Lens-Artists Challenge #186 – Low Light

egrets, sunset, nesting, lagoon, reflection
Egrets at Sunset, Kiawah Island

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

Amyn Nasser

I gave some serious thought to my opening image for Sofia’s Low Light challenge this week. It’s not as amazing as some others might be, but it represents a special moment for me. At sunset one evening I came upon a lagoon where literally hundreds of egrets, perfectly reflected on the water, had settled in for the night. I had only my iPhone, but for me it was more about capturing the moment and as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you.

Shangri-La, reflections, light, china, 
Evening Concert, Shangri-La, China

“The water rolls, the clouds move and light reflects off all it touches. How wonderful this world is.”

Steve Coleman

From our little island here on Kiawah we move all the way across the world to Shangri-La China. One evening my husband and I were headed out for our evening meal when we came across this bucolic scene. A small orchestra was playing in the center of a lighted pagoda, with lanterns spread about and everything reflected on the still waters. How wonderful this world is indeed.

Hong Kong, night, light, skyscrapers
Nightscape, Hong Kong

“I have always loved light… Its manifestations serve as symbols of the greatest secrets of the unknown.”

Wayne Bullock

From the quiet of a concert in Shangri-La to the lights and frenzy of Hong Kong, both fond memories of our time in China. When capturing scenes such as the one above, a tripod is a photographer’s best friend. Although you wouldn’t know it from the image, so too is the photographer’s ability to navigate through the crowd to an elevated area where one can shoot over the heads of the hundreds of people attempting the same shot!

beach, Kiawah, moonlight, ocean, shrimp boat lights
Moonlight, Kiawah Island

“The camera captures light, our minds capture images.”


Back on Kiawah, I’ve included one of my favorite beach scenes. The full moon created a path across the sea, while the distant lights of two shrimp boats on the horizon further enhanced the vista. Hard not to smile on an evening such as this.

Light Painting, Kiawah Island

“I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.”

Trent Parke

I did not adjust the long length of the image above because of the amazing stars on the evening of the capture. It was quite a few years ago and I was participating in a class on light painting with our local photography club. I did love the blue light we created in the window, but it seemed to me that Mother Nature’s own efforts far outshone our own.

palmettos, sunset, Kiawah
Two Palmettos, Kiawah Island

“It is the photographing of ordinary things, in extraordinary light, which results in extraordinary photographs.”

David Young

I‘ll close today’s post with an image I made this past year, which I posted not long ago. I believe it exemplifies Mr. Young’s belief that it is very much the light that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. A couple of palmettos, which are found throughout our island, are reflected in one of our many lagoons. In the light of the setting sun, with the full moon’s reflection beside them – they become a photographer’s dream.

Thanks to Sofia, whom we welcome as one of our new Lens-Artists team members, for the opportunity to explore the magic of low-light photography. Please remember to use our Lens-Artists Tag with your responses, and to link to Sofia’s original here. Thanks also to John for last week’s Change challenge, and for your many creative and interesting responses. We look forward to seeing your Low Light images this week and to your joining us next week when Anne leads our challenge on her Slow Shutter Speed site. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.


120 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #186 – Low Light

  1. Pingback: 117 – Light – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking

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  3. Hi, Tina. My favourite is “Light Painting, Kiawah Island”, because I identified from top to bottom, respectively: the “W” in constellation of Cassiopeia; Cepheus constellation; and at right-centre Polaris, or the North Star, in constellation Ursa Minor. I also liked Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour to remember how excited I was to witness the nightly light show at 8pm.

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  5. Dear Tina,
    we are absolutely amazed about your first picture. We have egrets here as well, but we see one or two on the river bank never so many. We really like the simplicity of your light painting. And GREAT quotes concerning light.
    Thank you very much.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #186 – Low Light – Anand Verma

  7. Absolutely stunning set of images here, Tina. That opening shot with the iPhone is just as good as the rest – and egrets look like they are little lights. Looked like the people around you weren’t an issue at all when you captured the Hong Kong nightscape. So lucky you got to capture the full moon at around sunset. The conditions have to be perfect for those kind of shots, including a clear sky and timing. You got great skills all round, Tina. Hope you are doing well 😊

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment Mabel – yes timing and clear skies are really important, and sometimes when traveling we just have to take what we get! We’ve been very fortunate along the way with both!

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