This week Sofia invites us to show what Spring means to us. As winter refuses to let go of its grip this year, I will give you my feeling of ”vårvinter” or ”spring winter”. These are our days between winter and spring, and they belong to March in Sweden and Finland. Sometimes it is called ”the fifth season”.
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
– Henry Van Dyke
This means that ice is melting during the day, but the cold night brings it back again. Mist often occurs.
The first cranes arrive – not many yet, only about 1000 at Hornborgasjön this week. And faraway they were from the view point…but I managed to find some of them.
More birds arriving to the lake, and in a couple of weeks there will be around 20000 cranes and thousands of other birds.
Spring winter brings a very special, magical light – a light filled with promise.
There is a faint chiming in the air, and bird calls, soft ones and strong ones. When all cranes have arrived, you cannot even hear your own thoughts…
But until then, the stillness over the landscape rules, peaceful, powerful.
Back home again, spring is even more in the air. Soon, soon the anemonies, the daffodils and all colours will arrive and once again we will be swept away by the miracle of spring.
New beginnings, Nature reborn or a new chance to go and enjoy the outdoors? For me, spring means all of this. We look forward to seeing what spring images you will come up with, so remember to link back to Sofia’s original post and to tag Lens-Artists.
Last week John took us on a journey through most often travelled roads, where our photography is most comfortable. It was fascinating to see the differences, but also how they all lead to the same destination. Next week it is Anne’s turn to host so please visit her beautiful site and join us if you can. Until then, take care and be kind.
For more information on the Lens-Artists Challenge, please click here.
Now it’s time for you to show us your favorite “road” in photography. Consider a favorite photographic style like low key/high key, monochrome, etc. Maybe a genre of photography like a preference for architecture, still life, portraiture, etc. Whatever your preference, we’d love to see your images captured in your favorite style or genre.
Learning to distance yourself from all the negativity is one of the greatest lessons to achieve inner peace. ― Roy T. Bennett
Tina is our host this week, and she wants to know how we find peace in this busy world. For me, it’s a struggle, but in short, I need alone time and to immerse myself in Nature, Beauty and Art.
A combination of architecture – old and new – and books, is just perfect. It is enough for me to enter a library – any library… But, an exquisite one, like the Long Room in Trinity College, Dublin, is unforgettable. There is an atmosphere around all these books, the authors’ aura peacefully descending on you.
Art – especially otherworldly and fantastic art, like this of Yasec Yerka, expands my mind and thoughts. Yerka’s Surrealistic art is inspired by old masters like Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel. I often sit in my armchair and wander through his books, resting in peaceful wonder.
On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.
– Jules Renard
Looking at beauty in the world is the first step of purifying the mind.
– Amit Ray
Lose yourself in nature and find peace.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Time spent amongst trees is never time wasted.
– Katrina Mayer
Wander often. Wonder always – Anonymous
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
Thank you for all your inspiring images and words on Alone time! I enjoyed every piece of them, and I think we also got to know each other a bit more. This week Tina is taking last week’s theme a bit further – hopefully we will get many ideas on how to find peace in this busy world. Please visit Tina for more inspiration, and don’t forget to use the Lens-Artist’s tag when you link to her original post.
Next week it is John’s turn to lead, make sure to visit his site for more about the challenge.
Alone time means time spent by an individual or a couple apart from others. It is often used to ground oneself, or to do something creative.
In the northern countries we are known for this need of alone time – but I strongly believe we all need it. We just have to watch for the signs… even if they are not always easily recognized. You might for example need some time away from other people when you are feeling short-tempered or getting easily irritated by minor things; feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated; having trouble concentrating or getting anxious about spending time with other people.
My own reasons for needing alone time originates from being an only child, and growing up close to the forests and fields – Nature holds all the beauty I need in life, and I have been given the gift to see and to listen, and to rejoice in it. I am very grateful.
Grounding yourself is when you stay connected to the present. Instead of getting lost in anxiety and reviewing a made-up version of reality in your head, grounding allows you to experience the moment you are in. It requires being connected to yourself and provides stability and calm even in challenging situations.
Nature is an unequalled source to pour from – turn off social media, open your windows and let your eyes and mind wander with you on the path you choose. Personally, my favourite path is the one with grass in the middle…just like my childhood paths.
