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Come Join Us! A NEW Weekly Photo Challenge

Do you miss sharing your creative ideas and photos each week in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge? We do. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us for the new LENS ARTISTS weekly photo challenge. Our goal is to continue our creative community on WordPress.

Each Saturday at noon EST we will publish a photo challenge similar in form to the now-defunct WPC. If you choose to participate, please make sure to tag your post with the name of our group LENS-ARTISTS so that all of the responses can be found together in the WP Reader. Please also include a link to the challenge moderator’s original post (links to the posts within the Reader will not work correctly). One of our 4 moderators will host the challenge each week.

Week 1 – Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/

Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/

Week 3 – Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/

Week 4 – Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

Be sure to subscribe to all 4 blogs to receive the weekly challenges. Patti will post the first challenge on Saturday, July 7.

To remind us of what we’re missing, here are two of my personal favorite photos from previous WPC challenges.

First, a capture of Kiawah’s amazing beach at low tide from April 25, 2018’s “LINES”. This image caught the attention of another Kiawah resident who ordered a framed 16×20 canvas for her home 😀.

LINES IN THE SAND

LINES IN THE SAND

And from further back in the archives, October 2016’s Challenge “LOCAL”, a capture of a local shrimpboat headed out at sunrise. This one I framed for myself and hung over my living room fireplace.

SHRIMPBOAT AT SUNRISE

SHRIMPBOAT AT SUNRISE

We hope you’ll join us as we continue to support the wonderful community of creative sharing we all greatly value. We look forward to seeing you next week.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #61 – Precious Pets

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France

dogs

WAITING FOR A WALK

For the past few weeks our challenge has addressed a number of photography skills – framing a shot, finding different perspectives and combining multiple elements in a single image. This week, let’s relax a bit and share something just for fun – our precious pets.

Bernese Mountain Dog, beach

BEACH BEAUTY

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

Orhan Pamuk

Here in the U.S. (as well as in China and India), the most common pet is a dog. Dogs are loyal companions – sharing our moods, our homes and most importantly, our love.  The capture above features Geneve, a gorgeous Bernese Mountain dog. Despite very hot, humid conditions, she was willing to spend an hour posing on Kiawah’s beach in her naturally thick coat because her beloved human and I asked it of her. What is that phrase “no greater love”?  Interestingly, a recent study by the Mayo Clinic confirmed a long-suspected fact that dog owners are more likely to have better heart health – perhaps that explains why the U.S. celebrated International Dog Day this past week.

black cat

PRETTY KITTY

“Once a cat loves you, it loves you till the end.”

Will Advise

On the other hand, in Switzerland, Austria and Turkey the most popular pet is a cat. In my experience (and prevailing opinion), most of us are dog OR cat people but not usually both . To me, cats have always seemed a bit more aloof, except to the (typically) ONE person with whom they choose to bond. They do not come when called, do not do tricks on demand, and only eat when they are darned good and ready – not before. I suppose that simply means they are the smarter of the two species – just sayin’ 😊.

alpaca

BAD HAIR DAY

“Our pets are our family.”

Ana Monnar

Dogs and cats may be the most obvious subjects for today’s challenge, but there are a number of other, less predictable choices. Exhibit A – the alpaca above. The beloved pet of a family in upstate New York, he (or she) loves to trot down to the front-yard fence to greet passers-by. One wonders whether the family invites her to sit by the fire on a cold winter’s evening as one might a dog or cat – or if there is a cozy alpaca bed available at a pet supply store near you!

two-tone horse

PAINTED PONY

“We could all learn a thing or two from our four legged friends.”

Howard Upton

Another less-than-obvious choice might be an equine companion. Just ask Anne Leueen at Horse addict about her faithful steed Biasini. Horse and rider often times know each other as well as can be imagined, working together in a dance of stunning coordination. Love and trust between them is a critical component of their performance.

HUMMINGBIRD AND FLOWER

COLORFUL COMBO

“Pets understand humans better than humans do.”

Ruchi Prabhu

Many people have birds as pets – both large and small. Although you may not think of a hummingbird as a pet in the traditional sense, having spent several days at my brother’s home in Colorado I now have a new appreciation for these small creatures. He and his wife keep their feeder well-supplied and out of reach of other wildlife. The hummingbirds are on a constant journey back and forth between their nests and the feeder, lining up patiently for their turn. Happily I was able to capture the little beauty above snacking on an iris in an area near his home before it headed out on its winter migration – which can include up to 2000 km (1200 miles) without a break.

asian woman with ox on a leash

ODD CHOICE

“Love is love, whether it goes on two legs or four.”

