Lens-Artists Challenge #142 – Photography as Art

Spanish Moss

“Art is both the taking and giving of beauty.”

Ansel Adams

This week Ann-Christine is hosting “You Pick It”, a challenge for which we choose our own subject. Since there were several comments about the artistic interpretations in my recent post about Magnolia Gardens, I chose to focus this week on photography as art. My opening image of Spanish Moss was captured last week here on Kiawah as the late afternoon sun peeked through the dense foliage.

reflection, green, art

“Photography is an art form – human beings expressing their understanding of and connection with life, themselves, and others.”

Lisette Model

On the same photography outing I created the image above with a slow camera pan on a reflection of palmetto trees in the marsh. I loved the verdant green of the water which looks to me almost like the careful strokes of an oil painting.

egrets, art, impressionist, birds

“The camera need not be a cold mechanical device. It can be an extension of the mind and heart.”

John Steinbeck

I took one of my Magnolia Garden images about as far from reality as I could in the rendition above. My intent was to have the image appear as if in a dream. The birds were so free and delicate with their beautiful white feathers I couldn’t resist.


“If photography is truly an art…it’s about what’s inside of you. … artistic expression, not objective duplication.”

Brooks Jensen

Yet another Kiawah scene captured during last week’s outing, in the image above I focused on the single oak tree limb gracefully curling through the leaves and moss. I purposely overexposed the shot to emphasize the contrast between the limb and the feathery foliage. I applied an impressionist filter to the background in post processing to emphasize its ethereal quality.

art, impression, palmetto, moon

“A photograph is an art form; it means different things to different viewers and is totally subjective. Like music, sculpture, painting, it stirs up a different feeling and thought within anyone who looks at a picture.

Edmond Terakopian

The scene in the image above reminded me a bit of the South Carolina flag, which has become quite controversial of late. We are working to standardize on a single image for the flag and our politicians cannot agree on which is the best option. I applied an impressionist filter and overlaid it with a bit of texture to create the final image. I think it would make a lovely flag but adding another option is probably not the best idea at this point 😊.

reflection, trees, water

“Photography is a bridge between science and art. It brings to science what it needs most, the artistic sense, and to art the proof that nothing can be imagined which cannot be matched in the counterpoints of nature.”

Ernst Haas

My final image above is Straight-Out-Of-Camera. I saw it as nature’s version of an impressionist scene. It is simply the reflection of a copse of trees on the waters of a small lagoon. The colors come from a blend of last autumn’s remaining leaves with the early greens of spring’s new growth, all set against the reflection of the mid-day sky – proving once again that Mother Nature knows best.

It was great fun seeing your portrayals of geometry in last week’s challenge – you took us on quite a world tour! As always we thank you for your support of our challenge. This week we look forward to seeing which subjects you choose and how you portray them. Remember to link your responses to Ann-Christine’s original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. Amy will be our host next week so stay tuned to see what she comes up with! Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

147 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #142 – Photography as Art

  1. I love this sort of thing – both trying to create it myself and exploring other people’s interpretations of their photos πŸ˜€ I like all of your shots but for me the ‘two egrets in a dream’ is a stand-out favourite. It would look amazing framed and hanging on a wall!!

  2. These pictures are so beautiful.. I don’t know which one to pick as my favorite. So wonderfully captured and so artistic!! Thank you for sharing this. I enjoyed each one of those..

  3. What artful, dreamy images! Your talents go beyond merely taking a shot — you truly have elevated your art form into something that’s quite impressive. I’m not sure SC is ready for your flag proposal, but I like it. In fact, I’d vote for some of your photography to hang in a state museum!

  4. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #142 – Photography as Art – A.J"s WORLD THINGS.

  5. I absolutely adored the photo of the Magic Moss. It had such an ethereal feel , straight out of β€˜lord of the Rings’ elvish world. You do magic with photos , Tina and it’s a pleasure to see what you come up with each week.

  6. While I may not be able to grasp the genius of the technology you used….I continue to be blown away by the awesome creativeness ….. just terrific… love that redo of the flag….

    • Thanks GF, our tools are better and better these days. It is a wonderful challenge sometimes to imagine how an image might morph into something different and then to make it do so. Magic 😊

  7. Lovely images, Tina. They are works of art! I love your impressionistic photos as well as your “take” on the state flag in the moon and palmetto shot. How sad that the politicians haven’t been able to agree for many decades or longer. You have inspired me to try some more artistic images. It’s a wonderful feeling to see them transformed and yet still retain some of their original characteristics. Have a wonderful sunny week, too!

