Weekly Photo Challenge – BROKEN

“Broken Glass. It’s just like glitter, isn’t it?”

Pete Doherty

(5 Photos)



This week our challenge is “Broken” – which on the surface might suggest an accident or a disappointment in life. But broken can also be a positive thing. I’ve chose to open my post with a capture of one of our gorgeous magnolia blossoms, which have broken out all over Kiawah this month. The slight tear in the top leaf does nothing to minimize the beauty of this beautiful flower.  I’ve used Nik Silver FX Pro to convert it to pure B&W.



“Life was such a precious thing, easily broken.”

Shaun Jeffrey

Like the magnolia above, as we age there are those who may think we become somewhat broken – contending with issues like failing eyesight, hearing difficulties, and the aches and pains that come with aging bones and muscles. But again like the magnolia, there is also beauty that comes with aging. Dignity, wisdom, and freedom to act without worry about what others think of us are some of the benefits that offset the downside of aging.



“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”

Emilio Estevez

Each year here in the south, I look forward to the blooming of the magnolia trees. For me they signify the arrival of summer – which comes early in our part of the world. This year we’ve noticed that the magnolia trees are incredibly lush and the blossoms are much more plentiful than in previous years. None of us is sure why they are so bountiful but we are all glad they are. The photographers among us are especially happy to see the large number of flowers blooming low on the trees as they are much more accessible than usual 😄. Unfortunately along with the magnolias, summer can also mean the arrival of  pesky mosquitoes –  which severely punished me last week as I worked to capture these shots.



“Take these broken wings and learn to fly.”

Paul McCartney

I especially loved the capture above, which to me shows the beauty of the creamy white magnolia in full bloom nearly but not quite eclipsing the lovely softness of the aging blossom behind it. Again, to me it is a metaphor for our own species, where youth makes a showy presence front and center – not quite managing to obscure the beauty of those with quiet grace in the background.



“Part broken – part whole, you begin again.”

Jeanette Winterson

I’ve chosen to close with a final B&W version of the heart of a blooming magnolia. I loved the way the center stands out when the color is removed from the image. This part is hidden until the flower fully blooms, and it is also the part that remains as the petals fall away one by one until it is all that is left. It serves as a reminder that no matter how beautiful we may be on the outside, it is always the heart that is most important, and that remains when all else fades away.

To see more broken examples, take a minute to click here.

89 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – BROKEN

  1. Your statements about aging — so true! We are too far north for most magnolia varieties, but there are a couple small magnolia trees around town that proudly and beautifully defy the late springs! Your photos really reveal the beauty of the blossoms.

  2. Pingback: Broken | My Own Champion

  3. Tina, these shots are just lovely, the last one is my favorite. I love the detail in the center of the petal. So beautiful!

  4. Beautiful set of photos, Tina. All very dreamy, especially the creamy white magnolia…you’d think it was hungry for some cream cheese so it dipped itself into it and ta-dah, it looks beautiful 😀 On a serious note, love how you closed off this post. Such profound words. No matter how we look, it is the heart that speaks the loudest through our actions and resonates through what we do. I like how you captured those wilting flowers – no matter how drooping their petals may be, they still stand strong amongst the rest. Nothing to hide, and they are probably happy to be standing. As we all should be 🙂

  5. HERE HERE to the HEART being most important….just gorgeous photos…once again your amazing eye shines!!! Just learned rubbing bounce sheets on your skin ‘should’ keep the mosquitos away!!

    • 😀LOL April – have been using that bounce technique for a while but when they’re brutal there’s no stopping them!!! Thanks for your lovely compliment.

  6. Funny how I also took broken to the positive. Half full kinda gals?
    Lovely blossoms too. We have some magnolia trees here outside my apartment and this year after a cold snap they were short lived.

    • Definitely half-full kinda gals!! Yes, the weather before AND after the blooms arrive are both serious influences on their lifespan. We just got really lucky this year!

      • Shanghai weather has been unseasonable this spring. It was the first time since I was here the blooms only lasted barely a few days.
        We are now enjoying a spring though. Instead of going from damp winter to humid summer over a weekend (the norm). It has been slow to warm up, so we are enjoying the nice comfortable temps.

  7. What a lovely, positive interpretation of the challenge. The magnolias do look rather beautiful as they age and change colour. Thank you for suffering the mozzies to bring this to us. I like the Estevez quote, too.

  8. I’m with you Tina on the Young and Old shot. Very nice capture…perfect exposure and those white petals sure are putting on a show. Nice series and idea for this week.

  9. Tina, Wow! What beautiful images!! It’s difficult to pick out a favorite although the macro shot, the last one, is stunning. Also enjoyed reading your interpretation on “Broken”. Yet, another great job! Hugs, Sylvia

  10. These are lovely and your interpretation of “Broken” is wonderful! I never knew that as the magnolia ages – well it ages gracefully!

    • Bummer that yours are gone. Amazing how different they are from year to year. This year they started early, look gorgeous, are hugely plentiful, and are really lasting much longer than they have in the past. Go figure!

  11. The black and whites are superb, incredible texture and definition. I like the nod to aging, but to me the young blooms steal the show! Great job!

  12. Thanks for the lovely flowers and ideas to think over. It’s tough getting older, but as you point out, I should also appreciate what it brings.

    Have a good weekend!


  13. I love the last black and white and the thought that the heart is what remains. Such a beautiful
    thought! FYI if you need any more “past prime” you know where to find me 🙂

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