Lens-Artists Challenge #190 – Close and Closer

Israel, Jaffa, cobblestone
Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel

“A photographer’s eye is perpetually evaluating.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

This week Patti encourages us to get closer to our subjects – using our “foot-zoom” as well as longer lenses or a judicious crop. As photographers, we tend to look at the world a bit differently. We focus on light, color, detail, and the little gifts that we often find within the big picture. For example, in the image above visitors will appreciate the beauty of the scene, some the texture of the ancient stones or perhaps the colorful flowers and art. But when most look on the right side of the image, they may not notice this:

doors, gate, blue, ancient, Jaffa
Inside the Gates

“To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

As photographers we see details such as that shown in the image above and wonder how many hands have touched those doors…when were the gates added and why…were they added to keep people out or people in…are there people living there now….who crafted the gate and chose the beautiful color…..you know what I’m talking about, right?

sand, Wadi Rum, Jordan
Native Jordanians, Wadi Rum, Jordan

“I try to capture something from my subjects that’s real. It’s the eyes that tell that.”

Corinne Day

In Jordan we visited Petra and Wadi Rum among other places. I was honestly a bit intimidated by how “foreign” it felt. I’m very shy about approaching strangers but I knew the image above really didn’t tell the story. I stepped outside of my usual self and approached the two men above to see if I could include them in an image. Here’s what happened:

People are People Everywhere

“Every picture tells a story, don’t it?”

Rod Stewart

I was reminded that day that people are people everywhere and wearing a keffiyeh doesn’t make them any different or scarier. I also learned that as we are often told, most people, when asked to allow a photograph, will happily oblige. Finally, I was reminded that almost always, coming in closer will result in a stronger image.

deer, fawn, nature
Nature’s Child

“The photographer is one who uses his/her eye as first camera and takes the camera to use, secondly.”

Moses Oliver

For nature photographers, it can be challenging to zero in on our subjects. A fawn simply will not allow us to get any closer than I was in the image above. It can help to start shooting from a distance, and to continue shooting while slowly walking closer and closer. As such, although this little one allowed me to get relatively close, the final option is to crop the image to get closer still, as I did for the image below.

fawn, ears, spots
My What Big Ears You Have!

“Although technology has made everything easier, good images still depend on the creative eye.”

Lakshman Iyer

Shown below, one final example of the effect of closing in on a subject. A fresh field of daisies is hard to resist. My three images below show the daisies as part of the big picture, then close in, and finally creatively cropped.

daisies, nature
Field of Daisies
Daisy, flower, yellow
Up Close
Creatively Cropped

“Photography is the only “language” understood in all parts of the world, and bridging all nations and cultures…We become the eye-witnesses of the humanity and inhumanity of mankind.”

Helmut Gernsheim

On a more serious note, earlier this week there was a news story about photographers covering the war in Ukraine. It featured a number of them along with several of their heartbreaking images, and spoke to the importance and difficulty of their work. Each of them discussed the emotional toll of standing side-by-side, braving danger, along with the people whose lives are in ruin. They are indeed the “eye-witnesses of the humanity and inhumanity of mankind.” Think about it….how much would we know or feel if not for them?

Thanks to Patti for such an interesting challenge – be sure to link your responses to her original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Thanks also to those of you who responded to last week’s Odds and Ends challenge. It was such fun seeing the images that have been hiding in your archives enjoying their moment in the sun! Ann-Christine will lead us next week on her Leya post so be sure to visit her next Saturday at noon Eastern Time. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Challenge? For more information, click here.

Lens-Artists Challenge #189 – Odds and Ends

weird, unicorn, mermaid
Truly Weird

“I have a mind like a magpie’s, easily distracted by interesting odds and ends.

