Lens-Artists Challenge #183 – Memorable Events

starfish, seashells, beach, hurricane aftermath
After the Storm

“Photographs may be more memorable than moving images, because they are a neat slice of time, not a flow.

Susan Sontag

Ann-Christine’s challenge this week highlights an amazing visit to Morocco, a truly Memorable Event. Although all of our travels have been filled with marvelous memories, I’ve chosen to go in a different direction. For me the small moments that are often overlooked are also worthy of note. For example, a (happily) unusual and memorable event occurred in the aftermath of a Category 2 hurricane here on Kiawah. Shown in my opening image, when the storm abated my short walk was rewarded with an amazing array of ocean life strewn end-to-end along our beautiful beach.

Beach, ice, storm
Kiawah Scene Seldom Seen

“Memorable photographs have been made with the simplest of cameras using available light.”

Yousuf Karsh

In another memorable weather event, we experienced an incredible ice storm which for us here in the southern U.S. is an extremely rare and hence memorable event. Interestingly we are in the midst of another unusual freeze as I write. In 20+ years here, this is only the 4th time we’ve seen ice or snow – more than enough for me. On the other hand, there is definitely something to be said for the pristine beauty of a “winter wonderland”.

green, yellow, colorful, caterpillar, nature
Colorful Crawler

“Originality is the key to being memorable.”

Suzy Kassem

Nature often rewards us with small but memorable moments, and our images provide us with excellent reminders of them. Without my photograph I would probably have forgotten the surprisingly beautiful little creature above, which I discovered one afternoon in my neighbor’s garden.

leaves, reflection, water, plants
Making Lemonade from Lemons

“Life is a book, one page a day but only memories are making chapters”

Davan Yahya Khalil

I’ve often posted about our local photography club which has hosted many professional photographers over the years. Most sessions include a shoot with the visiting pro for field experience. During an outing with National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins, the weather was rather miserable and the day’s subject, our usually-marvelous avian population, was less than cooperative. Frustrated by the sheltering birds, I decided to wander a bit and came across the simple reflection above. The secondary lesson – if your original plan isn’t working, find a new one 😊.

canola, yellow, barn, red, colorful
Canola Crop

“Each moment has the potential to be special and memorable.”

Steven Redhead

During a visit with friends in Montana, I was treated to this beautiful scene. I’d noticed the fields of canola during the approach to the small airport and my friend, who shares my love of photography, scheduled a day trip for us. The canola, combined with the aging red barn and bright blue sky, turned this simple outing with a good friend into a truly memorable event.

sunflowers, butterfly, yellow, green, field
Yellow on Yellow

“Nobody remembers the moment of birth or the moment of death. So between both, you better do memorable things.”

A.J. Beirens

While touring the beautiful Vanderbilt Mansion in nearby North Carolina my husband and I came upon a huge field of sunflowers. As I was composing my image, a little yellow butterfly cruised into my shot – a memorable event due to its fortunate serendipity.

workman, saw, hand, dust
Hard at work

“Only powerfully conceived images have the ability to penetrate the memory, to stay there, in short to become unforgettable.”

Brassai

Another serendipitous and hence memorable event occurred while shooting with a friend in downtown Charleston. I am usually very shy about asking people if I can photograph them but this was a moment I couldn’t resist. The workman couldn’t have been nicer and I happily spent some time working the scene. I later submitted the image above for publication in the Charleston Post & Courier and it was featured as their Photo of the Week.

At the Majors

“One piece of good sense would be more memorable than a monument as high as the moon.”

Henry David Thoreau

Finally, I would be remiss if I neglected to include last year’s PGA Tournament held here on Kiawah’s Ocean Course in 2021. For the non-golfers among us, this is one of four annual “majors” and this year’s event was particularly memorable. Phil Mickelson’s win made him (at age 50) the oldest champion of any golf major. My images were captured during the practice round when both cameras and the contestants’ casual-wear shorts were allowed.

I’ll close with a simple thought – life is filled with memorable moments, found in events both big and small. For me, it’s the unexpected small moments that keep life interesting. Yes, big events are extremely important, but they are far less frequent than the little things that keep us motivated in-between.

