Lens-Artists Challenge #33 – NATURE

“Never stop exploring… with Mother Nature by your side, the possibilities are endless.”

Cheryl Aguilar

FOGGY FOREST

BREAKING THROUGH

This week Patti has challenged us to explore Nature – one of my favorite subjects. Living here on Kiawah we are surrounded by some of Mother Nature’s most glorious work. This past week we focused on just that in a 2-day seminar/shoot with Alan Ross, former assistant to and disciple of Ansel Adams. (As I’ve mentioned before, we have an  amazing community of photographers here, and are fortunate to host wonderful speakers from time to time.) Alan was terrific, sharing interesting background on Ansel as a person and as a photographer. Through his work with Ansel he met and photographed many other famous photographers (such as Imogen Cunningham and Dorothea Lange),and he also shared several  images and personal stories about them. His educational sessions focused on visualizing and composing images with intent as well as some post-processing methods to help us fine-tune our message.

PALMETTO SUNSET

PALMETTO SUNSET

“The world is abounding with beauty.”

Tara Estacaan

One of the nice things about having been involved with such a session is that it forced us to go out in weather we might normally have avoided (our shooting session was in very foggy conditions with a bland, cloudless sky). Further, we were committed to 2 hours, which pushed us to be creative and find subjects we might otherwise have ignored. Finally, there was a cloudburst at the end of our shoot which I was fortunate to have captured.  A very short burst of sun broke through the rain and fog for just a moment – I’ve included it as my opening image. Once I’d seen the magic of the light I decided to see what would happen once the rain stopped. Sure enough, the brilliant clouds in the image above appeared for a very short time before night fell and the rain returned.

LITTLE CAT FEET

LITTLE CAT FEET

“The function of art is to hold the mirror up to nature, and there simply isn’t a mirror big enough.”

Douglas Adams

On my way to the photo shoot the scene above greeted me as I was turning out of my street. I loved the thick fog surrounding the tall palmettos and had to stop to capture it. Happily, since I was heading to the shoot, my camera was all set to go and was sitting next to me on the passenger seat. Serendipity 😊.

CLOUDS MOVING ON

CLOUDS MOVING ON

“My last word is that it all depends on what you visualize.”

Ansel Adams

Based on our week, of course I had to close with a monochrome landscape and an Ansel Adams quote. Visualization was the aspect of photography that Alan’s sessions most emphasized. He talked about giving thought to the photograph before composing it, and visualizing not only the image but also the affect we hoped it would have upon the viewer. We had two separate shoots in the same area, with 10 different photographers in each. Amazingly there were no two photos alike. This supported Alan’s view (and Ansel’s as well) that each of us has our own vision which is unique and different from others around us.  As always, it’s not what we see but how we see it.

Many thanks to Patti for her creative challenge, giving me the opportunity to explore nature’s gifts here on Kiawah. Hope to see you all next week when Ann-Christine sends the next challenge our way.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Several of you have notified me that my comments are going to spam. I’ve reached out to Akismet, the company that manages WP spam. They were very responsive and have assured me that they’ve addressed the issue, but that it is also important when comments are incorrectly put in spam that the blogger check the NOT SPAM field. Please do check your spam each week to make sure comments are not being lost, and check the appropriate field when necessary.

AND ONE MORE THING 😊: For those of you who have enjoyed my images from our journey to Israel and Petra, I’ve  completed my Blurb book about the trip. You can see the entire book at:  A visit to the Holy Land. Just click on the book, then hit the little diagonal arrows above it to see it in 2-page, full-screen mode.

 

All photos created with Fuji X-T2

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Lens-Artists Challenge #32 – Shadows

“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”

Sylvia Plath

THE SHADOW KNOWS

THE SHADOW KNOWS

In 2017 I posted the image above which I captured in San Francisco’s Fort Point. It remains a personal favorite, and reminds me of a wonderful visit with good friends in that beautiful city.  I came across it while searching for something else, and it reminded me of the power of shadows in photography. So I though, why not? Let’s make this week’s challenge SHADOWS.

PALM SHADOWS

PALM SHADOWS

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Speaking of shadows then, one might assume I was here in the Charleston area when I captured the palm tree shadows above. On the contrary, I spotted the lowcountry-like scene during our journey to Israel this past fall.  I was struck with how similar it was to our local historic buildings, often times enhanced by similar shadows at the right time of day. 

