Lens-Artists Challenge #238 – Alone Time

ocean, photographer, kiawah
Photographer at Work

“The endless ocean was his sole companion.”

Adelheid Manefeldt

This week Ann-Christine challenges us to discuss “Alone Time”. I’ve opened with something near and dear to my heart – a photographer at work. I love that he’d found a tiny island of sand from which to capture the beautiful scene in front of him. Also alone, the woman in the image below is also undertaking one of my favorite activities – a morning walk. Personally, I prefer Kiawah’s beach to the chilly East River of NYC although both are beautiful. You can see the iconic Statue of Liberty in the background of the image.

walking, riverfront, NYC, Statue of Liberty
Winter Walk, NYC

“Maybe this is who I really am. Not a loner exactly. But someone who can be alone.”

Gary Shteyngart

Below, yet another image focused on an individual alone in a favorite activity. This one features my brother, an excellent fisherman who lives in Colorado. One day during our visit, he and my husband were working the waters while my sister-in-law and I enjoyed a lovely walk in the surrounding nature. It’s a fond memory for me and hopefully for them as well.

fisherman, stream, path
Working the Water

“When you learn how to be alone you’ll discover the difference between alone and lonely.”

LJ Vanier

A less athletic but often solitary example of a pastime, I captured a plein-air painter at work while visiting one of the many estates on New York’s Hudson River. Home of the famous Hudson River School of landscape painters, perhaps she was inspired by some of the many scenes they may have captured.

painter, artist
En Plein Air

“Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom.”

Mike Norton

On a less active note, the next two images feature people alone and relaxing with a favorite activity – reading.

newspaper, reading
Studying the Day’s News, Tel Aviv

“Lingering is so very lonely when one lingers all alone.”

Mervyn Peake
reading, beach, bench
Beach Reader

“If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.”

Paulo Coelho

Finally, some examples of places to be alone for those who seek them.

church, Holy Spirit
Place of Peace

“Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for a moment that we’re not alone.”

Orson Welles
Steinway, piano,
Let There Be Music

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”

Maya Angelou

Thanks to Ann-Christine for the opportunity to highlight some of my own favorite activities when solitary is the option of choice. We look forward to seeing your thoughts on the subject. Be sure to link your responses to her beautiful post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Thanks also to Bren for guest-hosting last week’s Softness challenge. Hopefully we all learned a bit from the many terrific responses. We hope you’ll join us next week when I’ll be leading the challenge with “Finding Peace”. 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.


89 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #238 – Alone Time

  1. What a peaceful post!! I love all of these…Such an important activity not practiced enough!! TU for adding a little peace into my life this AM!!!

  2. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-238-Alone-Time – WoollyMuses

  3. Somehow I missed this post, but better late than never. Some fabulous quotes here Tina, I particularly like “When you learn how to be alone you’ll discover the difference between alone and lonely.” Many hobbies are carried out in solitude – reading, knitting, fishing, walking and you have captured many perfectly. I really like the photo of the chap reading in Tel Aviv. I think since Covid lockdowns I have become much more solitary than before and even then I wasn’t keen on crowds. I like my own space and I like sometimes to just sit and be. Not reading or taking photos or even consciously looking around me, but just sitting and emptying my mind for maybe only a few minutes.

    • Thanks Jude – glad you found me 😊. Love your thought of just sitting and emptying the mind. There are books, videos and in-person courses on meditation but it seems you’ve found a simple and rewarding way to get the same benefits! I’m more solitary than most myself I think, so we are alike in that.

    • Thanks very much Ritva – yes the woman painting was a very lucky moment for me. She was so focused on her art she couldn’t have cared less about my photographing her.

  4. These photos are just perfect for this challenge Tina 🙂 I especially like the lone photographer and your treatment of the artist – you’ve made the photo itself look like the sort of work of art she might be painting!

  5. Tina, I love your people shots so much – the moods captured and the humanity nuances felt – it reminded me as to how
    important I think “people shots” are in general. And another thing I like about people shots – or street shots – or walker captures and pianters in action – is that the photos are so “one of a kind”
    and the closing photos of “places to have alone time” offered a nice wind down

  6. Such a nice collection Tina. There is no mistake that the beach photo with the photographer would be near and dear to your heart. The photo of him is so peaceful, as is the beach. I love the strength of the differentiation of alone and lonely. I have written about that concept before, and love that you brought it back to light. thank you. The photo of the man reading on the bench was a great capture. Now go look again at that photo. There is a woman in the back riding her bike, and when I saw the photo, I thought…hmm…alone time looks different for all of us, doesn’t it? While he is engrossed in his book, she is loving her ride.

    • Thanks Donna – yes the woman on the bike….I purposely left her in the image and liked that she was out of focus as an accent rather than a part of the main subject. My thinking was that he was so engrossed in his reading he probably never noticed her – or me for that matter! Yes we all DO find our own special kinds of alone time, don’t we?