Elizabeth Peters

I don’t know about you, but there are images in my archives that will never fit into a challenge category. They don’t tie together in any cohesive way, but they keep calling to be included. This week, let’s embrace their differences and focus on our “Odds and Ends”. My opening capture actually includes two such images. On the left – we don’t often see a person with a unicorn head, and on the right, a glass-enclosed mermaid with a kneeling half man-half stag. It doesn’t get much odder than that!

headlights, light, city,
On The Road Again

The Federal Department of Odds and Ends: sweepus underum carpetae

Shaun Tan

OK, you’re thinking well, the image above would have worked well for Sofia’s Low Light challenge” and you’d be SO right. But I forgot about it and the chance of another low light challenge happening any time soon is very slim, so I decided to include it as an odds-and-ends image just because!

boxing gloves
Ready for a Fight

“We are always curious, always inquisitive, always picking up odds and ends for our patchwork minds, since there is no knowing when and where they may fit into some corner.”

Charles Dickens

Truth be told, it was the image above that got me thinking about an odds-and-ends challenge. For some reason I’ve always liked it, but it never seems to fit any of our challenges. So if you want someone or something to blame this week, there you have it!

license plate, alaska
A Long Way From Home

“In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.”

Mark Twain

So really, who thinks about taking a photograph of a license plate? Well clearly, I do! I’m not sure I’d ever seen an Alaska plate but to find one in South Carolina just seemed to me worthy of note. Plus, the bear, in its own frightening way, seemed kind of cute!

Bocce, beach
Bocce Anyone?

“Brunch Menu. Translation? ‘Old, nasty odds and ends, and 12 dollars for two eggs with a free Bloody Mary.”

Anthony Bourdain

Bocce on the beach is quite popular here on Kiawah. In the image above,I liked the way the balls were aligned as well as their pretty leather covers. I suppose I could have used this one for a “round” challenge but there never seemed to be one!

Pipes, rooftop
Plethora of Pipes

Life turns out to be more like the patchwork cloths-bits and pieces, odds and ends-people, places, things we never expected.”

Alan Brennert

If anyone has any idea why a building would have this many stovepipes on its roof, feel free to let me know. We came across it while visiting Scotland and IMHO it just called out to be captured. I cannot imagine a challenge that might call for its inclusion.

Dragon, China, Wall
Enter The Dragon

“It is curious to look back over life, over all the varying incidents and scenes – such a multitude of odds and ends.”

Agatha Christie

So, as Agatha Christie has said, such a multitude of odds and ends indeed – including the fierce dragon above that topped an ancient stone wall in China. We look forward to seeing which odds and ends make their way into your responses this week. Be sure to link them to my original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Sincere thanks to Karina, last week’s Special Places Guest Host. We very much enjoyed your responses and learned about some new special places – further expanding our travel wish-list 😊. Patti will lead us next week on her Pilotfish blog. In the meanwhile, please stay safe and be kind.

Interested in learning how to join us for the Challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #188 – A Special Place

Welcome to the World Trade Center, NYC

“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.”

Ayn Rand

This week our guest host, Karina, challenges us to choose a special place – or places. Those who follow me know my feeling that Kiawah Island, which we call home, is a truly special place. Since I’ve featured it in several recent posts however, I’ve chosen to highlight a completely different, but equally special place this week – New York City (aka, the Big Apple).

skyscraper, reflection, NYC
City Scenes

If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.”

Peter Shaffer

My husband and I are often in New York to spend time with our family there. I love wandering the streets of the city, camera or iPhone in hand, enjoying the hustle and bustle. My opening image captures a very large, welcoming wall art installation at the World Trade Center, while the image just above captures interesting reflections on some nearby skyscrapers. I especially loved the dichotomy of the little orange tower of the Corbin Building, built in 1888, in the center of a block of high tech, modern buildings.

graves, cemetery, new york

“Everything in New York is a photograph.”

Ann-Marie MacDonald

All of the images in today post (with the exception of the airport images) were made within a 5 or 6 block area of Lower Manhattan. I came upon the totally incongruous graveyard shown above in the middle of a busy New York street. Associated with St. Paul’s Chapel, made famous during the days after 9-11, it is no longer available for burials. The ancient graves offer a moment of peace in the middle of one of the most frenetic areas of NYC.

Inside and Outside the Oculus

“New York is the only city in the world where you can get run down on the sidewalk by a pedestrian.”

Russell Baker

I chose to feature the NYC Oculus, which I’ve included in previous posts, as a slider – with the exterior on the left and the interior on the right. The little cityscape in front of the exterior was actually a printed fabric used to hide some construction, and I loved the clever Eataly advertisement featured inside.