Gwen Cooper

You must admit that a woman holding an ox on a leash is not something you see every day. This scene greeted me one afternoon during a visit to a very remote area of China. Do you suppose if the ox decided to take off, the thin rope the woman is holding would serve its purpose? I’m guessing probably not. I’m also guessing this will be the only “ox as pet” photo we’ll see in this week’s challenge responses.

golden retriever, aging

HALLIE – YOUNG AT HEART

“Our pets are the kids who never leave home.”

Nick Trout

I’ve closed today’s post with an image of Hallie, a beautiful Retriever with a heart of gold. She sweetly led me through the colorful marshes as her mistress and I searched for (and found) stunning vistas and roseate spoonbills on nearby Seabrook Island. Her white muzzle may indicate advancing age, but in her heart she’s still a puppy. Isn’t that one of the many things we might learn from our pets – to be forever young at heart? That along with giving love unquestioningly and enjoying the simple things – a master class in living life to the fullest. 

Patti, Ann Christine, Amy and I look forward to seeing your take on pets, both expected and surprising, in your responses this week – extra credit for any images that make us smile or better yet, laugh out loud 😀. Be sure to link to this post (IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be sure to link to the original post, Links posted within the Reader are not working correctly) and to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. For instructions on how to join us, click here– and of course be sure to visit Patti’s Pilotfish blog next week for Challenge #62.

Last week you responded to Amy’s FRAMING challenge with some terrific examples.

Have you seen these?

Beth of Wandering Dawgs showed us how landscapes can be framed in multiple ways

Debbie Whittam showed us a creatively humorous framing of a sweet little pet

Abrie of Abrie dink hardop (Abrie thinking out loud) shows us how South Africans are framing their famous Table Mountain

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #41 – Delicious

“You are what you eat. What would YOU like to be?”

Julie Murphy

WALL ART, COLORFUL, EATING

FUN WITH FOOD

Like the painter who created the wall art above, I love a good farmers’ market. It’s among my favorite activities when I travel, and it’s also a great local resource for fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve chosen to respond to Patti’s Delicious challenge by sharing some of the foods I’ve enjoyed in recent visits to local markets.

Various spices in a Jerusalem farmers market

SPICES GALORE

“I don’t think I’ll ever grow old and say, “What was I thinking eating all those fruits and vegetables?”

Nancy S. Mure

The spices in the image above were on display in a Jerusalem farmers market. No matter what one decides to cook, some wonderful spices will make the dish even more delicious.

Various hummus flavors on display in farmers market

HUMMUS GALORE

“Anyway, what is ‘beauty’ apart from the combination of the letters of ‘buy’ and ‘eat’?”

Alain Bremond-Torrent

In Tel Aviv I learned that the one or two flavors of hummus we eat here in the states are quite boring compared to those of the Israelis. Just think, Chocoboom hummus – how could THAT be bad?!

POMEGRANATE display in a farmers market

PRETTY POMEGRANATES

“Hunger gives flavor to the food.”

Amit Kalantri

Even if (like me) one is not a fan of pomegranates, it’s hard not to appreciate their beauty. The display above was a very tempting one but I decided to pass. Something about this fruit makes it one of the few I don’t enjoy. I’m definitely in the “Look don’t eat” category on this one.

OLIVES DISPLAYED IN ISRAELI FARMERS MARKET

OLIVES ANYONE?

“Enjoy food like that’s the only thing left in your world.”

Nikita Dudani

Olives, on the other hand, are one of my favorite foods.  A good olive or two adds wonderful flavor to most any dish (except perhaps dessert 😊). I’m a big fan of Kalamata and couldn’t be happier that the oft-recommended Mediterranean Diet includes them along with olive oil as a staple.

SUNFLOWERS

SUNSHINE ON A STEM

“Some people just don’t have what it takes to appreciate a cookie.”

James Patterson

Sometimes market items are a feast for the eyes rather than the palate. I offer exhibit A – these beautiful sunflowers which our local farmers market provides in abundance during season.

SHAWARMA - REALLY???

SHAWARMA – REALLY???

“Never ask a baker what went into a pie. Just eat.”

