Lens-Artists Challenge #131 – Emotions


He to whom emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.”

Albert Einstein

This week Patti has asked us to show emotion with our images. As one who does not typically do portraiture, I was a bit flummoxed (don’t you just love that word?!) by this one. Not one to avoid a challenge, I carried on and found that my archives held more possibilities than expected. I was pleased to come across my opening image, which shows the happy smile of a young man in front of the sad eyes of a graffiti image. Two emotions in one – a good start for the challenge!


“Tired is a feeling. Lazy is a behavior. Don’t confuse the two.”

Steve Maraboli

The image above shows a Tuk-Tuk driver we passed by during our visit to Cambodia (remember those days when we never gave a thought to our ability travel the world?!) Our own driver was one of the happiest people we’d met anywhere, who seemed to take genuine pleasure in his work and his ability to meet people from all around the world. Apparently the gentleman in my image was long past that level of enthusiasm.


“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.”

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

We came across the farmer and his chickens above in a market during our visit to one of the more remote areas of China. I loved his happy smile and the way he was so pleased with his offering. Simple pleasures indeed.


“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”

James Herriot

It was during our visit to Africa that we found absolute confirmation that animals have as many emotions as we humans. The elephants especially showed affection, playfulness, fear, anger, parental care and any number of other emotions. Their languages and expressions may be different from ours but are no less eloquent.


Never be too proud to say you’re sorry or I love you. These are words that strengthen our heart, and give us peace and wisdom.”

Ron Baratono

There’s a reason the phrase is “proud as a peacock”. The beautiful fellow above lives at nearby Magnolia Gardens and really struts his stuff – and very impressive stuff it is too 😊. While the image doesn’t show much emotion, let me just say this – everyone who has ever encountered him stays well out of his way when his feathers are on display! The image was captured at 200mm and cropped afterwards – trust me, I too kept my distance.


“He who knows contentment is rich.”

Lao Tzu

Finally, the adorable little bear cub above is as good an example as I can imagine of a contented not-so-little baby sucking his paw/thumb. Mama bear and 3 siblings were below, the little ones in various stages of climbing and mama carefully watching over the four of them. Woe be he or she who would try to interfere with the process.

We look forward to seeing how you illustrate emotions in your responses. Remember to link them to Patti’s original post here, and to include the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. Thank you as always for your exquisite responses to last week’s Close-Up challenge, and of course a big thank you to Anne for joining us as last week’s Guest Host. We hope you’ll join us next week as Ann-Christine once again leads our challenge.

120 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #131 – Emotions

  1. You’ve captured wonderful emotions, Tina in the nature and among us humans. I love that smile in the opening image and the farmer proudly displaying his chickens. Elephants are very emotional creatures, I’ve read. Your capture highlights this beautifully. I love all these happy faces, Tina, and appreciate the smiles you gave me!

    • Many thanks Patti- the elephants really are magical. Quite a different and amazing experience being among them in their own environment. As for the humans, these days it’s nice to see a genuine smile unfettered by a mask – but only in images!

    • Many thanks Sheetal, Mixed Emotions just seemed so obvious with that big smile in front of those huge tears – glad you appreciated that one. had a bit of a struggle with the challenge this week so was glad when it came together.

    • Thanks Sally, yes these are very emotional times all-round. I’d be surprised if people’s pets weren’t feeling a bit of it these days too. Yes, we are indeed a species of animal – and perhaps our nature is not as even-keeled as some of our 4-legged counterparts.

  2. Your opening photo nailed this challenge — having two emotions in one. Excellent! And I do hope you continue taking photos of people since you capture the essence of life so well. Love the tired tuk tuk driver and the two elephants wrapped in an embrace. You have an eye for people and animals, just as you have an eye for beautiful landscapes.

  3. All wonderful, Tina, as usual! I cannot think of more well chosen words either. So love the Einstein and Herriot quotes. I keep returning to your elephants…that image is outstandingly beautiful and emotional. I remember a program, on National Geographic I think, where they showed a herd that had lost a member through poaching. How the others stayed behind, walking and touching, showing their grief and loss. I cried the rest of that day. over our inability to understand and to treat everything living in a respectful and rightful way.
    Clever too, the first one showing two emotions in one!

    • Thanks A-C, glad that one struck a chord with you. I remember a story about a man in Africa who saved the elephants that were being slaughtered for their tusks. When he died years later the herd he’d saved walked 3 miles in a processing to his home, stayed 3 days without food and then left just as they’d come. The report hasn’t been verified but is widely reported including by his wife. I like to think it’s true as the elephants we saw clearly expressed emotions as openly (or even more so) than the humans I know. As for the first image, I’d forgotten about that one and was happy to come across it in my archives. It did seem to fit the topic well 😊

  4. Wow, what a wonderful selection of photo! I can’t pick a favourite – the lifeguard image is totally engaging, the tuk-tuk driver made me smile (I have a not dissimilar photo taken at Angkor Wat!), the Chinese farmer is clearly a real character. I love all elephants, the crop on the peacock is perfect, and the bear cub is adorable 😀

    • Oh I’m exactly the same way Margaret – hence the animal images LOL. I have very few people shots in my archives, mainly people who wanted to be photographed or who didn’t notice I had my zoom lens pointed their way 😊

  5. Tina, these are such splendid images for that great challenge, along with your comments and words of wisdom. They just somehow present so much hope in showing emotions. We all hope for a better year where we share more of our emotions to each other, in pictures or words.