TWO LAMP SHADOWS

SAME THING ONLY DIFFERENT

“The closer you get to the light, the darker the shadow becomes.”

Plato

The discovery of a scene resembling those in our own backyard brought to mind another set of similarities. Above, the left-side image  is a street lamp shadow cast on Charleston’s City Hall. On the right, I’ve contrasted it with a lamp shadow I captured in Israel’s beautiful Old City Tzfat in the Upper Galilee. 

SITTING IN THE SHADOWS

SITTING IN THE SHADOWS

“A shadow is never created in darkness. It is born of light.”

Terry Tempest Williams

Finally, a scene no one would ever assume is in the low country. In fact it’s one of very few spots of shade to be found in the Negev Desert of Israel. The shadow of the acacia tree provided a perfect resting spot for this young traveler as we explored the area nearby. Obviously in the right places a shadow can be a very important thing. It’s certainly important to those of us here in South Carolina when summer’s heat rolls in 😊

We look forward to seeing your shadowy responses.  Please link your posts here and remember to tag them Lens-Artists to help us all to find you. And finally, remember to tune in to Patti’s Pilotfish post next week for Challenge #33.

 

Last week Amy shared her very beautiful landscapes and challenged us to do the same.

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

David shows us some beautiful use of light to illustrate a bucolic landscape at his photo blog

Henry gives us a quick tour of New Zealand’s landscapes at his Fotoeins site

Captain Jill joins us for the first time with her landscapes of Tanzania at her Journeys site

 

Wishing everyone a beautiful week ahead.

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #31 – Landscapes

“How can you care about the image of a landscape, when you show by your deeds that you don’t care for the landscape itself?”

William Morris

JURASSIC VIEW

JURASSIC VIEW

As I put together my response to Amy’s landscape challenge this week, I was struck by the importance of William Morris’ quote above, written in 2003. For so long we’ve been talking about the importance of caring for Mother Earth, yet despite our efforts we continue to abuse her. Yes, we’ve made some strides. Yes, the impact of our actions is better understood. Yes, more focus has been put on preserving the world’s natural wonders. But there is much work to be done if we are to protect the marvels of our earth for future generations.

MARVELOUS MOUNTAINS

SNOWCAPPED

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi pretty much hit the nail on the head with his quote about need vs greed. Our quest for convenience has put the world’s oceans in peril due to the proliferation of plastic. Now that we are all aware of its consequences, how many of us have limited its use? The same can be said for aerosols. We are fully aware of their impact on the atmosphere but they continue to be marketed and many continue to use them despite the availability of more earth-friendly options. 

TOWARD THE VISTA

TOWARD THE VISTA

“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”

Aldo Leopold

I have been incredibly fortunate in my ability to travel and have seen many of the world’s most amazing wonders. It would be tragic if we were to destroy the beauty of our earth through carelessness and inattention. Some simple examples. If three of us are going to the same place at the same time, are we taking one car or three? If two cleaning products exist, one of which is slightly more expensive but better for the environment, which are we choosing? If water bottled in plastic is more convenient but taking our own container will help to save our oceans, will we do that? 

WALKING THE ROCKS

WALKING THE ROCKS

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”

John Keats

Happily, it seems we are making some strides in the right direction. Many communities have banned plastic straws and/or plastic bags. There is increasing focus on limiting urban sprawl and including green spaces to decrease flooding due to overdevelopment. Car pooling is being encouraged, bike paths are being built and public transportation is coming back into vogue. Trees are being planted in areas where deforestation has had negative impact. Most importantly, people are getting involved and voices are being raised. Yes, we are unhappy about the environmental controls that are being rolled back by the current administration, but do not give up. Keep raising your voice and placing your votes to express your belief in the importance of protecting our earth. Even more importantly, make sure that at least YOU are doing what you personally can to help save our embattled earth.