George R.R. Martin

Let me just say I am normally a very healthy eater, although I will admit to a sweet tooth which makes it impossible to resist my husband’s chocolate chip cookies. While in Israel however, I was persuaded to try Shawarma, pictured above. It’s one of the most popular Middle Eastern street foods, normally cooked on a vertical spit and shaved while rotating. I believe the version we tried was a combination of lamb and beef although I’m not really sure. I can only tell you it was amazingly delicious – and that’s from one who very rarely eats meat. I’m happy we don’t often see it here in the U.S. as it would be very hard to resist on a regular basis!

Thanks to Patti for her delicious challenge. Now excuse me while I go fetch a snack – this post has made me hungry! Thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s Something Different challenge. We look forward to seeing your ideas about what you find delicious.  Be sure to tag your responses with the Lens-Artists tag to help us all find them.  If you’d like more information about our challenge and how to join us, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #67 CANDID

“How candid the camera that captures the best of you.”

Martin Fry

girl, ocean, colorful

PENSIVE

I must admit that Ann-Christine’s challenge threw me for a bit of a loop this week. I am not one who typically shoots people without permission – nor am I one for asking permission.  This of course leaves me without many candid photographs. I’ve opened with a favorite capture of my great-niece, taken during a family beach vacation this summer. I love the many colors in the shot, but more than that I love her expression as she intently surveys the scene. What do you suppose lies beyond the edge of the photo that has so captured her attention despite what I remember to be complete chaos behind her?

arab at rest in Petra

MOMENT’S RESPITE

“I think, therefore I am, therefore I am photographable.”

Kurt Vonnegut

Continuing in the vein of serious expressions, the capture above is from our recent visit to Petra in Jordan. The subject is a Jordanian guide, seen taking refuge from the heat of the mid-day Jordanian sun. Because he was very intent on his phone, I was able to capture a candid image without being an annoyance.

Tourist, Glacier National Park

MISSING THE POINT

“People come in and out of your life, and a picture fixes them in the moment they reach out to you.”

Zu Vincent

I couldn’t resist taking the image above, which really makes me laugh. Here was a visitor standing in front of one of the most magnificent vistas ever, and she is looking in the complete opposite direction. What could she possibly be looking at that would be more interesting than the scene in front of her?

farmer feeding goats

FEEDING TIME

“There is nothing like capturing the moment.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

The farmer above was much too busy with his herd of goats to worry about being the focus of my lens. I find one of the best ways to capture a candid moment is to shoot while your subject is intently occupied with something else 😊. Clearly I distracted neither the farmer nor the goats from the task at hand.

orang jacket, snowstorm

BRAVING THE STORM

“If indeed you must be candid, be candid beautifully.”

Kahil Gibran

Another way for a somewhat reticent photographer to capture a candid is to shoot from a distance. I loved the contrast of the subject’s bright orange jacket against the falling snow as he made his way through the storm. His distance from my lens allowed me to capture a shot without disturbing his moment of solitude.

Happily I’ve managed to find at least a few candids in response to Ann-Christine’s original post, and without digging into the archives! As always, she, Amy, Patti and I look forward to your joining us. Please remember to link your posts to her original here, and to tag them with the Lens-Artists tag.  We’ll hope to see you next week as well, as Amy provides us with challenge #68.

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place

“The place cast a spell on me, a lovely spell that seduced me one breath at a time.”

Brenda Sutton Rose

golden fields, green trees, dark sky

FIELDS OF GOLD

Last week Amy challenged us to share images of the countryside and/or a small town. This week we’re asking you to look a bit farther afield. Each of us at some point has visited a place that holds special memories. It may have been a small town, a big city, or even better, an entire country.  We’d like you to capture the spirit of a place that is vivid in your memory. What was it that drew you in and why did it capture YOUR heart?

small scottish town, rough sea

AFTER THE STORM

“There are places which exist in this world beyond the reach of imagination.”

Daniel J. Rick

My husband and I have been fortunate to experience some truly iconic places, most of which have appeared here on Travels and Trifles over the years. Among many others, we’ve been amazed by our safaris in Africa (always number one), Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, China’s Great Wall, the US National Parks, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and most recently, Old City Jerusalem. This week I’ve chosen to feature our visit to the small but enchanting country of Scotland.

LIGHTHOUSE, SCOTLAND

SHINE A LIGHT

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

Seneca

Scotland is made up of some 30,000 square miles (79,000km) and has a population of just over 5 million. (By comparison New York City measures about 300 square miles and its population is over 8 million.)  It includes 790 islands, 130 of them occupied, and is home to over 300 castles. Perhaps Scotland can best be understood by a single fact – their national animal is a unicorn 🙂 gotta love that!

Scotland vista

LOVELY LOCH

home on Scottish loch

HEAVENLY VIEW

“This place is special to me and I just wanted to share it with you.”

Anthony T. Hincks

I remember many things about Scotland, including the food (loved Cullen Skink, couldn’t make myself try haggis), the roads (1200 miles on narrow, winding, often one-way roads with a manual shift), the golf (my second-ever eagle), the people (warm, friendly and helpful), the castles, and of course the glorious vistas. Most memorable for me though was the incredible, ever-changing, other-worldly light. You cannot capture it with a lens, nor can you describe it in words. It was simply the most beautiful I’ve ever seen with an ethereal quality all its own.

GATEWAY TO THE SEA

Bridge over water between farmlands in Scotland

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE

Let your heart hear the music – be moved by images, people and places… for that makes you more alive.”

Val Uchendu

In Scotland, if you don’t like the weather just wait a moment. Bright sun, dense fog, hard rain, dramatic storms – oftentimes within the space of an hour or two. The elements made for spectacular skies and yes, amazing light. 

CASTLE BY THE SEA, Scotland

CASTLE BY THE SEA

“There are some places that simply demand that a story be told of them.”

Mark Valentine

I couldn’t close without featuring some of the unique creatures dotting the Scottish landscapes. They were completely unfamiliar to me and having seen them I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Scotland really DOES have unicorns!

SCOTTISH HIGHLAND COW

THE BETTER TO (NOT)SEE YOU WITH

two-colored sheep

POLKA-DOTTED

SCOTTISH SHEEP

SHEAR-LY YOU JEST

“Visualize a place that you really love, be there, see the details. Now write about it.”

Natalie Goldberg

Hopefully you’ve hung in there with me up to this point and are thinking about some wonderful memories of your own. As always Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy and I are hoping you’ll join us this week to share your own special places. Remember to tag your response Lens-Artists and to link it to my original post, rather than the reader version, to make sure we can all find you. 

Last week Amy asked us to share some thoughts and images from the countryside and/or small town life. We hope you enjoyed the responses as much as we did. The feelings of fresh air along with peace and quiet came through loud and clear! 

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

Pam at I Choose This gave us a tour of the countrysides in some far corners of the world

Svetlana of Svetlana’s Photography visits the unique countryside lives of the Amish

Henry of Fotoeins Fotografie shares his images of life in the small towns of Austria

 

New to Lens-Artists? Click here to learn how to join us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #64 – Out in the Country

“The country is lyric, the town dramatic. Together they make the most perfect musical drama.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

RED BARN, PAINTED PONY

RED BARN, PAINTED PONY

It has been said that there is nothing quite like a day in the country to restore one’s spirit. The smell of fresh mown hay, the wide open views, the freshness of bright green grasses as spring begins or the brilliant colors of autumn  – all combine to ease the stress of daily life in the city. 

RED BARN, HAY BALE

RED BARN, HAY BALE

“The country soothes us, refreshes us, lifts us up with religious suggestion.”

Edwin Hubbel Chapin

My husband and I are fortunate to have family with a home in the country outside of New York City – talk about a dichotomy! For them it is a welcome respite from the frenzied challenges of city life. For us it is an interesting departure from our quiet life at the beach. There is a unique beauty to country life – around every curve or corner one might see fresh bales of hay shining in the sunlight, or a quintessentially red barn – probably in need of repair, or the gentle curve of a country road through rolling hills.

Rolling hills, hay bales

HAY THERE

“If country life be healthful to the body, it is no less so to the mind.”

Giovanni Ruffini

This week Amy has challenged us to portray the slow pace of life in the country or a small town. Somehow the two seem inexorably tied – as one typically leads to the other. My choices this week are all over the map, literally. I’ve included images from Colorado, New York, Michigan, Kentucky, Montana and Washington State. Can you guess where each of today’s images was taken? (Not to worry, I’ll include the answers at the end of the post.)

fir trees, canola field

ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE

“I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”

Albert Einstein

Throughout our many travel adventures, I’ve enjoyed the fun and excitement of some of the world’s largest cities. But I find myself feeling more at home in the small towns and villages that surround them. Perhaps it’s my imagination but it seems the people are friendlier, the air fresher and the natural scenery more beautiful than the often stunning creations of man.