Dichotomy of Special Places

“No place epitomizes the American experience and the American spirit more than New York City.”

Michael Bloomberg

I thought the views from my airplane window showed an interesting contrast – New York City’s classic skyline compared to the wide open natural beauty of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. In my younger days I loved the electricity and pulse of New York. Today, although I’m much happier surrounded by the peace and quiet of our island home, there is much to be said for the fun of a few days in the heart of the Big Apple.

Sincere thanks to Karina for guest-hosting – we’re looking forward to seeing YOUR special places. Please remember to link to Karina’s original post here. Thanks also to Anne for last week’s Water challenge, and to all of you for your beautiful responses. I’ll be the host for next week’s challenge “Odds and Ends”, an opportunity to showcase all of those unrelated, unused images that don’t seem to match any of our themes. In the meanwhile, as always, please stay safe and be kind.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #187 – Water Water Everywhere

Kiawah, marsh, water, light
Kiawah Island, On Any Given Day

“The water rolls, the clouds move and light reflects off all it touches.”

Steve Coleman

This week Anne challenges us to share images featuring water. Living on an island filled with marshes, ponds and lagoons, and surrounded by the sea, I thought it best I stick close to home this week. I’ve included only recent images of some of the beauty that surrounds us here on Kiawah. Sometimes I wonder at the magic of Mother Nature.

marsh grasses, impression
Dancing Grasses, Kiawah Island

“For me making a digital photo is like making a watercolor..it’s not a painting and it’s not a photo. It’s something altogether new.”

Art Wolfe

I love Art Wolfe and must admit I agree with his quote above. The scene I created with my image is a slow pan of the grasses along the edge of the marsh, lightly treated with some Topaz Impression software. Often overlooked because the marsh itself is so lovely, I’ve always loved the gracefulness of the grasses that surround it.

oystercatcher, catching oysters
Oyster-catching at Work, Kiawah Island

“It is usually some incidental detail that heightens the effect of a picture – stressing a pattern, deepening the sense of atmosphere.”

Bill Brandt

I had a bit of fun with the image above. Two distinct methods of oyster-catching…..which do you think is more effective? 😊

ocean, water, sand, beach, Kiawah
By the Beautiful Sea, Kiawah Island

“The cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears or the sea.”

Isak Dinesen

Of course I couldn’t do a post about water without including an image of the ocean here on Kiawah. Its many moods can be seen on any given day, week, month or year. I made the image above following a minor storm because I liked the patterns the waves had left on the beach. The smell of the salt air and the sound of the waves never fails to make me smile.

boardwalk, water, kayaks, river, Kiawah
Just for the Fun of It, Kiawah Island

“The rivers flow not past but through us.”

John Muir

While for me our waters are a source of solace, beauty and of course photography, for many of our visitors they are primarily meant for fun. Kayaking is one of the best ways to experience our island and when we have guests we almost always spend a day paddling in the rivers and marshes where dolphins frolic and often strand, birds are plentiful and the air is incredibly fresh and cool.

alligator, Kiawah
Lurking, Kiawah Island

“Do not curse the alligator before crossing the river.”

Dr. Lucas D. Shallua

In any discussion of water on Kiawah, we must of course include an image of an alligator lurking in one of our many ponds. Although we take little notice of them around here, on the day I came across this big boy I felt he really needed to be featured on the blog one day, and so here he (or she) is.

Many thanks for hanging in there with me as I explored our water challenge – and of course a warm welcome to Anne as one of our newest team members. Please remember to include a link to her original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Next week our challenge will be led by our guest host, Karina of Murtagh’s Meadow. Be sure to visit her beautiful site where she shares the magic of rural Ireland and it’s amazing nature.

Confused about how to join the Lens-Artists Challenge? Click here.

Lens-Artists Challenge #186 – Low Light

egrets, sunset, nesting, lagoon, reflection
Egrets at Sunset, Kiawah Island

“I believe in the photographer’s magic – the ability to stir the soul with light and shape and color.”

Amyn Nasser

I gave some serious thought to my opening image for Sofia’s Low Light challenge this week. It’s not as amazing as some others might be, but it represents a special moment for me. At sunset one evening I came upon a lagoon where literally hundreds of egrets, perfectly reflected on the water, had settled in for the night. I had only my iPhone, but for me it was more about capturing the moment and as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you.