Large or small, we look forward to seeing the memorable events you choose to feature this week. Be sure to link them to Ann-Christine’s original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our reader. Next week Amy will lead the challenge, so be sure to check out her interesting and beautiful blog. In the meanwhile, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #182 – Interesting Objects

church, hymnal, antique, colorful
Historic Hymnal, France

“If light and sight work out in an interesting way, then it’s a photograph.”

Moses Oliver

I must admit Patti threw me for a loop this week. I rarely photograph “objects”, especially here on Kiawah where for me it’s all about nature. So I’ve decided to stroll through the archives for images that meet the challenge. I’ve opened with an antique hymnal and the surrounding walls of a gorgeous little chapel in Le Vieux Oppede in Provence, France.

salt and pepper, man and woman, statuette
Mr. and Mrs., Ireland

“Interesting things often happen at the fringes, away from the main ‘action'”

Paul Russell

While visiting Kinsale, Ireland some years ago (and yes, it was a golf trip) we strolled along the main street, browsing the lovely shops as we passed. I was captivated by these little statuettes. The gentleman’s hairdo and mustache really made me smile.

oxcart, cambodia, children
Oxcart, Cambodia

“Serendipity, coincidence and chance are more interesting than any preconceived construct of our human encounters.”

Charles Traub

The image above from our visit to Cambodia remains one of my all-time favorites. Mr. Traub’s quote applies 100% in this case, as I was simply walking along on my way elsewhere when this ox-cart with its young driver came along. I literally ran down the other side of the street with my camera (which I happily had with me) to get in front of them for the shot. It’s surely not perfect as it was a moving subject captured in haste, but it’s a moment that for me is frozen in time.

monkey, Africa, valve
Cheeky Monkey, Zimbabwe

“Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if..’ and then do it!”

Duane Michals

As a first stop before heading to our safaris in Botswana, we settled in Zimbabwe for several days primarily to see Victoria Falls. It was our first exposure to animals in the wild (although to be honest, at this stop I use the term “wild” loosely). The cheeky monkey is of course what to me makes the otherwise plebeian valve a more “interesting” object 😊.

mosaic, wall art, Israel
Meaningful mosaic, Israel

“Working in color is an interesting ingredient in the juggling act of making an interesting photograph.”

Jeff Mermelstein

We came upon this creative and thoughtful mosaic while strolling along Rothschild Boulevard in beautiful Tel Aviv, Israel. I loved the message, which of course is so true. I often think of our ancestors here in the U.S., as not so long ago our parents, grandparents or great grandparents were most likely newly-immigrated. If we go back far enough, the same can be said of all of us. The world might be a better place if we were to remember it more often.

train, trestle, Harry Potter, Scotland
Harry Potter revisited, Scotland

“There are no uninteresting things, there are just uninterested people.”

Jerry Uelsmann

I chose to include the image above for those who, like me, love all things “Harry Potter” . While I have many images of our visit to Scotland that might command more attention, this overpass, which was used in the train scenes of the Potter movies, is one of my favorites.

Super Seat, Czech Republic

“The entire visual world is an incredibly interesting place. If that is not sufficient ‘subject’ for you, then I propose that you are in a ‘world’ of trouble, and had best get out while you can, because this game of photography is not for you.”

Priscilla Ferguson-Forthman

I’ll close with an image of one of the more bizarre objects I’ve come across, that of a chair I saw in Prague many years ago. I came across it while uploading some older images to my current archives and wondered what I was thinking as I captured the image! Whatever it was then, it certainly fits this week’s “interesting” objects challenge!

Many thanks to Patti for the opportunity to smile at some of my favorite memories as I browsed for this week’s challenge. Be sure to link your responses to her original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our Reader section. Thanks also to all of you who joined us last week for our “double-dipping” challenge. I was amazed at the number of challenges I’d not heard of before and look forward to participating in some of them in the weeks and months to come. Finally, Ann-Christine will be leading our challenge next week on her Leya blog so be sure to watch for it. In the meanwhile as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #181 – Double Dipping

flower, impressionist, pink
Pretty in Pink – Cee’s Flower of the Day

“Friendship doubles your joys and divides your sorrows.”

