Lens-Artists Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China, steps, waterfall, bridge
Looking Up AND Down, Tiger Leaping Gorge

“The most interesting points of view for contemporary photography are looking down from high up or up from down low.”

Alexander Rodchenko

We are excited to welcome Sofia Alves of Photographias as our host this week, along with her interesting “Looking Up/Down challenge. In response, I’ve revisited some of my favorite images from our travels, including the image above from Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China. Renowned for its incredibly beautiful hike, we chose instead to descend and then climb the 1,000 steps from top to bottom. One of the worlds deepest gorges, it soars 12,000+ feet from river to mountain top.

Chinese, script, paint, sidewalk
Looking Down to Write

“You’ll never find rainbows if you’re looking down.”

Charlie Chaplin

Also in China, we were mesmerized by a group of Chinese men artfully painting script on large pavement blocks in a local park. It was very much like a dance as we watched them paint so rhythmically. If only we’d known what the symbols meant. I’ve left the painter’s toe in the image to illustrate the size and complexity of their work.

South America, vineyard, window, crow
Looking Down – A Bird’s Eye View

“Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.”

Leonardo da Vinci

From China we move to South America where a very observant bird caught my attention as I looked through the rather dirty window across the vineyards to the snow-capped Andes Mountains beyond. The wine was every bit as amazing as the view.

eagle, sea
Looking Down at the Sea, Baha’i Gardens

“Look up at the sky. There is light, a beauty up there that no shadow can touch.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

This watchful stone eagle can be found surveying the grounds of the renowned Hanging Gardens of the Baha’i in Haifa, Israel. At the center bottom of the image you can see a glimpse of the gold-domed Shrine of the Bab, the founder of the religion. 1500 steps carry visitors along the 19 beautiful terraces which look down toward the port of Haifa.

windows, clay figures
Looking Up in Tel Aviv

“It’s all a great mystery….Look up at the sky and you’ll see how everything changes.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In Tel Aviv, I looked up as we were walking along scenic Rothschild Boulevard admiring the many Bauhaus buildings. Imagine my surprise when I saw these quaint characters adorning one of the home’s window ledges as we passed by. I found them so unique and sweet I simply had to capture the scene.

church, holy spirit
Looking up to the Holy Spirit

“There is always a reason to look up.”

Adrienne Posey

In Jaffa, Israel, we looked up at the beauty of this sculpture high above the altar at Saint Peter’s Church. Originally built during the 13th Century, it was later destroyed and finally rebuilt in the 1800s. It commemorates Saint Peter’s raising of Tabitha, one of Jesus’ disciples, from the dead.

Looking Down at Sunspots, Scottsdale, AZ

“Greatness does not approach him who is forever looking down.”


Finally, an interesting pattern I noticed while strolling along a street in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona. I may be wrong but for some reason I believe this was an Apple store. Right or wrong, I found the sunlight playing through the overhead roof made for an interesting image. Can’t you just imagine a few young children hopscotching along the spots to their hearts’ content?!

Sincere thanks to Sofia for joining us as host and for her very interesting challenge. Be sure to link your responses to her original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us all find you. Thank you also for your fun responses to last week’s Keep Walking challenge. If ever we needed inspiration to get moving, your responses gave us an extra bit of motivation. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Patti leads us once again on her Pilotfish blog. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

123 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down

  1. Glorious shots and great places! I love that first photo of Tiger Leaping Gorge, and I’m really impressed that you walked those steps! What a memorable time! But I also loved the view past the eagle and the shot taken in Tel Aviv. You’ve not only been to some remarkable places; your photos do just to them all.

    • Thanks Rusha, glad you enjoyed these. The Gorge steps were amazing – I can’t imagine them being designed and built but was glad they were! Going down was terrific, going back up, not so much! They actually had Chinese men down there with fabric sling-like things trying to get you to pay to carry you back up. It was tempting but we didn’t give in LOL.

  2. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-164-Looking-Up-Down – WoollyMuses

  3. Great photos, Tina. The Tiger Leaping Gorge is amazing! Lots of steps to walk up and down. I especially like the Looking Down to Write image.
    The Holy Spirit is great capture.

    • Many thanks Amy – yes the Gorge was amazing. We were there immediately after a massive earthquake had closed the steps for several weeks. It made me even more nervous about that climb than I already was LOL!

  4. Wow, climbing 1,000 steps must have been quite something!! I love that calligraphy on the pavements – it would be wonderful watch those artists at work. And I enjoyed all your photos from Israel, which is somewhere we’ve often talked about visiting but so far, for various reasons, haven’t made it. One day maybe …!

    • We were the same way with Israel Sarah – had 3 trips planned that we cancelled for various reasons until we finally made it. Timing is everything on that one. Glad you enjoyed this on.

