NATURE’S MIRROR – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Ugly is the man who judges harshly what he sees looking out, Without first judging what he sees in the mirror.”

Suzie Kassem



For the past week or two I have been transitioning from a very old Mac to a spanking new one and from long-time use of Apple’s Aperture software to Adobe’s Photoshop and Light/Room. I won’t bore you with the details but there were definitely some bumps in the technology road. Always one to try to make lemonade out of lemons though, I found some captures I’d made several months back that I’d never imported, so they became my test shots. Happily, the shot above fit nicely into this week’s challenge, Mirror (thanks for that Jen!). It took me a moment to realize that the trees were actually reflections mirrored in the lagoon beneath.



“Only by glaring into the depths of ones own reflection can we find our true selves.”

Paul Morabito

Now I know I’ve often commented that early morning is NOT my favorite time of day. For these images however, I was indeed out and about at dawn. A good friend, who is a wonderful artist, asked me to join her for some captures of the marsh in the hopes that she would find some beautiful scenery for plein air painting at a later date. I’m happy to report the scenery was glorious as we ventured out to the very eastern end of our little island.



“Sometimes the heart of a weary soul needs a simple moment of love and light shined upon it, or reflected back to it.”

Molly Friedenfeld

Interestingly, the thing I found most compelling the morning of our outing was the commanding presence of the magnificent trees. Yes, the vista overlooking the marsh, which to me calls to mind the wide-open savannas of Africa, was wonderful. Somehow though, I was more drawn to the majesty of the beautiful coastal forest along its border.



“Life is like facing two mirrors at each other: there is no beginning, there is no end. Just the beauty within the reflected infinity”

Michael Biondi

Sometimes the coincidences in life are quite amazing. I had decided if possible to use the captures I’d made of the trees in this week’s blog when my “Tip of the Week” came in from Outdoor Photographer magazine. Yep, you guessed it, “Take Better Tree Photos“.  Of course, it was too late for me to heed any of the article’s advice this time around, but there were some interesting ideas in the article to which I’ve linked for anyone who is interested.



“Nature sometimes contrives to disconcert by reflecting the image of our creation.”

Sergio da Silva

Of course, one of the ever-present suggestions in the OP article was to shoot in the early morning or late evening when the light is best. Personally, I’m much more likely to be found shooting sunset than sunrise, but I must admit that nature’s colors at first-blush are about as good as it gets. There is nothing quite like the warm glow of the golden grasses as the first rays of the sun gently kiss them with light.



“The hardest thing of all, is just standing in front of a mirror and not recognizing the reflection.”

Klaudio Marashi

The captures for this week’s post were all made on a single morning this past fall (hence the purple sweetgrass in the capture above), although I’d not seen them since I shot them. Finding them on a card I’d filed away was like getting an unexpected gift; perhaps a fair exchange for the time spent setting up my new system, developing a new file methodology, and using new tools to edit my work. Now if my husband will forgive me for the time I’ve spent ignoring him while working on the new system, I’ll be home free 😀.

NOTE: For those who kindly checked in to see how we fared during this week’s Storm Hermine, thank you. We experienced some heavy wind and rain but no major damage, and the reward for having had the storm is a gloriously beautiful holiday weekend with lots of sun and no humidity. I’m off to enjoy as much of it as possible 😊.

107 thoughts on “NATURE’S MIRROR – Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. Hi Tina .. it would have been a great pity for you to have missed these beauitful pictures – and for us 😉 Making that effort and being rewarded with a * blush or *kiss of that morning light is really the best feeling . Oh .. the LR organiser … I’m so anxious to get going with the processing I’m afraid I’ve not done as much in that way as I should have hence time wasted looking for shots Lol An Autumn resolution maybe . Did you turns nicely on that swing 😉

  2. Best of luck moving into a new computer and system…Lightroom is incredible, could not recommend it more. The photos are beautiful ~ the first one perfect for the mirror challenge and it looks like your initial test trials worked well 🙂

  3. Best of success as you work your way through the new technology!
    And so glad to hear that you survived Hemine without trouble. My son was in Folly this weekend and the photos he shared were post-storm gorgeous.
    The focus on the trees in these images is wonderful. Especially Symbiotic. It isn’t easy to capture the long look up in such a beautiful way

  4. Beautiful images (as always). but I’m particularly drawn towards the ‘Daybreak on the Marsh’.

    …..and good luck with the new computer. I still haven’t re-worked and filed my photos since I updated to El Capitan software on my Mac a couple of months ago. I find the ‘Photo’ editing software slightly better than the old ‘iPhoto’ software though. Like you, I hate getting up early, but that’s partly because my circadian rhythm makes me go to bed late 🙂

    • Thanks so much Vicki. I’m with you on the late to bed, late to rise. I do honestly believe some of us are just programmed that way. When I travel out west or overseas I am always so happy to wake at 5:30 or 6:00 for a week or two but sure as shootin’ I lapse back into late/late before I ever get back home and then it’s a TRUE ordeal getting back on schedule! >

  5. Lovely images Tina, especially that crooked tree. And yes, I quite agree with your comparison to the wide-open savannas of Africa. It does have ‘that’ look. Maybe I need to start being a sunrise person – it should be at least possible during the winter months!

