Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It’s All About the Light

Tina has chosen Light for this challenge –

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

Trent Parke

The most crisp and serene light ever, is to be found in Iceland. So, for a starter, an image from north western Iceland, that I have posted before. I have done nothing to enhance or change the original. It has it all – natural, clear Light.

I could have chosen so many images from Iceland – but only one more pick – the graveyard. There is the light, and the beauty of flowers, mountains and water. A well chosen place to rest.

A couple of days in Denmark last week was refreshing. We visited the biggest sandcastle in the world (- now in the Guinness Book of Records). It was raining when we arrived at the sculpture park, so I took a photo before it would get even worse… The second photo was taken about two hours later – as when we were leaving the park, the sun came out! The most significant difference is the colour of the sand, and how much more alive the feeling is in the second photo.

In Aarhus we wanted to visit their famous art museum, ARoS – but also the harbour area with its modern architecture. They were still building new there, and at a traffic light I opened the window and photographed some of the constructions. The next morning we went there again to see more of this interesting area. This time we parked the car…To our great delight, now the light and the clouds made the visit an almost surreal experience.

I leave you with a favourite image made at the Fluela Pass in Switzerland. At our hotel they featured a big poster of bikers riding along the spectacular pass road, and we were eager to see this the following day. While we were aiming for a couple of interesting villages, we were also on the lookout for ”The View”. To our great disappointment, there was no ”view”…there was only a lake and a mountain. Quite ordinary. But, when returning to our hotel in the afternoon, taking the same road, this magnificent view suddenly opened up. Magical! The right time of the day, the right angle, and the right light. I learned something that day. About patience, and waiting for the magical moment to arrive.

We hope you will join us this week for Tina’s inspiring theme for LAPC #162: It’s All About the Light. Many thanks for last week’s fun Feet and Shoes. There were many smiles as we saw the variety of your responses! This week your challenge is to share images that illustrate the power of light – even better if you also include the same or a similar scene at a different, somewhat less beautiful time. Remember to link your post to Tina’s original, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week as Amy leads us on her Share and Connect post. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Thursday Thoughts – The Castle Garden, and…

Back at Tjolöholm this Thursday again – for some more treasures. Surely you would want to visit with me again?

Before a walk in the garden, a short overview of the unusual and impressive lamps in the castle. All ordered by the lady of the house, Blanche, and all from Osler in London. My favourite is the first one, looking like underwear laundry…

The garden had the same Swedish architect as the house – but I guess Blanche had her say about things as well –

The Tudor style and the plants worked so well in harmony with the stone colours – everything was a treat.

Plants in every corner, colours and textures – how I envied the people who got the opportunity to work here.

Of course there must always be roses, always…

…and little children rambling on their own.

And, finally – I give you: The vacuumcleaner!

Lens Artists Challenge #154 – One Photo Two Ways

Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either. – Aesop

This week Tina challenges us to try One Photo Two Ways. When I was biking the other morning, I noticed the different looks of the barley field while I was passing by. One single field showed me many faces.

When the sun was hiding in the clouds, the field did not speak to me.

But when the sun came shining through – I smiled, and the whole field smiled back at me.

I also set the focus on the swaying heads…

and then on the stems below. But it is the same field and the same barley we see.

Finally, another view opens when you play with selective colours

Thank you all for last week’s great inspiration, It Is a wonderful world we are living in! Now It’s up to you to choose your own approach, including the use of editing tools. We look forward to seeing the results – please link them to Tina’s original post and use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you in the WP Reader.

An important announcement. We are excited to announce a special event for the month of July. Several of our previous Guest Hosts have agreed to lead the Lens-Artists challenge. We’re sharing their themes in advance and hope you’ll join us and them in the coming weeks. They include:

July 3 John Steiner of Journeys With Johnbo will present “On the Water”

July 10 Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed will present “Black and White”

July 17 Rusha Sams of Oh The Places We See will present “Getting Away”

July 24 Beth Smith of Wandering Dawgs will present “Along Back Country Roads”

July 31 Ana Campo of Anvica’s Gallery will present “Postcards”

Please be sure to check out their always-interesting and beautiful blogs, and join us in supporting them as they lead us each Saturday in the coming month. Until then, please remember to stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #134 – From Forgettable to Favourite

Tina wants us to show how we can make a forgettable image into a favourite one. She demonstrates it beautifully with several examples. It is a joy seeing the process from start to results.