WATER VIEW

WATER VIEW

“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

Henry David Thoreau

As you may have noticed, I’ve not identified the locations of the images in this week’s challenge response. I thought I’d add my own little challenge to Amy’s this week. So go back to the beginning of the post and see if you can guess where each of the images was captured. Then come back to the end of the post to see how well you did. NO CHEATING !  😀

Many thanks to Amy for her beautiful post and creative challenge. Remember to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find your response. And of course stay tuned next week when you’ll find Challenge #32 right here on Travels and Trifles. Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

 

Image Locations:

  1.  Zion National Park, Utah
  2. Denali National Park, Alaska
  3. Torres del Paine, Argentina
  4. Acadia National Park, Maine
  5. Kiawah Island, SC

 

 

 

Lens-artists Challenge #30 – Unexpected

“I am in love with the moon, with the light shining out of its soul.”

Sanober Khan

BLOOD MOON

BLOOD MOON

This week Ann-Christine challenges us to share something “Unexpected“. You may be thinking there is nothing at all unexpected about my opening image – everyone knew the blood moon was forecast for last week’s night sky. For me though, the capability of my Fuji X-T2 with a 55-200mm f/4 lens was totally unexpected. As I told a good friend earlier in the evening, this was to be my final test before giving up entirely on my Nikon equipment. I had very low expectations when I shot the capture above from my back porch with no tripod. I am the first to admit it does not compare with the images created by others using more sophisticated equipment and better planning. But for my purposes it did what I asked of it and more.

MARVELOUS MOONRISE

MARVELOUS MOONRISE

“Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly.”

Khaled Hosseini

Earlier in the evening I’d joined a number of fellow photographers from our local photography club (this time with tripod) to capture the full moon’s rise. To a person there was a sense of awe as the massive moon rose above Kiawah’s marsh. Shutters clicked as oohs and aaahs were heard across the board. It was fun sharing the excitement with others equally enchanted by the beauty of nature’s big moment. Unfortunately, because the moonrise took place before the sunset, most of the moon’s shining moment was rather pale, and the lack of clouds made for a bit of a boring sky, but its incredible size was more than enough to offer everyone a thrill.

SHINING ON

SHINING ON

“The moon in all her immaculate purity hung in the sky.”

Shan Sa

As the evening wore on and the sun slowly sank in the opposite sky, the colors began to deepen and the full moon shone brightly, lighting the marsh with a warm, golden glow. After capturing this final image, I packed my equipment away and took a few moments to drink in the beauty of the evening. For a nature lover it simply doesn’t get much better.

Here’s to Mother Nature in all her glory – I hope you too got to enjoy the show. Thanks to Ann-Christine for her fun challenge. Remember to use the Lens-Artists tag to increase your response level, and finally, please join Amy on her ShareandConnect blog next week for Challenge #31. 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #29 – Cityscapes

“The life of a city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects.”

Charles Baudelaire

GARDEN BRIDGE, SHANGHAI

GARDEN BRIDGE, SHANGHAI

This week Patti invites us to share some of our favorite cityscapes. For many of you, her subject is one that presents a marvelous opportunity to share your home city or that of your loved ones. Having been raised in a small town, and living now in an even smaller one, for me it’s a bit more challenging. I thought about some of the beautiful cities I’ve been fortunate to visit most recently – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and New York. Looking further back, I’ve visited and photographed some of the world’s great cities: in the U.S., places like LA, San Francisco and Chicago.  Farther afield I’ve visited Sydney, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Vancouver, Toronto, Vienna, Budapest, Paris, London and Rome among others. Quite a list when I think about it!

SHANGHAI BY DAY

SHANGHAI BY DAY

“A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.”

Aristotle

Why then have I chosen to highlight just one of the many cities I’ve seen? First and perhaps most importantly I’ve loved all of the cities I’ve listed. Each is amazing in its own right with its unique sights and personality. Who could visit the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge for example, and not come away in awe?  Since I cannot speak to all of the great cities I’ve seen (well I suppose I could but I’m sure I’d have lost you long before I finished), I decided to choose only one. So then the question becomes, why Shanghai?

SHANGHAI BY NIGHT

SHANGHAI BY NIGHT

“The one thing that all great cities have in common is that they are all different.”

Cate Blanchett

First and foremost, for me Shanghai was the most surprising of any I’ve visited. I expected horrific air quality but got pristine, clear skies.  I expected ancient but got an equal amount of Disney-like new (such as Pudong, the area above, built in 1990 and thereafter). I  expected purely Chinese but got an internationally-mixed population such as that of the French Concession or the ex-pat communities involved in the business of the world’s busiest container port or the thriving financial industry. Last but not least, I expected city lights but was completely bedazzled by the brilliance of the cityscape at night.

