Lens-Artists Challenge #112 – Word Choices

stars, night, sky


“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

Nelson Mandela

This week Ann-Christine has graciously given us several words from which to choose in response to her challenge. I’m opening with two images I captured last week of a sky crowded with stars. (Do you see the heart of stars near the center?! ) Our photography club had a group photo shoot – socially distanced of course – to try to capture the Milky Way. Unfortunately it was a very cloudy evening and sadly we saw NO stars whatsoever, much less any of the Milky Way. We stayed out for 3 or 4 hours but the sky never cleared and we all left quite disappointed. As an aside, we did have a glorious, unusual sunset which I’ve used as this week’s header image.

night, stars, kiawah, cloud


“It’s the choices we make that define who we really are.”

Charles de Lint

At around 10 pm I got home and processed my images, hoping against hope that I’d somehow captured something reasonable. Well what do you know….it turned out there were TONS of stars in every image and even a bit of the Milky Way (sadly the most cloud-covered part of the sky). It was an excellent example of what you see is not necessarily what you get with night shooting.  It was also a great learning experience which I will definitely try again on a clearer night. In the meanwhile, I managed to get several images crowded with stars in the cloudy skies. A lovely surprise that raised my enthusiasm for night shooting, it also provided me with an opportunity for growing my knowledge of photography techniques 😀.


“We are free to choose our paths, but we can’t choose the consequences that come with them.”

Sean Covey

Recently I posted some images from a family shoot I did for a friend here on Kiawah. At one point I asked the children to show me their best jump at the ocean’s edge. Apparently their grandson really enjoyed the challenge and nearly reached the sky with one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve seen in some time. Pretty much a visual definition of Ann-Christine’s word exuberant.



“It’s not about making the right choice. It’s about making a choice and making it right.”

J.R. Rim

This week’s final image shows my sunroom orchid framed by our backyard trees. When I saw the sun coming through the trees I thought it might create a nice bokeh background for the flower. Normally it would have been a passing thought but this time I took a moment to grab the camera and the image above was the result. The orchid has been growing beautifully since it was loaned / gifted to me by a good friend who was leaving for the summer. It is thriving in our sunroom; I’ve never seen so many blooms on a single orchid! I’m working hard to keep the orchid alive for my friend’s return in mid-September. So far so good 😀

Thanks to Ann-Christine for her interesting challenge, and to all of our followers for your continued support. We look forward to seeing your word choices for the week and the ways in which you respond to them. Please remember to link your responses to Ann-Christine’s original post here, and to include the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, we’re excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be hosted by Rusha Sams of Oh The Places We See. Be sure to check out her blog and watch for her post next week. Until then, as always Stay Safe and Be Well.








110 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #112 – Word Choices

  1. WOW the 2 opening sky shots r AMAZING!!! How very interesting that u did not even see the stars in the 2nd one while shooting….pretty mind blowing stuff!!Another great post Tina….love being a recipient!!

  2. What an excellent and diverse set of images. The shot of the boy jumping on the beach was my favourite. He has a look of pure delight.

    That’s the challenge with outdoor and Astro photography, isn’t it. You’re at the mercy of the weather. I do my best to plan my shots using tools such as PhotoPils and the Photographers Ephemeris. It doesn’t always work out.

    My first attempt at night photography was a fail. The light pollution in New Jersey makes it challenging.

  3. Fabulous is the word, Tina! Just fabulous! (Could not find your link?)Lucky you having a photo course teaching night photography of the Milky Way! I see so many of them, but have never tried – your images are success! And I must chime in with everyone else – the little jumper is a winner!

    • Thanks A-C . I think I forgot to link, sorry!! Glad you enjoyed these – yes, the little jumper is the runaway winner this week! Maybe people are just looking for things that make them smile these days.


      • I finally found your link – the problem is that I always read first and then if the link isn’t there but separate or I continue reading – I might be late in answering. I am a bit hopeless these corona days. Incoherent. Sorry about that.😂

  4. Such an interesting mystery about the stars photo – and what a fun surprise! The image is really lovely too. Children can be exuberant on command it seems. I love that. Your photo shows it perfectly. I am impressed at your success with the orchid too. 🙂

  5. WOW – I’m very impressed with your night shots, I look forward to seeing what you capture on a clear night. That boy’s smile is so precious, what an awesome capture! And the bokeh effect is perfect. I’m inspired indeed! (PS – again, I love your hair and smile in your new gravatar photo!).

  6. I miss night photography very much 🙂 Your first photo is the exact reason why ~ the Milky Way within the clouds is beautiful. Since the beginning of quarantine back in Czech this spring, I feasted on the videos of the World Science Festival and listening/watching the astro-physicists talk about the universe, which makes the night sky even more incredible to see. And there is not a better way to understand the world we live in than with the smile and excitement in your photo of the little boy on the beach. Perfect. Wishing you and your family well ~ take care.

    • Randall, what a wonderful surprise to see your name pop up! I’ll admit I’ve not done much night photography but will definitely give it a bit more attention now that I’m hooked! Glad to hear you are still out there, hoping the quarantine hasn’t been to difficult for you. We miss our travels but are otherwise doing well. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • I think Kiawah would be a perfect spot for night photography so look forward to seeing more 😊. It is nice to connect back up on WP. Agree, travel this year is almost non-existent, but I did manage to get back to the States from Czech and a good 6 weeks here before I head back next week. So good to be back in the States even amid all the chaos 🙄.