  7. Your captures of alone time are just perfect, Tina! I’ve taken pics of folks walking alone many times. I have one of a well-dressed gentleman standing (with his back to me) at the beach on the Columbia River Gorge where the windsurfers and kiters were gearing up. He had so much longing in his posture I had to wonder what he was thinking. I enjoy my alone time. When I go for walks with my dog, I rarely listen to anything, just enjoy the quiet. Your filtered capture and the gentleman reading paper are fabulous images!

  8. Hi, Tina. Your post brings back memories of your beautiful part of the world. I didn’t realize your brother was an avid fisherman–another activity that is so well-suited to “alone time.” The man reading on a park bench is a terrific image and tells a great story. The same is true about the woman on the beach. Lovely! I hope you’re enjoying the new week–wherever you are!

    • Many thanks Patti – yes actually two of my brothers are really excellent fishermen and have actually helped my husband become an excellent one as well. I love walking along with my sister in law while they fish as it’s always in a beautiful, natural area. The others you mentioned were serendipity – both totally engrossed in their reading with no interest in me or my camera at all 😊. Enjoying the west coast this week but quite cold, much more so than usual.

      • That sounds like you’ve figured out the best way to enjoy your time together with your brothers. The weather has been so unpredictable. I always think of what Mark Twain supposedly said: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

  9. I really like to have “alone time” from time to time.
    What I found quite striking is the NYC photo. It must be hard to find alone time in a big city like that.

    Excellent series, Tina.

    • Nice to see your name pop up Rabirius, many thanks for the lovely comment. It is indeed unusual to find alone time in NYC, that was a lucky encounter. I often do a run in that area in the mid-morning. It’s so pretty along the river and there are fun shops and restaurants on the opposite side. it was a fleeting moment of solitude that day!

    • Thanks very much Beth – the En Plein Air was a lucky encounter. I’d taken my camera for a visit to one of the historic mansions along the Hudson and there she was, right where I’d have put her if I’d had my ‘druthers 😊

  10. Lovely scenes Tina..The plein-air one itself looks like a painting 😀… About the walk – I just went out to get some fresh air and it was so cold (not Canada cold but still) that I returned within 10 minutes and longed to be back in India where it’s already getting warmer, although I would prefer to be there without the mosquitoes 😂! One just can’t get everything..sigh…

    • You’re so right PR – we have the same issue on Kiawah. When the weather is perfect the bugs are out enjoying it too LOL. We’ve been out in the U.S. West this week and it’s been much colder than usual. A crazy year for weather.

  11. Beautiful and peaceful alone time series, Tina. Each tells a wonderful story. Your beautiful piano image reminds me how I got up at 4 am to practice before I went to work. 🙂

    • Thanks Amy – now THAT is what I call commitment!! When covid came I stopped going to my weekly jazz piano lessons because I was taking them at the college in town. After each lesson my husband and I would go out to dinner. Sadly, my piano teacher left the area during the time when there were really no musical opportunities for income.

      • Crazy, In hinsight… The last piece I learned from her was Liebestraum (Love Dream), then she moved to Portland with her husband.

  12. I always enjoy your photos. A photographer needs a lot of alone time. I look at your photos and see how much you enjoy that time, capturing the interesting moments around you.

    • Thanks so much Dan, that’s a lovely compliment. I’ll admit I’ve gotten a bit lazy about using my iPhone instead of my camera. I really have to start getting out with it more often. I love shooting alone but I also love being out with a “photo-buddy”. Nice to share as well as to be solitary.

  13. A beautiful variety on alone time’s preciousness, Tina. You captured the joy of it, and it is beautifully presented as usual. The quotes to go with the images are perfect – Orson Welles’ was clever. I love that island photographer, so beautifully captured, and the “En Plein Air” is a dream!

    • Thanks so much Ann-Christine. I enjoyed your creative challenge this week as well as the creative responses I’ve seen so far. I also remember how excited I was when I came upon that woman painting the beautiful landscape in front of her.

      • thank you, Tina, I am also enjoying the many creative answers, and I love the different ways to go. There is much to learn!

  14. That first one is great but I like them all. This is expresses my thoughts: “If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.” I like alone time but that doesn’t mean I’m lonely. It means I’m gathering my soul to for the next bit of the journey.

  15. Excellent examples, Tina. I especially liked the beach photographer.

    Hope you and Bailey are doing well!😍



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  16. You never cease to amaze me … in the right places at the right time to capture the perfect pic! How about that guy on an island unto himself … love the painter

  17. Beautiful examples of people enjoying or treasuring their alone time. In our busy busy lives, we don’t often take that kind of time for ourselves.

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