SHANGHAI PORT

SHANGHAI PORT

“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.”

Simon Van Booy

Another reason to highlight Shanghai is because it was there for the first time that I met a friend I’d known only through blogging. She was a Canadian ex-pat who had lived in China for years. We had great fun connecting and comparing experiences. Unfortunately once she returned to Canada she discontinued her blog. However  I’ve since met several others through blogging and found them all to be talented, interesting, warm and charming. I am proud to call them my friends and happy to have added a personal element to my blogging experience – proving (as usual) the benefit of stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

THE BUND, SHANGHAI

ALONG THE BUND, SHANGHAI

“A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.”

Patrick Geddes

As those who follow me know, I love to travel and experience new places. While I am primarily a nature-lover, I also enjoy visiting cities and exploring their culture, their foods, their art scenes, and of course their people. I highly recommend Shanghai for all of those things, and hope your experience there is as rewarding as mine.

SUNSET, PUDONG, SHANGHAI

LAST LIGHT, PUDONG, SHANGHAI

“Cities are like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler.”

Roman Payne

As always, timing is everything. While during our visit the air was pristine, my friend sent a photo of the city taken a week later and you literally could not see Pudong because of the dense air pollution. 

Wishing everyone a terrific week ahead. Hopefully the dire weather forecast for the U.S. will fail to appear. Remember to tune in for Ann-Christine‘s Challenge #30 next week, and many thanks to Patti for this week’s fun Cityscapes.  As always, we look forward to seeing your responses.

Lens-Artists Challenge #28 – CURVES

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

Phyllis Diller

NATURAL CURVES

NATURAL CURVES, PETRA

2019 is now well under way, the holiday decorations are back in storage, and it’s time to think about some of the more common features of our everyday lives. This week, let’s pay some attention to curves  – in nature, in architecture, on our roads and in our lives … just about everywhere if you think about it.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

“In life as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.”

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

While my husband and I were exploring Israel and Jordan this fall, I was surprised at the prevalence of curves. I found myself shooting them everywhere – whether on purpose or coincidentally I’m not exactly sure.  As I was putting together this week’s curves challenge, the turning of the calendar page made me think about some of the curveballs life throws at us. How we deal with them can make all the difference in our view of the world and our place in it.

ALLEY CURVES, JAFFA

ALLEY CURVES, JAFFA

“My life is one long curve, full of turning points.”

Pierre Trudeau

Let’s face it, no one ever makes it through life without facing a curveball now and then. The dictionary defines it as something which is unexpected, surprising, or disruptive”. Life’s curveballs can be as serious as a sudden illness or the loss of a loved one, or as insignificant as an unexpected bill or a delayed flight. Think about the last few curveballs you’ve faced. Were they important or simply annoying? Was your reaction proportionate or did you end up more stressed than necessary? If you ask my husband he might tell you I have a bit of a tendency to take small matters more seriously than necessary. Just sayin’ 😊.

WINDOW CURVES

WINDOW CURVES

“Magic lives in curves.”

Mason Cooley

I’m not really into making New Years resolutions but I do think it’s a natural time to think about what’s good and right with our lives versus those things that could use improvement. For me, channeling my energy toward taking a more positive approach to life’s ups and downs is an effort worthy of attention.

 

CURVY TREE

CURVY TREE

“Those who think only in straight lines cannot see around a curve.”

Romina Russell

How about you; how are you dealing with life’s little curveballs? Think about it as you’re putting together your response to this week’s challenge – and remember to tune in next week for Lens-Artists Challenge #29 on Patti’s Pilotfish blog. We look forward to seeing your responses and as always, we remind you to use the Lens-Artists Tag so that we can all find you in the WP Reader.

 

Have You Seen These?

Last week Amy challenged us (here) to share some of our memorable travel moments.

Wishing everyone a terrific week ahead!

 

Note: All images created with Fuji X-T2, edited via Adobe L/R and P/S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #27 – My Travels

“The world is full of beautiful places. Let your heart be one of them.”