Palouse farmhouse

THROUGH AMBER WAVES

“When life becomes too fast, I find relief at last – Out in the country”

Three Dog Night

As I put this post together I realized how much I enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. As a photographer, the way the light plays on the open fields, or catches the gentle curve of a horse’s back are more interesting to me than the bright lights of the big city – no matter how majestic.

2 white horses

GRACEFUL GRAZING

“The country life is to be preferred, for there we see the works of God.”

William Penn

One of my fascinations with country life is the gentle nature of the creatures grazing thereabouts. We often come across farm animals like horses, sheep, pigs and cows as well as wild animals like deer and turkeys. It seems only fair that we should share nature’s bounty considering, presumably, they were there first 😊.

horses in corral

CURVES AND ANGLES

“Country things are the necessary root of our life.”

Esther Meynell

No  discussion of country living would be complete without an image of a wintry scene on a country lane. While I”m the first to admit winter and snow are not high on my list of favorite things, an occasional short brush with the snowy cold can be fun as well as photogenic. I’m thinking the image below may be the easiest for those of you trying to identify locations 😊.

snow-covered country lane

SOMETIMES IN WINTER

“The sun shines brighter in the country, making people more wholesome.”  

Lori Lansens

For me, life on the beach is a blessing I never take for granted. Having friends and family in small towns and in the country only adds to our appreciation of life in the “slow lane”.

Thanks to Amy for giving us a fun opportunity to explore the countryside – we look forward to seeing your views on this one! Remember to tag your post Lens-Artists, and to link them back to Amy’s original post. As always, we greatly appreciate your support and hope you’ll join us next week here on Travels and Trifles for Challenge #65.

 

  1. Ghent, NY
  2. Ghent, NY
  3. Traverse City, Michigan
  4. Whitefish, Montana
  5. The Palouse, Washington State
  6. Ghent, NY
  7. Lexington, KY
  8. Evergreen, Colo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #63 – Magical Mother Nature

“When Mother Nature speaks, even the Gods hold silence.”

Abhijit Naskar

KIAWAH'S BEACH BEFORE DORIAN

KIAWAH’S BEACH – BEFORE DORIAN

As most of you know, last week the coastline of the eastern US, including SC and our beloved Kiawah Island, had a very close call with Hurricane Dorian.  My husband and I chose not to evacuate, having experienced several previous storms predicted to be of similar magnitude without issue. The day before the storm was due, I set out with my Fuji for some “before” images. My opening capture was made that day, as were the bird photos below. The beach image includes our highly vulnerable dunes, which had been battered by king tides all week.

Circle, tree, birds

CIRCLE OF LIFE

“No one broods like Mother Nature”

Richelle E. Goodrich

It’s always interesting to me to watch the birds gather when storms approach. I loved the way they were perched around the circular configuration of branches above, almost like a circus trick. There seemed to be no discrimination among different species, with egrets, wood storks, ospreys, gulls and herons mixing freely.

wood storks with spread wings

BALANCING ACT

“Storms are nature’s way of evening out the odds.”

Anthony T. Hincks

I had some terrific opportunities to capture our avian friends, and will surely find ways to include some of my results in future posts. I’ve chosen only two for today, as there are other elements of this past week I wanted to share.

WEST BEACH , kiawah, Dorian storm damage

WEST BEACH, KIAWAH ISLAND

“Always respect Mother Nature.”

James Rollins

Dorian hit our coast late in the day and unleashed her wrath throughout the night and into the following afternoon. It was well beyond anything we expected or had experienced in the past. The night was so dark you literally couldn’t tell if your eyes were open or closed.  When lightening lit the sky you could see the trees blowing so furiously it was hard to understand why they weren’t simply flying out of their roots into the maelstrom.  The roar of the winds made perfectly clear what was happening during those moments when the darkness was at its deepest. 

Hurricane Dorian tree damage

HARD STOP

“Such was the hidden power of nature.”

