Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favourite Photos of 2020

Our team is back and we wish you welcome to 2021. This New Year comes with much hope for the future. Maybe more than ever –

It was as if the land opened its lips and breathed again, and was made anew.
― Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Our “Favorite Images of the Year ” challenge will be a bit different – as this whole year, 2020, has been different. No visits to foreign lands or faraway places. Instead it opens for images that tell something of our own journey for 2020. For me, this year meant living in my bubble, struggling to stay reasonably sane. So much less camera…and so much less energy – but still, here’s my year through lens and sense.

I begin with my absolute favourite image for 2020 – the broken window with wine leaves and the last rays of sun. From here I will travel backwards in time, down to when it all started, somewhere in January/February.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
― Oprah Winfrey

A friend of mine said to me, ”…this image is like a symbol of 2020: restriction and restraint for everything beautiful.” Maybe so, but, being a person who constantly seeks beauty, I will always try to find it, and to portray it – no matter what.
Letting ourselves and the dogs as free as possible – giving room and space for more uplifting thinking. We are fortunate to live near nature and the possibility to spend several hours a day in the great outdoors.
One of the few sunny minutes this autumn. For several years I have tried to catch this road in its Autumn glory – and finally, the golden moment arrived. Unfortunately this happened on one of my ”low” days, so, I felt… nothing of the expected joy. Still, here it is – the once much longed for image…
This year brought many opportunities for close-ups and macro photography – finding new worlds in small spaces. Never has William Blake’s words rung more true to me:

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

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. —Lao Tzu

In September my mother left us. Unexpectedly and unforeseen. And Autumn darkness at the door. After the funeral I went from feeling low to feeling exhausted and powerless. No recharging at hand. Even on our hikes I seldom brought my camera.

And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke

A highlight in the autumn darkness was the visit to IFÖ center and the artists’ studios there. I brought my camera… Creativity is contagious – not dangerous.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Cicero

My garden was a special joy this summer. And I finally got my glasshouse – hopefully there will be new plants in spring!
The beginning is always today.—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

New life is slowly growing where my forest once was. I clearly remember this uplifting day watching the clouds sailing low, like cottonballs dropped from the sky.
NO treat beats an outing with my daughter and son.
This year I discovered the swirl through some other bloggers – and loved juggling with it. I even made a none favourite animal look more handsome. (Still not a favourite though…) So, swirling became a distraction from the nightmare situation in the world.
Every moment is a fresh beginning. —T.S. Eliot

A new hiking area – we walked all familiar areas and even some new ones this Spring. Nothing compares to Mother Nature when it comes to healing. A sunny day, open fields, lovely old houses – the closest we could get to an ordinary day and a normal life.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. – Khalil Gibran

In the sandy soil of southwestern Skåne…you will find the most beautiful of spring flowers – the Pasqueflower. Only about 7 centimeters high, but abundant here. It felt comforting to lie down and touch the earth, knowing it is still there…

I was fortunate to attend a spectacular event – letting two young Eurasian eagle-owls take off for freedom! And how I wished I could just fly away with them.
Waiting for the train in Stockholm. On that train home from Umeå, I learned about the new Corona virus’ arrival in the world. Everything turned sci-fi, and I was shivering to the bones. My husband was traveling somewhere in Asia, and I texted him to return home immediately.

A lovely winter’s morning before the world changed… before everything we knew as normal was … gone.

In retrospect, I realize I have made more images than I knew of… despite this invisible invader and its impact on all our lives. Now we can only wish the vaccine will help us come back to easier and brighter days. The wiser. The first thing I would do… is go to a café for a nice cup of coffee and a tasty piece of cake – and quietly sit down to watch smiling people passing by.

We are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be guest hosted by Slow Shutter Speed’s Anne Sandler. Do stop by her blog this week to see her beautiful photography and don’t miss her post next Saturday at noon EST.

May 2021 bring peace, health, and happy moments to us all. We look forward to seeing Your favorite images of 2020 and understanding why you’ve chosen them. Please link them to Tina’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. As always, we greatly appreciate your continued support of our challenge and the inventive creativity of your responses.

98 reaktioner på ”Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favourite Photos of 2020

  1. Leya, I am so sorry about your mother’s passing. The only thing that made it bearable for me was that she was suffering so much. Your pictures show a wide range of emotions. The fierceness and even anger in the red eyes of the owl, the strength of his wingspan. Then quite an opposite feeling with the dainty flowers against the blue sky – happy child-like good times. The stillness of leaves in the autumn. I love the swirl. I want to learn more about that. Your macros – so bold and vibrant. So even though your year 2020 was a sad one and COVID made everyone’s year weirder than weird, your pictures remain constantly inspiring. Have a wonderful 2021, Leya. 🙂

  2. Such beautiful images AC! I might have to investigate how to do the swirl effect. The eyes on that owl are intense – beautiful bird! And of course, I love the puppies – always. So, because I am optimistic and one full of hope, we may be doing some hiking for 9 days in the Lofoten Islands this summer. I am trying to figure out what to do for another 6 or so days after in Scandinavia. We will probably skip Sweden, but am wondering what your thoughts are about Denmark and Finland. Most likely interested in something active. Would love your thoughts!

    • Interesting, Pam. Active…well then Denmark will be a bit more difficult. Maybe biking then – no mountains in Denmark…Norway and Sweden have got beautiful hiking trails. Finland I don’t know much about, but many Swedish photographers go there for wild life photography.

