Lens-Artists Challenge #174 – Shapes and Designs

starfish, seashell, Kiawah
Nature’s Design

“You are the conductor – Your orchestra are shapes, textures, stories, objects, patterns, emotions, design, moments, depth, focus rhythm, shades, color, movement and light. It is your performance. It is your vision.”

Steve Coleman

This week we are invited to illustrate shapes and design – all elements we enjoyed seeing in your responses to last week’s architecture challenge. Thinking further about some of the aspects of structures that draw our eye, we are most certainly attracted by distinct shapes. Mother Nature seems to understand this perfectly. The beautiful and always identifiable shape of the starfish with its perfect 5-sided symmetry is a great example of design intricacy. I made the image above after a storm here on Kiawah, when many of such compositions were left by the wind and tides. Clearly Mother Nature was having fun with her design skills that morning.

Desert, art, Arizona, cacti
Desert Art

“For me, the meaning of design is to give soul to objects by Art. Art needs to be in every part of daily life, not only in the galleries and museums.”

Baris Gencel

Sometimes artists choose to depict Mother Nature’s art within their own works. In the example above (captured on a street corner in Arizona) the artist has designed multiple oblong screens working together to depict the beauties of the night sky of Arizona’s desert. Fortunately we were stopped at a street light on that corner so I was able to quickly compose an image on the fly.

Maine, bridge, reflection
Little House, Big Bridge

“Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment comes when ‘the picture in one glance says everything and says it in terms of design, rhythm, pattern – every element in strong relationship with all the others.”

Margaret R. Weiss

The Somesville Bridge just outside of Acadia National Park in Maine is the most photographed bridge in the state. Taking full advantage of the reflections that occur most times of day in the Somes Creek below, it presents us with several shapes and a beautiful design.

Dragon Wall, Shanghai, China

“For me, a great image involves a combination of strong content and excellent design.”

Mary Ellen Mark

In China there is an amazing dichotomy between areas like the Pudong district I featured in last week’s post, and ancient areas that house beautiful designs such as in the Dragon Wall above. Built by a son for his father in the 1500s, the walls are an important part of the Yu Gardens in old city Shanghai. Hard to believe that the ancient gardens and the futuristic Pudong district co-exist peacefully in the same city!

circles, mosque, colorful, design
Magnificent Mosque

“Basic geometric shapes communicate universal qualities common to all cultures. Practical design integrates them appropriately.”

Maggie Macnab

I cannot imagine a better example of basic geometric shapes integrating into a beautiful design than the El-Jazzar Mosque (aka the White Mosque or the Great Mosque) in the ancient city of Acra, Israel. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , notable for its excavated crusader ruins both above and below street level.

doors, Buenos Aires, design, shape
Four Doors, Buenos Aires

“I believe in the photographer’s magic – the ability to stir the soul with shape and color.”

Amy Nasser

In Buenos Aires I was taken by the beautiful design of the four adjacent doors shown above. Each was made of the same shapes but with very slightly differing designs. Perhaps they were originally meant to be identical but over time have morphed into something unique. In either case they drew my eye with their lovely shapes and colors.

circle, square, triangle, garden. archway
Circles, Squares and Triangles

“Start looking at the world in a different way. Look at everyday objects, at their design, their shape, their individual characteristics. Think ahead and imagine their significance.

Martin Parr

Finally, in the images above and below, a visual statement on the importance of shapes in design. The image above, clearly man-made, is from a California botanical garden while below, the stunning blossom could only have been designed by Mother Nature. The third and final image illustrates how the latter, combined with the former, can create a stunning result. Clearly, the integration of shapes into design – natural, man-made, or a combination thereof – has a significant influence on the beauty of the end product.

flower, pink, circle, round
Bursting With Color And Shape

Writers of light transform shape, line, color, pattern – passionless components – into photographs that grasp, delight, repulse, or inspire. Their work bestows life

seashells, art, sculpture
Seashells as Sculpture

“For anyone who wants to become a serious and creative photographer; go to the best school of design you can get into. Go to museums. That’s what will teach you how to see, how to compose, and how to think visually.”

Bernard Wolf

Sincere thanks to those who responded to last week’s Interesting Architecture challenge – your amazing variety of examples gave us all a new appreciation for the work of architects old and new, nearby and worlds away. Thanks also to Patti for this week’s Shapes and Design challenge. Be sure to link your responses to her original challenge here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our reader. Finally, we are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be guest-hosted by Lindy LeCoq. Be sure to visit her blog here to catch us next week. In the meanwhile, as always, please stay safe and be kind.


95 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #174 – Shapes and Designs

  1. Absolutely wonderful selection, Tina! The Dragon wall is of course a favourite, but the four doors and desert art are my other favourites. Always a joy to see your images, again and again and again!

  2. Your opening photo and words set me in a perfect mood for this post “attracted by distinct shapes. Mother Nature seems to understand this perfectly…” I could see how nature inspired or accentuated the photos you included ~ and this is the one thing about the Chinese architecture I’ve always been impressed with is how it becomes a piece of nature around it. Granted the four doors from Buenos Aires may not fall into this category…but I really want to go there and see for myself 🙂 Wishing you a great weekend ahead and also to the coming holiday season ~ take care.