Euripides

Each Saturday the Lens-Artists team presents an opportunity for our followers and/or visitors to add their images and accompanying thoughts on a subject for all to see. This week we’re suggesting that in addition to our challenge, you explore and link to some of the other creative opportunities our friends and fellow challengers make available in the WP blogosphere (or any other sites where you post images). I’ve opened, for example, with an impressionist flower image I’m linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

heron, bird, great blue,
Great Blue Heron – Brian’s Last Image on the Card

“I try to put double or multiple meanings into my photographs, which might give rise to a greater variety of interpretations.”

Cindy Sherman

This week my images address the subjects of several other challenges. Each image is titled to show the challenge and my text includes a link as well. Feel free to connect to any or all of them, or to find your own favorite from among the many others available. My great blue heron above is linked to Brian aka Bushboy’s monthly Last Image On The Card. (Cropped and edited, I made the image during a round of golf.)

sunset, sailboat, Kiawah
Sunset Sail – John’s Cellpic Sunday

“A politician is a person who will double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.”

Oscar Levant

Last week’s Lens-Artists challenge welcomed three new members to our team, one of whom is our own John Steiner. John also hosts a weekly challenge, Cellpic Sunday which has only one requirement, the image(s) must have been made with a mobile device such as a cellphone or a drone. I made the image above in November of 2021 using my I-phone 12 Pro Max – which not surprisingly is a definite improvement over my 8+.

lights, tree, holiday
Home for the Holidays – Nadia Merrill’s photo a week challenge – lights

“Let’s not have a double-standard. One standard will do just fine.”

George Carlin

I’ll close with an image I made at the very end of 2021 as my husband and I enjoyed yet another Covid-induced holiday here at home. Each year our local shopping center presents a marvelous display of lights, including lighting a beautiful live oak tree that welcomes both residents and visitors to our little island. I’ve linked this one to Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week challenge – Lights. I’m always a bit sad to see the lights go dark as the holiday season ends so I’ve included this one even though Nancy’s posted a new challenge for this week – animals.

Speaking of ending, it’s time I did so with my challenge this week. Please be sure to include the Lens-Artists tag with your responses, and to link to my original post as well as any other challenges you elected to feature. I’ll close with a sincere thank you to those who shared their wonderful images and stories in last week’s year-end favorites challenge. Despite 2021’s many frustrations, you found ways to share beauty, joy and positivity through your images. Stay tuned for next week’s challenge, hosted by Patti on her Pilotfish blog, and as always, until then please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #180 – Favorite Images of 2021

forest, red, mist
Forest Magic

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”

Vern McLellan

First and foremost, let me begin by wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. As always, the turn of the calendar page to January 1st brings with it an opportunity to begin anew – having learned lessons, accomplished some of our goals, or perhaps having simply survived to start a new day. Whatever our thoughts about the year just passed, we once again have a chance to make the new one even better.

garden, path, steps, impressionist
Path to Perfection

“We are the authors of our destinies. No one can see the vision any clearer, believe in and work any harder to make it a reality more than the visionary.”

Nike Campbell-Fatoki

Here at Lens-Artists, we have some exciting changes to announce. Beginning in 2022, our team is expanding with the addition of three new members. In addition to those of us with whom you are all familiar, we’ll be joined this year by

Those of you who have followed us for some time will be familiar with them as they have all been regular participants and each has Guest-Hosted for us in the past. We know they will bring their marvelous photography, extensive travel experiences, stay-at-home adventures and fresh insight into our weekly challenges. We are very much looking forward to having them with us. Please be sure to follow their blogs to be sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming Lens-Artists challenges.

stairs, white, climb
The Long Climb

“We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.”

Hillary DePiano

For this week’s challenge, we’re inviting you to share your favorite images of 2021. I must admit I’ve been a bit uninspired this past year, and was surprised by the number of images that were special to me. Several were from our travels to the west coast, and for probably the first time ever were created using an iPhone, including the image above and the one that follows. My long overdue upgrade to a 12 Pro Max made a big difference on that front.

white, flowers
Blooming Beauty

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

Michael Altshuler

Because of Covid we decided against foreign travel again last year, and unless things change dramatically, the same will be true in 2022. As such, my images from faraway places were found only in my archives. On the other hand, the pandemic caused me to focus (pun intended) more closely on the beauty that surrounds me. As ever, Mother Nature did not disappoint!

green, curly, nature, plant
Natural Curls

“You are never too old to reinvent yourself.”