Jenim Debie

AUSTRALIA'S "12" APOSTLES

AUSTRALIA’S GREAT OCEAN ROAD – THE NO-LONGER-12 APOSTLES

Those who follow me know I love my island home and its beautiful flora and fauna. But my husband and I also share a love of travel and adventure, and we are doing our best to see as much of this beautiful world as possible. Since our first major trip to Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti in 2001 we have made an effort to do one major trip each year, and with a few exceptions have succeeded. With her challenge this week, Amy has given us a perfect opportunity to talk about some of our favorite travel adventures.

BEAUTIFUL BEAST, BOTSWANA

BEAUTIFUL BEAST, BOTSWANA

“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.”

Kurt Vonnegut

We are often asked which has been our favorite journey. Although I’ve loved them all, for me our South Africa and Botswana safaris have always held the number one place. Seeing magnificent creatures in the wild, in their natural environment, is a life-changing experience. For a photographer, I am convinced there is nothing that compares. 

DUBROVNIK, CENTRAL EUROPE

RED ROOFS OF DUBROVNIK, CENTRAL EUROPE

“Travel teaches toleration.”

Benjamin Disraeli

To travel is to experience the incredible beauty of our world. The natural wonders of places like Patagonia in Chile and Argentina….

PATAGONIA, SOUTH AMERICA

TORRES DEL PAINE, PATAGONIA

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

Or man-made splendors like China’s Great Wall …

GREAT WALL OF CHINA

CHINA’S GREAT WALL

“A wise man travels to discover himself.”

James Russell Lowell

or Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, 

ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA

DAWN, ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA

“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list.”

Susan Sontag

leave one in jaw-dropping wonder at the world around us. 

THREE MONKS, SE ASIA

THREE MONKS, SE ASIA

Whenever you visit foreign lands or distant places, remember they are all someone’s home.”

Vera Nazarian

I firmly believe that travel expands the mind and opens the hearts of those who experience other cultures. While our ability to see the world has expanded significantly through online and modern-day media resources, there is nothing quite like viewing it first-hand. Interacting with our world’s other citizens helps us to better understand how very much we have in common.

GLACIER BAY, ALASKA

GLACIER BAY, ALASKA

“Every journey makes its own map across your heart.”

Sharon Sinn

Having visited many of the countries of Africa, North/South American, Australia/Oceania, and Europe, it was time this year to make our first trip to the Middle East.  Since several of my recent posts have included images from our journey to Israel and Jordan (as does today’s header), I’ve closed this week’s post with something a bit different. As fascinating as we may find other parts of the world, we should also remember that our own countries have much to offer as well. As an example, the image above is from an adventure several years ago in Alaska.  Glacier Bay is but one of the many incredible US National Parks. Bryce Canyon in Utah (below) is another. We count them and several others among our favorite trips. As always, there are more to be seen.

BRYCE CANYON VISTA, UTAH

HOODOOS, BRYCE CANYON, UTAH

“More than the destination, it is the journey that makes a traveller.”

Salma Farook

Long ago I was introduced to the idea that there was an amazing world beyond my own little corner of it. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how much of it I would one day see. Sincere thanks to Amy for her beautiful travel challenge which is posted here. I hope you’ll join me next week for Challenge #28. In the meanwhile I leave you with this thought from Akiane Kramarik:

“If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder never end.”

May 2019 be a year of adventure and wonder for us all.

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #26 – 2018 Photography Review

“Which of my photographs is my favorite?  The one I’m taking tomorrow.”

Imogen Cunningham

MARSH MAGIC

MARSH MAGIC

This week Ann-Christine has challenged us to sort through 2018’s images seeking personal favorites. It’s a daunting exercise akin to being asked which of your children is your favorite – does one not love them all equally?  Each represents a moment in time that for some reason spoke to heart of the photographer; perhaps in the hope that they would one day speak to those who view them.

ON THE WING

ON THE WING

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

Unknown

I am ever-grateful to my father for sharing his love of nature, which has become a favorite subject for my lens.  At home on Kiawah we are surrounded by an amazing array of incredible offerings. Rich with beautiful vistas and wonderful wildlife, it is difficult to spend time here without developing an appreciation of Mother Nature’s bounty.

MAN AT WORK, CHARLESTON SC

MAN AT WORK, CHARLESTON SC

“Photography is simply a function of noticing things. Nothing more.”

