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

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  14. This is a wonderful, warmhearted retrospective, Tina. With the current situation I find much comfort and appreciation through your creativity and superb photos, kind words and inspiring quotes. It’s indeed like a cuddle! 💞
    Warm greetings to you and yours from the Norfolk Coast 🌊
    The Fab Four 💃🏼🧚🏻‍♀️🧚🏻‍♀️🚶🏼‍♂️

    • Thanks so much Hanne et al! We are off to a difficult start to the new year but hopeful that things will begin to improve soon. At least nature continues to thrive, pandemic notwithstanding. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.

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  18. Hi Tina, I enjoyed your post – variety and richness — a top quote :
    “The days without difficulty are the days you do not improve.” and smiled with your note on age and imperfection – haha – such a beautiful part of life too 🙂
    and here is my link for the 2020 in review https://wp.me/p1VBv6-5dR
    happy new year

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  26. Happy New Year, Tina. As usual, you pictures never disappoint. The picture of the bluebells with the little mothy clinger couldn’t be more elegant. Thank you for the challenge to post best pictures. Sometimes the ones that tell the story are not the best, but then I realize, I could cut back on the words! 🙂 The world doesn’t need to know how many times I washed my hands for 20 seconds. 🙂

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  29. Fabulous retrospective, Tina. Your images help to lift our spirits and spread light and beauty to all of us. I know what you mean about struggling at different points to pick up a camera. But your persistence shows that beauty can emerge even in times of darkness. All the best in the new year, Tina. Plenty of good health, joy, and satisfaction to you and all your loved ones.

    • Many thanks Patti – I’ll admit I did miss those wonderful images we take in faraway places, but it was gratifying to get closer to nature and its power to revitalize us when times are difficult. Photography as you well know adds yet another element of interest to it. The same good wishes to you and yours in the year ahead my friend.

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  36. What a fabulous collection. I’ve chosen pictures from NYC too. But your lest one, “light at the end of the tunnel” is dreamy and all softness. Like a cuddle. Let’s hope this the kinder of tenderness we’ll get from 2021… eventually!
    Happy New Year.

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