Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favorite Images of 2020


A new beginning is a blank canvas ready and thirsty for paint. 

Chaker Khazaal

The Lens-Artists team is back after our brief hiatus and is happy to wish a warm welcome to 2021. More than ever, this New Year brings with it a sense of hope that life will return to something closer to normal – perhaps with a greater appreciation for what is most important. Our annual “Favorite Images of the Year ” challenge presents a different opportunity this time around. While typically we might include visits to faraway lands, or to family in other places, 2020 was a very different year. Rather than highlight what I might consider 2020’s best photography, I’ve chosen instead to include images that tell my personal story for 2020.

I’ve opened with an image taken during our only trip of 2020, an early March visit with family in New York City. In fact, it was the last time we were with any of our family, our biggest disappointment this bizarre year. As it happens, we were but one tiny step ahead of the first major outbreak in New York. We remember joking about it, thinking it had been over-hyped and was nothing to worry about. We could not have been more wrong and in fact our timing was simply pure, dumb luck.


“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.”

Josiyah Martin

We returned to the shelter of our small island, where we have taken advantage of fresh air, nature’s many gifts, and relative safety. As the COVID storm swirled around us we were able to spend time with friends – our pod members if you will – playing golf, walking the beach, bicycling and dining outside in our typically mild climate. We were unable to visit our families, and prevented from traveling for pleasure, but because we have been much more fortunate than so many others we cannot help but count our blessings.


A new dawn always breaks after darkness, but only those who have survived the night live to see it.”

Tristan Roulot

I will admit my enthusiasm for photography waned a bit this year, as the news continued to grow darker each day. Having become used to seeing new faces and places, the idea of capturing the “same old thing” failed to interest me. It was a visit with a friend whose beautiful garden drew me in that helped me to remember Mother Nature’s wonders were more than worthy of my attention. The luscious fruit above was one of my many images that day.


“You can do the impossible, because you have been through the unthinkable.”

Christina Rasmussen

Once re-energized it seemed nature’s gifts were everywhere. I took to biking around the island with my camera, with an eye toward being more observant. It was on those outings that I captured the images above and below.


“The key to a better life isn’t always a change of scenery. Sometimes it simply requires opening your eyes.”

Richelle E. Goodrich

Happily, our local photography club continued its weekly meetings using Zoom. We were able to host amazing professionals who would otherwise have been on the road leading groups exploring exotic locations. There were wonderful opportunities for expanding our skills, including an introduction to the concept of Wabi-Sabi which struck a chord with me. The two images that follow resulted from that session, which explored the beauty that can be found both in aging and imperfection (two concepts with which I am very familiar 😊).


“The days without difficulty are the days you do not improve.”

Evan Winter

“The great lessons in life often come to us through some form of extreme hardship.”

Robert White

Our lives are filled with moments of wonder that offset times of difficulty and hardship. It is only through the latter that we learn to better appreciate the former. Let us hope that if nothing else, 2020 has shown us that the curveballs life throws us are opportunities for growth that once overcome, strengthen our resolve to keep moving forward.


“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

Og Mandino

We are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be guest hosted by Slow Shutter Speed’s Anne Sandler. Be sure to stop by her blog this week to see her beautiful photography and to make sure you don’t miss her post next Saturday at noon EST.

As the sun sets on 2020, may 2021 bring peace, good health, and moments of joy to us all. We look forward to seeing YOUR favorite images of 2020 and understanding why you’ve chosen them. Remember to link them to my original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. As always, we greatly appreciate your continued support of our challenge and the creativity of your responses.

264 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favorite Images of 2020

  1. I share your thoughts! In these times, it is good to have a home that you really love and feel comfortable in. Sometimes we forget what beautiful nature surrounds us. Rediscovering the familiar and learning to appreciate it again. I think that is something we should take away from the pandemic. Happy new year, Tina! I’m looking forward reading your great posts!

    • Happy New Year to you as well Simone – I agree wholeheartedly. There is much for us to be thankful for, not the least of which is the way nature has been revitalized and appreciated during the pandemic. Somehow there is always a silver lining if we think about it 🙂

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    • LOL, trust me Margaret – you don’t want to know about the rejects! Coincidentally our photo club subject this week is editing and the week’s leader asked me to provide a bad photo which will be edited by 7 different members to see their vision with it and the steps they take to achieve it. I had no trouble at all coming up with something for everyone to work on!! Thanks for your comment and all the best to you in the New Year.

  3. It was a different year, for sure but I am encouraged by what we learned from it more than what we were cheated out of.
    That’s just me.
    I look forward to reading some tfo the stories you have inspired.

