Lens-Artists Challenge #130 – Close Encounters


“Focus on the small things life already has offered you, else you may turn your boundless blessings to countless disappointments.”

Shihab Kazi

This week the Lens-Artists team is happy to welcome guest host Anne Sandler and her challenge to focus on the small things in life. With significant delays in the availability of our virus vaccines, and the events of the past week at the U.S. capitol, hers is very welcome advice.


“Rejoice in small things and they will continue to grow”

Slaven Vujic

As I ventured out earlier this week, my mood was as grey as the skies, and nature itself seemed sad and withered, having lost its usual vibrance. Although photography had been the last thing on my mind, I decided to use the portrait mode on my iPhone 8+ to capture some of the small things that drew my attention. They seemed to me to fit Anne’s challenge for looking at the world a bit more closely.


“Small things bring joy, somedays.”

Warren Ellis

We can allow ourselves to be caught up in the maelstrom, or we can remember the things that bring us joy. We may not be able to visit with our families, but we do not love them any less, nor they us. We can focus on the gloominess of a cold, cloudy day, or we can remember that the sun will shine again and there will be days when a cloud or two will be more than welcome 😊. We can focus on the effect of winter’s chill on nature’s vibrance, or we can remember that spring will surely follow winter and nature’s bounty will be renewed as always.


“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”

Alphonse Karr

Not unlike the seasons, my image above is meant to illustrate a perspective on who we are and who we can become. The leftmost image shows two tree trunks that come close together in the middle when seen from a spot before reaching them. The middle image, when one is directly opposite the same trees, shows the distance between them. The third image was made after passing them – joined together in peaceful co-existence, despite their need to share the resources they depend on to continue their growth. So too the issues that divide and threaten to tear us apart. In the end we shall come together, stronger for having had to struggle and compromise along the way. In the meanwhile, do your best to keep the faith and focus on the small things that bring you happiness.

Thanks again to Anne for hosting our challenge this week. Be sure to visit and link to her original post here. My personal thanks for the beautiful images you shared in response to last week’s 2020 Favorites challenge – apparently there were more happy moments than we realized! We hope you’ll join us next week as Patti once again leads our challenge. Until then, remember to stay safe and be kind.


69 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #130 – Close Encounters

  1. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-130-Its-a-Small-World – WoollyMuses

  2. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #130 – Close Encounters – A.J"s WORLD THINGS.

  3. Tina – I went back again to see your words and images for the challenge – but my comment is not there. Is it in your spam? I remember writing about your colour harmonies and the uplifting, newborn green, delicate leaves in the opener. Always so well composed and thought through. ♥

  4. And, who said 21 was going to be a better year? (LOL). Talk about a rough start …

    That aside, I know what you mean about how gray days can color your mood gray also. I had too many those kind of days last year, but I wouldn’t want to blame it all on what was happening personally, or what was happening on the larger scale. Much too easy. But, when the sun came out late in the day, my mood brightened considerably. I can hear my mom say, “Why the gray mood?” Perhaps your mom would say the same. With half of 21 being gray, the gray mood didn’t visit. A lot of it, I would say is mindset. But, a lot of it are things we have no control of anyway.

    Stay well, stay extra safe. 🙂

    • Well this time I started out gray and the day just matched the mood I was in. The Capitol event was surely out of my control but still left me so very sad. The sun the next day helped but it’s going to be a long 2 weeks I’m afraid

  5. If ever there was a time we needed reminding to look for the small thing that bring us joy, it is now. Thank you for your inspiring words as well as the great photos!

  6. This is a timely post Tina. What a week it was . Even here in Canada we were rocked by the events. And of course there is never any good Covid news. So the concept of focusing on the small things in our lives, the small samplings of happiness and good fortune is a perfect antidote to the chaos.

    • Many thanks Anne – the week here was terribly sad – more like a sci fi movie. Much like covid has been. Focusing on the small things is a way to at least escape harsh reality for a short while.

  7. Staying focused on positives is always better than feeling glum and powerless, Tina. And, as I said to Anne earlier today, kindness costs nothing. So why isn’t there more of it about? It’s never in short supply around our blog friends. Sending hugs! 🙂 🙂

  8. I love that opening shot of the leaf curling in the cold air. The colors are marvelous, as well as the perspective. Your words ring true–our perspective matters a great deal even though the challenges are great. We will triumph if we can work together and find common ground. I am hopeful…ever hopeful! Take care and enjoy the sunshine!

  9. I enjoyed your perspective of the tree trunks, Tina. 2021 has got to get better, right? The leaf close ups are beautiful and symbolic of the withered year of 2020. As they finally fall, we sweep them up with the rubbish and move on.

  10. A beautiful close-encounters, Tina. Yes, spring will surely follow winte… And, we believe in the end we shall come together, stronger…
    as we have the best man for the job! Thank you for these important messages.

  11. How beautiful Tina! While looking at the small wonders of our world, our vision becomes more focused on what is important. This country needs to heal. Didn’t we fight this sort of war before?

  12. You met a real challenge this week …. looking for the small things, taking the high road ,amidst quite a struggle …your lens as usual find their story to tell and reflect the season of life we are experiencing. Thank you T

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