Lens-Artists Challenge #83 – Into The Future



“We can become inspired to shape a higher, more ideal future, and when we do, miracles happen.”

James Redfield

In response to Ann-Christine’s “Future” challenge, I thought immediately of the Pudong district in the Chinese city of Shanghai. There, gleaming futuristic buildings are reflected in the Huangpu River which services the largest trading port in the world. Beyond its reputation as a business and financial center it includes an international airport, the Shanghai World Expo Center, a Disney resort, bike trails, boating lakes, miniature golf and many restaurants. When the air is clear (as it was during our visit), it is everything one would want in the cities of the future. 

mountains, clouds, barren, landscape


“One mustn’t dream of one’s future; one must earn it.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Then again, if we aren’t careful, the future may look more like the bleaker environs of remote Patagonia. In most of Patagonia, there are incredibly beautiful areas of jagged, snow-covered peaks, dense forests, rippling streams and waterfalls. The image above however, shows cloud-covered areas of barren mountains with a line of obviously bare trees. With climate change bringing ever more unpredictable and severe weather, our most beautiful landscapes could be lost.

barren landscape, sheep, truck


“Progress is measured by the speed at which we destroy the conditions that sustain life.”

George Monbiot

If we ignore or abuse that which sustains us – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the plants on which we and the other animals depend – the world our children inherit may be filled with sorrow for what might have been. 



“The greatest gift this generation can give future generations is a healthy planet.”

Lain Cameron Williams

We humans are finally beginning to appreciate the importance of preserving the gifts we’ve been given. Organizations focused on saving the environment are driving important changes in our treatment of Mother Earth. While the wheels move painfully slowly, steps are being taken to restrict pollution, minimize carbon footprint and protect endangered species. Many among us are pushing for change. Movements like Ted Talks Countdown are gathering the best and brightest ideas to address our most critical issues. Let us hope we are not yet too late.

Sincere thanks to all who participated in our Capitals Challenge last week and to Viveka for joining us as the first-ever Lens-Artists Guest Host . As always, Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy and I very much appreciate your support and participation. Stay tuned next week as Amy brings you challenge #84. In the meanwhile please remember to use the Lens-Artists TAG on your response and to link your post to Ann-Christine’s original post here.


Reminder: check your spam files to recover lost comments!



88 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #83 – Into The Future

  1. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-83-Future – WoollyMuses

  2. Beautiful futuristic photos! Bleak is well showcased in black and white. That first image from China – Wow! It is tough to think about the future if more care isn’t given to environmental priorities. Your quotes, as always, are perfect.

  3. Tina – I’m impressed as always – your photos shine in the rule of thirds composition – they tell a story along with your eloquent words. You’re right, we do have a beautiful world worthy of protection! Thanks for sharing examples to keep us thinking about how to protect it and nurture the gifts it provides.

  4. It’s one humdinger of a city, Shanghai, isn’t it? Fabulous image, Tina, and yet the drive to build higher and more and shinier does worry me. We’re full of conflict, aren’t we? Fly/stay at home/eat meat/don’t! Thank goodness there are much better minds than mine out there. 🙂 🙂

  5. The lack of attention and downright denial of the climate crisis by many politicians is frightening. Your Pudong shot is vibrant and your black and white of Patagonia dramatically beautiful, Tina.

  6. An important message, Tina. Thank you for sharing. You know that your message is dear to my heart. Isn’t the city of dreams a marvel, but at what cost does it come? It seems so disconnected from all that is real to me. All that I value. This strikes me as rather ironic as I live in a highly planned city. The dream city makes such a contrast to your second and third pics. I like how you juxtaposed those two futures through the colour photo of the city and the black and white photos of the landscapes, and that these lead into your final photo of another potential future of a more nurturing and nurtured landscape. A beautiful, powerful photo essay.

    • Many thanks Tracy. I appreciate your noticing the use of B&W vs color. It was definitely my intention to juxtapose the two different scenarios. And yes, “at what cost” for the city of dreams is definitely an important question – both in financial and human terms.

  7. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #83 – Into The Future — Travels and Trifles – Best of the Midwest – Hiking, nature and photography

  8. That * futuristic city image is so striking Tina .. it has an surreal fantasy quality about it . A great choice for contrast against those Patagonian landscapes … super images .
    Some reservations … but I’m hopeful for the future 🙂

  9. Lovely images and a thoughtful post Tina. You have to wonder how this planet of ours is going to survive. We seem to topple from one disaster to another at the moment.
    I noticed your comment about checking spam and wondered if you’d been experiencing the same as I have recently where my comments have disappeared! Hoping this one won’t!

  10. I totally agree with you, I’m just not sure if humanity notices. In my country, unfortunately, there are many people who think that climate change is a fairy tale.
    Carlos Ruiz Zafón is one of my favorite writers, his book “La Sombra del Viento” is wonderful.
    By the way, your photographs are superb, accompanied a message we should all share. 🙂

    • Many thanks Ana. Yes I often wonder how other countries are faring in the fight to enact change. We have our share of non-believers here as well. Perhaps it’s just easier to think our issues will be self-resolving 😫

  11. A great post, Tina – and there is nothing I disagree with you in, except I hope the future does not look like a world of Pudongs…You are a nature lover like me. Patagonia is a dream to visit, and it hurts to know that in some places climate change has taken away some of its natural beauty. Your images are, as always, breathtaking, and what you write is true. We must make the wheels go faster for a solution – no real human being would want their children to feel sorrow for what might have been.

    • Yes, I know what you mean on that A-C. That’s why I said the CITIES of the future. I too hope there’s more places like Patagonia. Truth be told the scene I included wasn’t really desolate but it seemed that way so I used it. It was actually a glorious visit to some of nature’s most beautiful vistas.

  12. Dry as a bone does a great job of showing the bleakness of drought and over-grazing and what our future could look like.

  13. I really, really like your thoughts in this post, Tina, but I have to disagree with you on one thing – personally, I hope my future looks more like your photo of Patagonia than your shot of Shanghai! I’m not an urban girl, I’m a believer in the natural world. (Both excellent photos, by the way, love ’em both. All the images in this post are excellent.) Barren can be beautiful, too, if it is the natural environment of an area, which it looks like it is in that photo to me. I love deserts, but do NOT love desertification! Now, if you had a shot of the barren ground in those nasty oilfields near Bakersfield or something like that… 😉

    • I know exactly what you mean RR and I tend to agree with you. And you’re right, it was a very natural environment, and quite beautiful, but it seemed desolate-looking so I used some “poetic license” on choosing it!

  14. Beautiful images Tina and you are so right – the wheels move painfully slowly – I just hope we have not left it too late.

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