Steve Harvey

For several reasons, 2021 was a difficult year for me, which gives me an extra dose of happiness to see the year end. That said, it also taught me the importance of perseverance and allowed me to understand my own strength in the face of adversity. There is always something to be learned from our greatest challenges, not the least of which an appreciation for the gift of “normal”!

Glossy Ibis, bird, color
Glorious Glossy Ibis

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

C.S. Lewis

This year, perhaps as one of the few benefits of the continuing pandemic, the bird life that surrounded us was incredible (or did I just notice it more?!) I was thrilled to capture the glossy ibis pictured above, a very rare sighting indeed. Kiawah was blessed with several active bald eagle nests, one of which I captured with two juveniles and an adult present. I also posted my images of an adorable little owl as well as my first-ever, beautifully multi-colored Painted Bunting. Our many egrets and herons also found their way into my lens and onto my posts.

forest, dreamy, green, spanish moss
Ethereal Spanish Moss

“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

I also took more than my usual time exploring the beauty of nature in places like our forests – filled with live oaks and Spanish moss as shown above. Beyond the obvious, I learned to see beauty in less conspicuous places, such as the fallen leaves that litter the forest floor. Several professional photographers led sessions for our local photography club via zoom, and inspired us in ways we wouldn’t otherwise have imagined – including the presentation that resulted in the image of fallen leaves below. Coincidentally, that would be my advice to my teenage self as asked by the WP hosts of Bloganuary – notice the little things and the beauty of the world around you. It’s there if only you take the time to see it.

leaves, dead, new life
What’s Old Is New Again

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finally, in my last post of 2021 I included two images that are also among last year’s favorites – “Into the Light” and “Sweetgrass in Bloom”. Since I just published them I won’t repeat them here.

As always, our sincere thanks to all of those who follow, visit, participate in and comment on our weekly challenges. Even in the most difficult times, you bring us a smile and help us to keep going. My personal thanks also to my Lens-Artists team partners Patti, Ann-Christine and Amy; your friendship, talent and commitment has been a true blessing these past few years. Last but definitely not least, a warm welcome to Sofia, Anne and John – we very much look forward to having you with us as the Lens-Artists adventure continues.

Once again, my best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and rewarding 2022. We’ll be back next week right here on Travels and Trifles with our January 8 challenge. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Christmas 2021

Christmas, ornaments, red, sand dollar
Christmas 2021

“To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Calvin Coolidge

Wishing you peace and joy today and throughout the year ahead.

Lens-Artists Challenge #179 – Serene

egrets, light vs dark, water, creek, birds
Into the Light

“Nature is the best medicine for serenity. Peace, calmness, stillness. It’s good for the heart.”

Karen Madewell

Well if ever there is a time to work toward serenity, in the western world at least, this is it. We’re a week away from Christmas, and in light of shipping issues, any gifts that need to be mailed had best be on their way! Last minute plans, travel logistics, food shopping and prep, gift wrapping and a thousand other things are consuming many of us. What better time to focus on that which brings us Serenity – as suggested in Patti’s challenge this week.

creek, marsh, nature, serenity
Marsh Magic

“Everything passes, nothing remains. Understand this, loosen your grip and find serenity.”

Surya Das

Here in coastal South Carolina, with a few exceptions, we are blessed with the ability to seek peace in communion with nature. I captured my opening image earlier this month about 15 minutes from my home. I was doing an annual photo shoot for a good friend and her family. We’ve done it most every year for 15 years now – what a fun experience to look back over those images and see the changes – yes, time DOES fly!

sweetgrass, sunset, light, pink, autumn
Sweetgrass in Bloom

“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.”

Thomas Szasz

On the same day while scouting backgrounds for the family portraits, we came upon the colorful landscape shown in the image above. I’ve always tried to include our beautiful, ephemeral sweetgrass during my fall posts, but this year it arrived very late and was not nearly as vibrant as is its norm. Just as I’d about given up we came upon this scene, positively aglow in the fading sunlight. I cannot tell you how happy I was to finally get my sweetgrass fix for the year, and I’m happy Patti’s given me an opportunity to share it.

bridge, flowers, Middleton Place, green, spring
Bucolic Bridge

“Joy is everywhere; it is in the earth’s green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky.”

