Lens-Artists Challenge #233 – A One Lens Walk

sweetgrass, frozen, grasses, Kiawah

Frost, like the crystallized dreams of autumn, began to coat the clearing with its sugar glaze.”

Victoria Logue

This week Anne challenges us to “take a walk”, and to do so with only one lens. Coincidentally, that is exactly what I did about two weeks ago. As I’ve often said, I am NOT a morning person. However, I’d arranged to walk our beach with a good friend and the tide charts favored an early morning outing. I decided to walk to our meeting place and as I did I was treated to one of the most beautiful morning spectacles I’ve seen in a very long time.

“It was like traveling through a stage setting, the air clear and tingling, the light sparkling off bushes laced with frost.”

Robert Specht

As our followers may recognize, I’ve often featured Kiawah’s beautiful sweetgrass, especially as it turns a lovely pink color during the fall. On my walk that morning, there had been a frost the previous night, highly unusual for us here in the south, and the sweetgrass plants were dazzling with diamond-like droplets. My opening image is a scene I’ve featured often, usually with pink grasses or with glorious reflections, but this day was quite something else again!

droplets, sweetgrass, branch
Magic Wand

“I’m pretty lost in becoming all this frost. Strung-out like a string of pearls.”

Ashly Lorenzana

So….what lens DID I use? Actually, it was my IPhone 13 Pro Max, shooting for the most part in portrait mode. I’d had no intention of doing a photo shoot and really wished I’d had my DSLR for some f/2.8 shooting but honestly the IPhone gave me nearly the same capability. It was harder to isolate the branches from the backgrounds but I was happy to have had it because the beauty around me was simply exquisite. Of course that’s one of our favorite things about smartphones – always there when you need them!

droplets, sweetgrass
Diagonals and Droplets

“Despite the heart numbing frost, my soul is blooming like spring.”

Debasish Mridha

A few more images from that beautiful morning, all captured with my trusty IPhone companion:

frost, droplets, sweetgrass
Dazzling Drops

“Winter teetered on the verge of succumbing to the returning sun. “

leaves, red

“In every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty. And that’s the way new leaves grow.”

Amit Ray
red, berries

“The winter is kind and leaves red berries on the boughs for hungry sparrows…”

John Geddes

Finally, I’ll close with a rather sad ending. Just before arriving to meet my friend, I came across this definitive statement about the end of the holiday season. Carelessly tossed aside into the woods, I knew eventually poor Santa would magically return to Kiawah the following year. But honestly, who does that?!

santa, balloon, holiday
Sad Santa

“It ends when you’re ready for a new beginning.”

Adrienne Posey

With that, I’ll say thank you to Anne for the opportunity to share the capabilities of the iPhone’s portrait mode, and the beauty to be found following a freak freeze in the southern US. We look forward to seeing where you walk and which lens you choose for the exercise. Be sure to link your responses to Anne’s original here, and to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. Thanks also to Sofia for last week’s exploration of the way our world has evolved through the years. We enjoyed the variety of examples you chose to share, proving it is indeed a wonderful world.

Next week’s challenge will be Donna’s first opportunity to lead us as a team member. We look forward to seeing what she comes up with and know it will be wonderful. Be sure to visit and follow her beautiful Wind Kisses blog. Until then, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.


97 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #233 – A One Lens Walk

  1. The water droplet/frost images are exquisite, such a wonderland. I only just bought a iPhone last October, and haven’t used it much for photography (or anything else other than texting and connecting). You have captured such beauty with yours you have inspired me to go out and do a ‘photo shoot’ with mine!

  2. I wonder what the story is behind that discarded Santa… How odd. I didn’t know iPhones could take photos like that. It’s not the phone, it’s the photographer. I use an iPhone all the time. You’re a talented photographer. I think of myself more of a reporter than a photographer.

    • Well Dan, I do disagree with your opinion of yourself as your images are wonderful and often quite powerful. The iPhone is actually quite powerful when in portrait mode especially. I had a little mini-lesson on it which was really helpful. Who knew?!

  3. I so didn’t expect to see you use an iPhone for the challenge, and I loved it. Thank goodness you had it. It really does a good job. I just discovered how to turn the macro setting on, so that’s been fun.

    Wow. The ice crystals were truly a winter wonderland, a paradise. I guess if you ever wanted to know what it felt like to be in a snow globe, your questions were answered. Such tranquility in the walk that day, Tina. I could almost feel you tiptoeing, so nothing would break.

    I am glad you got up early, so you could share this beautiful and unusual look at Kaiwah.

    • Many thanks Donna – there was something so magical that morning, I’d have died to have my good lenses with me but considering the images were made with a phone I was happy with them. It was really about capturing the moment and the magic. Who knew I’d wander into a winter wonderland!!??!??!

  4. Wow, Tina. Stunning! I’m so happy you captured these exquisite sights on your walk. And look how many beautiful images you captured on one photo shoot! Your sweetgrass is strikingly beautiful. The mist in your header image, the grass and the frozen branches look surreal. A marvelous morning for all of us!

  5. Oh, Tina… I am so looking forward to visiting your island early next month. It’s a pity we won’t have the chance to touch base this time. Maybe another time through your beautiful part of the world!

  6. Magical moments! And with your phone…no wonder many people use only phones nowadays! I don’t have an iPhone, so I enjoy your photos immensely. Beautiful mornings like these are precious, and you certainly made the most of it with really lovely results.

    • Many thanks Ann-Christine – it was a truly magical morning so I was happy to have had ANY way to capture at least some of it. I’ll admit I was lusting for my camera that day but better the i-phone than nothing at all. For me it preserved the memory more than anything else.