  6. Glorious nature shots, Tina! Happy you fared well when Hermine visited. We did too, kind of, although extensive flooding still remains here on the Gulf coast.

      • We did well and stayed dry, although the beach and the salt marsh are still completely flooded. Many residents just north of us did not fare well, and as late as yesterday there were more evacuations from flooded areas near rivers.

  7. Well done for leaping over the tech barrier of switching computers and applications. I struggle with things like that. Love your first reflection picture. It made me feel like I was in an upside-down world.

  8. Happy to hear the storm did not affect you too much Tina. Always a worry when your watch the news and wonder how it’s affecting people you know. Great photos for the challenge. Excited for you with your new Mac. What did you get?

  9. such a fun post – and best wishes on finalizing the upgrade and all.
    I actually feel like the quotes here are layered with social psychology and feel like I could teach a whole from this sole post! ahhhh – my mind was going everywhere as the quotes encourage and help develop empathy.

    “Sometimes the heart of a weary soul needs a simple moment of love and light shined upon it, or reflected back to it.”

    anyhow, favorite imagehere is the crooked tree one – but then – the opening reflection woke me up and had me looking and looking….
    and maybe now reflecting –

  10. Usually dealing so intensely in the world of technology…. One can lose their sensitivity to the things around them.. Glad you discovered these treasures while making friends with your new systems!

  11. Glad to hear your survived the storm without damage Tina. I have always used Photoshop and found it to be so good in every respect I’ve never considered any other processing software. I hope that you are going to find it as useful and relatively intuitive as I have.
    Beautiful pictures! 🙂

    • Many thanks Adrian. Actually I had a bit of a head-start as I’ve been using photoshop for quite a while now but Aperture was a wonderful app for organization and simple edits. L/R is a good replacement for it in those areas but cannot compete with the power of P/S for serious edits. Knowing your beautiful work I doubt you need much editing anyway!


  12. It’s always a struggle to get up for a sunrise, where the light spills over differently than sunsets. Your images show why it is prime time. Trees do have an allure that we often miss. Morning or evening light does allow the glow of their simple or more complex beauty to be more evident. Lovely set that you took.

  13. If it’s any consolation at all, I initially scrolled down your pictures before reading your text. The change in computer and Lightroom is evident. Great shots but also something extra. Well worth the time. Also thanks for the update on the Island. A bit of a worry.

    • Thanks so much Kathy. It’s been a challenge but good exercise for the brain! I’m enjoying the results and glad you did too!! As for the island, it’s literally a mess of debris from branches and leaves but they are hard at work cleaning it all up and thank goodness I’ve not seen or heard of any major issues. Phew!! >

  14. I am struggling horribly with Lightroom and Photoshop, with the result that I am not even using them after my first few attempts. Perhaps I will take your advice and watch some more videos. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on viewpoint!), I just started a new job this week and wonder when on earth I will get to those videos! For now, I will just have to admire YOUR efforts, and they are beautiful!

  15. And so waking up early pays off once again, Tina. But between me and you, it’s only once in a while and not every day, so that’s okay 😀 Lovely set of shots and lovely set of quotes this week. That first shot is so fine. At first I thought you had turned the image upside down until I read your words.

    Taking photos of trees have always fascinated me. Often some trees have a bit of colour in their leaves and flowers, and I find it hard to make the colours stand out. You did that so well with your Symbiotic shot. Good luck playing around with your new toy and Photoshop. Already your images are looking stunning. While it may be frustrating, I am sure it is equally if not more fun as well 🙂

  16. Lovely captures, Tina! Interested to hear you have transitioned from Aperture to Photoshop…..I keep putting it off, because I’m sure it will be horrible….but I really need to take the plunge before too long. Any tips?

    • Thanks Sue – yes, watch all the videos on the adobe site, then google anything that interests you out on the web. There is an amazing amount of good information available. It can be a huge time-suck but watch the basics before taking the plunge! L/R is pretty user-friendly, photoshop is not. The combo is the best way to go. Good luck!

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