Elliott Erwitt

I also enjoy capturing the quiet moments of everyday life. Nearby Charleston SC offers a never-ending opportunity to observe and shoot the little things we often overlook. Whether hard at work, such as the tiler above, or simply passing time like the woman below, somehow the lives of strangers create a strong pull for a photographer’s lens.

KNIT ONE PURL ONE

KNIT ONE PURL ONE

“The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.”

Yousuf Karsh

While we can create wonderful images from our day-to-day lives, nothing awakens the senses more than the sights and sounds of travel.  As such, I’d like to close today’s post with some favorite images of Israel and Jordan from our visit this past fall.

DANCING FEET, TEL AVIV

DANCING OVERHEAD, TEL AVIV

“Photography is a love affair with life.”

Burk Uzzle

GELATERIA

TOO MANY CHOICES

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

Matei Glass

LONELY TREE, WADI RUM, JORDAN

LONELY TREE, WADI RUM, JORDAN

“When I look through the lens of a camera I truly appreciate what’s right in front of me.”

Anthony T. Hincks

DAY'S END, PETRA, JORDAN

DAY’S END, PETRA, JORDAN

“Every photo tells a story but remember this, there was a story teller behind the lens.”

Sincere thanks to all of my followers for your on-going support, and a special thanks to my partners in the Lens-Artists Challenge – Patti, Amy, and Ann-Christine.  My best wishes for a peaceful 2019 filled with love, joy and gratitude.

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #25 – Reflections

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” 

Charles Dickens

LET THERE BE LIGHT

LET THERE BE LIGHT, NAZARETH, ISRAEL

This week Patti has given us a challenge that can be interpreted in two entirely different ways. The dictionary tells us that a reflection is either the “throwing back by a body or surface of light without absorbing it” or “serious thought or consideration”. (actually there is a third meaning related to mathematics but I’m going to simply ignore that 😀)

Each of my images this week illustrates the former – the throwing back of light. After all, what is more pleasing to a photographer than the play of light?! As for  “serious thought”  – what better time to reflect back on the year just ending as we prepare to move into the year to come?

LIGHT ON LIGHT ON LIGHT

LIGHT ON LIGHT ON LIGHT, ACRA, ISRAEL

“Reflect within yourself for that reflection is far better than what you see in the mirror.”

Gian Kumar

This year my husband and I were overwhelmed by the beauty, spirituality and history we experienced in Israel and Jordan. It’s a journey my husband had long listed at the top of his bucket list, but which had always landed in second place behind places like South Africa, China, Australia/New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Patagonia – you get the idea. Happily our very high expectations were met and exceeded by this remarkable area of the world.

I'VE LOOKED AT CLOUDS FROM BOTH SIDES NOW

I’VE LOOKED AT CLOUDS FROM BOTH SIDES NOW, KIAWAH ISLAND

“Choose your friends carefully. They are a reflection of you.”

Jim George

While we have thoroughly enjoyed our journeys to every corner of the world, we are also blessed to live in a beautiful place surrounded by some of nature’s most pristine landscapes and the amazing creatures who reside in them. This year we saw some of the most incredible cloudscapes I’ve seen in 20 years here on Kiawah. On top of that, as always our birds were ubiquitous – perfect subjects for an inquisitive lens.

EGRET IN FLIGHT

EGRET IN FLIGHT

“What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?”

Frederick The Great

There are times when nature is best seen without the distraction of color. The two images that follow seemed to speak most beautifully to me when presented quietly. I made both captures during an inspirational photography class with Ralph Lee Hopkins, National Geographic‘s Director of Expedition Photograph. Ralph led a terrific two-day class for our amazing Photography Group here on Kiawah.

LEAF ME ALONE

LEAF ME ALONE

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Confucius

This year also represented a major departure for me as I transitioned fully from the Nikon gear I’ve loved since my first FM film camera in the early 1980s to a Fuji X-T2 mirrorless. I’ll admit the road was not a smooth one but after finally getting a defective lens replaced (kudos to Fuji for the replacement) I am once again happily shooting with confidence. The lighter weight makes everything easier and the WYSIWYG is great for visualizing and experimentation.

TREES IN THE ROUND

TREES IN THE ROUND

“Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others. You get in return what you give.”

Ziad K. Abdelnour

In hindsight, 2018 has been a year of many blessings. My husband and I have enjoyed time with family (which has grown by one), travel to wonderful places, good health, fun times with both old and new friends (3 with whom I share Lens-Artists moderation) and a world, for the most part, at peace. I wish you all a wonderful Holiday and a New Year filled with joy.  