I feel better when I am surrounded, not by humans, but by trees.
― Michael Bassey Johnson
For many of us books and reading fill this alone time well. Reading gives us the possibility to wander into other worlds, while sitting comfortably in our own chair.
For me, photography, writing and sketching works well too, and so does painting.
I know that I need serious alone time to be able to function. For this purpose, I finally realised an old dream – A Room of My Own.
We need solitude, because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.
― Tamim Ansary
Finding time to be alone can have a number of key benefits. Some of these include personal exploration, creativity and social energy. If you are not used to spend time alone, plan that time into your schedule and make sure that other people know that they shouldn’t interrupt you during that time. It might be helpful too if you plan out what you want to do –
This week in February, every year, I want my husband to travel for some days, so that I can replant my houseplants, alone. I can plan it as I want to, I can emerge myself in facts on the different species…
…and end up with revived plants and cuttings en masse – cheers to new life!
This year I also bought some airplants – they need no soil, just a piece of bark, some Spanish moss, and some sprinkling of water. At the same time I get the joy of creating interesting new arrangements.
New projects are always around the corner, but, I also try hard to just BE. Do nothing. Exist here and now. This is difficult. I wonder – do you manage it? Some good advice would be much appreciated.
Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.
~ Paulo Coelho
When I am completely by myself, entirely alone or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them.
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
A Special thank you to Bren for her soft and magical challenge last week! We learned new things and new experiences make us grow. Now we are looking forward to seeing your Alone Time posts. What are your thoughts, and what do you use your alone time for? Be sure to tag Lens-Artists and link to my original post.
I have been made aware of pingbacks not working, so please, send your link in the comment section! It seems the reason it’s not working might originate in the change to JetPack on my phone.
Next week, Tina will be hosting, and her theme will be – Finding Peace. Please visit her beautiful site for inspiration.
We need softness in the world. When you go to sleep at night, do you lay your head on a brick?
– Adrienne Posey
For this week’s challenge, our guest host, Bren, wants us to show how we soften our images. Bren is a master of this, and now we can learn how it works. ” You don’t have to stick to flowers, landscapes and architecture are also ideal subjects. By lowering the clarity and creating softness in those areas frames the subject in an image, be it a tree, path, bridge, even a door or house or just a dreamy looking image.”
I decided to try some different subjects, starting with a flower and finishing with a seascape.
My first try was a Nasturtium plant close-up –
Then some fluffiness against a rough wall – I guess the bee was collecting building material for his home.
My red camellia is in flower now. I love what the softening did in this image – it made the ”unreal” look of this flower more tempting and strikingly beautiful. The white camellia is in flower as well, but the softness did not work as well as in this one.
The blue colour of the chikory flower is unsurpassed, according to me.
A gallery from my forest walks and Hovdala Castle. Colourful tapestries and soft trees mimicking the clouds.
Golden beech leaves among the larch trees. A picture I was to throw away – until Bren’s challenge saved it for me!
The last tree standing. I made the layers of twigs, grass, forest and sky soft/clear in those sections.
Another gently woven tapestry with field, forest and sky. The colours really appealed to me, and the skies were great that day.
I didn’t believe this technique would work quite that well with a seascape – but I just had to try.
Thank you, Amy, for last week’s wonderful challenge with so many interesting interpretations! And thank you, Bren, for letting us play and learn – I hope you all had as much fun as I had. Now we are looking forward to seeing your responses to this week’s challenge! Please remember to link to Bren’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.
Next week it will be me, Ann-Christine/Leya who is your host. See you then!
For more information on joining the challenge each week, check here.
It’s never the differences between people that surprise us. It’s the things that, against all odds, we have in common. ― Jodi Picoult
Thank you to Amy of The World is a Book, for hosting this week’s interesting challenge. She asks us to explore, East Meets West or North Meets South. Read her creative post here to inspire your thoughts. Remember to link to her post and add the Lens-Artists tag so we can find you.
I must declare this was a difficult task for me – how to? I hope my solution is OK with you.
Because, I have focused on North meets South, and two very different countries with much in common. Just like we humans, wherever we come from – we have got so many things in common.
I guess you already know from the first images which the two countries are…
Both have got spectacular natural phenomena as volcanoes and hot springs, and ice and snow in beautiful nature.
