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


116 thoughts on “Less is More – Lens-Artists Challenge #43

  1. Floral snowballs, we may get some snow overnight to may be make some real ones early tomorrow morning. The weather guessers don’t think there will be any accumulation. Borrowing a line from Star Trek, “anything is possible.” 🙂

  2. Beautiful images and thoughtful responses to the challenge. Less is often more. I am sure the last turtle would agree; a little less alligator and there would be more space for a turtle. 😀

  3. One of the good things about Internet, that almost everybody in the world can see such a beautiful pictures mixed with wise words, philosophy of life.

  4. Your posts always are such a treat T ! I don’t tell you enough , so sorry , how much I enjoy the awesome photos & thought-provoking words you generously share – THANK You!!

  5. Charleston’s Magnolia gardens looks like a beautiful place to visit
    Your images are wonderful. Particularly like the first and last photos.

  6. You really have an eye for beautiful photos which I would overlook.

    On Sat, Apr 27, 2019 at 12:03 PM Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ““To say more while saying less is the secret of being > simple.” Dejan Stojanovic 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 Magn” >

  7. Hi Tina – I like the “extra color” the girl brings into the contrasting photo – and it enhanced the comparison made to the previous photo – like how you mentioned the beginning of time and then moved into the color photo – a small child gives us the now, gives us life – and also hints to the future (children are the future)
    so that was a striking part of the post for me.
    I also sometimes love when photographers grab shots of people (nice that they said yes) because it really adds to the originality and uniqueness of a photo – you know? Like there are bridges with flowers and nice reflections (not all as nice as this one – ha) but then add a small child to the right – with resting arms and a soft presence – and the photo just became spirited and super original (something like that…)

    oh and I do believe your white snowballs are from a viburnum – not hibiscus – I could be wrong – but I have the Viburnum Opulus ”Roseum” aka snowball bush – and the leaves in your photo match the ones of my shrub…

    • Thanks Yvette, I agree that people often enhance a photo altho sometimes they can be a distraction depending on who and where they are! As for the snowballs, I’m sure you’re right as I am not so good with flower names

      • oh you are right – people can really be a distraction – big time – and I forgot about that – hmmm
        and wishing you a nice rest of your sunday

  8. A lovely collection from one of my favorite places, Tina! There is always something new to see there. Your lily image is gorgeous. “Just the Swamp” is a lovely composition and another that can be tough to get with no tourists and the right light.

  9. That lily is stunning, Tina! The light and color are perfect. And your shot of peaceful coexistence between the turtles and crocodile made me laugh! If they can co-exist why can’t we?? Wonderful post, as always!

  10. A beautiful sequence Tina,I especially love the way you captured the light shining through the white lily 🙂💖 xxx

  11. The photographs are gorgeous. Just when I thought nothing could top picture no 1, along came the alligator. Now that’s an unusual ramp, the likes of one I haven’t seen before. The birds, the reflection, the tiny tourist, there is so much of beauty. What a fantastic post Tina!

  12. Hey T, You were right today. These photos were really special. My fave was mommy and baby Heron. However last rose reminded me of the magnificent rose garden I inherited from the previous owners of our last home in Charlotte. I actually had “a rose doctor “ that cared for them . About 20 rose bushes in every color and variety.

    Fun today. Looks like Brooky won. Hope your Chicken Marsala was a hit. Dar 😘

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Thanks DarDar – always great to be with you. Promise to work on the game before fall 🤬. Really thought you had a shot at it but she’s hard to beat. Glad you enjoyed the post. The flowers were gorgeous that day.


  13. Pingback: The Ocean Is The Ultimate Solution – Proscenium

  14. Beautiful images, Tina. The turtle photo is so cute (yeah, that alligator is not going anywhere!) and the little girl on the bridge is the perfect touch. Whiteness? Most definitely a word–how else to describe the gorgeous hydrangeas.

  15. Such an inspiring post, Tina. Beautiful photos go perfectly with these quotes. The first and last photos are breathtaking, the birdlife is beautifully focus and the little one made me smile. The deeper it is… so true! 🙂

    • LOL, she’s really a tiny little thing and easily missed Michael! You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find that bridge without people on it! (or maybe not 😀) It’s quite a beautiful spot, as is the rest of the garden

  16. Great collection, Tina! And I agree about less colour sometimes giving more beauty. The purity of your first shot really got to my heart. The tiny tourist is a gem.

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