      • Chaos indeed Randall. It’s been quite a year here, and not in a good way. Glad you got to spend some time w the family and hope things are going well for you in Czech. Stay in touch!

  7. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-112-Pick-a-Word – WoollyMuses

  8. Such wonderful images – I saw those lovely stars and thought wow, but then saw that wonderful smile and it just made me smile:)

  9. You did very well with your night-time photography. Helps when others are around on the same mission. A couple of technical questions – tripod? high ISO? A couple of nights ago, I was taking some moon photos. After the last shot, I noticed the constellation Orion in my viewfinder. Didn’t take the shot because I didn’t have my tripod out. I might have to try the next time.

    Did I tell you I like your new Gravatar? Maybe it’s the red scarf, but it’s certainly grabbing my eye whenever I see it. 🙂

  10. Your story about staying out 3 or 4 hours with the photography club and then leaving without any good pictures, or so you thought, rings true. We did the same thing this summer at Pawleys, sitting on top of the house in the Widow’s Walk. We could barely see the Milky Way, but the kids were excited that they had found the spot in the sky with the aid of an app. I wasn’t, however, as fortunate as you were to have some quality pictures even when you thought there were none. Your first two are stunning — as is that precious child happy to be jumping and bouncing and having a great time getting his picture taken! Don’t you just love kids on the beach!
    I’m working on a rough draft of the post for next week. Will send to you soon. Thanks for promoting it today on your special blog.

    • I know how disappointing that can be Rusha. We used Photographers Ephemeris which is terrific. It was the only way we knew where to point our lenses!! Thanks for the lovely comment. Looking forward to your post. BTW have you seen all the bry-ha-ha about Pawley’s mayor this week???

  11. What’s the secret for shooting the stars? What settings? I never get anything like that and we have amazing starry skies when it is clear. I’d love to get a decent shot. My favourite though is the orchid, more so because of the background which is terrific!

    • Thanks Jude, I really liked the orchid shot too 😊. The star shots need a tripod and a remote shutter release. You have to shoot manual with between 15 and 30 second exposure and high iso. Mine was 30 sec at 1600 iso. Just try a bunch of shots. You don’t really know what you’ve got until you post-process. Good luck!

  12. lovely images, Tina. the little boy’s exuberance is contagious! the starry night is my favorite bringing me back to my childhood in the philippines. during summer nights when we were kids, my siblings and i would watch the star studded sky from our patio and patiently wait for shooting stars. such fond memories! thank you! 🙂

  13. Hi T ☀️ Your posts are always a joy to see arriving in my mailbox ! 🦋Thanks for sharing💜 – I happened to be in town for whirlwind 48 hrs the night of mikyway shoot & saw how cloudy it was — bummer – yet these are spectacular ! ! Can’t wait to see what you capture sometime on a clear eve too— 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  14. Ah, the exuberance of youth in a photo that tells the story in a single image.
    Those starry nights can be hard to find, but those long exposures show how expansive our universe is. In attempting to capture Comet Neowise, I learned more about the difficulties of capturing stars. I am curious to know your camera settings for the two star shots.

    • Thanks John. The star shots question has an interesting answer. Each was shot for 30 seconds because as it turns out, there is an issue with my camera 😡. On my Fuji X-T2, the T setting should allow me to change the length of time for the shutter opening, but mine doesn’t work – it won’t move from the 30 seconds. Since I’d not used the setting before it was an unhappy discovery and Fuji support says I need to send it in for repair. The vertical was ISO 1600, 18mm, the horizontal ISO 1250, 19mm. Tripod and remote shutter device on both,

      • Sorry to hear about the glitch in the Fuji. I didn’t notice star trails in the images, so that time must have met that 500 rule I’ve read about for star trail avoidance. Good luck on the camera repair.

  15. It’s always a nice way to start a Sunday for me, Tina, comparing your different approaches to the weekly challenge. Love your starry skies! Now I need to get to work on my walk. Have a great week! 🙂 🙂

  16. Hi Tina – the exuberance jump was a top takeaway – along with the Covey quote – so true – we can’t predict or control what the outcomes are.. nice take on the word challenge this week

  17. In your first photo (Starry, Starry Night), near the center there are several stars that form like an arc. I wonder if they have a name or are there by coincidence at the moment you took the picture. All these photos are amazing!

    • Thanks Anne – in fact at that point the “formal” family shoot had ended and the kids were really having fun with the shots I had them do for fun. He was really into it!

  18. Too many great photos to choose a favorite! But, the sky with heart of stars was amazing…Wonderful posting! Also, love the new photo of you!

  19. What a fabulous series this week, Tina. I love that smile on that little boy’s face and your night sky in the header is wonderful. The orchids also were spectacular. Wow. I can’t chose a favorite this week! I was just reading about night photography. I definitely want to try that. I am looking forward to seeing your shots on a clear night. Do you shoot at the beach? That would be a great spot, I’d expect.

    • Thanks Patti, glad you enjoyed these – yes the night shots were at the beach but we shot from the parking lot so that we’d have something in the foreground. I’m looking forward to trying again.

Please Tell Me What You Think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: