LAPC #210 – Picking Favourites

Sarah of Travel with me is our guest host this week, and she says:

”I want to ask you all to join me in sharing three of what you consider to be among your very best shots. This exercise will really test your ability to be self-critical, as it has mine. Look into your archives and apply your most critical eye; play ‘judge’ and try to look dispassionately at your images.”

Sarah asks us to pick out three that stand out as particular favourites, and three from different genres. The genres are up to us to decide: macro, wildlife, street, landscape, architecture. Anything goes, but ”each must be an image you are proud of.”

Not easily done this picking…and I sneaked in a header photo as well…hope you don’t mind, Sarah! But, I made it fairly easy for myself by picking the two award winning images I have, in genres I love, macro and nature – trees. But let’s start with the third image, from 2016:

This favourite is from the Fluela Pass in Switzerland. I have showed it many times, but never tire of it. Also a pleasant surprise as there was no reflection when we passed here in the morning – then this magic appeared when we went back the same road. The people in the image shows the very size of the landscape, and I love the feeling of an endless mountain range disappearing into the blue sky. I remember the difficulty in getting it all inside the frame…a vast landscape and a difficult angle.

This Epiphyllum cactus, in Sweden called Princess of the Night, is a gem. This is her first flower, a warm summer night in 2016. And how we stayed up late, waiting for the wonder to happen! 25 cm of magic, only lasting for a few hours. This photo was taken with my phone, but won a medal of honour and a place in our Nordic photo competition that year. It is in their yearly book of best photos as well.

It was my first competition – I generally don’t send photos to competitions… and I was happy and proud. I think that magical night and the first time I saw the beautiful flower unfold, will stay with me forever.

This image (from the Autumn of 2018) of my favourite beech tree is very precious to me. The photo was taken before the great storms and the heavy snowfall last year, so the tree is intact in this image. Some of his big branches are gone now.

Not much to be seen of the tree in the picture, but that thrills the imagination of the viewer. We understand that the size of the tree must be huge – look at the texture of the trunk and the long, horisontal branches. He is hundreds of years old, and more than 30 meters high, standing alone in an open meadow. I also love the view of the birch trees and the beeches taken under his wings… Because I imagine he is a he – and he is keeping an eye on us all. We usually talk at least once a week.

Being an award winner too, and the only photo of mine sitting on my wall – I have to pick this one. Getting it printed on canvas was part of the prize, and the reason for me to participate was the story of a favourite tree, as trees are my passion. The host was a national park.

If I try to summarize…I can see that I photograph more with my heart than with camera and lens. Strong memories and precious moments I treasure the most. I want the image to reveal my emotions – and to stir yours. I have several thousands of photos collected throughout the years…but the best ones have sprung out of special moments where my feelings shine through.

Special thanks too to Tracy for hosting that interesting Surrealism challenge last week and to everyone who joined in; it was great to see the variety of responses! Anne will be our host next week, Saturday, August 6. Her intriguing theme will be What’s Your Photographic Groove.

Until then, stay safe and cool – and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #183 – Memorable Events

This week you will have an opportunity to show us some memorable events – new ones or delightful memories! I had to reflect upon it for some days before I knew what to choose…because life gives us quite some of these very special events, doesn’t it? Happy Birthdays, surprising hikes, meetings with faraway friends, interesting exhibitions, travels to special places…

Finally, I chose our two days in the Sahara desert in Morocko, an event that is often on my mind, and will stay with me forever. The silence, the beauty of the dunes, and the many surprises along the way….I am sure you too will find a favourite or two to post, and hopefully also enjoy this challenge.

I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, from one of my favourite stories: The Little Prince

After some jeep driving, we reached our dinner camp – and I was happy to find rag carpets on the sand – they made me feel very much at home in a place so far from home!

Our tour guides and transportation – camels – were patiently waiting for us. No stress in sight. We were only about ten people, nobody said anything, and the silence was tangible.

The glorious day promised we would have an unforgettable desert sunset. And yes, we had. But, even more beautiful was the blue hour light, slowly filling the endless desert sky.

That night we slept incredibly well in the camp bed, under thick layers to protect against the cold.