They have got similar houses too…(!) even if one of them only is from some famous films made here.
So, how do we use their natural resources, the hotsprings? We can bathe in them…
cook in them…
or maybe just love the sight of them as a tourist. For energi they are outstanding and sustainable resources.
Both countries also boast spectacular natural layers of stone.
In one of the two countries, there are no forests – in the other one the jungle lives side by side with the glaciers.
If you follow me, you know how close to my heart these two countries are. They carry the clear light of a natural world less spoilt. One of them is called the land of the long white cloud, while the other one, if you look at the images above, maybe is the land of the short white cloud…
A special thank you to Patti as she made us look at Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome last week. Once again, the interpretations to the challenge were creative, fun and inspiring. This way, we also learned something about what photos work best in monochrome. Next week, we welcome Bren as our guest host. She challenges us with: ”Lowering That Clarity To Bring Softness.” We look forward to more learning next week!
Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Challenges? Click here for more information.
Many of us love reflections and shadows, and many of us photograph them frequently. I am one of them. This week Patti has challenged us to show some of our images in monochrome. Shadows and reflections are even more mysterious and enigmatic then, as you will find them changing our perception of the image. Some images more than others, but, they all draw us in for new lines and details, new perspectives.
I have always preferred the reflection of the life to life itself.
– Francois Truffaut
Art is a direct reflection of the life you live. What you experience comes out in your work.
– Dianne Reeves
Glass reflects light in different and special ways. This glass piece from Kosta Boda was displayed on fur – very attractive and innovative opposites.
A visit to Library of Water in Stykkishólmur, Iceland, will give you another perspective of water. The reflections of the outside world as well as of the inside of the columns show how water refracts light differently.
Tblisi at night by the fountain cascades. Water, water everywhere!
Lodz, Poland, Light Move Festival.
A feast for the eye.
I found these fun shadows at a vineyard east of Porto, Portugal. These two containers were so big, that you had to have a ladder and a bridge to use them.
A garden is a reflection of you, it’s your presence in the world.
– Julie Newmar
This week, Patti is challenging us to show photos with reflections and/or shadows captured or processed in monochrome. ”Feel free to process your image in different shades of blue, green, brown, or gray. You can also shoot your image in a setting that’s predominantly one color–like a blue sea and sky, for example.” Be sure to include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.
If you’re new to LAPC, here’s a link that explains how to join us.
Last week we had a lot of messages… Donna’s theme–Messages. You found them everywhere–in nature, on buildings, at home. A special thanks to Donna for hosting a lovely challenge.
Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to lead us, so be sure to stop by her site on Saturday at noon EST. Until then, I hope you have a week filled with joy, inspiration, and photo opportunities!
Enjoy your search for messages in photography this week. The options are endless. ”Does the message from your last fortune cookie resonate with you? Clouds? Is there street art, neon signs, or store fronts that grab your attention? What about the underlying messages from marketing logos, or the message you want to portray in your photography. Just have fun”. And then, please link your post back to Donna and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can find you.
Ever since life started on earth, messages have been essential for our communication. Every living creature depends on the ability to communicate. Here are some different messages that I have found…mostly they speak for themselves.
Who left this place, seemingly only some seconds ago…? A dear friend who used to love lying in frosty grass. Happy to have captured his message now that he is gone since long.
I was here! Territorial messages can be marked in many ways.
I have never driven one of these, but many youngsters around here have one…Good message for the police to know what kind of car this is…
You don’t have to know the language if there is a message like this on the building. Pictures delivering messages are essential. This one represents one of our oldest theater forms, a craft almost forgotten in many countries.
One of my dear students is a Swedish champion in Jousting…
– taking a break maybe? Or, did he lose or win? I am sure he will return though, for his coat of arms, sword, armour and mask.
Play of words gives me great pleasure – here at the newest aquarium in Denmark – The Blue Planet. I will come back in a year or two with my grandchild.
Art almost always carry messages for us. With open eyes and senses we will understand. The problem is – will we learn?
A special thank you to Anne as she inspired us to take a One Lens Walk last week. Your interpretations to the challenge were creative and inspiring. Hearing more about what lenses people prefer was also interesting. Not surprisingly a zoom lens was very popular.