  5. Tina,
    As always your photographs are wonderful. I love traveling with you through them.
    The Tiger Leaping Gorge is awesome. I could never climb up or down because of
    my bad knees but seeing your photograph was like being there. It’s magnificent.
    St. Peter’s church photograph is WOW WOW WOW. Your are one lucky lady
    to have been able to experience these wonders. Thanks for the day trip. ~~~ : – )
    Stay Safe 😷 Isadora 😎

    • Many thanks Izzy – like you my husband now has terrible knee problems such that he’d never have been able to do the steps if it hadn’t been several years back. And yes, the church was indeed spectacular.

      • I’ve always said that traveling is backwards. When we have the finances to travel we don’t have the physical capabilities. I’m happy I traveled to the few places I did. I’d gone on a cruise with a walker once but passengers weren’t always pleased about it. My hubby went on a tour to the latest excavated pyramids in Mexico by himself but isn’t into photography so I don’t have many photos. I couldn’t go so i enjoyed a day at the spa. Not too bad, but we’ve always enjoyed sharing our opinions about what we’d seen on tour together. Aaaahhh … life and all its challenges. Stay Safe 😷 Isadora 😎

      • I hear you Izzy. Haven’t tried a cruise and Covid has kind of kept us from them of late but that may be our next “adventure” since my poor husband’s knees get in the way of walking tours. Oh well, we’ve been very fortunate to have traveled so widely to this point.

      • A bit of advice from a habitual cruiser (26 X’s) I’m blessed to have had those opportunities. The better cruise lines (a bit more expensive; Celebrity, Holland America, Princesss, Azmara) tend to be traveled by former flight travelers. Anywho, in the beginning (started in my 50’s) we danced the nights away and toured daily. Slowly my knees spoke to me. I couldn’t tour but loved the other amenities especially spa days. Once the cruise lines are up and running again we will start going again.
        Yes, they allow walkers and wheelchairs and will wheelchair you to your room until yours are brought to your room. I recomment balconies otherwise the rooms can feel small. Best place for an evening cocktail too. Enjoy …!!!

  6. But, your feet were on terra firma. It’s much more fun when your feet aren’t. (LOL) 🙂 You might want to read the sailing post.

    Candy corn is already on sale at the supermarkets. Thought you might want to start stocking up now. 😉

  7. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down… | MV Obsession

  8. Hi Tina

    I adore the omage you’ve chosen ‘Looking Down to Write.’ Beautiful characters drawn. It reminds me of the huge swinging pendulum in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh for some reason. And this quote is very true: “Look up at the sky. There is light, a beauty up there that no shadow can touch.” J.R.R. Tolkien I adore the whimsy of Looking Up in Tel Aviv, too.

    Here’s my offering of some looking up and looking down photos, including a Heron, a Meteor, and a Comet:

    Great Blue Heron and Meteor

    Best, Babsje

    • You’re so right about that image Babsje, it was rather like a swinging pendulum – well seen! Thanks as always for your lovely comment and for joining us once again this week.

      • Aha a swinging pendulum that writes! I have seen ones that carve into a layer of sand but not one that does calligraphy.- it has better penmanship than I do. Thanks for confirming Tina!

      • Oh sorry babsje, it was NOT a pendulum, rather I was saying the man doing the painting was so rhythmic in his movements he was indeed pendulum-like.

      • Ok that’s cool, too. I think some place has an actual ink device on a pendulum. Fodder for a future trip down a rabbit hole. 😊

  9. Pingback: Great Blue Heron and Meteor | Babsje Heron

  10. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down – MobsterTiger

    • Thanks Andre – the peace dove is very high above the altar so the image in vertical would be a bit more interesting but for this one I wanted to focus on the beauty of that specific piece.

      • Don’t get me wrong, Tina. I like your image. I shows the details quite well. I only wanted to highlight, that it reminded me of the alabaster dove in St. Peter.

  11. On Sunday, September 5, 2021, Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ” Looking Up AND Down, Tiger Leaping Gorge “The most > interesting points of view for contemporary photography are looking down > from high up or up from down low.”Alexander Rodchenko We are excited to > welcome Sofia Alves of Photographias as our host thi” >

  12. As always your photos are inspirational and the quotes you picked are just perfect, exactly the idea behind the theme. Thank you for inviting me, I’m having so much fun!

  13. Beautiful views looking up and down, Tina. I knew you’d find great photos to illustrate this theme! I hope all’s well and that you continue to make progress on “the project.” Thinking of you as we start a new week. I hope it’s a good one for you.

      • I had the opportunity to walk down in a group tour when I hosted by an old family friend many years ago. It is definitely spectacular but I don’t have any photos as it was before the smartphone era (& I didn’t have a camera at that time).

    • Not surprised you chose that one Laurel 😊. The distance from the top of the altar to the sculpture was easily 20 feet but I didn’t do a vertical to show perspective. In hindsight not the best idea but I did love the sculpture especially.

  14. Happy Weekend, Tina. What a wonderful theme and l love the way you captured it. Your opening pic is perfect open because it fits both up and down. I still recall years ago while I was in Florence. The time was dusk, but while many of the people were looking window to window at the stores, I was looking upward to discover the glorious sights that Florence offers above the street. Hope all is well.

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