Shangri-La, reflections, light, china, 
Evening Concert, Shangri-La, China

“The water rolls, the clouds move and light reflects off all it touches. How wonderful this world is.”

Steve Coleman

From our little island here on Kiawah we move all the way across the world to Shangri-La China. One evening my husband and I were headed out for our evening meal when we came across this bucolic scene. A small orchestra was playing in the center of a lighted pagoda, with lanterns spread about and everything reflected on the still waters. How wonderful this world is indeed.

Hong Kong, night, light, skyscrapers
Nightscape, Hong Kong

“I have always loved light… Its manifestations serve as symbols of the greatest secrets of the unknown.”

Wayne Bullock

From the quiet of a concert in Shangri-La to the lights and frenzy of Hong Kong, both fond memories of our time in China. When capturing scenes such as the one above, a tripod is a photographer’s best friend. Although you wouldn’t know it from the image, so too is the photographer’s ability to navigate through the crowd to an elevated area where one can shoot over the heads of the hundreds of people attempting the same shot!

beach, Kiawah, moonlight, ocean, shrimp boat lights
Moonlight, Kiawah Island

“The camera captures light, our minds capture images.”


Back on Kiawah, I’ve included one of my favorite beach scenes. The full moon created a path across the sea, while the distant lights of two shrimp boats on the horizon further enhanced the vista. Hard not to smile on an evening such as this.

Light Painting, Kiawah Island

“I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.”

Trent Parke

I did not adjust the long length of the image above because of the amazing stars on the evening of the capture. It was quite a few years ago and I was participating in a class on light painting with our local photography club. I did love the blue light we created in the window, but it seemed to me that Mother Nature’s own efforts far outshone our own.

palmettos, sunset, Kiawah
Two Palmettos, Kiawah Island

“It is the photographing of ordinary things, in extraordinary light, which results in extraordinary photographs.”

David Young

I‘ll close today’s post with an image I made this past year, which I posted not long ago. I believe it exemplifies Mr. Young’s belief that it is very much the light that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. A couple of palmettos, which are found throughout our island, are reflected in one of our many lagoons. In the light of the setting sun, with the full moon’s reflection beside them – they become a photographer’s dream.

Thanks to Sofia, whom we welcome as one of our new Lens-Artists team members, for the opportunity to explore the magic of low-light photography. Please remember to use our Lens-Artists Tag with your responses, and to link to Sofia’s original here. Thanks also to John for last week’s Change challenge, and for your many creative and interesting responses. We look forward to seeing your Low Light images this week and to your joining us next week when Anne leads our challenge on her Slow Shutter Speed site. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #185 – Change

King Tide, marsh, bridge, Kiawah
Spring Tides on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“A marsh is a whole world within a world, a different world, with a life of its own, with its own permanent denizens, its passing visitors, its voices, its sounds, its own strange mystery.”

Guy de Maupassant

This week John Steiner brings us his first challenge as a member of our host team – and what an interesting topic he’s chosen! Among the many ways one might approach the subject of change, I’ve chosen a special element of life on our beloved island – the beautiful marshes. Ever-changing – with the seasons, the tides, the light, the elements – the marsh is critical to both our human inhabitants and our plentiful wildlife.

fog, marsh, kiawah
Fog on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“The marsh snuggled in closer with a low fog, and she slept.”

Delia Owens

Our marsh appears in multiple places throughout the island and takes on a different personality depending on the time of day, the geographic orientation, the weather and the season. My opening image was captured at the very western edge of the island during an extremely high “King Tide”. The image just above is from a spot very close by but from a different direction during a thick fog.

Kiawah, marsh, autumn, landscape
Autumn on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“What’s the need of visiting far-off mountains and bogs, if a half-hour’s walk will carry me into such wildness and novelty.”

Henry David Thoreau

Once again from the same western end of our island, the vista above looks across the marsh and a winding river that leads to the sea. The tall grasses provide a haven for deer, fox, bobcats, raccoons, birds, and yes, sometimes dolphin and our ever-popular alligators.

marsh, river, egrets, reflection, Kiawah
Summer’s Day on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“The marsh, to him who enters it in a receptive mood, holds…..the mystery of unknown waters, and the sweetness of Nature undisturbed by man.”