Now we are looking forward to your messages! Next week, Patti will lead with Shadows & Reflections in Monochrome. Make sure to visit her at Pilotfish for more inspiration.
Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Community Challenges? Click here for more information.
Annes challenge for us this week is to take a lens for a walk. Yes, to choose a lens and walk. We can also use our cell phone or point and shoot camera. Another trick, when using a zoom lens, is to pick an aperture and stay with it. It is of course also possible to go for our archives. The important thing is to have fun! Remember to link to Anne’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.
I usually walk with my Fuji 16-80 lens, or my 35 prime lens. But my absolute favourite is the Tamron 90 macro. It is not a coincidence that my blog is labelled with a quote from William Blake: ”To see a World in a Grain of Sand…” The complete line goes: ”To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.” To me, this is the essence of Life.
As there are very few flowers and insects to photograph right now, I have chosen some of my old macros to show the different possibilities of this lens. Close-ups and macros yes, – but you will notice it is very versatile.
For macros I normally use f/11, but f/8 – f/11 works fine. I always use a tripod, and that is why most of my macros are shot in my own garden. I don’t carry a tripod on my walks. Not only because of the weight, I want to feel free. And, I often have my dog, Milo, with me too. In the beginning I tried to hand hold the camera, but there were too many photos to throw away, so Milo and the tripod are two of my best friends.
Droplets and frosty petals are always a treat, but even with flowers and other subjects that often don’t move much, I also use the timer in order not to risk accidental camera movements while pressing the button. The photo with many droplets, to the left in this gallery, was hand held. When I don’t take close-ups or macro with the lens, that works fine.
When we get really close, like in the first and the last picture, and the roses, the photo turns almost abstract. Other worlds open up and lets our fantasy work magic.
We enjoyed looking back with all of you during Sophia’s challenge last week. You sent us unique and interesting responses – some surprising ones too. Now we are looking forward to seeing your one lens walks!
Next week our new team member, Donna Holland of Wind Kisses, will be leading the challenge. Be sure to visit her beautiful site for inspiration!
If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info.
Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness
– Frank Gehry
This challenge from Sofia is about time, how things evolve. I have chosen architecture in the city of Tblisi, Georgia. A city I loved from start to finish, because of …everything! Its architecture ranges from caves to supermodern buildings. They have it all. I loved its gentle and smiling people, the delicious food and wine.
Starting out of the city centre, we visited habitable caves where people lived until just recently.
When walking out of the oldest area and down to the city center, we saw more of tiles and bricks, modern and old techniques. The Orbeliani Sulphur Baths are spectacular buildings from the beginning of the city’s history in the 5th century.
In the middle the most famous of the baths in oriental style.
In some places the juxtapositions were too painful. Many people wanted to preserve something of the old style, and the restorations were fairly well done. But we found buildings made of wood, bricks, tiles and finally glass, together.
The ornamented and typical old style was broken into rounded corners and reflecting glass panels. When we asked people about their ”new” city, not many of them were positive to the changes. They only wanted clean water and electricity.
As you could see in the overall picture of Tblisi, there were some buildings that looked extremely odd – the Concert Hall (not in use…) and the Peace Bridge (in the upper left corner ).
Any architectural work that does not express serenity is an error
Peace bridge in night light. Somehow changes are often taken to the extreme, and to me, it seems old and new seldom manage to coexist beautifully.
Alexandr, our guide, saw it as his mission to photograph old Tblisi for future generations to see and for older generations to reminisce about their younger days. And because he loved his city. He walked the streets of the old city every day, and the tearing down of the elaborately built houses, balconies and staircases made him sad. He told us he was going to donate all his photos to the city museum when he was unable to work anymore.
Beauty perishes in life, but is immortal in art
– Leonardo da Vinci
Sofia picked Art representations to show the passing of time. Now it is up to you to choose where you want to go when you look back in time. Maybe you will want to focus on the evolution of transport, or want to show things that have seen better days… or things that have become obsolete. We’re excited to see where and when you’ll take us. Remember to link to Sofia’s original post and tag Lens-Artists so we can all find you.
A special thank you to John and everyone that took part in last week’s challenge. There were many amazing images from 2022 and promises of a great 2023. Next week Anne will be our host. Please visit her wonderful site for inspiration.