Rabindranath Tagore

Nothing brings me peace as quickly as a bit of time surrounded by nature, and if I have a camera in hand, so much the better. My images this week offer a view of the natural beauty we are fortunate to have within reach in the Charleston area. Here’s hoping you too are able to find a bit of serenity wherever this week finds you. Please be sure to link your posts to Patti’s original post here.

We thank you for your responses last week which were especially fun for us, not knowing what subjects to expect! We’ve greatly appreciated your creativity and commitment throughout the past year and have enjoyed getting to know each of you a little bit better.

The Lens-Artists Team will be taking a short holiday next week but will return on January 1 with our annual “Favorite Images of the Year” challenge for 2021. Until then as always, please stay safe, be kind and for those who celebrate it, a Very Merry Christmas. Here’s to an amazing 2022 for us all!

Lens-Artists Challenge #178 – You Choose

christmas, santa, peppermint, tree
Swinging Santa

“December isn’t magical because it sparkles. It’s magical because it changes people’s hearts … at least momentarily.”

Toni Sorenson

So here we are in December – already! As 2021 draws closer to a close, many of us are busy with things like shopping, wrapping, holiday preparations or perhaps (hopefully) with traveling and visiting or hosting family. As such, the Lens-Artists team is inviting you to post on a subject of your own choosing. Feel free to use your imagination to take your post anywhere you’d like – we look forward to lots of variety! Personally, I’ve chosen to focus on some fond Christmas memories, both for the fun of it and to help myself get into the spirit of the holidays.

red and green, christmas, decorations
All Things Bright And Beautiful

“When you live gratefully and joyfully, every day is a holiday.”

Marty Rubin

Christmas was always very special while my four brothers and I were growing up. While young we were in bed early on Christmas Eve, eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival. Once we figured out how Christmas morning really happened we’d wait for our younger siblings to nod off, then tiptoe downstairs to help mom and dad with the real work. We believed Santa brought EVERYTHING. Imagine putting up and decorating the tree, bringing down the presents from their hiding places, putting together bikes and train sets and heaven knows what else, all beginning at 9 pm on Christmas Eve!

pine cone, tree branch
Simplicity

“Whatever the grinch can steal, it’s not Christmas”

Sophie Kinsella

Once we were all old enough we attended Midnight Mass as a family and afterwards each opened one of our gifts. Those days are long behind me but are alive and well in my memory. The season included treats like a Christmas calendar that we took turns changing each day, the annual visit to Santa, and moving the Mary and Joseph statuettes around the house every evening until they reached the manger Christmas Eve. Somehow baby Jesus was always there on Christmas morning. No Elf-on-the-shelf back in those days!

reindeer, Rudolph, red nose
Rudolph??? Is that YOU???

“Every day is a gift. But some days are packaged better.”

Sanhita Baruah

Every day is indeed a gift – but some create memories that last a lifetime….what greater gift could there possibly be?! We look forward to seeing what the week will bring as you gift us with posts that suit your own fancy. Please be sure to link them to this one, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you in the WP reader. We thank you for sharing your celebrations last week in response to Amy’s challenge, and look forward to next week when Patti will be back at the helm on her Pilotfish blog. Until then, please stay safe, be kind, and enjoy the holiday season.

Lens-Artists Challenge #177 – Celebrating

snow, sunrise
It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

“In the morning, celebrate the beauty and warmth of sun light,in the evening, celebrate the song of silence and love of night.”

Debasish Mridha

As we enter this year’s holiday season in many parts of the world, Amy has challenged us to focus our lenses on “Celebrating”. At the same time, Terri of Sunday Stills invites her followers to find images that illustrate holiday music lyrics. I couldn’t resist combining the two challenges in my response this week. I’ve opened with a snowy scene from a Thanksgiving celebration with family in Colorado. You can bet that with rare exceptions, most any image I post that includes snow was not made around my home in South Carolina 😊. On the other hand, they are forecasting a foot of snow in Hawaii this week, and it’s in the 70s in Denver – go figure!

