Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration

storm clouds, golden light, scotland


“This storm will pass. Although, it has tested our strength, our foundations, our roots, we will arise stronger, wiser, and smarter.”

Charles F. Glassman

As many of our followers know, the Lens-Artists team selects themes long before they appear as challenges. No doubt I had something specific in mind when I originally chose this week’s Inspiration theme. I found myself struggling however when it came time to create my post. It occurred to me finally that it was because there are so many things that truly inspire me. So, with apologies in advance, I’ve included several of them.

sunflowers, butterfly, yellow


“Sunflowers end up facing the sun, but they go through a lot of dirt to find their way there.”

J.R. Rim

I am truly inspired by nature in all shapes and forms. My opening image of a stormy sky over the fields of Scotland shows her power, while the second, above shows her serene beauty. Whatever your mood, nature offers moments that match it.



“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

Rabindranath Tagore

As one who tends more toward taking the cautious route, I am inspired by those who have faith. It comes in many forms and flavors – not only in God but also in human nature, in the triumph of good over evil, and in the coming of a brighter day. In these turbulent times, nothing could be more important than a belief that it will all work out in the end – hopefully sooner rather than later.



“Travel is essential the way books and hugs are essential. Food for the soul. Right now, we’re between courses, savoring where we’ve been, anticipating where we’ll go.” 

Eric Weiner

I am always and absolutely inspired by travel – to see the wonders of the past as well as to experience the lives and cultures of the people throughout our world. These days as we are confined closer to home, we are fortunate to have been able to travel in the past. As photographers we are able to relive those experiences through our images – which remind us we are but a small and transitory cog in the wheels of civilization. 



“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

Aldous Huxley

Part of the wonder of travel is the ability to see, touch and feel ancient history – yet another source of inspiration. The important lessons of past civilizations are much more tangible when seen first-hand. Visiting places like Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, Jordan’s Rose City of Petra, Israel’s Wailing Wall and China’s Great Wall for example, teaches us that even some of the greatest powers of the past eventually succumbed not only to enemies, but also to the passage of time, natural disasters, and disregard for the importance of natural resources. Perhaps it’s time we paid more attention to the lessons of the past.


“Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing.”

Raymond Salvatore Harmon

The term “art” can be applied to so many things – painting, photography, music, literature, theatre, dance – to name just a few. I find it inspiring in all of its many forms. My example above includes both street art and dance/performance art. The dance artist, Lamar, invited us to photograph his performance at a nearby area where street art is plentiful. I loved the way his actions conveyed the idea of his being released from the beak of the vulture painted behind his jump. 

three, children, umbrella, joy


“There’s nothing more contagious than the laughter of young children; it doesn’t even matter what they’re laughing about.”

Criss Jami

I could go on (and indeed I suppose I already have) but I’ll close with the beatific smiles of three young children we encountered in South Africa. Headed home from school their joy was so heart-warming; how could one not smile in return? The joys of childhood should be an inspiration to us all. They see the beauty of a world untarnished by race, creed, pandemics, politics or pain. If only life would let them (and the rest of us) stay that way forever.



We look forward to seeing your thoughts and images on what inspires YOU. Be sure to link them to my original post and to use the Lens-Artists TAG to appear within our WP reader section. Speaking of your thoughts and images – we were thoroughly impressed with your responses to Amy’s Negative Space challenge last week. Many of you mentioned you’d not heard of the technique but clearly you’ve been using it intuitively as proven by your wonderful responses. Have you seen these? 

  • Priscilla of Scillagrace found time to provide some wonderful examples despite dealing with wildfires and a family illness
  • Olga from Stuff and What If gave us both beautiful images and some very lyrical text to go with them
  • Janet of This, That and The Other Thing showed us some terrific examples of negative space in her macro images
  • We welcome James of JazziBeeblog who clearly shows the effectiveness of well-used negative space.

Thank you as always for your support of, and commitment to, our challenge. We hope you’ll join us next week when Patti brings us challenge #116 on her Pilotfish blog.











271 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration

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  4. Inspiring indeed, Tina. You’ve captured such a terrific set of diverse photos, each one showing a special tribute/inspiration of nature and the incredible cultures and sights out there in the world…and then you finish it so humbling, coming home. There is not a better place for inspiration than where it begins, a sunset on Kiawha Island 🙂 Not bad at all 🙂 Wishing you well ~

    • Many thanks Randall . These days the pandemic has given most of us two choices – photographing the beauty of home or refreshing our memories with a visit to the archives. I am fortunate that the latter presents wonderful opportunities most every day.

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  18. Clearly, you are an inspiration, Tina. As always a beautiful and thoughtful post, versatile and simply wonderful. Nature, travelling and encounters with history and people are invigorating 💕

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  22. Tina, what an excellent topic this week! We’ve just returned from a trip to the Eastern Shore by way of Gettysburg (now that’s a circuitous route!) where there is plenty of inspiration, especially if you like water and boats! I love your post, and, as always, your wonderful photos. Of course, I was drawn to Angkor Wat, a place I visited but didn’t capture the sterling image you did and the phot of the children. You’re an inspiration, for sure, and I’m glad to be able to follow all four of your ladies who created LAPC.
    Here is the link for my entry this week: https://ohtheplaceswesee.com/2020/09/23/lens-artists-photo-challenge-115-inspiration/

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  32. Thanks so much for the mention above, Tina. It means a lot. I love all your photos, but the last one especially touches my heart, although the mountains are my place more than water. However, in the desert, water is a big thing so it’s perhaps become more precious. 🙂 I couldn’t decide what to do with this challenge as there are so many possible responses, many of which you’ve seen from me before. I decided to go with a trio of photos from nature, one of my great inspirations and solaces. But it might not be what you expect. 🙂 I do however hope you like it.



    • My pleasure Janet – I have no doubt I’ll love your post which is my next stop. I too love the mountains but perhaps that’s because we don’t have them anywhere near us. The water, on the other hand, surrounds us.

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