Lens-Artists Challenge #137 – SOFT


“I admire the fog, how it fades into itself.”

Marty Rubin

This week Ann-Christine has asked us to think about things that are soft, and immediately I thought of fog. To me, it softens everything it surrounds, creating a quiet, gentle atmosphere of silence. Often it brings with it a soft, gentle mist that seems to cleanse the world of its blemishes before returning it to the light.


Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”

Vladimir Nabokov

Like fog, a gentle rain too can bring a sense of quiet to the world, cleansing whatever it touches as it softly falls from the clouds. Often it can bring a sense of melancholy along with it, although its ability to refresh and nourish the earth makes it a worthy recipient of our gratitude.


“I understood that clouds were not my enemy; that they were beautiful, and that I needed them.”

Limani David

Clouds too can be seen as soft, especially when, as they sink deep into the crevices of a mountain landscape. Were we to be walking among them, the clouds would feel more like fog or light rain. Seen from above their soft beauty cannot be denied.


“Sometimes the clouds in the sky are mistaken. They didn’t come to block the sunlight. They came to embrace it.”

Kaylee Stepkoski

Climbing the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana, the road was as foggy, wet and cloudy as in my first three captures, As we broke through the clouds having reached a higher elevation, we were greeted with the magnificent vista in my image above. To me it feels a bit like our current situation. For a year now we have been surrounded by the clouds and fog of a pandemic. We are hopefully on the cusp of reaching beyond the haze if we can just hang on a little bit longer. Surely there is light ahead for us all.


“Get close to grass and you’ll see a star.”

Dejan Stojanovic

Here in South Carolina the soft pinks of our native sweetgrass are a harbinger of autumn’s arrival. Despite their fragile appearance, they move gently with the wind rather than fight its power. So too we have learned the difficult lessons of the pandemic. We’ve worn masks, avoided crowds, and sadly abandoned any travel plans. As our turns have arrived (or soon will), we suffer the insult of being injected with the dreaded disease to avoid succumbing to its wrath. We have learned difficult lessons about what is most important to us, and look forward anxiously to reconnecting with friends and family.


“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

Leon C. Megginson

Like the soft-pelted prairie dogs of the U.S. West, we are cautiously peeking our heads out from our protective burrows, sensing the degree of danger and gauging the safety of re-emerging. Our hearts are heavy for those who have lost loved ones along the way, but our spirits lift at the thought of a return to at least some degree of “normal”. How close we will get remains to be seen, but at least we have begun to see the lifting of the darkness before the dawn.

Sincere thanks as always to those who responded to Patti’s Letter S challenge last week. We thoroughly enjoyed the wide variety of clever S-themed images and captions. We hope you’ll join us this week for Ann-Christine’s SOFT challenge. Please remember to link to her original post and to use the Lens-Artists TAG. Next week Amy will once again lead our challenge with the subject Natural Light. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

SPECIAL NOTE: This week I am grateful to Frank of Beach Walk Reflections for featuring my images in his post about the wonders of travel. I’d very much appreciate your visiting and commenting on his site, which is always rich with interesting thoughts about his subjects. He welcomes any who are interested in collaborating to contact him via his site.

152 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #137 – SOFT

  1. I particularly love the way you have captured the mountains which each layer drawing you in further into the distance! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I find fog to be fascinating. From a photography standpoint, capturing an image while in its midst is most challenging. With film, you’re able to “capture” its moodiness and eeriness whereas with digital, the camera is trying to correct nature’s blur effect. Like #1 the most because it’s right in the middle of the fog. Also like your header image, a gathering storm.

    Regarding the storm, my sis, Ginny, received her first vaccine dose (Pfizer) a week ago. Her side affect was a swollen arm that refused to go away. The swelling started to increase instead. She ended up going to a massage therapist to have it taken care of. After the session, the therapist said she’s treated more of that the past few weeks, vaccine swellings that refused to go away on their own. Laurie would have referred Ginny to a massage therapist. She said most docs wouldn’t know what to do, some would want to do more tests. Anyway, Ginny said the swelling has gone down considerably. She has a tentative appointment with the therapist after she receives her second dose in 2-3 weeks. Laurie, Andrea and the girls all received the J&J vaccine when UCHealth had some extra doses available in the Phase III trials. The J&J vaccine may be the better vaccine, fewer side affects. I might holdout to get a J&J shot rather than the Pfizer or Moderna.

    • Thanks David – I find fog is fairly approachable if you underexpose while shooting. Not quite like film but not terrible. And yes, the header was a precursor to a monstrous storm which we barely avoided by calling the pro shop for a lift back in. Scary story re the arm swelling. I had no issues with either Pfizer shot, nor have any of my friends had any issues. Glad Ginny found someone who knew how to treat it!

