Less is More – Lens-Artists Challenge #43

“To say more while saying less is the secret of being simple.”

Dejan Stojanovic

lily in sunlight


Amy has challenged us to portray “less is more” in this week’s post. I’ve opened with a simple image of a beautiful lily captured during a visit to Charleston’s Magnolia Gardens earlier this month. I loved the way the light made the blossom nearly transparent, allowing the flower to stand on its own against the dark background.

turtles, alligator sunning


“Speak little. Listen more. Learn a lot.”

Anthony T. Hincks

It’s not unusual to see alligators and turtles sunning at this particular ramp in the Gardens. Somehow the creatures have found a way to peacefully co-exist. On this particular day the last turtle seemed to be thinking that if the gator would just move up a few inches he’d have a bit more room to join the party!

Many white hydrangeas


“The more you are grateful for what you have the more there is to be grateful for.”

Pravin Agarwal

Back to the Garden’s flowers, to me these hydrangeas looked like giant snowballs waiting to be thrown.  In their pure whiteness (is that really a word?!) it struck me that sometimes less color means more beauty. I also thought this image would make a nice abstract but since last week was all about impressionism I’ll hold that thought for another day.



“The more we give away, the richer we become.”

Craig Groeschel

One of my favorite things about the Gardens is the birdlife. In the spring the herons, egrets and cormorants are busy nesting, giving birth, and raising their chicks. I shot this image using an aperture setting to blur the background, allowing focus to rest on the two birds and their carefully crafted nest. I further emphasized the birds by adding a bit of light to the nest area in post processing.

Magnolia Gardens swamp


“The universe doesn’t know good or bad, only less or more.”

Pat Cadigan

Although the Garden’s flowers are magnificent, so too is its simple swamp. I can imagine the landscape must have looked much like this at the beginning of time. I particularly love the cypress trees whose roots seem to reach to earth’s very core. No floral embellishments are needed to enhance the beauty of the scene.

red bridge, magnolia gardens, small child, pink flowers


“True merit is like a river – the deeper it is the less noise it makes.”

Edward Wood

At quite the opposite end of the spectrum, the image above is bursting with life and color. Full disclosure, as I was shooting the scene a young family happened to arrive at just the same time. Rather than wait for them to pass, or ask them to wait for me to finish, I asked if they’d let their young daughter add to my composition. They happily obliged and I think she adds just the right amount of “less” to the scene’s colorful “more”. 

pink and white rose


“What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa

Finally, since I began with flowers I shall close with one. This image is actually from our west coast visit earlier this month. But it was too perfect in its simplicity not to include it with a post about less being more (thank you Sharon!).

Thanks to Amy for her clever challenge this week. I hope you’ll stop here next Saturday for Challenge #44.  In the meanwhile, here’s wishing you a great week ahead.


#Fuji, #Magnolia Gardens, #Charleson


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