    • I think you should definitely go check them out Randall – a beautiful city indeed. Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving and holiday season as well. Do you get to come home for Christmas?

      • Yes, I do get to fly back to Christmas ~ very much looking forward to getting back, and probably get to spend at least a couple months back home 🙂

      • Glad to hear it Randall. It must be difficult living so far away from loved ones, although I suspect your love of travel and far-away places keeps both areas of your life ever-interesting!

      • It is funny, I was just talking with a friends telling them while it is tough to shuttle between “homes” with work, it also serves as a spark in a sense to move and see/experience new things. I embrace this as it makes life more interesting and at some point I know it’ll no longer be possible. And sometimes I also marvel at how technology has made communication with family/friends so easy when halfway across the globe ~ remembering waiting hours hoping my call back to the States would be connected 🙂

  3. Hi Tina

    Your photo of the Dragon Wall, in Shanghai, China, is incredible…and the undulations made me a little woozy. The scene you’ve captured in Circles, Squares and Triangles is such a welcoming portal, an entryway of harmony in design. Lovely.

    Here’s another offering from me for the Lens Artists Shapes and Designs challenge:

    Tunnels of Great Blue Heron Love

    Best, Babsje

  4. Pingback: Wood shapes – Une photo, un poème

    • Thanks Babsje – I always focus on a header that works with my posts, but it’s never seen by those who view it in the reader so I always appreciate those who DO see and comment on it!

      • I know what you mean about the Reader! 95% of the time I view on my mobile but I make sure to view the Lens Artist posts on a real computer for the full artistic experience! 😊

  5. I love reading your posts, Tina. They literally take me around the world. Then there are these gorgeous photos and incredible quotes to compliment the prose. It inspires me to keep my eyes open for beauty all around me.

  6. Superb examples of shapes and designs. I usually favor nature’s creations, but your built examples are equally lovely this week. I, too, have a reflective image of the Somesville Bridge — so lovely!!! As always, you nailed it!

    • Thanks I.J. I felt the same way about that one. The line of design and disorder actually went on for quite a long distance all along the tideline but there was no way to really show that in a reasonably sized image so I went with one of my favorite sections. It was really quite magnificent.

  7. Lens-Artists Challenge #174 – Shapes and Designs On Sunday, November 14, 2021, Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ” Nature’s Design “You are the conductor – Your > orchestra are shapes, textures, stories, objects, patterns, emotions, > design, moments, depth, focus rhythm, shades, color, movement and light. It > is your performance. It is your vision.”Steve Coleman Th” >

  8. What a lovely and interesting selection! I have to pick out the Somesville Bridge shot as a favourite, along with the Dragon Wall and the pavilion (is it a pavilion?) in the botanical gardens 😀

    • Thanks Sarah. I rather did stray a bit geographically on this one LOL. Not really sure about the pavilion. I think it was more an entryway into the garden with a bench seat for a rest on the side.

  9. This post certainly “ stirred me with shape and color.” How in the world you file these images and are able to retrieve them is beyond me and “ stirs” my imagination!

  10. Wow, Tina. Gorgeous examples of stunning designs–from all over the world. I love the set of doors and the bridge in Maine. The mosque and dragon wall are also remarkable. All in all, it’s hard to pick a favorite! Take care and have a great week. Is it golf weather yet??

    • Many thanks Patti! still golf weather here. Pretty much all year if you keep you eyes on the time. This time of year it cools down at the end of the day but mornings and afternoons are perfect.

  11. Dragon Wall is so intriguing..I love the curves and am trying to imagine how it was done. Hoping you and Bailey are well!😍

    • Thanks Sharon – actually believe it or not there is a point in the wall with a gigantic stone dragon’s head and the rest of the wall is its body. Couldn’t get the whole thing in one image but it’s really amazing. Love to you and Bill as well.

  12. Little house, big bridge, that’s a nice one. I don’t know if I would use the fireplace/hearth since the chimney reaches into the trees. The house, though, would seem ideal for a single person with animals. 🙂

  13. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-174-Shapes-Designs – WoollyMuses

  14. Oh, Tina. This is one of my favorite collections. Shapes are an interesting topic – and both natural and human designs provide an excellent assortment. With all their shapes, places like Alhambra and La Segrada grab me. The shapes in nature are so intricate & magical. I stand in awe at them. Thanks for sharing your captures!

  15. Beautiful photographs Tina and a wonderful response to the challenge – the natural shape and design of the blossom is especially gorgeous 💜

  16. What a beautiful selection, Tina. I, too, was intrigued by the beautiful doors of Buenos Aries when I visited a few years ago. I am looking forward to joining, but haven’t decided my theme.

  17. Remarkable selections for this theme, Tina! The nature desig is artistically arranged. I love the shapes of desigs of the Yu Gardens. The “Circles, Squares and Triangles” is magnifient, it reminds me the Chinese garden in Pasadena.

  18. Your shapes and designs are wonderful, Tina. I see you went with a shell theme, which I dearly love. Like leaves, shells are so varied in shape and texture.Your featured image and the first one of the starfish on the beach are gorgeous in their simplicity!

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