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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.

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 #77 – Favorite Images of 2019

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.

Imogen Cunningham

light, lily

LOVELY LIGHT

The great Ansel Adams once said 12 significant photographs in any one year is a good crop“.  So in response to Patti’s Challenge, I’ve chosen 12 favorites from among this year’s  thousands. Each is special to me for a different reason, which I’ve included in my comments below.

To approach the task, I divided my 2019 archives into several categories.  I opened with a favorite of my Flower Images, chosen because of the way the exquisite light gives the lily a transparent purity against the dark background.

Glacier National Park, mountains, clouds, flowers

ABOVE THE CLOUDS, GLACIER

“My favorite photographs speak eloquently, both about and to us.”

Matei Glass

For my second category, Travel Photography, I first chose a capture of the incredible natural phenomenon we experienced in Glacier National Park. Climbing the Going To The Sun Road, we were totally fogged in and worried we’d see nothing of the park’s grandeur. As we rose above the deep mist we had a true AHA moment. The fluffy white clouds spanned the valley to reach the towering mountains on the other side. The purple lupines completed the palette of nature’s perfect painting.

DESERT SUPERBLOOM

DESERT SUPERBLOOM

“A good image can be created, executed, captured, and recorded but it is well before imagined by a mind.”

Lakshman Iyer

My second Travel image features the 2020 super bloom, which had to be seen to be believed. It’s not something one can plan for, never knowing when or if it will occur. I was fortunate to be visiting family in Arizona during the desert super bloom.  It is a memory I hope to have with me forever.

impressionist, fleld worker

IMPRESSIONS OF THE DAY

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.”

Peter Adams

I sometimes enjoy creatively post-processing my images, so I’ve featured two captures from among my Artistic Impressions. I love the feeling of movement in the scene above, which highlights the bright green of Kiawah’s springtime marsh under beautiful blue skies, as a field worker focuses on his task.

Both Portraiture and Monochrome are featured in the post-processed image below. The color’s removal and a touch of grain to me give the image a more nostalgic feel. The little girl is my niece’s daughter – I like that the portrait captures the more serious side of her personality.

Child, beach

DEEP IN THOUGHT

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”

Edward Steichen

Next up, my favorite 2019 Kiawah Creature Images – beginning with our magnificent birds. I’ve chosen the Night Heron from among hundreds of 2019 birds. This particular species is quite elusive, often hiding in deep foliage beside one of our lagoons. They are usually partially hidden and are rarely seen with wings outstretched. The image captures the bird’s beautiful wings and coloring, as well as the intensity of its bright red eye. It is one of my favorite photography moments, simply because it is so rare.

NIGHT HERON ON THE WING

NIGHT HERON ON THE WING

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”

Ansel Adams

Here on Kiawah, we co-exist peacefully with our deer population – they provide a lovely reminder of the nature that surrounds us. I like the way this image captures the doe within her typical environment;  the catchlight in her eye is an added bonus.  

deer, foliage

SHARING NATURE

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

I simply cannot omit alligators from a Kiawah Creatures category. In this image, I love the gator’s lazy, smiling face and its apparent indifference to the turtles below. I suspect the turtles’ shells offer little protection from the gator’s powerful jaws but perhaps he’ll seek an easier target should he awaken hungry from his nap.

alligator, turtles

PEACEFUL COHABITATION

“I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs.”

Wayne Miller

Finally, I’ve included some favorite Kiawah Landscapes – a true challenge since our island is so blessed with natural beauty. I love the soft light peeking through the clouds during a rainstorm in the image that follows. Its ethereal beauty speaks to me of Mother Nature’s many moods.

Kiawah landscape, fog

PEEKING THROUGH

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”

Marc Riboud

Amazing skies are a frequent occurrence on Kiawah. While the scene below seems dramatic in and of itself, for me the presence of the fisherman adds an extra touch of interest.

fisherman, clouds

UNDER SCARY SKIES

“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.”

Alfred Eisenstaedt

Hurricanes can wreak havoc on a barrier island. This image was captured the day before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian. It left us with many downed trees and no power, but spared us from major damage. I was happy to capture the beachgoers enjoying the churning sea under the gathering clouds of the approaching storm.

Clouds, beach, Kiawah Island, swimmers

CALM BEFORE THE STORM

“I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed.”

Annie Leibovitz

I agree whole-heartedly with the quote following my final image below. For me at least, it’s the things I’ve photographed that I most remember. The beauty of an autumn sunset on Kiawah’s beach, for example, will be with me for a lifetime.  Hopefully, on this one my choice speaks for itself.

Kiawah, beach, sunset

BEACH SUNSET

“What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

So there you have it, my favorite images of 2019. Sincere thanks to those who stayed with me for my longer-than-usual post 🙂. I’d love to hear your thoughts on which image(s) you prefer and why.

Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy and I look forward to seeing which of YOUR images you count as personal favorites. Be sure to include the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you, and to link to Patti’s original challenge here. We hope you’ll join us next week when Ann-Christine posts Challenge #78. If you’re new to Lens-Artists, click here for information on how to join us.

