Lens-Artists Challenge #227 – Home Sweet Home
“I’ve said about a million times that the best thing a young photographer can do is stay close to home.”Annie Leibovitz
Like many of us, I find myself energized and excited by the photographic opportunities I find while traveling – especially to foreign countries where so many things are so different from my usual environment. On the other hand, there is much to love here in my own country. This week, let’s give that some extra thought. If a foreigner were to spend a week or a month traveling your home country with you, where would you take them? What sights would you tell them to be sure to see? Where have you found some of your own favorite images? What is it you truly love about where you live, or places you’ve seen in your home country? For example, my image above shows a beautiful Alaskan mountain vista – which couldn’t be more different than my home here in the warmth of South Carolina’s “Lowcountry”.
“There’s still an epic story to be told which exists wherever humans have made their homes.”Jem Southam
Here in the U.S. we are surrounded by four major bodies of water – the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west, The Arctic Ocean north of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Each of these is unique and offers different coastlines and creatures. I’ve featured a favorite image from a visit to Oregon’s rocky coastline above, which those who follow me know is completely different from the many mages I’ve posted from my eastern coastline here on Kiawah Island.
“Adventure is not only measured in kilometers.”Willie Ronis
One of the things I most love about the U.S. is our network of National Parks. There are 423 National Parks across the country comprising some 84 million acres. 63 carry the name “National Park” while the remainder are places like National Historic Sites, National Recreation Areas, National Monuments, etc. The landscapes are simply breathtaking. I’ve been fortunate to have visited many, including Zion (shown above), Bryce, Denali, Katmai, Glacier, Yosemite, Virgin Islands, Grand Teton, Crater Lake, The Grand Canyon, Acadia, Yellowstone, Redwood, and Sequoia. Others, including Great Smoky Mountains and Joshua Tree, are still on my bucket list. I would encourage anyone visiting the U.S., especially nature lovers and photographers, to see as many as possible.
“There are things you experience growing up in a small town that create memories that last a lifetime.”Carlos Wallace
While most visitors enjoy the excitement of big cities like New York or San Francisco (which have MUCH to offer), there is a wonderful community of small towns throughout the U.S., each with their own special highlights. Above I’ve featured a small town in Maine in the northeastern US. There you find communities that have been built around the remarkable fishing opportunites of the Atlantic Ocean, including lobster (for which they are best known).
Speaking of NYC, the image above and the two that follow were recently captured there. They represent three of my favorite things about the U.S. First, that the country was founded based on personal freedoms, including religion, which remains an important element of our national identity. Second, despite our many differences, when challenged we do manage to come together in support of the nation and of each other. Third, no matter how big the city or how dense the population, there are open areas for relaxation and enjoyment of nature’s many gifts.
“Someday, I hope that we will all be patriots of our planet and not just of our respective nations.”Zoe Weil
“…air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”Sylvia Plath
I’ll close with three final images that address our country’s respect for nature. The first was captured during a visit to Yellowstone National Park where the geysers and the animals that roam the park are magnificent. The second is from a beautiful vineyard in Washington State, and the third is my husband, who at 6’2″ is dwarfed by the towering specimens of ancient trees in Sequoia National Park.
“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.”
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”John Muir
Sincere thanks for your patience as I meandered through some of my favorite places and things here in the U.S. We’re looking forward to seeing your own favorites wherever you live, or wherever you’re from, or both! Please remember to link to my original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.
Thanks also to Jude for Guest Hosting last week’s Textures Challenge. Both her challenge and your responses were original, well composed and beautifully photographed. We very much appreciate your support. Our next challenge, DIAGONALS will be hosted by Patti on her Pilotfish blog so be sure to check in next Saturday at noon EST. Until then as always please stay safe and be kind.
Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.