    • Interestingly David, today’s local paper had an article about the arm issue you described which I’d not heard of. It said about 30% of people get it with the second shot and it’s recommended to change arms on 1 vs 2. Who knew?!

      • That is interesting on changing arms. I’ve read after the first dose, a third of people report some kind of side affect. After the second dose, that number increases to 40%. My preference is the J&J vaccine, one and done, and you don’t have to hang around. Whether I would have access, or given the option on vaccine, who knows. Thanks for the info. 🙂

    • Thanks very much Sarah – I captured that one from a friend’s back porch in the North Carolina mountains. I’ve seen that magnificent view in many kinds of weather but especially loved the fog that morning.

  3. I glanced at this briefly on my phone earlier. Tina, but couldn’t do it justice. It needs a bigger screen so I can enjoy the images. Those layers are so beautiful, and that opening vista? Wow! 🙂 🙂 Have a good week!

  4. Your soft images are so beautiful, Tina! The rain on the window reminds me of mine today 🙂 (and yes, I linked to Leya’s). That view of Glacier NP is glorious and the sweet grass is captured so gorgeously. I would never tire of seeing the pink and green! Here’s hoping the light out of the pandemic is closer to fulfillment. Almost a year, who would have ever thought? We’ve all learned lessons about ourselves in spite of it all.

  5. That morning fog is a fitting example of softening. The fan that I am of black-and-white, that photo titled Lovely Layers is my favorite, but that sweetgrass image is beautiful in its softness and pastel colors!

  6. Super soft and wonderful as ever, Tina! Love the quotes too. I can never get enough of Above the Clouds! The story too is fascinating, and a bit like life is. The fog and mist images are beautiful in their monochrome – and so is life despite sometimes monochrome.

  7. Beautiful selections, Tina! I love the layers and the above the clouds, breathtaking! The sky tears is very moving, I love it.
    Megginson’s quote is a wonderful reminder.

  8. Thanks for another wonderful collection of your images! Your palm trees in the fog could have been taken this morning. I love your cloud images, especially the black and white. I think my favorite is the sweet grass in motion.

    • Thanks Beth – glad you enjoyed these. As usual our worlds are similar this morning. We’re a bit fogged in as well. The sweetgrass image was made on a really windy day. I was really drawn to its motion.

  9. WOW ….these shots r just so beautiful & SO calming reminding me that spring is in the air & that perhaps a more soothing time could be on the horizon!! THANK U once again for your beautiful words!!! Happy spring!!

  10. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #137 – SOFT – A.J"s WORLD THINGS.

  11. Love the reflections! Thanks. Needed them today….rainy and dark.

    Speak with you soon. ❤️

    On Sat, Feb 27, 2021 at 5:11 PM Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ” THROUGH THE FOG “I admire the fog, how it fades into > itself.”Marty Rubin This week Ann-Christine has asked us to think about > things that are soft, and immediately I thought of fog. To me, it softens > everything it surrounds, creating a quiet, gentle” >

  12. great collection, Tina. Funny, that we partly have had similar ideas: clouds and fog! I love your image of the plant. I know similar plants from some beaches, too. But their leaves are not soft. Instead, they are quite sharp and can injure your skin when touching them while walking along them.

  13. How appropriate to be reading this post this morning as the fog has completely enveloped our little island! I am reminded by your hope filled passage that as the fog lifts, it is accompanied by a spirit of optimism and revival….. ❤️

    • Indeed – I should be out with my camera but instead am sitting with my feet up watching the golfers go by 😊. Pandemic notwithstanding GF, not a bad way to spend the morning.

    • Many thanks Sue. That image from Above the Clouds is from an incredible moment. We’d long planned the visit to the park and were SO disappointed as we were unable to see anything on our drive up the mountain. Imagine our surprise and excitement when we broke through the clouds and saw that view. An amazing gift.

  14. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #137-Soft – Calling-all-RushBabes

  15. Pingback: #LAPC 137: The Virtue of Softness – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write

  16. It always amazes me what wonderful quotes you find to enhance the enjoyment of each picture. All are lovely. I loved the sweetgrass and the breathtaking view above the clouds.

  17. I love all of these but as I scrolled down and got to the “Above the Clouds”, BOOM! I enjoyed the sweet grass, too, but mountains+clouds+wildflowers = LOVE. ❤ I like the quote after it as well.


  18. Pingback: Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft | This, that and the other thing

  19. So much here, I’m not sure where to start. Your opening fog image is a wonderful opener to soft. Lovely Layers left me speechless, I forgot about soft rain, and Sweetgrass in Motion moves me. An outstanding collection indeed.

    Thanks for the shoutout of our collaboration, and I invite your readers to stop by.

  20. It’s always a joy to soak in your beautiful photographs and feel the harsh times soften with the poems you select and expand with you thoughtful reflections.

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