  7. I often take just one lens out with me to challenge myself (usually the macro or the prime lens) or my phone. I’ll have to see if we get a decent day this week and have a wander. I always love to see your beautiful sweetgrass and you have excelled with the photos of the frost and the droplets. I too am not a morning person, but occasionally getting out there early definitely pays off. Thanks for showing me all this beauty.

    • Thanks back for appreciating it Jude! I love the light weight of the Fuji but miss the bokeh of my heavier Nikon lenses 😢. In this case I was happy to have had ANYTHING to capture at least some of the beauty.

  8. Your phone has certainly delivered here, the shots are all lovely and really capture the beauty of what you found that morning. I think my favourite is ‘Diagonals and Droplets’, the patterns are fabulous and the droplets so clear!

    • Many thanks Sarah. I’ll admit I really wished I’d had my camera with me but it was a great example of the importance of the “the best camera is the one you have with you”. Thanks for your visit and comment.

  9. Pingback: Sunday Stills: Snowy Sounds of #Silence – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

  10. Cell phone photography has morphed into incredibleness, Tina. Your photos could be examples of an iPhone advert about how easy it is to capture anything well! I have found I can get amazing closeups with my 4-year-old Samsung Galaxy. It must have been interesting for you’all seeing the frost for a change. Your last one of the dazzling drops is beyond amazing! Poor Santa, hopefully he will get recycled!

    • Thanks Terri – I’m sure all of the 20-somethings out there could teach me a great deal about how to better use the iPhone but I was just happy to have it along! One never knows when Mother Nature will offer us a special treat.

  11. gorgeous shots Tina…as always!! The detail is chilling….feels so quiet n peaceful!! OH MY SO SAD for Santa ….he shall return for sure!!!

  12. great choice, Tina. I also love the quality of my iPhone 13 pro. Coming from the very good 8, it was definitely a huge improvement. I even considered using my iPhone as my landscape camera for last year’s trip to Namibia. But, I didn’t!

    • I agree Andre – and I’m also glad you didn’t leave the camera at home for Namibia. While the iPhone is great it still isn’t the right too for journeys and scenery like that!

      • As the last trip (2022) was for photographing wildlife, I considered the iPhone as an alternative for an additional DSLR to cary the standard zoom for showing landscape. Definetely not as the only camera.

    • Beth, I resisted the upgrade forever. I had an 8 before but honestly the difference is SO amazing. They do say tho thet the NEXT phone after the current flagship may be worth the wait LOL. I guess they always say that!

  13. I know you’re not a morning person but I am here to remind you that every time you have started your day early, glorious photo gifts await, much like these beauties!

    • Thanks Margaret – I envy your morning energy. I firmly believe we’re born as night-people or morning-people and I’m definitely the former. I’ve tried many times to change, and when I worked I often left at 5 am to catch a plane, but I ALWAYS hated it and still do!!! That said most of my favorite images have been made at sunrise or early morning. Sigh.

      • I don’t think it’s possible for owls to change to larks and vice-versa, but on balance, I’m happy to be a lark. Though not one who had to leave at 5 a.m. to catch a plane. That’s taking larking TOO far!

  14. For someone NOT being a morning person, you were sure wide eyed and alert with that trusty camera in hand! .. as I recall last week you showed us different techniques you could use and this was simply a phone on portrait mode! Love the detailed “ pearls! “

  15. Lovely photos Tina. I could not see the second one either and I feel versorry for that poor Santa. He did is job and now has just been cast out. I would have had to take him home if I had found him.

    • Thanks Anne, Hopefully the 2nd is fixed by now. 😡. As for Santa – I fear his air had no chance of lasting until next Christmas so I’m hoping his magic helped him to disappear to wherever he goes and will be back next year!

  16. I couldn’t see the second photo either, Tina, but I have an imagination. Droplets on leaves and berries are enchanting. Last week we were by the sea and white broom was just coming into flower. We arrived just after a shower of rain. I only had my phone with me but I couldn’t resist a shot or two, just for the memory. Love your opening shot. 🫠💗

    • Thanks so much Jo. Hopefully the 2nd is fixed thanks to Frank’s letting me know early on. Isn’t it funny how “back in the day” we’d have enjoyed these kinds of moments with our eyes but we get to capture them with our phones for future memories now. I always remind myself to be sure to enjoy them with my eyes before and after I shoot though!

  17. Nice response Tina! Your IPhone did a great job, but it couldn’t have done it without you!! I couldn’t see the second image regarding droplets, crazy, modern art. You might want to check back in WordPress.

  18. Still your iPhone takes good photos. We’re they modified with the iPhone features. Too funny, I take shoots if items disposed along the way.

    • Thanks Perpetua. I keep my iPhone images in my Lightroom catalog and do some minor editing there rather than on the iPhone. Probably just easier because I use it for the images from my camera so I’m used to it.

  19. Incredible opening photo! You always seem to be in the right place at the right time! Loved them all! See ya next year, Santa!

    • LOL thanks Laurel. I’m sure I’ve missed MANY marvelous opportunities due to my lack of interest in early morning but it is what it is. I suppose I find the ones I DO see that much more special 😊

  20. I finally arrived early for a change! The collection of water droplets is wonderful. Ah yes – one of the benefits of a morning walk. But as the days warms, the droplets disappear – as they did in your collection. But who would toss Santa? An FYI … check your second photo because I don’t see it. Well done, Tina!

    • Thanks so much Frank – I checked the draft and I’d accidentally input a tiff file instead of a jpeg. Explains some other issues I was having with this one. Much appreciated and thanks for the early arrival, you definitely saved me on t his one!

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