    • Thanks Patti, glad you enjoyed the set. It can be an interesting exercise to see how an image can morph. As for the flag, it’s ridiculous really. I hate to think of the time and money spent on it. They made a choice everyone hated so they’re back at the drawing board. Really?!?!? It seems to me there may be more important issues at hand these days!!

    • Many thanks Cornelia. Each image was treated in a different way but my tools were both camera manipulation and Topaz Studio along with L/R and P/S. Sometimes the images speak to you and you just follow their lead. Based on what I’ve seen of your work, I know you hear them too 😊

      • Hi Tina, I really like the term ” the image speaks to you/me”, indeed that’s what images do to me. I don’t have Topaz, but have heard good things about it, in general I use LR only, PS just for editing as low res like for WP blog. Thank you Tina, for getting back to me. Enjoy your week.

  8. Tina, I’m in awe of what you can do with a camera – or anything really. If you painted those images with a brush, they would be just as much of a miracle to me as doing it with a camera. The palmetto tree would make a great postage stamp I think that would be better than getting into the flag fray. The next photo looks like a shimmering designer fabric for a dress, or possibly upholstery fabric. The colors you captured are gorgeous. Your dreamy pictures may be the best, though. I hope you offer a class sometime.

    • Oh my Marsha, you’ve certainly made my day with this one! And I must say I love the thought of my little palmetto as a stamp – I shall have to work on that!! Many thanks

  9. On #2, palmetto reflections in the water, was your slow pan done using a tripod or handheld? I’m still working on panning.
    Hope you’ve been having a nice Easter. πŸ™‚

  10. I guessed you would use these tools , Tina – and I love them all. The first one is wonderful and Out on a Limb is gorgeous…but then they all are. A great gallery again! If only our muddled world would be as beautiful even if muddled…I guess we both had lovely days out!

  11. A rewarding outing it seems Tina. I always like what you do to transform photos, but this time I love the last photo best. It looks just like a Monet painting.

  12. Great post, Tina. I love Egrets in a Dream and Nature’s Impressionism. Love the Ernst Haas quote, too.

  13. Beautifully done Tina, I especially love the dreamy egrets image and it’s amazing to see what you can already do in-camera xxx

    • Thanks very much Xenia – the egrets were a bit of a worry as I don’t usually stray that far from reality but I’m glad they’re getting some nice reviews😊. It worked for me but I wasn’t sure others would agree!

  14. This was a perfect choice for you, Tina, but left me without a favorite. I enjoyed them all. I think perhaps the last shot is best for a flag in days when everything seems to be in flux and nothing is clear but muddied by those on every side of an issue (and there aren’t just two sides anymore.) But what it would represent wouldn’t be nearly as attractive as the actual photo, so forget that. In the meantime, have a happy Easter and yes, let’s please, please, please be kind (and civil.)


    • Thanks Janet – wouldn’t have thought about that but you’re so right – muddled is a perfect description for today’s world and the closing image represents that indeed (although I didn’t not have it in mind when I captured the image. ) Happy Easter to you too.

  15. a visit to the fairies forest. Great collection, Tina.I like the first and the last most. The effect is not that strong but strong enough to make me dream.

  16. You’ve reminded me that I have dabbled in photography as art, attempting to create artistic representations of some of my photos. You’ve also shown me that you are far better at it than I. I love that image of the birds, but that in-camera photo demonstrates that you have an eye for the abstract in nature.

    • Well John, I’m going to assume you are just being humble, having seen and enjoyed all of your images through the years. But I do thank you for the lovely compliment. I don’t do it often but I really do enjoy playing with images sometimes. Helps me to see things a bit differently which I think is a good thing now and then..

    • Thanks very much Susan – it was a very light touch on most of these – the trees and water were magical this past week. I guess they are as happy to see spring’s arrival as I am!

  17. Beautiful photography in art series, Tina. All are artistically done. The Spanish Moss is breathtaking. I love the The single oak tree limb is my favorite.

    • Many thanks Amy – that one is my favorite as well, although I did love the dreaminess of the opener. Both were taken at the same spot here on Kiawah as I was out to photograph one of our eagle nests. Glad you enjoyed

  18. Pingback: lens artists challenge #142 photography as art | Lithans galleri

  19. Tina, I love this post and all the images! I really like how you captured the Spanish Moss in your Magic Moss image. I’ve never been successful getting a good picture of the moss and you have inspired me to keep trying.

    • Thanks very much Beth – trust me, for every moss image that succeeds there are many more in the trash file! As beautiful as it is to look out I too find it very difficult to capture. I guess its delicacy is its strength and our weakness!

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