

E. Lockhart

We came upon a group of children gathered around a net filled with sea creatures. It turned out they were all being home-schooled and as part of their curriculum they’d been brought to the beach to learn about the various animals within the sea, the importance of the tides, the ecology of the dunes and many other of the important aspects of our oceans and beaches. They had a teacher with them as well as many of the moms. One of them told us that in addition to the lessons they were learning, it was a great way to add socialization to a group of individuals that normally study alone at home.

TURTLE NESTING

TURTLE NESTING

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

William Shakespeare

I would be remiss if I didn’t include the bright orange of our Loggerhead Turtle nesting signs. Each summer, Kiawah’s beach serves as a nesting area for the huge (up to 350 lbs) mama loggerheads who come ashore to lay their eggs. Each nest typically holds 100-150 eggs, which incubate in the warm sand for about 2 months. Once the eggs are buried the mothers return to the sea. Their tiny offspring will most often hatch in the pre-dawn hours.  In addition to keeping meticulous records, Kiawah’s Turtle patrols protect the nests from predators like birds, coyotes and foxes. Once nest activity is observed, they are there with flashlights in the pre-dawn hours to guide the little ones to the water. Loggerheads are an endangered species and the patrol’s incredible commitment has increased the ratio of successful hatchings from 2% per nest to an average of 70%. In 2017 there were a total of 354 nests so clearly the results are well worth their efforts.

For those of us in the US, welcome to summer. Here’s to warm sun, cool breezes and no big storms!

 

All photos created with iPhone 8+

 

Dragons Galore

“It is the little creatures that make the world go round.”

Dave Goulson

BIT OF BLUE

BIT OF BLUE

It seems it really “bugs” most of us that there is no more Weekly Photo Challenge, so this week I’ve decided to feature one of the most interesting bugs of all – the delicately-winged dragonfly.  A good friend here on Kiawah is a bit obsessed with these little creatures so after our last photography outing we decided to stop at one of the more heavily-populated marsh spots to see what we could find.

HANGIN' ON

HANGIN’ ON

“The transparency of dragonfly’s wings assures me of a pure, innocent world”

Munia Kahn

Happily, there were dragonflies aplenty. Blue, green, yellow… you name it, we saw it. Their little heads seemed to me as if they were enclosed in a protective helmet shaped much like that of an NFL pro. They’re difficult to shoot because they don’t sit still for long and their travels are never in a straight line. Further, they flutter rather erratically as they fly, making them difficult to follow. But shoot them we did, rising to the challenge as best we could.

LEAF ME ALONE

LEAF ME ALONE

“Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.”

Robyn Nola

I ran into an issue with my Fuji as we were shooting – for some reason the camera was putting a very dark vignette around every photo. I was very unhappy and interrupted my shooting to google the problem. Sure enough, I was able to find that the issue was not uncommon – for some reason the camera had slipped into “toy camera” mode, which once identified was easily fixed. The camera had also recorded the raw file, so all was not lost. The internet of everything strikes again thank goodness 😊.

LIVING ON THE EDGE

LIVING ON THE EDGE

“I love to see the sunshine on the wings of the Dragonflies… there is magic in it.”

Ama H. Vanniarachchy

Incredibly, dragonflies (and their female companions, damselflies) can move at 45 miles-per-hour and can hover, fly up or down, fly backward or forward in either direction and mate in mid-air. They can see 360 degrees around themselves and use 80% of their brain power for sight. In most parts of the world they are symbolic of change and maturity, and to be touched by one is considered a sign of good fortune.

GOING GREEN

GOING GREEN

“I am a dragonfly, rising on the wings of unlocked dreams on the verge of magical things.”

Aimee Stewart

According to  Smithsonian.com, dragonflies have been with us some 300 million years and fossils of their ancient ancestors had wingspans up to 2 feet long. There are more than 5,000 known species including the Globe Skinner, which has the longest migration of any insect – 11,000 miles back and forth across the Indian Ocean. 

One of the things I enjoy about photography, and especially as it relates to  blogging, is that it pushes me to learn things I would otherwise never know. Such was the case this week as I studied this seemingly simple, yet actually incredibly complex and capable insect. Hopefully you’ve found it as interesting as I did!

 

On Being Blue

“What if the blue i see is not the same color blue you see?”

Neo Shamon

NIGHT HERON IN THE MUCK

NIGHT HERON IN THE MUCK

It’s a funny thing about blue. There are as many varieties of the color as one can imagine, and beyond that, blue can also depict sadness or feeling unhappy. Last week we bid farewell to the WordPress Photo Challenge, which made many of us a bit sad. So this week, I’ve decided to look at some happier examples of the blues. 

BATHING BLUEBIRD

BATHING BLUEBIRD

“Let the blue of the sky and ocean take your blue away when you feel blue.”

Munia Khan

Here on Kiawah we are blessed with an amazing variety of birdlife.  How can a photographer complain when faced with a gorgeous, normally furtive night heron mucking about in the bright green algae of a local pond? (And yes, their eyes really are that red!) How can one be sad while watching a feisty little bluebird making the most of a local birdbath?

EGRET AND SUNNY SKIES

EGRET AND SUNNY SKIES

“If you are feeling blue, try to paint the sky with It.”

Muhammad Imran Hasan

Even while playing (bad) golf on a beautiful day, the sight of a lone egret posing against a bright blue sky is enough to make one smile even after a nasty double bogey. How nice of him to wait until we’d finished before soaring off to his next destination. 🙂

GREAT BLUE

GREAT BLUE

“Blue is everlastingly painted by the deity to be a source of delight.”
John Ruskin

Finally, I’ve seen many great blue herons here on Kiawah, and photographed quite a few as well. The capture above, however, is one of my favorites. To me, the shape of the heron’s neck, and the expression on her face, looks almost angelic. One wonders what such a beautiful creature must be thinking at any given moment.

 

May all of your blues this week be happy ones – see you next week.