  6. Tina – loved all of these. Mixed Emotions is an amazing capture. Particularly love the animals – certainly interesting to see reflected emotions we tend to regard as “human” … Love the quotation .. “relish simple pleasures” … so appropriate right now. As always, thanks for sharing. K

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. Hey Girlfriend, I loved each one of these. Great job. The last but not least, little bear from T-Bear. See you Tuesday. Dar

    Sent from my iPad

  8. Your lens has really captured the emotions of your subjects, Tina. I love the baby bear of course, but the elephants came in a close second. The sleeping tuk tuk driver would be most surprised to see your portrayal of him here. 🙂

    • LOL, you’re surely right about the Tuk-Tuk fellow, although I’m sure he wouldn’t give it a second thought. The comparison vs our own Tuk-Tuk guy was extraordinary. Can’t remember when I’ve met a happier guy! As for the 4-legged subjects, definitely melted my heart that’s for sure! Thanks for stopping by Sylvia

  9. This is such a delightful collection of photos. I remember in Kenya our guide stopped our van near a mother elephant and her youngster. He turned off the motor and we spend about half an hour just watching them. They did not mind in the least that we were there. Our kids were 10 and 12 at the time. The little elephant was learning how to use his trunk to pick up and eat grass. His mother would do it and then he would try to imitate her. Sometimes he would drop the grass and she would just demonstrate again. At times the little one would just decide he was going to have a suckle of some of his Moms milk. She put her trunk around him and we all whispered “Awww”.

    • Awwww, I loved that story Anne! It was quite something to see the elephants protecting their young. Not just the mother but the rest of the pack as well. They are families in the truest sense, bloodlines notwithstanding. It’s sad how long it’s taken us to begin to appreciate the intelligence and creativity of so many of earth’s creatures whose languages don’t match our own.

  10. “Flummoxed” … I don’t get to use that word often, hardly ever (lol). I might use its synonym, “bewildered,” more. 🙂

    Hope you’re having a good Sunday, not thinking of the other stuff. It gets tiring after awhile.

    • Oh but “flummoxed” is SO much more fun and sounds so much more interesting, don’t you think David?! Agree wholeheartedly with your tiring comment. Fortunately we have a beautiful sunny (if a bit chilly) day here today which helps to lift the spirits more than you’d think!

      • To be “flummoxed,” I might need to change into my Sunday best just to use the word. (LOL) 🙂

        Sunny, but chilly is going around today. Tomorrow night, we’re suppose to get some more snow.

  11. Tina! So much to enjoy here as usual –
    But the takeaway that connects to my month was the fun beat and quite about
    Contentment and rich!
    I often remind students that they should not be jealous of the wealthy with
    Money and possessions or even power
    Well they should not be jealous at all – but if they do envy – it should be the
    One who laughs – who has joy – and who has contentment!
    So that Quote might now unfold from my mind the next time
    That rabbit trail unfolds!

  12. Oh those ellies and the baby bear are so sweet! I love watching elephants at play and their strong bonds in the family group. I imagine we have all gone through a whole gamut of emotions these last 12 months.

    • Good point Jude – it’s been quite a roller coaster these past many months. We seem to be approaching the finish but still have a way to go. Let’s get there safely! And yes, both the ellies and the little cub were priceless, amazing experiences.

    • One would need some MASSIVE arms for elephant hugging Poppy but they are beautiful, sensitive, amazing creatures. I truly wish everyone in the world could spend time in the wild, it’s quite a life-changing experience.

  13. Flummoxed is one of my favorite words… Ironic that I forget to use it when I am flummoxed. 🙂

    Seriously, that bear cub is truly content, and I hope you were keeping your distance, as I expect mama bear was keeping a watchful eye.

    My favorite image, though, is of the chicken farmer. He appears so happy in his work of the day.

    • A good friend made the same comment about the farmer John – and he was indeed truly happy and proud of his offering. As for the bear cub, can you believe the size of those paws?! Yes, mama bear was below as were his brothers and/or sisters. We were quite close to them but protected by a fence and a national park guard with a gun. We were at Katmai National park in Alaska for that one. What a fabulous adventure that is!

  14. I hope the young man pictured in Mixed Emotions got a copy of this photo. It’s a really good one. Also always love the elephants.

    • Thanks Sharon, in fact he did and was so proud and happy, I was glad I shared the photos. I also did a blog post about the day which I sent to him and to the guy who arranged the photo shoot for us and they were really pleased.

  15. Wonderful photos as always. Love the lifeguard’s smile and the Einstein quote. I love elephants. I hope you are able to wash off the flummox. Nasty stuff. Try sandpaper! 😂

  16. Flummoxed….When I was in Toastmasters many years ago, a friend of mine gave a speech and used the word ‘flummoxed.’ That word just stuck in my head and long after that, when we would pass each other in the hallway at work and say ‘how’s it going?’ the other would respond, “I’m a little flummoxed today…” Cracked us up every time. Tina–that elephant photo is so wonderful. Oh my goodness…..<3

  17. That is a challenging theme, Tina, but you showed us how it’s done! Not just with the people but the animals, and of course the quotes just illuminate the emotions. Elephants are social and emotional creatures with their big brains and this image really spoke to me. Great job on the street photography!

    • Thanks Terri – I did indeed find this one more challenging than usual but apparently others jumped right on it. We never know what will appeal to people and this one surprised me a bit, probably because I struggled with it. Thanks for the lovely comment – with you 100% on the elephants.

  18. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #131 – Emotions – A.J"s WORLD THINGS.

  19. What a delightful blog! I enjoyed all of the pictures (and, of course, the annotations thereto!) but I think my favorite is of the wistful baby bear. thanks for sharing your talent and making our days a little brighter!

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