    • In times like these, your analysis is the only way to go if we are to continue to find things to smile about Dawn. Here’s to a new beginning in 2021. Wishing you the best!

  4. Pingback: Favorite Photos of 2020 – Anvica's gallery

  5. I see that we have agreed that our favorite images of the year, are those that represent what we have lived…

    We were not aware of what was coming to us in March either.😧

    Beautiful post, as usual! 😍

  6. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #129: Favorite images of 2020 – Calling-all-RushBabes

  7. what a great post, Tina. once again, you’ve given us beautiful images and words. thank you! 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year. but also has been of great hope and resilience. cheers to 2021!

    • Oh Tracy, you have made my day. Thank you so much – your “year was richer for it” – I cannot think of a more wonderful compliment. What a way to start a new year – hoping yours is amazing!

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  9. Wonderful story and images, Tina! I could so relate to your low feelings for photography, and then a growing adaption to and appreciation of the possibilities for exploring nature in the vicinity. The little things grow more important. The big steps less important. The second one, the beach image, is so beautiful, I cannot say it too often – Enchanting area you live in. I can already feel hope through your images.

    • Thank you Ann-Christine – I hope some day you will get to experience our lovely little beach in person right by my side. In the meanwhile, it has been helpful to share our thoughts, fears and small pleasures throughout this difficult year. Wishing you only the best in 2021 my friend.

    • I fear we have ALL been a bit less prolific than our norm Sue – but in hindsight there were some lovely moments scattered through the dismal news. Will look forward to your response as always. Happy new Year to you.

  10. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favourite Images of 2020 | Murtagh's Meadow

  11. Lovely choices Tina. I think we all got to appreciate the joys of capturing our own little corner of the world this year.

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  15. So happy to see your words of wisdom with photography, Tina. Thank you for staying with us encouraging every step during 2020 keeping our minds focus on the benefits of photography. Grateful for your presence.

  16. I love your selections for this annual theme. A very special one, indeed. Each photo highlights a story and a good lesson. Ah… “light at the end of the tunnel” is expressed through your beautiful image, I love it.
    Happy 2021, Tina!

  17. What do I say about your post and photos you haven’t heard before, Tina. The last flight out, it’s not easy being green , hanging in there, light at the end of the tunnel, all tell a story beautifully. Here’s wishing you an amazing 2021. It’s going to be a good one .
    Also for once , I am ready with a post on time . My throwback to that unbelievable year of 2020.
    Hope you enjoy it too.

    • I did indeed Sheetal! Very much. And thank you so much for your lovely comment and for being such a terrific participant in our challenge. Wishing an amazing 2021 for you too

  18. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Images of 2020 | scillagrace

  19. Hi Tina! Wishing you good health and happiness in 2021. 🙂 🙂 Yes, back in the beginning we were sceptical too. Who’d have thought that a year on we’d still be tiptoeing along? Love that last image and the clear, bright light. Cheers to you, m’dear!

  20. My my. You always have SUCH superb photos, always a pleasure to view. I love the beach and the dunes. I haven’t been to Hilton Head or the Low Country in fifteen years. It too is a great beach for walking or biking. I’ve pulled 30+ photos for consideration, but I think I need to whittle them down a bit. Many favorite themes for 2020, but the most overriding for me is OUTSIDE. Walking, hiking, whatever you call it. We got out as much as possible, to breath FRESH AIR, from a distance of course. To be continued…

    • I think the outside was the salve for our battered souls this year John – thank goodness we were able to take advantage of it in our own little worlds. Many thanks for the lovely compliment – here’s to a time when distance is no longer critical to survival! All the best to you in 2021.

  21. Your images are refreshing — thoughtful reflections of this chaotic year. Thanks for including the “light at the end of the tunnel” one — a personal favorite. I’ll be sharing my post today as well. Best wishes to you for a wonderful 2021. And even if you have to photograph the same things near you, you always put a new spin on the photos. Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Thanks for the lovely compliment Rusha – wishing you the best for 2021 as well. We’ve all somehow managed to get through 2020 unharmed and are looking forward to reaching some degree of normalcy soon – Hanging on to Hope for the New Year.

  22. Happy New Year dear Tina and I’m so glad you began to notice more of the natural beauty in your immediate environment. It has been a real treat seeing so many wonderful images taken on your daily walks and it’s a true blessing to live in such a natural paradise. We always do our retrospective at the end of the year to say thanks for all the good things that shone through and are happy to link it up here too: https://whippetwisdom.com/2020/12/30/looking-back-at-2020-with-love-and-gratitude/

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