William Beebe

Further east, the marsh is surrounded by a narrow river that leads to the sea. At high tide the dolphins can be seen swimming through small pathways traversing the grasses, while at low tide they can often be seen practicing their “stranding” teamwork, pushing local mullet up onto the mud for a quick meal.

marsh, Kiawah, light, grasses
After a Storm on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“Midway between land and water, freshwater marshes are among the most highly productive ecosystems on earth, rivaling the tropical rainforest.”

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Near the center of the island, a large swath of marsh is crossed by a wooden bridge. On the far side once can see across the marsh to the ocean beyond. One afternoon as I was crossing the bridge I was gifted with the glorious sky in the image above. After a sudden storm, the sun had broken through the clouds and accented the golden marsh grasses with a warm glow. I had only my cellphone with which to capture it, but I simply could not pass by without at least an attempt.

great blue heron, marsh, grasses, water, kiawah
Great Blue Heron on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“Keep your spirits up, hope for the best, and with a tremendous slice of luck you may come out one day and see the Long marshes lying below you.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

I found myself on the far eastern end of our island late one afternoon with camera in hand hoping to capture a beautiful sunset. I cannot remember the sunset, but I did come across the beautiful great blue heron shown above, seeking its evening meal as the sun began its slide into blue hour. I went home more than happy with nature’s gift for that day.

pine tree, pine cones, reflection, water
Overhanging Pine Tree on the Marsh, Kiawah

“Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing-withholding and free, Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves to the sea.”

Sidney Lanier

Most of the visitors here on Kiawah are drawn to our beautiful beach. Many also appreciate our wildlife, especially the birds. For me, Kiawah’s most beautiful feature is the ever-changing, life-sustaining, light-reflecting marsh. I’ve seen deer loping through the grasses, multiple species of birds feeding together during low tide, dolphin swimming through the creeks, and incredible plants seeking nutrients from the rich pluff mud. I hope I’ve conveyed at least a bit of the beauty to be found in this ever-changing element of our island home.

Sincere thanks to John for the opportunity to share this favorite Kiawah feature. You can find his challenge here. Please be sure to link your responses to his original post. Thanks also to Amy for last week’s “Travel Has Taught Me” challenge. I had fun traveling down memory lane for my response and appreciated the many thoughtful and beautiful responses of our followers. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Sofia leads us on her Photographias blog. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #184 – Travel Has Taught Me

cheetah, Africa, Travel
On The Alert, Africa

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

W.B. Yeats

Well Amy has definitely set us a true challenge this week – distilling into a single post the things that travel has taught us! As such, fair warning this will be a long one.

In any post about travel you can be sure I will feature an image from our adventures in Africa. A lifelong dream I never expected to fulfill, it taught me many things – not the least of which is never to give up on your dreams 😊. It also taught me the incredible joy of being among the world’s most beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, and the depth of the disaster it would be should our lack of vigilance threaten their existence.

Patagonia, South America, mountains, natural scenery
Big, Wide, Wonderful World, Patagonia

“Take the time to put the camera away and gaze in wonder at what’s there in front of you.”

Erick Widman

Mr. Widman’s quote is another thing I’ve learned in my travels. Although memories of our travels are lovingly preserved in our photographs, it is equally important to stop and absorb the sights and sounds of the places we visit. The glorious vistas of Patagonia, for example, are well beyond any camera’s abilities no matter how skilled the photographer.

Longsheng, rice fields, china, dragon's backbone
Dragon’s Backbone, Longsheng, China

“Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

Our travels across China taught me many things – several remain on my list of most important:

1. Do your research. If I hadn’t we’d never have see the glorious rice fields of Longsheng highlighted in my image above.

2. If traveling privately ask for a guide who is also a photographer. I’d have waited for golden hour if my guide hadn’t told me the fields would then be in shadows and the best time was actually mid-day. If in a group, try to find a photography-oriented trip.