    • Ah…the mail went away too fast! Finland is also renowned for its numerous lakes and fishing possibilities. In Norway there ar glcier walks. If the glaciers are still there…
      Lofoten is a gem. Well chosen.
      Best
      AC

  3. Ping: Lens-ArtistPC-129-2020-Favourites – WoollyMuses

  4. A-C ,,, stunningly beautiful -AGAIN!!!! My favourite images … our common window … pasqueflower and the Stockholm Central station. *smile Happy New Year, Dearest.
    God fortsättning på Dig. Har haft väldigt problem med mitt öga igen och just nu tycker jag det mesta är ”skit! – haft huvudvärk i snart en vecka. Bättre idag och nu har jag bokat för isfestivalen i Poznan. Skam den som ger sig.

    • Du är makalös, Viveka! Hoppas ögat fixar sig nu också – huvudvärk är inget kul. Åtminstone jag orkar inte göra något alls med huvudvärk. Isfestivalen i höst då? Vi vågar inte beställa något alls…biljetter ligger ute och pengar likaså sen innan…
      Har du någon Eha som fått min e-mailadress? Fick ett fint mail som säger att du är inblandad?

  5. Your creativity seems to have expanded in response to this sad and dark year, Ann-Christine, but even so there is much light in your photos. I love them all, especially the window and the train station. Can I ask whether you feel slightly removed from your photos? I feel this about them but that may just be in the eye of the beholder.

    • I wish so too, Su, thank you. And still, I am grateful, there are so many having a disastrous time right now. All the best for you and yours!

  6. Stunning photos and text, AC! Your post spreads light and joy to all of us. Fabulous! Thanks for the smile and renewing my sense of wonder about the world’s beauty.❤️

  7. Wonderful photos, Ann-Christine! I love your window too, and your pasque flowers are beautifully lit, but they are all great images. I was sorry to hear about you mum. I hope this coming year brings some happiness for you and also for more opportunities for you to capture more images for your followers in 2021.

  8. Great selection of photos to show off your work. I remember when I first saw your photo of the broken window. It is a symphony of light, shade, and harmony with the background lighting! Beautiful capture.

  9. Ann Christine this is s very powerful collection of photos. Each photo tells me of your emotional reaction to the time. On reading through this post I feel that I have come through 2020 with you. I wish you all the best of health and peace for 2021.

  10. On my my … this is a fabulous collection. Thank you. Sorry, can’t do a favorite because of too many fabulous choices. But my fav finalists would include the rose, the first dog photo whose fur mimic’s the tree bark, the opening pic, and the snail. Simply a stunning collection. Thank you for sharing with us.

  11. This truly must be one of the most beautiful collections of photos I have ever seen posted . . . it will be reposted to friends, filed and cherished . . . . meanwhile Health and contentment in the months arriving . . . problems of the world do not look at calendars . . . . matters will improve when it is time . . . best . . .

  12. Am amazing collection of images. Your year has not been the easiest one. For those of us that have lost loved ones this year it has been particularly hard. But your creativity wins through in the end. Here is to a brighter 2021.

  13. Love the photo of the brilliant yellow leaves! Worth the wait. And I’m so glad you four ladies ae again sponsoring the Lens-Artists Photo Challenges. They’re fun! And we get to see parts of the world we can’t visit!

  14. Oh Leya, what a marvelous post. I know you had a horrific 2020. I am hoping that you regain some sense of peace and life in 2021. Sending you lots of love and virtual hugs from my corner of the world.

  15. The glory of that row of golden trees, but you not feeling it. I know that feeling because sometimes I look around me with wonder, but sometimes, no matter how beautiful the world, it’s hard to smile. You tell it so well, Ann Christine. And so we journey on… 🙂 🙂 Sending hugs!

  16. Stunning images, Leya! You have a wide range of talent in the different types of photography. As someone who lost a mom last year, I feel your pain. I’m sure you will remember her smile in the flowers you see which may always be a testament to your love for her. You have a beautiful garden and I’m sure you’re excited about your greenhouse. Looking forward to more of your photography in 2021!

  17. Beautiful images reflecting our Covid year Ann Christine! I am so sorry about your mother. May her memory be a blessing. As for 2021: We can move past this pandemic and back to whatever normal will be for us. Stay safe.

  18. Oh Ann-Christine, you have truly outdone yourself this week. Your images are spectacular and they truly tell your story.. Each one stands on its own as a wonderful work of art, and yet together they take us along with you through a year of extremes – from turmoil and despair to salvation. You have shown us the best of mother nature including the love of a mother for her children and the sadness of a daughter who has lost her mother as well as the restorative capability of a single flower or a puffy cloud. I cannot choose a single image because it would be shameful to separate one from the story. But know that each is perfection and tells its part of the story perfectly.

  19. What gorgeous images, Ann-Christine.
    I love the opening window shot and its soft editing. And my other favourites are Stockholm station (a place I know but with its normality removed) and the closing frosty shots – simply beautiful.
    Here’s to some return of normality during 2021.
    x

  20. Truly special post.. and I hope 2021 is much kinder to you. Particularly love the swirly snail and the gorgeous red rose with brown leaves! and thank you for all this beauty.

  21. I wonder at your selection of photos and have to see more again so scroll back in case I missed something. Nature is within us all. Live with it and love all she has to offer. Favourites are kids, dog and tree and dog and forest 🙂

  22. Goodness. What a great selection. My own favourite? Maybe the shield bug on the dahlia. No, wait. The purple flowers shot from below? No, perhaps … you get the idea – I can’t choose.

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