Lens-Artists Challenge #242 – New Experiences

child, China, basket, sunflowers, seeds
Focused on the Task, China

“The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them.”

Louisa May Alcott

This week Anne asks us to share some thoughts about New Experiences. I recently posted that I think of myself as a travel photographer who has not done much traveling since Covid, so I thought I’d reach into the past and address some of the things I’ve learned from my travels. Of course, all were new experiences at the time! It’s a bit of a twist on Anne’s theme, for which I’m hoping she’ll forgive my broad interpretation.

Alternative Transportation, Cambodia

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.”

Angela N. Blount


As a photographer, one of the worst things that can happen (equipment failure not-withstanding) is a missed opportunity. Both of my opening images were unexpected moments that fortunately I was able to capture. But I still feel dismay when I remember a “miss” that happened when a young, red-robed monk peeked out of an ornate monastery door in SE Asia. By the time I could capture the image he’d ducked back inside – I still see him in my mind’s eye. From then on I learned to keep my camera on, my lens cap off, and a spare battery in my pocket! Which leads me to my next suggestion.

jeep, elephant, Elephant, safari
Up Close and Personal, Botswana

Two rules to live by. Rule one: don’t taunt elephants. Rule two: don’t stand next to anybody who taunts elephants.

Howard Tayler


In Africa I was truly captivated by the magnificent creatures we encountered. I have hundreds of favorite images from our weeks there. But there were also memorable moments that captured less obvious subjects. For example, the image above – which illustrates just how close adventurers are able to get to these amazing beasts in the wild. Over time I’ve learned to watch for images that capture the flavor of a place or an adventure. Clearly the photographer in the image above has not expected the unexpected. His long lens is too close to capture the best shot here. It reminds me of the time I used my 300mm zoom on a zodiac ride and a whale breached about 3 feet away. Needless to say, my images were worthless but I keep them as a reminder of both the moment and the lesson learned.

red, umbrella, hat, people
Hidden Faces, Vietnam and China

It is good people who make good places.”

Anna Sewell


Like many of us, I am shy about photographing strangers although I’ve gotten a bit better about it over the years. But there are many ways to include people in our images without asking permission or capturing faces. Exhibits A and B above show two of them. The conical hats on the left are typical in Vietnam’s rice fields, while the red umbrella on the right covers the face of the woman in traditional Chinese garb. I believe each tells a story about the countries in which they were captured despite the lack of faces. They are among my favorite images (along with my two opening captures). Images of local residents remind us of what is special about the places we visit, and that people are the same everywhere.

Up, Up and Away, USA

“Fear is a compass pointing out just the right direction for you to lean into next.”

Scott Perry


My husband is one of the most adventurous people I know, and his influence has helped me to overcome my aversion to risk-taking. Some of my best memories would never have happened without his nudging me past my natural resistance. We’ve hiked glaciers, zodiac’d among whales, floated in a hot-air balloon over Australia and did the Bridge Climb in Sydney, photographed Alaskan grizzles from mere feet away, ridden in an open jeep among the wild creatures of Africa, experienced sunrise over Patagonia’s Torres Del Paine, hiked the Great Wall and the rice fields of China, explored ancient sites like Angkor Wat and Petra…..well, you get the idea! I’d never had done any of it without his encouragement.

bear, cub, plane, Alaska, mountains
Furry and Flying Fun, Alaska

“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self.”

Søren Kierkegaard


Yes, we’ve experienced a few glitches along the way. Our “flight-seeing” trip over Denali was cancelled by fog but the multi-hour bus to a later flight allowed us to begin our small-plane fishing and bear adventures a day late. My luggage was lost for 3 days in Budapest. My husband lost a hearing-aid on the Great Wall but he went back and finally found it. We re-arranged our itinerary in China after an earthquake, and our visit to Israel and Jordan was rescheduled 3 times due to safety concerns. Considering the thousands of miles we’ve traveled and the hundreds of flights/guides/itineraries/vehicles along the way, we’ve been fortunate to have had so few issues. That said, when we HAVE had them we’ve dealt with them and made other arrangements. Expect it to happen and be ready for it when it does.

national parks, USA, Crater Lake, Bryce Canyon, Sequoia
Three U.S. National Parks

“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”

Oscar Wilde


When I was a film photographer I was also a scrapbooker. Once I transitioned to digital I started making books of each of our adventures. I cannot tell you how much pleasure we’ve had looking through those books over the years. I highly recommend the company I use (Blurb) but whatever vehicle you choose, I could not be more emphatic about documenting and organizing the important moments in your life. Trust me, you’ll thank me later 😊.