3. Get off the beaten track. While we loved all of the major stops in China, the lesser known and more remote areas of the country were even more magical (except of course for the Great Wall, which more than met my huge expectations).

Angkor Wat, Cambodia, haze, daybreak
Hazy Daybreak, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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

Mary Anne Radmacher

Travel has taught me that history, biology and ecology are much more fascinating when experienced first-hand. History comes alive in places like the temples of Cambodia, the Great Wall of China, the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian, the religious sites of Jerusalem or the treasures of Petra for example. Natural sites like the Great Barrier Reef or Uluru in Australia or the magnificent glaciers of Alaska and Patagonia help us to recognize how truly insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things.

twelve apostles, australia, victoria
The “Twelve” Apostles, Australia

“There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Jawaharial Nehru

Yes, travel can be tedious and exhausting but in my experience its rewards far outweigh any difficulties. I’ll close with a few more favorite images and some information about our next challenge. Hang in there with me just a bit longer!

Petra, Rose walls, The Treasury
The Rose Walls of Petra, Jordan
Clouds, Light, Storm, Scotland
Storm Approaching, Scotland
Gordes, France, Hillside, Sunset
Sunset, Gordes, France
alaska, whale fin, midnight sun
Whale Watching, Glacier Bay, Alaska

“May your adventures bring you closer together, even as they take you far away from home.”

Trenton Lee Stewart

I’ll close with a note of gratitude to my husband, without whom I’d have seen much less of this amazing world. His enthusiasm and sense of adventure know no bounds, and I happily travel along beside him, wherever the road may lead.

Thanks too to Amy for the opportunity to stroll down memory lane, and to all of our followers for their support and commitment. Be sure to link your posts to Amy’s original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our WP reader. We hope you’ll join us next week when John of Journeys With Johnbo leads us with his challenge “Change”. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #183 – Memorable Events

starfish, seashells, beach, hurricane aftermath
After the Storm

“Photographs may be more memorable than moving images, because they are a neat slice of time, not a flow.

Susan Sontag

Ann-Christine’s challenge this week highlights an amazing visit to Morocco, a truly Memorable Event. Although all of our travels have been filled with marvelous memories, I’ve chosen to go in a different direction. For me the small moments that are often overlooked are also worthy of note. For example, a (happily) unusual and memorable event occurred in the aftermath of a Category 2 hurricane here on Kiawah. Shown in my opening image, when the storm abated my short walk was rewarded with an amazing array of ocean life strewn end-to-end along our beautiful beach.

Beach, ice, storm
Kiawah Scene Seldom Seen

“Memorable photographs have been made with the simplest of cameras using available light.”

Yousuf Karsh

In another memorable weather event, we experienced an incredible ice storm which for us here in the southern U.S. is an extremely rare and hence memorable event. Interestingly we are in the midst of another unusual freeze as I write. In 20+ years here, this is only the 4th time we’ve seen ice or snow – more than enough for me. On the other hand, there is definitely something to be said for the pristine beauty of a “winter wonderland”.

green, yellow, colorful, caterpillar, nature
Colorful Crawler

“Originality is the key to being memorable.”

Suzy Kassem

Nature often rewards us with small but memorable moments, and our images provide us with excellent reminders of them. Without my photograph I would probably have forgotten the surprisingly beautiful little creature above, which I discovered one afternoon in my neighbor’s garden.

leaves, reflection, water, plants
Making Lemonade from Lemons

“Life is a book, one page a day but only memories are making chapters”

Davan Yahya Khalil

I’ve often posted about our local photography club which has hosted many professional photographers over the years. Most sessions include a shoot with the visiting pro for field experience. During an outing with National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins, the weather was rather miserable and the day’s subject, our usually-marvelous avian population, was less than cooperative. Frustrated by the sheltering birds, I decided to wander a bit and came across the simple reflection above. The secondary lesson – if your original plan isn’t working, find a new one 😊.

canola, yellow, barn, red, colorful
Canola Crop

“Each moment has the potential to be special and memorable.”