As always, our team sincerely thanks you for your participation and  support of our challenges throughout the year. Happy 2020 everyone – wishing you a New Year filled with love, friendship, peace, fun and photography. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #75 – Nostalgic

“To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.”

Margaret Fairless Barber

TWO RED BARNS

TWO RED BARNS

Last week Patti asked us to respond to her  “uniquely modern” abstract challenge. Shortly after I responded, I visited a new community nearby (featured later in this post), which moved me in the complete opposite direction to the idea of days gone by. So this week, let’s  look back a bit with a touch of nostalgia.  

BALES

BALES

“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

Doug Larsen

For me, one of the things most evocative of the past is the concept of a family farm. Unfortunately, my nostalgic view is probably quite different from reality. While I love things like hay bales along peaceful rolling hills or classic red barns, I have no firsthand experience with the difficulties of truly managing a farm. Up before the sun, totally dependent on the elements, managing livestock – I cannot begin to imagine the effort involved.

GOATS, COWS

LAZY LIVESTOCK

“It’s never safe to be nostalgic about something until you’re absolutely certain there’s no chance of its coming back.”

Bill Vaughn

In the new community mentioned earlier and shown above, they’ve taken a unique approach.  As one first drives in there is a relatively small farm located at the beginning of the property. There they grow simple crops and house livestock like goats and adorable Belted Galloway cows (often called oreos). The crops and goat cheese will be sold through a gourmet store also located on the property. A community farm seems a logical choice for a return to the “good old days” but with an approach that distributes the workload a bit.

SPOONBILLS, LOG, WATER

FLOATING SPOONBILLS

“Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.”

Franklin Pierce Adams

Just around a bend in the road the community fronts the Kiawah River where we came upon a floating log shared by several beautiful spoonbills and an egret. The peace and quiet of the moment brought to mind bygone days when such scenes might have been a bit more prevalent. 

Patti, Amy, Ann-Christine and I look forward to seeing the nostalgic moments that are most special to you. Past holidays, times with family and friends, travel moments, or just something that reminds you  fondly of days gone by – it’s your call. Give us a small peek into the things you’re nostalgic about. Be sure to link to my original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag.

 

Many thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s Abstract challenge. We enjoyed the diversity of your responses and especially appreciate those in the U.S. who joined us during a holiday week. 

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

Yvette of Priorhouse Blog gave us a very interesting psychological explanation of the appeal of abstract art

Sue Judd of WordsVisual showed us a number of techniques for creating abstract images

Gina of Photography in Pearls shared some abstract images of holiday lights from South Carolina’s Brookgreen Gardens  

Finally, we welcome first-time responders Jussi Laasonen of Avaruussuo and Vero of Uprooted Wanderers

 

PLEASE NOTE we will not be publishing our challenge the week of December 21 to 27, but we hope you’ll join us next week as Amy posts Challenge #76. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #73 – COLD

Come, little leaves, put on your dresses of red and gold; for Summer is past, and the days grow cold.”

George Cooper

Snow, sweetgrass, winter

WINTER WONDERLAND

Last week I posted some images of our beautiful, pink/purple sweetgrass in response to Amy’s “Waiting” challenge. By contrast, my opening image above shows what happens to sweetgrass when we experience a rare coating of winter snow.

Kiawah, snow, palmetto

BRRRR

“If you think my winter is too cold, You don’t deserve my spring.”

Erin Hanson

Having lived in the south for 20 years now, my husband and I have seen snow here exactly twice. As such, I hesitate to complain when our friends and family in the north suffer much more difficult winters. But last week’s extremely abrupt turn to cold, windy rain prompted me to consider the coming season, which led me to this week’s challenge: COLD.

ice covered plant

ENCAPSULATED

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

John Steinbeck

In my younger days I enjoyed snow skiing. Back then we had the right clothing for winter temps and enjoyed the rush of adrenaline as our workout on the slopes warmed and exhilarated us. The inevitable return to the lodge, typically with a raging fire and a hot cup of cocoa, was the perfect reward. Let’s just say my days of enjoying the cold are behind me forever 😀. Happily, here on Kiawah we are back in the 60s with lots of warming sunshine – at least for now.

Downed branch in snow

DOWN FOR THE COUNT

“Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories.”

Anne Bradstreet

Despite my feelings about the cold, on each of the two occasions when snow and ice arrived on Kiawah, my husband and I bundled up in whatever warm clothes we could find and headed out to explore the beautiful scenery. I will admit that if I didn’t love photography, chances are I would have passed on the scenic opportunities and stayed cozy and warm at home.

icicles on beach sign, Kiawah Island

THIS WAY TO THE BEACH

“If the world is cold, make it your business to build fires.”