A warm welcome back to Anne from her marvelous journey, beautifully shown in her challenge this week. We hope you’ll join us with your own New Experiences. Be sure to link them to her post here and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Thanks also to Sofia for last week’s ode to Spring. It was lovely to enjoy everyone’s images of the season’s delights. Donna will welcome next week’s April Fools Day with “It’s Tricky” so be sure to visit her beautiful Wind Kisses blog next Saturday at noon EST to see what it’s all about! 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.


94 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #242 – New Experiences

  1. So many memories and experiences to cherish, Tina. Love your write up and expertly picked quotes to theme a photo.
    I deliberately parted with my huge collection of photo albums when I moved to England and swore never to do one again. Now, I think I may use blurb and produce a book about my beloved grey seals.😊

  2. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-242-New-Experiences – WoollyMuses

  3. What adventures you’ve had, Tina. I agree about conquering our fears. I was very nervous about getting on a helicopter in New Zealand and it ended up being my favorite experience of the trip!

  4. You’ve had many wonderful experiences, Tina. I love that Bailey nudges you to do things beyond your comfort zone. Alex does that to me and so far, I have not regretted it! Your images are gorgeous, as always. I love the “people” images–all of them–and your landscapes. Have a great week…hopefully in the sunshine.

    • OMG Nora, I used to love coasters. Scariest ever was the one at Disney that’s totally indoors in the dark! Must admit I’m not too keen on them since I got old enough to read about the few disasters. One is too many for my taste!

  5. I really liked your photo of the hot air balloons, Tina. They are great subjects for pictures. Also liked your Bryce Canyon photo. I think of Bryce as a paradise for photographers. 😁

    • Thanks Siobhan – the balloons were actually captured in Oregon one year when we stayed in Bend for a few weeks. There was a hot air festival that we just got lucky to see. And I agree 100% about Bryce, it’s incredible

  6. I love this so much Tina. The way you organized our thoughts were spot on for finding success with trips, and photo shoots that might feel new. The photo of the elephant was awesome to think one could be so close, but I did indeed notice the camera prior to your thoughts, thinking too bad for that guy. It happens.

    I am with you with photographing people. And in fact, many of the native people still don’t like it, for spiritual reasons. I do ask if the moment seems right. The photos of the hidden faces in Vietnam and China are still quite powerful, aren’t they.

    Save your memories indeed. I had one daughter who insisted the scrap books were “my” memories. lol. Last week I pulled out some photo albums and guess who was glued to the memories. Yup…not me. Her and her kids. My heart is happy. And oh, how our husbands are cut from the same mold. My life is by far more adventurous because of that he in my we.

    And oh how I would have loved watching that little boy with the sunflowers. A special capture for sure.

    • Thanks so much Donna – yes I remembered when my mom passed I spent many an hour pouring through her photos trying to sort them in a way that made sense for me and my 4 brothers. There were so many that I didn’t recognize or couldn’t identify. Sad. I love that my husband enjoys the books every bit as much as I do! We’ve been so fortunate to have traveled so extensively before COVID put the brakes on!

      • Yes. Now is the time for memories. My mom in her most profound wisdom (following my dads stroke)shared something I will hold onto. I asked her if she missed the travel, the celebrations, and gatherings from the past.
        She said: “this is all a part of life. We did it when we could do it, and we remember those days fondly. Now it is your turn.

    • Thanks very much Frank – I loved that the first image stayed with you. It was such a fun find and he was SO focused he couldn’t have cared less about my photographing him.

  7. This is a post completely after my own heart! I totally agree with all your travel ‘lessons learned’. I too have treasured photos when I captured and unexpected moment, and also a lack of photos when I failed to do so. I’d add to your ‘camera on, lens cap off’ tip by suggesting you leave it on automatic settings when not in use. You can easily change those when you have the opportunity to do so but if the moment is fleeting you may not have the time to make manual adjustments 🙂 I also agree 100% with your comment that ‘people add personality’, of course. I love all your photos here, especially the bear (near watching in Alaska is still on my bucket list) and the opening one with the small boy in China.

    • Many thanks Sarah – must admit I thought of you as I was writing this as I know how widely traveled you are! Yes, the bears. incredible! You must do that. Glad you concurred w my suggestions and thanks for the addition.!

      • I forgot to say that I also use Blurb but I haven’t done any books for a while. You’ve prompted me to put a couple together from our most recent trips 🙂

  8. What a beautiful tribute to your Bailey… His influence and energy egging you on.. if it were not for him, we would all have been cheated of your glorious and memorable photographs and I might add, not seen beautiful parts of this world we were unable to travel. Thank you both.