Steven Redhead

During a visit with friends in Montana, I was treated to this beautiful scene. I’d noticed the fields of canola during the approach to the small airport and my friend, who shares my love of photography, scheduled a day trip for us. The canola, combined with the aging red barn and bright blue sky, turned this simple outing with a good friend into a truly memorable event.

sunflowers, butterfly, yellow, green, field
Yellow on Yellow

“Nobody remembers the moment of birth or the moment of death. So between both, you better do memorable things.”

A.J. Beirens

While touring the beautiful Vanderbilt Mansion in nearby North Carolina my husband and I came upon a huge field of sunflowers. As I was composing my image, a little yellow butterfly cruised into my shot – a memorable event due to its fortunate serendipity.

workman, saw, hand, dust
Hard at work

“Only powerfully conceived images have the ability to penetrate the memory, to stay there, in short to become unforgettable.”


Another serendipitous and hence memorable event occurred while shooting with a friend in downtown Charleston. I am usually very shy about asking people if I can photograph them but this was a moment I couldn’t resist. The workman couldn’t have been nicer and I happily spent some time working the scene. I later submitted the image above for publication in the Charleston Post & Courier and it was featured as their Photo of the Week.

At the Majors

“One piece of good sense would be more memorable than a monument as high as the moon.”

Henry David Thoreau

Finally, I would be remiss if I neglected to include last year’s PGA Tournament held here on Kiawah’s Ocean Course in 2021. For the non-golfers among us, this is one of four annual “majors” and this year’s event was particularly memorable. Phil Mickelson’s win made him (at age 50) the oldest champion of any golf major. My images were captured during the practice round when both cameras and the contestants’ casual-wear shorts were allowed.

I’ll close with a simple thought – life is filled with memorable moments, found in events both big and small. For me, it’s the unexpected small moments that keep life interesting. Yes, big events are extremely important, but they are far less frequent than the little things that keep us motivated in-between.

Large or small, we look forward to seeing the memorable events you choose to feature this week. Be sure to link them to Ann-Christine’s original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our reader. Next week Amy will lead the challenge, so be sure to check out her interesting and beautiful blog. In the meanwhile, as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #182 – Interesting Objects

church, hymnal, antique, colorful
Historic Hymnal, France

“If light and sight work out in an interesting way, then it’s a photograph.”

Moses Oliver

I must admit Patti threw me for a loop this week. I rarely photograph “objects”, especially here on Kiawah where for me it’s all about nature. So I’ve decided to stroll through the archives for images that meet the challenge. I’ve opened with an antique hymnal and the surrounding walls of a gorgeous little chapel in Le Vieux Oppede in Provence, France.

salt and pepper, man and woman, statuette
Mr. and Mrs., Ireland

“Interesting things often happen at the fringes, away from the main ‘action'”

Paul Russell

While visiting Kinsale, Ireland some years ago (and yes, it was a golf trip) we strolled along the main street, browsing the lovely shops as we passed. I was captivated by these little statuettes. The gentleman’s hairdo and mustache really made me smile.

oxcart, cambodia, children
Oxcart, Cambodia

“Serendipity, coincidence and chance are more interesting than any preconceived construct of our human encounters.”

Charles Traub

The image above from our visit to Cambodia remains one of my all-time favorites. Mr. Traub’s quote applies 100% in this case, as I was simply walking along on my way elsewhere when this ox-cart with its young driver came along. I literally ran down the other side of the street with my camera (which I happily had with me) to get in front of them for the shot. It’s surely not perfect as it was a moving subject captured in haste, but it’s a moment that for me is frozen in time.

monkey, Africa, valve
Cheeky Monkey, Zimbabwe

“Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if..’ and then do it!”

Duane Michals

As a first stop before heading to our safaris in Botswana, we settled in Zimbabwe for several days primarily to see Victoria Falls. It was our first exposure to animals in the wild (although to be honest, at this stop I use the term “wild” loosely). The cheeky monkey is of course what to me makes the otherwise plebeian valve a more “interesting” object 😊.

mosaic, wall art, Israel
Meaningful mosaic, Israel

“Working in color is an interesting ingredient in the juggling act of making an interesting photograph.”