Kenneth Eade

Once the storm quieted late the following day, I was able to walk a few blocks although the roads were still impassable with fallen trees and mountains of debris. Of the two images above, the first is at the corner of my street where it meets the main road onto the island. The second was about a half mile further onto the island, and was as far as I ventured that first day. Despite the close call, we were fortunate that none of the many trees surrounding our home were uprooted.

tree damage, Hurricane Dorian

DOWN FOR THE COUNT

“Mother nature is intentional….She will roar when she needs us to take a second look.”

Peta Kelly

On the second day my husband and I took a short ride around the island. There were quite a few huge trees that had been felled like matchsticks. The image above shows one of several that toppled across the entry to one of our golf courses. We were surprised that with so many trees down there was very little serious damage. Road crews were everywhere as were electrical repair teams. The island was without power for 3 days, some homes for a bit longer. Although we had a generator for necessities we very much missed creature comforts like hot water and our oven, and luxuries like television and a dishwasher. We used our gas stove to make coffee and boil water for dishwashing, and enjoyed several good books. Our generator kept our wireless alive, so we were able to follow storm updates on live-streaming local news. Through it all we realized how fortunate we were compared to the disaster in the Bahamas. 

KIAWAH beach

RETURN OF SUNNY SKIES

“If we’re good to Mother Nature, she will be good to us.”

Viola Shipman

After our ride, I walked up to see the impact of the storm tides on our beautiful beach. Thankfully there was little if any erosion due to the direction and timing of the winds at the hurricane’s peak. The day was one of Mother Nature’s finest, with bright sunshine, low humidity and a gentle breeze.  The shore birds had returned in abundance and were feasting on the many delectable items the storm had churned up. The tide was farther out than I’d ever seen it; the beach was virtually deserted since evacuees and visitors were not allowed on the island until the roads were clear.

Beach, starfish, seashells

STARS AND SHELLS

“No one weaves the exquisite quite like Mother Nature.”

Foster Kinn

The beach was covered with starfish and seashells which had been delivered by the unusually violent storm surf. Although one might think I’d arranged the items in the image above, I simply shot the configuration exactly as Mother Nature created it. If there was one such combination, there were literally hundreds. It’s no wonder the birds were so plentiful.

Starfish in sand

STAR OF THE SHOW

“Mother Nature is always one step ahead when it comes to beauty. She’s quite the artist.”

Giovanna Fletcher

Sincere thanks to Ann-Christine for the opportunity to illustrate Mother Nature’s magical ability to create, destroy and create anew. Her storms make room for new life and help us to appreciate the beauty of all that we are putting at risk. She reminds us of her power lest we forget or take undue advantage of all she has given us. I will not preach about humankind’s disregard for her gifts except to say this: take heed – during times such as the week just passed it becomes ever more apparent that zero hour is fast approaching.

Ann-Christine, Patti and I look forward to seeing what is magical in your world. Be sure to use the Lens-Artists tag, and to link your post back to Ann-Christine’s original.  Wishing everyone a wonderful week; be sure to join us next week when Amy posts Challenge #64 on her Share and Connect site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #60 – Framing the Shot

” A photographer needs rectangular eyeballs and horse blinders to frame and focus the vision of what is seen.”

Roy Stryker

MOUNTAINS, HILLS, FLOWERS, RED AND ORANGE, COLORADO, ARROWHEAD

NATURE’S BOUNTY, LITTLETON, COLORADO

In this week’s challenge, Amy asks us to illustrate the concept of “framing the shot“. I believe Mr. Stryker hit the nail on the head with his quote above. A photographer views a scene in 3D and decides which pieces of it will best illustrate his or her vision when translated into a two-dimensional image. My choice in the opening scene was to use the colorful flowers to draw the viewer into the dramatic rocks of Littleton, Colorado.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, CLOUDS, MOUNTAINS, MONTANA

ABOVE THE CLOUDS, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

“A still photograph is simply an isolated frame taken out of the infinite cinema.”

Hollis Frampton

For the last two weeks my husband and I were traveling in the Western US, leaving behind Kiawah’s summer heat and humidity. We thoroughly enjoyed the cool, dry temps of Montana and Colorado as well as the company of good friends and family. During our visit we spent a day sightseeing and photographing the glorious mountain scenery of Glacier National Park, shown above and below. Traveling up through the thick fog, we worried that the day might be a total loss – only to find ourselves completely enchanted by the gorgeous views as we rose above the clouds on the Going To The Sun Road.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA, CLOUDS, FLOWERS, MOUNTAINS

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

“Deciding on a composition when framing a scene is an exercise in subtraction.”