Horace Traubel

I have fond memories of both of our winter storms. In one favorite moment we were watching golf on NBC. Incredibly, there on the screen popped one of my photographs! It was my husband holding the flag on one of our golf greens. The commentator was illustrating the rarity of “snow on Kiawah’s Ocean Course”.  I had posted the image on Facebook for a friend who was out of town. Unfortunately, in my excitement I’d neglected to add my copyright. That’s the last time THAT will happen.

Snow, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island

ALMOST FAMOUS

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”

Anonymous

The infamous photograph is included above. You’ll notice it now has a copyright 🙂.  We tried in vain to get the network to send us a video of the moment but alas, never got one.

snow, Kiawah, Beach

SNOW MAGIC

“Often times we call a man cold, when he is only sad.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For those who may be wondering, I’ve mixed the images throughout my post to show both of our wintery events. My final image above shows Kiawah’s beautiful beach covered in icy snow. Happily it doesn’t happen often but when it does it is truly magical. 

 

Many thanks to those of you who responded to Amy’s “waiting” challenge.  We enjoyed your creativity and as always Amy, Patti, Ann-Christine and I greatly appreciate your support of our challenge.

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

Lens-Artists welcomes Wendy of My Plaid Heart, who joins us with a fun post about waiting for whisky (with no e 😃)

Hard to believe it’s “that time again” but Celia of  WordWacker shares her thoughts on waiting for Santa

John of Journeys with Johnbo shares a wait for the perfect moment at Utah’s beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park

 

We look forward to seeing your interpretation of “cold”. It could be snow and ice, or a frosty window pane, or even your favorite flavor of ice cream! Please remember to link your response to my original post as the reader links are not working correctly, and to add the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.

Finally, for those who celebrate, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by those you hold most dear.

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #69 – Seeing Double

“There are two who are never satisfied – the lover of the world and the lover of knowledge.”

Rumi Jalalud-Din

Double trouble, double-time, two’s company, take two ….  the world is filled with references to twosomes. This week, let’s double our pleasure and focus on things that come in twos.

TWO SHRIMPBOATS AT DAWN

TWO SHRIMPBOATS, A NEW DAY

In the image above, two shrimp boats head out to sea as the morning sun lights their nets. Birds soar overhead hoping to cash in on whatever is cast aside. Both the shrimpers and the birds have a hard day ahead but the rewards of a good catch and the feeling of a job well done will help to make up for the early start and long hours.

couple, beach, ocean, stroll

SUNSET STROLL

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Epictetus

Above, a couple takes a leisurely stroll along Kiawah’s beach at sunset – over their shoulders the moon continues its rise. There aren’t many things more beautiful than an early fall evening as daylight fades, evening begins and a friend or loved one is at your side.

two calves, flowers

SEEING DOUBLE

“As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Audrey Hepburn

I spotted the sweet little calves above while hiking with friends in the mountains of North Carolina. I was drawn to them not only because they were adorable, but also because of the beautiful field of yellow flowers in which they were playing. They seemed just as interested in me as I was in them 😊.

2 CAMELS

TWO HUMPS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

“We all have two lives. The second starts when we realize we only have one.”

Tom Hiddleston

A bit farther from home, I was fascinated by the exotic (at least to me) camels we saw during our recent visit to Jordan. How nice that they were dressed so colorfully for inclusion in my post 😊.

“Every blessing, just like a coin, has two sides.”

Sunday Adelaja

Birds are among my favorite subjects back home in the lowcountry  No matter the species, they are truly beautiful creatures. Their abilities, including soaring above the earth with seeming joy, or snaring fish from the murkiest of waters, are amazing. The juvenile herons above show no sign yet of the gorgeous blue-grey specimens they will one day become.

two juvenile alligators

BROTHER GATORS

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein

Finally, I’ve shared a favorite from among my many alligator images. The two juveniles shown above were hanging out as they watched the golfers passing by. Until they reach about 6 feet in size, alligators will share territory. After that they become aggressive toward any other gator venturing into their space – brother, mother or other, it makes no difference.  Here on Kiawah we are cautious about them whatever their size. Knowledgeable locals know that where there are juveniles there is likely a very protective mama gator keeping close watch nearby.

Sincere thanks to Amy and to all who responded to last week’s Layered challenge. You came through with examples of beauty, originality and creativity – all very much appreciated.

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

Sue (Mac’s Girl) from The Nature of Things gave us a fun seasonal approach with layers and layers of Jack-O’-Lanterns

Nurul Fitri Lubis from Stories of a Wanderer gave us an amazing tour of the layers of Lake Victoria

We welcome Maria of Sagittarius Viking who joined us for the first time with a beautiful visit to Kelso Dunes in California

Olga from Stuff and What If shows us the many layers of Autumn along with her lovely lyrical verse.

 

Patti, Amy, Ann-Christine and I look forward to seeing your terrific twosomes. Remember to TAG them with the Lens-Artists Tag, and to link them to my original post here. Please be sure to stay tuned next week as Patti brings you Challenge #70.  If you’re new to Lens-Artists and would like more information about how to join our challenge, 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