Fire, fireplace
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

“When the night gets here, I’ll be the youngest I’ll ever be again, so I will laugh and celebrate relative youth.”

Darnell Lamont Walker

From yet another family celebration, the image above captures the fireplace of my brother and sister-in-law’s home where each year we celebrate Christmas. Since Covid began, we have missed gathering as we are a large group coming from multiple areas of the country. Now, as our family grows, it becomes ever-more difficult to gather as the little ones await the arrival of Santa in their own homes. The new plan is to gather later in the year and create our own holiday – and why not? Who says Christmas only comes once a year?!

Joy, Christmas, gifts, bow, wrapping

Joy To The World

“The flowers have bloomed, the birds are singing, the sun is there in the sky—celebrate it! 

Osho

I’ve included the image above from last Christmas on a previous post. To me it embodies the idea of the joy of the holidays and that of both giving and receiving gifts. Of course Christmas is about much more than gifts but you have to admit they are a fun element of the season. Truth be told, all of the boxes are actually empty, I simply use them for decoration under the tree.

Snow, lake, Patagonia, Laguna de los Tres, Mt. Fitzroy
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

“Take the time to celebrate stillness and silence and see the joy that the world can bring, simply.”

Tony Curl

Without knowing the story behind it, one would be challenged to understand why the image above represents a celebration – but indeed it does. First, it’s a celebration of friendship as the scene was the culmination of a difficult hike in Patagonia that a good friend and I made together. And second, she and I celebrated together the exhilaration of reaching the summit in a horrific windstorm that nearly did us in! So yes, to me a memorable celebration took place on this very spot.

candles, light, yellow, golden
Candles, Candles Burning Bright

“I celebrate everything. We always had a menorah and a Christmas tree – not for any reason other than we always liked celebrating things.”

Randy Rainbow

Unlike Mr. Rainbow (do you suppose that’s really his name?) my husband and I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah for more valid reasons. While we recognize the difference in the religious aspects of the two holidays, we’ve learned the importance of tradition and the joy that each of the holidays represents. I like to think of it as having the best of both worlds.

stars, light, night
Oh Holy Night, The Stars Are Brightly Shining

“Every day is a good day. There is something to learn, care and celebrate.”

Amit Ray

My thanks to Amy for the opportunity to explore and enjoy such a positive subject. We celebrate our followers and participants, all of whom help to make Lens-Artists the wonderful community that it is. We also thank you for sharing your stories in response to Ann-Christine’s One Image-One Story challenge last week – a great exercise in understanding the power of photography for presenting ideas. Please link this week’s responses to Amy’s original challenge here, and if you have an extra moment, hop over to visit Terri’s holiday lyrics post. I’ll be leading the challenge right here on Travels and Trifles next week – until then as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #176 – One Image, One Story

Kiawah, alligator, golf,
Blue Tees Anyone?

“Photography is just one tool in a storytelling kit. How an audience understands and feels a story is in your hands.”

Shannon Ghannam

This week Ann-Christine has given us a very interesting challenge – to tell a story with a single image. I couldn’t resist starting my post with an image that to me is about as obvious as can be. It’s quite an experience for visitors to our island when they come across one of our resident gators on the tee box. Imagine the stories, memories and photographs (from a distance of course) they’ll have when they get back to their everyday lives!

birds, cardinal, painted bunting, birdbath, wet
“Sorry dude, I was here first”

“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.”

Lewis Wickes Hines

I watched with great amusement as the two birds in the image above negotiated their time in our neighbors’ birdbath. Clearly the large cardinal was bowing to the demands of the female painted bunting and her bathing rituals – sound familiar?!

fishing, boat, shrimper, birds
Gone Fishin’

“It’s not your story, it belongs to your subject. Never forget that.”

Edmond Terakopian

Speaking of birds, they are opportunistic creatures, following along with the local shrimp boats hoping for plenty of leftovers. Although the image above, captured just last week, tells their story, I also posted a longer story about the shrimpers and their boats some time ago here.

The Chapel at Middleton Place

“Life is about capturing the moment in its beauty and telling a story to every beautiful moment.”