Pete Bridgwood

The vistas are so incredibly vast throughout the park, it’s up to the photographer to narrow his or her focus when composing an image.  The interplay of shadows and light, the colorful flowers versus the severe grey of granite, and the puffy, light texture of the clouds all worked together to frame the scene above just as I’d envisioned it.

GLACIER, FIR TREES, MOUNTAINS, MONTANA, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

NATURE’S FINEST, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

“One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on.  It’s on all the time.”

Annie Liebovitz

Amy mentions foliage as one of the ways photographers frame their images. The capture above is framed not only by the beautiful fir trees but also by the intersecting lines of the mountains which highlight the glacier that anchors the shot. According to Wikipedia, there were 150 glaciers in the park circa 1850. Today only 25 remain. We know that the internet can sometimes deliver inaccurate information but sadly scientists have confirmed the disappearance of glaciers worldwide. We can only hope that our belated efforts to address global warming will impact the speed with which they are melting away.

SUNSET, WHITEFISH LAKE, MONTANA, BOATS, ROCKS

FIRE IN THE SKY, WHITEFISH LAKE, MONTANA

“The magic possibility of framing a certain space and time is what brought me to photography.”

Pablo Ortiz Monasterio

Our time in the west included more than mountain scenery, as shown in the image above. We enjoyed amazing sunsets as well as the many lakes and streams created by nature’s whims throughout the area. Our best efforts to spend some time boating on the lakes was thwarted by the threat of incoming storms several times, but the storms only enhanced the scenery as we sat lakeside enjoying delicious libations and interesting conversations with good friends.

BIRD, plants, flowers, balance

BIRD IN BALANCE, LITTLETON, COLORADO

“You have to decide what to keep in the frame and what to leave out.”

Richie Norton

Finally, a photographer can choose to frame a grand vista, or perhaps focus on something much less imposing but equally beautiful. I was drawn to the little yellow bird above because of the way it was perched on the color-coordinated sunflowers. To me it was irrelevant that the small scene was actually part of a much larger landscape.

One my favorite aspects of photography is the ability to choose the context that best suits one’s intention. My sincere thanks to Amy for giving us a challenge that draws attention to the importance of that concept. As always, we look forward to seeing your responses, and greatly appreciate your continued support. Remember to use the Len-Artists tag to help us find you. Stay tuned next week as we bring you challenge #61 here on Travels and Trifles.  

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Lens-Artists Challenge #57 – Taking A Break

“The wise rest at least as hard as they work.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

2 hikers viewing a river

ON THE ROCKS

Here in the U.S. we are in the heart of summer, which for many of us means it’s time to take a break and relax. Children are out of school and many families are in the midst of their hard-earned vacations, or at least a relaxing stay-cation. So let’s follow their lead and respond to this week’s challenge by showing how we and/or others “Take A Break”.

KIAWAH BEACH WALKER

KIAWAH BEACH WALKER

“To be at rest is to be at peace.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

For many of us, summer vacation means a visit to the beach – beautifully illustrated last week by your responses to our seascapes/lakeshores challenge. Although that can sometimes mean fighting crowds, on Kiawah’s 10-mile beach (above) there is ample opportunity for a quiet moment of contemplation whatever the season.

couple on a bench at the ocean

BENCHED

“The first step towards true enlightenment is to lighten up on yourself.”

Bashar

There are so many ways to relax – obviously the beach is one of them. However, not every beach moment requires a chair and an umbrella 😊. In the image above, a young couple enjoys an impromptu picnic while watching the waves along the rocky Oregon coast.

Adiirondak chairs at lagoon

HAVE A SEAT

“Stop…unplug…escape…enjoy.”

Fennel Hudson

Living in a beach community doesn’t necessarily mean spending all of one’s time by the sea. The scene above is actually part of our backyard. My husband and I often relax on our back deck and watch the birds working to capture their next meal.

3-masted schooner at sea

UNDER SAIL

“Rest and repose are as much a part of life’s journeys as seeing all we came to see.”

Gina Greenlee

Nearby Charleston, SC has become a very popular vacation destination thanks to its many travel awards. In the image above, a three-masted schooner carries a number of tourists on their journey to visit Fort Sumter National Park, home of the first battle of the American Civil War. The fort is pictured off to the left of the boat.