  9. Great set of images and thoughts. The Three U.S. National Parks are some my favourites, Crater Lake, Redwoods and Bryce, i’ll never forget my visit to these amazing places.

  10. There’s no doubt that travel photography is where you truly excel. I loved your post and can only wish you discover more of the world we have all a lot to gain from your experiences. All photos are awesome but I’d pick the hot air balloon, if I had to: great colours, composition and eye to capture that moment.

    • Thanks so much Sofia – someone famous once said “If you want to take more interesting picture, put yourself in more interesting places.” Traveling surely does do that! As for the hot air balloon, that was one of the hardest shoots i’ve ever done. We were traveling and met one of our good friends who’d moved away. We had to arrive pre-dawn and because she knew the area she chose our spot (it was very crowded). She’s not a photographer and had chosen a spot shooting directly into the sun. Lesson learned – visit the area the day before and pick your own spot!!!

  11. Wow – that is pretty close to the elephants and liked the view of the Jeep
    – and a photo I went back to was the opening one with the basket boy and sunflower seeds

    • Thanks Yvette – yes it’s amazing how close one gets to the wild animals in Botswana. We actually did get frightened once when a massive bull elephant seemed to take offense to my husband and our traveling partner! It’s an incredible experience.

  12. Good for your husband and good for you for going along and to both of you for rolling with the punches that will always happen. That first shot is my clear favorite this week, both for its uniqueness and for the rapt expression on his face. At that age children can have such complete concentration.

    • Thanks Janet – yep, I give him tons of credit for leading the charge but I’m the punch corrector/fixer LOL. That little boy in the first image was so very precious and so focused on his “job” he never once looked up. A sweet little angel. Lucky for me 😊

  13. All your adventures are wonderfully documented, and how great to have been to all these places of wonder and met all those cultures! It is a treat every image and every post you share. Thank you for giving us opportunities to travel this way to places we will never see!

  14. Tina, great advice for all travel photographers! Beautiful images to go along with your advice. I’ve experienced some of the same mishaps, usually involving not having the right lens or someone walking right in front of me just as I’m ready to capture a shot! You have been to some amazing places and had amazing adventures!

  15. Incredible and so familiar. I can relate to life here in the Indo Pak Sub Continent. You capture life so amazingly Tina ji.

    • Sincere thanks AWD – must admit I hadn’t heard of your wart of the world referred to as the Indo Pak Subcontinent so I had to look it up. Learn something new today!

      • That is great, so now you know. Please also know that this area was a British Colony for many years. A hundred year war of Independence which began in 1857 finally ended in the creation of two Independent states Pakistan (of Muslim majority areas) and India or Hindustan – a larger part.This is known as The Great Divide which took the lives of millions of people. It is a tragic story. In this struggle my family had to migrate from our homeland Kashmir (taken by force by India) take refuge in Pakistan..which we later adopted as our home. The bullock cart that can be seen in your second image was the means used by many migrants to cross the borders to safety as the stronger walked besides for miles on end.

  16. So wonder to view your travel experience through your fabulous images. Thank you for sharing your memories of traveling around the world!

    • Well Amy, I’d venture a guess you’re one of few people who have been more places than we have! Glad you enjoyed these – hope the jogged some fond memories for you.

  17. Once again, Tina, you took me to places I will never see in person! Thank you! Especially love the Oscar Wilde quote: ““Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”

    • Many thanks Lindy – our adventures have FAR exceeded any expectations I had during the years I was working and confined to the limits of work vacations. Who knew what wonders the world held for us!

  18. I loved all of these and the positive thoughts that went with them. I am so glad we got lots of good traveling done before health and Covid got in the way. Your photos sometimes remind me of some good things we missed, but also reminds me of good places we got to see…like Cambodia. Thanks, Lee Anne

      • Yes Botswana was described to me before my visit as “the Jewel of Africa” which I thought appropriate after seeing some of the country myself.

  19. Tina, what wonderful new experiences you have had. Yes, they do qualify for this challenge as once being NEW. Thanks for sharing them with us. Looking back at our lives helps us remember many new experiences, especially travel to foreign countries.

  20. That little boy in the first image is a delight, Tina, and I love the quote that goes with it. My husband is currently drilling holes to enable friends to erect some shade on their balcony and sun terrace. I’m indulging in a spectator sport with a glass of wine to hand. Too many cooks… 🤣💗 And I sprained my wrist hurdling a croquet hoop on Tuesday so I’m not a great deal of help. My new experiences are of a less exciting variety than yours 😁💕

  21. I admire your husband’s resolve to go back and find his hearing aid. New experiences not only help us expand ourselves, they develop our relationships to a whole new level. You guys have shared a lot of adventures.

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