In the early morning I went out walking on the dunes again, hoping to see some interesting animals. The day before, a fox had been following us, and I saw quite some scarabs (the first picture below) and their significant paths in the sand. But now something else caught my attention – a hole in the ground… and someone digging and sending up splashes of sand. I kept still and quiet, and was rewarded with a glimpse of this little creature – a Tarabul’s gerbil! Length about 10cm and tail about 15cm. He really kept an eye on me..

I greatly enjoyed both the evening light and the morning light – and the atmosphere of stillness and lack of sounds.

Late evening dunes in warm chocolate waves, and morning dunes almost serenely cold.

I hope the camel – the “ship of the desert,” will continue to cruise the sand sea of the Sahara – and I am very grateful to once have been aboard. It is good to know, that there is still something of Arabian Nights in the world…and shimmering tales from olden days.

Have fun finding Memorable Events – or making new ones! Please include a link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Last week, we enjoyed learning about and exploring Interesting Objects. Thank you Patti for hosting this interesting challenge! Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to stop by her beautiful site and join in the fun! Until then, stay healthy and have an inspiring week!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90 – Distance

For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.
Rebecca Solnit

Tina’s choice of Distance for this week, gives room for many interpretations. Some images from the Sahara desert illustrates my first thoughts. And the poor scarab has an endless distance to crawl…

I think sometimes you need distance to reflect. – Lynn Nottage

Some extra time on your own these days gives new possibilities for this. Hiking or writing a diary might help keeping your thoughts together. And outdoors you can easily keep the distance.

Hobbiton, NZ

Fantasy is usually considered an escape, but it’s also a way to deal with weighty real-world issues from a safe distance and in a context where you usually have some kind of power that you don’t have in real life. – Noelle Stevenson

Maybe a chance to re-read old favorites – or new acquaintances!

Keeping social distance is what we all do these days – a necessity. Essential to stay healthy and save lives. These cats know how – an image from Madrid, often used, because I love it.

Finally some photos from last weekend, when the sun decided to throw some golden rays our way. Families together, couples sitting alone drinking coffee, enjoying the lovely outdoors. And so did we, Milo and Totti.

In Sweden we are still allowed to go out, and the forest and open landscapes are there for us to savour. Every country has its own rules in this Covid-19 crisis, but I hope many of you still have the possibility to go out. – But, we also don’t know for how long. A garden or a balcony is also great for some fresh air. I am convinced we all use different media to stay in contact with friends, and personally I find Zoom a perfect alternative as well. Thank you for being out there in the blogosphere.

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. – Henry David Thoreau


Be sure to link to Tina’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists TAG. And remember –

Stay safe, keep the distance – but stay in contact! 

CFFC: Sunset to Sunrise

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sunset to Sunrise (including any nighttime photography)

40 metres up in the canopy of the Amazon jungle – the most fantastic ever, of my sunsets experienced. The sounds from the jungle. The warmth. The stillness. A total sense of belonging and being one with nature. A religious feeling.

Returning to our lodge, leaving the canoes and heading for the welcoming lights.

Iceland, winter sunset on the south coast.


Returning to Reykjavik through the cold landscape – some icelandic horses on the horizon.

The header photo was taken from camel back, a sunset in the Morockan desert.


Thursday Thoughts – Longing…

Sometimes I find myself longing for those velvet and satin nights. Nights with only the sound of…distant birds. Nights when you walk slowly, holding the air in the palm of your hand… and feel tuned in to… the whole creation. Sometimes, these cold, windy and rainy Nordic nights…


Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Construction

Moroccan construction often looks like this. Is it a start or are we waiting for a finish?

For more of construcktion – click here.


WPC: Magic

Jen at WordPress asks us to bring along some magic…Some of the most magical memories I have, are from the Moroccan desert – the Sahara night. This, is true magic to me.


Travel theme: Dried

Travel theme: Dried

The Sahara desert is dried of course…but also the farmland straw towards autumn in Sweden.I love the colours of things dried.

Cee’s B&W Challenge: Circles and Curves

For Cee this week – a piece of the Atlas Range in Morocco. Maybe not complete circles, but indeed curves.  A majestic landscape streching miles and miles away to the horizon.

And thank you for being featured last week!