CENTRAL PARK BOATING

CENTRAL PARK BREAK

“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.”

Patti Digh

City dwellers also find creative ways to take a break. Boating on one of New York City’s Central Park waterways is a great way to relax during summer in the city. Most large cities have wonderful parks, perfect for enjoying a picnic, a swim, a bike ride or a simple walk in the woods.

Artist painting trees

ARTISTIC ENDEAVOR

“In the lap of nature we always feel relaxed.”

Uruj Shahid

Not a fan of athletically-oriented activities? How about picking up a paintbrush (or a camera 🙂!) and relaxing by capturing nature’s beauty? Don’t paint? How about listening to music or reading a good book? Meditation and yoga are both suggested as ways to slow down your heartbeat and improve your well-being. Any or all of those things can feed the soul and renew the spirit.

How many ways can you think of for getting away from the daily grind and finding peace? Show us your views on “taking a break” – Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy and I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Be sure to link your post here, and to TAG it Lens-Artists to appear in our WP Reader section.

Last week we asked you to share some of your favorite seascapes and lakeshores – see Amy’s original post here . Of course you responded with some wonderfully varied and beautiful scenery. 

Have you seen these?

In her post here, Nurul shares an image of the lighthouse in Kadikoy, Turkey 

Gracy shared images of Italy’s seascapes in her first Lens-Artists response here – welcome Gracy!

Viveka shares some of her many voyages around the world in her post here.

Alexandria of Simply Sage shares her love of the sea here.

 

Be sure to join us next week for Challenge #58 on Patti’s Pilotfish blog . If you’re new to Lens-Artists and would like to join us, click here for everything you need to know 😊.

Lens-Artists Challenge #55 – DREAMY

“When dreams come true creativity becomes art.”

Martin Schuster

abstract branch photo

BRANCHING OUT

This week Ann-Christine has challenged us to portray things “dreamy”. As one who occasionally enjoys turning photographs into more abstract art, I’ve edited this week’s images using tools from Adobe’s Photoshop and Topaz Impressions. To me, the more impressionist versions create rather a dreamy portrayal of the original captures. I’ve opened with a simple cluster of branches made softer in their impressionist form.

abstract woodstock on branch

OUT ON A LIMB

“In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.”

Janos Arnay

Above we see an endangered woodstork surveying the landscape as puffy clouds fill the sky. I remember exactly the moment I captured the scene, which was later used as the cover shot for a local magazine. It is fairly rare to find a lone woodstork, as these birds are typically found in communal groups. One of the things I find most interesting about them is that they are incredibly beautiful and graceful in flight as they soar silently overhead. Unfortunately, up close they are somewhat less attractive – except perhaps to another stork 😊.

egrets surrounding sweetgrass

LIGHT ON THE GRASSES

“Always dream high.”

Md. Mujib Ullah

I’ve used an unedited version of the image above in a previous post, but thought it would also make an interesting dream-like scene. Here the birds are merely a suggestion of themselves, as is the colorful pink sweetgrass. It was a moment that followed a hard rain and the birds were taking full advantage of the creatures on which they feed. Coincidentally, I was also taking full advantage – of their focus on things other than yours truly 😊.

DREAMY SUNSET

DREAMY SUNSET

“Some people dream of success, others stay awake to achieve it.”

Ziad K. Abdelnour

This week’s final image is an edited moment just after sunset on the marsh here on Kiawah. We are blessed with some amazing colors throughout the year because of the seasonal nature of the marsh. My favorite season is spring, when the grasses are a bright shade of verdant green. During the summer months the green remains but is a softer, more subdued version of itself. In the autumn the marsh begins to turn a warm, golden color with borders of beautiful pink sweetgrass. Finally, during the winter we have a more subtle beige as grasses die out and new reeds begin to push out the old. Sunsets and sunrises offer deep, rich hues as they reflect upon the waters, colored by the grasses. Mother Nature’s palette offers variety which, try as we might, few artists can match.

We hope you’ll join us for Ann-Christine’s dreamy challenge – we look forward to seeing your responses. Remember to tag them Lens-Artists, and be sure to check with us next week when Amy offers our next opportunity. Until then, wishing everyone a wonderful week. I’ll be visiting with family this week – my apologies in advance if it takes a bit longer for me to respond to your comments. 

 

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