Blanca Acosta

The image above is a bit less obvious in its storytelling. It captures a simple chapel, recreated from the original built in 1850 at Middleton Plantation. The chapel was used by slaves as a house of worship. We can only imagine the many prayers that were sent out from this simple room before slavery was abolished and the long road toward equality was begun.

flowers, blooming, dying
Life Goes On

“Some photographs are like a Chekhov short story or a Maupassant story. They’re a quick thing, and there’s a whole world in them. But one is unconscious of that while shooting. That’s a wonderful thing with a camera. It jumps out of you.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Finally, the story I see in my closing image relates to the passage of time, and the natural evolution which affects us all. As photographers, we find stories everywhere we look. I think Cartier-Bresson’s quote above perfectly describes the art and helps to explain why we so love it.

Here’s to Ann-Christine, who challenges us to think about the stories our images tell, and to the photographers who tell them. Please link your responses to her challenge here, and include our Lens-Artists Tag. We thank Lindy for guest hosting last week with her invitation to focus on our bliss, and as always our followers for your creative and interesting responses. Next week Amy will be leading us into the heart of the holiday season with a “Celebrating” challenge. In the meanwhile, as always, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #175 – Follow Your Bliss

Moonrise Reflection, Kiawah Island

“Out of the bliss comes magic, wonderment and creativity.”

Michael Jackson

One would think it would be simple to describe and illustrate those things that bring us bliss – defined as “perfect happiness; great joy”. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I can think of many things that bring me bliss – which as my opening quote attests, does indeed lead to wonderment and creativity. So this week, in response to Lindy’s challenge, I’ll share several of them.

Pineapple fountain, welcome, charleston, waterfront park
Welcome to Charleston – The Pineapple Fountain

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

Robert A. Heinlein

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Heinlein that before all else, the love I share with my husband, our families and our friends brings me my greatest joy. But today I’ve focused on some of the other things that bring me happiness. My opening image (as well as my closing capture) is from an evening earlier this week. The glory of nature – especially a magnificent sunset enjoyed with good friends – brings me great joy. Another source of continuing joy, shown in the second image, is our move to the south, including life in the Charleston area, and especially, on Kiawah.

live oak, sunrise, golden light
Live Oak, Sunrise

If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.”

Roy T. Bennett

Being part of a community of wonderful photographers on Kiawah, and the wealth of knowledge they and our guest speakers have shared, has brought me great happiness. It is a community of generosity, where ideas and techniques are shared and growth is encouraged across the board. I love photography, which brings me joy and helps me to notice and appreciate the beauty around me. Sharing it with other, like-minded neighbors further enhances my appreciation.

flowers, trees, garden, red
Springtime, Charleston

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

Aristotle

Although I’ve always loved nature, my obsession with birds has developed only since moving to Kiawah. The amazing creatures that inhabit our trees, our lagoons, our coast and our skies is beyond anything I could have imagined and brings me great joy. In the images below, 3 roseate spoonbills on the left, and on the right a flock of egrets nestled in for the night beside a lagoon.

The Birds, The Birds

“Today is your day to dance lightly with life.”

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You might think based on the image below that I would address my love of flowers – but you’d be wrong 😊. I do love them, but they do not love me so I tend to admire them from afar or through my photography. The image represents the joy of travel. Since Covid began, my husband and I have not traveled abroad but we’ve made a few trips here in the U.S. These beautiful specimens were captured at a garden we visited during this year’s trip to California .

flowers, impression
Funky Flowers

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

Karl Barth

I’ll end as I began, with a glorious sunset here on Kiawah. It represents my love of nature, of Kiawah, of photography, of birds (yes, here flying across the water) and of the joy that comes with creating from and sharing all of those things.

sunset, Kiawah, lagoon, water
Day’s End, Kiawah Island

“Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.”

Ernest Barbaric

Sincere thanks to our guest host Lindy Low LeCoq for her imaginative challenge, which gives us all an opportunity to think about the things that bring us bliss. Be sure to link your responses to her original challenge post here. Thanks too to those who joined us for last week’s Shapes and Designs challenge. What fun seeing the many varieties that are everywhere, especially within Mother Nature’s bounty. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Ann-Christine brings us challenge #176. Until then, wishing a wonderful Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and a continued reminder to stay safe and be kind.