Lens-Artists Challenge #9 – ACTION

“We can’t act until we know who we are and what we believe.”

Marian Deegan

Egret fishing and fish in beak


This week Patti has invited us to think about action – often a challenge for those who’ve not experimented with it. While I might not attempt a race car or a rocket launch 😀 I’ve had some success with the Blue Angels in flight, which was great fun. I’m also happy shooting the actions of many of nature’s creatures, some of which I’ve chosen  for today’s response.

I’m the first to admit that in addition to skill with the camera, it’s also important to get lucky. Such was the case in the photo-set above. The egret’s timing was perfect as it successfully speared a small fish; mine was pretty good too considering the speed of the attack. More importantly, I was lucky to have followed a successful hunt considering the number of times the birds miss!

orange carp with duck


“A dream without an action is like a fish without gills. It can’t survive.”

Israelmore Ayivor

In the set above we see an obvious infringement on the territory of some brightly-colored carp. Do you suppose his intentions are simply to share the waters, or perhaps he is lonely and looking for a friend.  Then again he may be thinking about his next meal – although some of those carp look like they might not go down without a fight! In any case the waters are so clear we can see our feathered friend paddling below the surface as the fish swim lazily by.

strand feeding dolphins, loggerhead hatchling


“Your actions today define tomorrow.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

In the images above I’ve shared some of Kiawah’s most iconic beach creatures in action. The left side of the set shows a bicyclist observing our river dolphins in the midst of strand-feeding. This behavior is unique to South Carolina and northern Georgia. The dolphin hunt in teams to herd baitfish onto the shore where both they and the most clever birds feast upon them. On the right, a newly-hatched loggerhead turtle struggles to make its way to the ocean, leaving a trail of flipper prints in its wake. Sadly, despite extensive conservation efforts, only 1 in 100 will make it to adulthood. Not surprisingly, since 1978 they have been on the endangered species list.

elephant and wildebeest


“Dream a little harder; now act with wonder.”

Debasish Mridha

One of my most treasured memories is the African safari we were fortunate to make several years ago.  I’ve combined two of Africa’s majestic creatures in their most fearsome postures. On the left, the mighty elephant. For the most part the many elephants we saw were gentle, loving and/or playful, but this particular bull was a bit off-put by our jeep and decided to let us know he was not happy. His display included swaying, flapping his ears and lowering his trunk, all classic signs of aggression. Let’s just say we didn’t hang around to see what would happen next! On the right two male wildebeests are having a go at each other, perhaps competing for leadership of the herd or for the attention of a nearby female. Happily, in this case we were not the objects of their ire.

owl flying and close-up


“Action is the bridge between thought and reality.”

Richie Norton

Among nature’s most amazing creatures, the Great Horned Owl is a study of poetry in motion. They are fierce and agile birds with incredibly strong talons, allowing them to deal effectively with prey of much larger size. They’ve adapted to most of the environments in North America as well as other areas throughout the world.

Kiawah's ocean and sea birds


“Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often.”

Mark Twain

Finally, a view of the motion of Kiawah’s ocean – which seems only appropriate as we turn the calendar page to September, and head from summer into fall. Those of us fortunate enough to be residents bid farewell to the island’s summer visitors and along with our beloved sea birds can once again enjoy the peace and quiet of our beautiful beach.

Thanks to Patti for her challenge this week (which you can find here), and a warm welcome to those of you who choose to participate. To see more information on how to join in the fun, click here.



109 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #9 – ACTION

  1. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #9 – ACTION — Travels and Trifles – wandasncredible the blog

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  3. Wonderful gallery of amazing shots Tina. “Getting lucky” is all about serendipity, which as you know I am a great believer in as it leads to the best shots of all. Best wishes…A

  4. Hi Time to titivate. Apologies just quickly adjusting my hair.

    I was under the misimpression that I already commented (but I do have very vivid dreams) but here it goes again? The during and after is my favorite but owl lifting off as on Bakoven also caught my attention. Mark his words, Twain’s quote is valid if acted on. And really people always stating that Tina’s dolphins
    are closer than Abrie’s dolphins, well Abrie had more dolphins in his photo so there 🙂

    • Well Abrie, first of all, thanks for teaching me a new word, which makes up for your not commenting before now 😀. Secondly, your dolphins were amazing in the sheer number of animals, while mine are obviously smarter, having learned how to herd fish and teaching their youngsters as well. So I call it a tie. Now get back to your grooming please, while I study my dictionary. >

  5. Hi, due to a sad experience I just had, I’ll have to ask to every challenge before I participate:

    Do you allow older posts (ones that have been already posted in other challenges) to be entered as participation to your challenge, or all posts have to be fresh?

    Thanks and please don’t take me wrong.

    • Hi Tatiana, we welcome any post that fits the challenge, new or old. Personally I’d prefer multiple photos in a single response rather than several responses, but honestly we are open to whatever works for our participants!

      • Oh, thank you so, so much Tina!!! 🙂

        You don’t know what a big relief is this… I was told that posts that have been already submitted in other challenges are considered spam.

        … and for me it is not too easy to write new posts for every challenge, due to my rather poor English.

        Thank you, thank you! 🙂

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  7. Tina I love these pictures. Great captures! Especially the egret and strand feeding…and the turtle. Finally home, hope to see you soon. Anne >

  8. Great images, Tina! I especially like the owl taking off – center sharp and just a hint of movement in the wings – and the amazing egret catch – looks painful! Well done!

    • They’re amazing creatures aren’t they Janet? We had a nest w 2 babies but it was SO high off the ground the only way to photograph it would have been from a plane. But we’d see them poking their little fuzzy heads out now and then 🙂


  9. Tina, not only are you action shots of nature so beautiful, your quotes about our actions and “calls to action” are timely and needed as we try to protect nature. Bye-bye summer, I’m sure your area is grateful for the tourists but happy when things are back to normal!

  10. A fabulous collection of images. I have seen those dolphins do that stranding technique on Tv, it must be amazing to see it in real life. And the owl, in flight- what a stunning image.

  11. Nice collection of action shots. Coincidently, I’ve been planning a post with a sort-of review of my D500 and my feeble attempts at action shots. I’ve got a few prepped already for that post. >grin< I'd love to try an African Safari some day, but I don't know that will ever be in my future. Your elephant and wildebeest shots make me jealous. 🙂

  12. Great post, Tina. It’s poetry in motion–in terms of the text and images. I especially love the shot of the owl. Its eye is mesmerizing and fearsome. Hope you have wonderful weather this weekend to take some end of summer shots.

  13. Your images are immensely good Tina – so much impact and clarity – I particularly like the diptych pairing of fish and duck – would look fabulous side by side on a wall. Your prompt has made me realise what a slow photographer I am and how my shutter speed invariable remains in the lower numbers

    • Thanks Pauline! I was indeed in a boat which was a shame as I was on the backside of the dolphins. I’ve also been in the midst of a strand feeding in a kayak but had no camera as I’d already ruined one that way! The action is incredible as they rush the fish at lightening speed!

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  15. love the way you presented contrasting pictures of some of them of still and action. I love also the egret’s head stabbing down to catch the fish and the water splashing all about.

  16. Love all of those action packed photos…. and then particularly enjoyed coming back to my birds at the end… reminding me of the tranquility of the approaching fall and quiet beaches…

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