Jeff Mermelstein

We came upon this creative and thoughtful mosaic while strolling along Rothschild Boulevard in beautiful Tel Aviv, Israel. I loved the message, which of course is so true. I often think of our ancestors here in the U.S., as not so long ago our parents, grandparents or great grandparents were most likely newly-immigrated. If we go back far enough, the same can be said of all of us. The world might be a better place if we were to remember it more often.

train, trestle, Harry Potter, Scotland
Harry Potter revisited, Scotland

“There are no uninteresting things, there are just uninterested people.”

Jerry Uelsmann

I chose to include the image above for those who, like me, love all things “Harry Potter” . While I have many images of our visit to Scotland that might command more attention, this overpass, which was used in the train scenes of the Potter movies, is one of my favorites.

Super Seat, Czech Republic

“The entire visual world is an incredibly interesting place. If that is not sufficient ‘subject’ for you, then I propose that you are in a ‘world’ of trouble, and had best get out while you can, because this game of photography is not for you.”

Priscilla Ferguson-Forthman

I’ll close with an image of one of the more bizarre objects I’ve come across, that of a chair I saw in Prague many years ago. I came across it while uploading some older images to my current archives and wondered what I was thinking as I captured the image! Whatever it was then, it certainly fits this week’s “interesting” objects challenge!

Many thanks to Patti for the opportunity to smile at some of my favorite memories as I browsed for this week’s challenge. Be sure to link your responses to her original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our Reader section. Thanks also to all of you who joined us last week for our “double-dipping” challenge. I was amazed at the number of challenges I’d not heard of before and look forward to participating in some of them in the weeks and months to come. Finally, Ann-Christine will be leading our challenge next week on her Leya blog so be sure to watch for it. In the meanwhile as always please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #181 – Double Dipping

flower, impressionist, pink
Pretty in Pink – Cee’s Flower of the Day

“Friendship doubles your joys and divides your sorrows.”


Each Saturday the Lens-Artists team presents an opportunity for our followers and/or visitors to add their images and accompanying thoughts on a subject for all to see. This week we’re suggesting that in addition to our challenge, you explore and link to some of the other creative opportunities our friends and fellow challengers make available in the WP blogosphere (or any other sites where you post images). I’ve opened, for example, with an impressionist flower image I’m linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

heron, bird, great blue,
Great Blue Heron – Brian’s Last Image on the Card

“I try to put double or multiple meanings into my photographs, which might give rise to a greater variety of interpretations.”

Cindy Sherman

This week my images address the subjects of several other challenges. Each image is titled to show the challenge and my text includes a link as well. Feel free to connect to any or all of them, or to find your own favorite from among the many others available. My great blue heron above is linked to Brian aka Bushboy’s monthly Last Image On The Card. (Cropped and edited, I made the image during a round of golf.)

sunset, sailboat, Kiawah
Sunset Sail – John’s Cellpic Sunday

“A politician is a person who will double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.”

Oscar Levant

Last week’s Lens-Artists challenge welcomed three new members to our team, one of whom is our own John Steiner. John also hosts a weekly challenge, Cellpic Sunday which has only one requirement, the image(s) must have been made with a mobile device such as a cellphone or a drone. I made the image above in November of 2021 using my I-phone 12 Pro Max – which not surprisingly is a definite improvement over my 8+.

lights, tree, holiday
Home for the Holidays – Nadia Merrill’s photo a week challenge – lights

“Let’s not have a double-standard. One standard will do just fine.”

George Carlin

I’ll close with an image I made at the very end of 2021 as my husband and I enjoyed yet another Covid-induced holiday here at home. Each year our local shopping center presents a marvelous display of lights, including lighting a beautiful live oak tree that welcomes both residents and visitors to our little island. I’ve linked this one to Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week challenge – Lights. I’m always a bit sad to see the lights go dark as the holiday season ends so I’ve included this one even though Nancy’s posted a new challenge for this week – animals.

Speaking of ending, it’s time I did so with my challenge this week. Please be sure to include the Lens-Artists tag with your responses, and to link to my original post as well as any other challenges you elected to feature. I’ll close with a sincere thank you to those who shared their wonderful images and stories in last week’s year-end favorites challenge. Despite 2021’s many frustrations, you found ways to share beauty, joy and positivity through your images. Stay tuned for next week’s challenge, hosted by Patti on her Pilotfish blog, and as always, until then please stay safe and be kind.