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.

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

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  8. Love your site and am grateful to have found it through your photo challenge posted on Peace of Life Today’s blog. Your photos and sentiments are beautiful and just what the world needs right now. Warm wishes to you!

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  14. What a lovely selection of images, right from that first one with the wonderful light over NYC to that last one with its equally beautiful light. I like the small things that you’ve shown: the white sand and grass, the raindrops on lime, the butterfly. You were fortunate to be in a place where you could walk out of your house and see nature. For us contact with nature came through bird songs and the shifting positions of the sun through the year, and whatever fresh things we could buy in the market. We were lucky to be able to make it a quiet and contemplative year, but I have more hopes for the future. Anyway, I hope you like my selection of photos with their very narrow focus, like the year: https://anotherglobaleater.wordpress.com/2021/01/04/year-402-modern-era/

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  16. Wow, Tina, your images tell a wonderful story of life in 2020. As I told another photographer, you too should publish and sell these images, they are just spectacular! I always enjoy your carefully chosen quotes and now that I think about it, I should have thought of a quote to sum up my 2020, if that is even possible. But the Evan Winter quote would work! I’m linking to this post, Tina, and added the pingback to my post! We can all inspire each other! https://secondwindleisure.com/2021/01/03/sunday-stills-your-2020-retrospective/

    • Well many thanks Terri – wouldn’t want it to feel like a job though! So glad you joined us – don’t you just love it when “great minds think alike”!! Our challenges were nicely complimentary this week – love the idea of us all inspiring each other!

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  20. You are fortunate you live in such a beautiful spot. I liked your Shelter from the Storm photo. Yes, many of us have learned to appreciate the sights closer to home this year. We are glad to see a glimmer of light on the horizon.

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  24. Like your “Light At The End of The Tunnel.” As close as solitude should be. If anything, everyone needs to do a turn on an empty “somewhere.” No electronics, no camera, no conveniences of life, no one coming to your rescue. It’s just you and your resourcefulness. Call it the ultimate test of character and mettle.

    On that cheery note, hope your ’21 is off to a good start. Stay well, stay extra safe. 😉 🙂

    • Thank you David, and the same to you. We are so close to turning a corner, now is not the time to let down our defenses. As for no electronic or camera – well then we wouldn’t have the image, would be?! Don’t you find you remember things better if you’ve captured them with your lens? I know I do!

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    • Happy New Year to you James – our beach is a wonderful “getaway” just a few blocks from home. If one must be confined somewhere it’s a lovely place to be 🙂. Thanks as always for joining us this week

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    • Thanks Sarah – like you, although not our “normal” set of images this year, still in all we’ve been very fortunate compared to so many. Here’s to the return of some degree of normal sooner vs later. All the best in 2021 to you

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  29. Great idea to put those photography experts to work on Zoom! Here’s to a much more “normal” 2021, though at this point, it is not starting out much like things will be back to normal soon. Happy New Year, anyway. 🙂

    • And Happy New Year to you too John. I agree it will definitely take time to get back on track, especially in light of the disappointing vaccine screw-ups and slow delivery. That said, at least there is hope going into 2021, which cannot be said for much of last year! as for the zoom meetings, I’m especially looking forward to this week, when 5 of our club members will take a turn at editing one of my own photos. It will be very interesting to see what their vision of the same image will have been!

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