GALILEE REFLECTION

GALILEE REFLECTION

“Thirst drove me down to the water where I drank the moon’s reflection.”

Rumi

 I’ll close with thanks to Patti for her thoughtful challenge, and a quote that I thought perfect for this beautiful season.

“Thoughts turn to others just a little more this time of year. Days grow shorter and memories grow longer. Families and friends gather in celebration or hope. Giving is a reflection of our love and caring for each other and those less fortunate. May your thoughts turn to gratitude this holiday season and carry on throughout the next year…”

                                                                James A. Murphy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #24 – SEASONAL

“December, being the last month of the year, cannot help but make us think of what is to come.”

Fennel Hudson

COULD BE RUDOLPH

COULD BE RUDOLPH

OK, I’ll admit I used Photoshop to give this beautiful buck a bit of a Rudolph-red nose, but as the song says, “t’is the season” right? Speaking of seasons, for this week’s challenge we’re focused on the seasons and what they mean to you.  For me, winter is a time of introspection. I like to snuggle in by a warm fire and listen to soft music while considering the year just finished and the one ahead. On warmer southern days it’s great to get outside and enjoy a bit of our mostly-mild winter.  Full disclosure, I captured my image of the buck during our visit to Colorado over Thanksgiving. Here on Kiawah, neither we nor our deer get to see much snow 🙂.

GARDENS IN BLOOM

GARDENS IN BLOOM

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

Percy Bysshe Shelley

NESTING EGRETS

NESTING EGRETS

Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?”

Neltje Blanchan

One of the beauties of winter is that it is inevitably followed by spring. Emerging from winter’s gloom, Mother Earth seems to celebrate the return of warmth and color.  While I am as happy as anyone to see the year’s pristine first snowfall, once the cold has settled in I am more than ready for it to fade away. The spring’s first blooms celebrate nature’s best efforts. The air is filled with the scent of new growth, carried in on the gentle breezes of the new season. For most of us it is a time of renewed energy and an appreciation of the nature’s many wonders. For a photographer there is no better time than the first blush of spring.

READY FOR ACTION

READY FOR ACTION

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

Charles Bowden

BEACH DAY WITH DADDY

BEACH DAY WITH DADDY

“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!”

Kenny Chesney

For me, summer is a time for relaxation and fun. Often, because the temperatures here in South Carolina can be extreme, my husband and I will travel during the summer months. Most years we’ll spend time with our families in the northeast, occasionally we’ll venture out west or even farther afield. Personally I don’t mind Kiawah summers but my Boston-born husband has little tolerance for it.  Interestingly, it is by far the most popular season for Kiawah’s many visitors.

AUTUMN FOLIAGE

AUTUMN FOLIAGE

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

John Howard Bryant

COLORS OF FALL

COLORS OF FALL

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”

John Donne

Ah fall – a perfect example of good news/bad news. First, it is glorious. Mother Nature dons her most beautiful colors to show us the best of what she has to offer. The air is crisp and clear and the very slight chill in the air is most welcome after the heat of summer. On the other hand, those colorful leaves are falling fast, days are getting shorter, and soon winter’s chill will once again be upon us. Perhaps autumn is teaching us a lesson on enjoying the blessings of each day as we cannot know what tomorrow will bring.

T'IS THE SEASON

T’IS THE SEASON

“May the splendor of the holiday season enlighten your life and warm your heart.”

Debasish Mridha

Here’s hoping you are enjoying a beautiful holiday season surrounded by family and friends. Remember to reach out to those who are not so fortunate and for whom this may be a difficult time.  

We look forward to seeing your interpretation of our Seasonal challenge.  Remember to link your post to this one and to tag it with our Lens-Artists tag.  Last but not least, don’t forget to tune in next week for Patti’s challenge at her Pilotfish blog.

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

Last week Amy’s Celebrations challenge invited us to share our experiences around the world. Your responses offered some wonderful variety. For example:

John Steiner shared examples of amazing Christmas lights in his post at PhotosbyJohnbo

Sue of Words Visual took us all the way to Maramures Romania in her response here.

Mei-Mei of Jedibyknight shared a religious festival from her studies in Salamanca, Spain