I will take this opportunity to show something I recently found in Photoshop – a possibility to change the skies in a photo with almost one single click.

The original photo

So, why would I want to change skies in my photo? Well, since I don’t photograph in RAW, it sometimes happens my sky is blown out in white light, which makes it impossible to normalize in any of my software.

I realised only two weeks ago, that Photoshop now had this simple feature, so I wouldn’t have to go a long and tricky way to make the change. Suddenly this seemed worth a try, and I knew just which photo from the Galápagos Islands would make a good model for it. I had always felt a bit sad about the miserable sky in this picture, but could not discard it because it showed so well the spectacular landscape of just that island.

Naturally I had to try even more spectacular skies…but watch out for the reflections – in this case I had to modify the colours in the water to fit the skies.

We hope you’re willing to share similar experiences demonstrating your use of editing to improve results. Please remember to link to Tina’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists tag.

This last picture many of you might recognize, it was taken in Jämtland some years ago. Using the swirl it turned out rather a favourite!

We very much enjoyed your responses to Amy’s “Photography Journey” challenge last week. It was great fun to follow you from start to where you are today! We are also excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be hosted by Sheetal of Sheetal Thinks Aloud. Be sure to check out her interesting blog and watch for her post next Saturday. Until then, stay safe and be kind – to yourself as well.

Lens-Artists Challenge #133 – My Photography Journey

Amy writes beautifully about her photography journey, and asks us to say something about our own journey with The Camera. Personally, I started out some 50 years ago with a Kodak Instamatic. 24 photos possible, and expensive they were. I wasn’t hooked… being a school girl with no income of my own. I stayed with my binoculars and forest birds. But I kept dreaming of maybe some day…

A first try with a digital camera was in 2005, an OLYMPUS, for our second trip to China. It ATE batteries…and was only used for this trip.

When I met my husband to be, who was a keen photographer, he had a Canon, a ”real” camera with several lenses. And he made diapositives. When we started traveling more extensively, I thought it would be too expensive with double up of everything. So, I gave up photographing – something I have regretted many times…I have no photos from countries like Egypt, Nepal, Peru…

With the digital revolution, I started photographing again. My first Canon IXUS was a great companion on our Norway tour in 2008.
Using the little IXUS, my orchids were often the target…here a favourite cattleya, Tropical Pointer

The other obvious targets were my two dogs, Mille and Totti. Mille was my first Lagotto. They all have their own special pages on my blog. My newest little one as well, Milo.

With the children came my first ”real” flirt with a camera. My husband bought a film camera, and I ended up with a Nikon D40. Second hand, but it worked well. (The whole New Zealand (LAPC #53) tour was photographed with the D40, and so were almost all of my students.) After some years, I upgraded to a D7000.

Today I also have a Fuji camera – much less weight to carry… My faithful Nikon is mostly left on the tripod for macros. I dearly loved the little Canon IXUS – slim pocket size and splendid sharpness. (Forwarded to my daughter now…) It was a ”dogwalk camera” – steady enough to work with one hand only. A phone must be handled with both hands – at least if you have two dogs. But remember – The best camera is the one you have with you.

The only course I have managed to squeeze in so far is ”Find your photographic voice” for Otto von Münchow. An online course where I learned more about both camera settings and how to ”think” and find my own style. I am not much into the tech part, so this theme was perfect for me. I would love to attend more courses, but with old parents, two dogs – and a grown man to ”take care of”… this is not easily managed.

Otto made me face photographing people – tough task for me!

When I try to sum up what has meant the most for my journey, I find it must be CHECKING OUT PHOTOS made by photographers all over the world. Learning from Your photos, experts’ photos, (Lens-) artists’ photos. I visit galleries, I use good books, I roam the Internet. And I love Lightroom and Photoshop to play around with. Lastly, I must not forget my husband, who patiently has been driving the car, walking the dogs, holding my things…

I am a bit envious of some of you, because I know you have friends to go out shooting with. I believe that must be wonderfully enriching – as feedback moves you forward and stretches your abilities. Otto and my son have been important in helping me do that. My son, David, is a very good photographer and graphic designer. Some of you know he has been a guest here two Thursdays with Chernobyl and Exploring the Unknown.

Finally I want to send many grateful thanks to all of you who contributed with such tremendous variety to Striped and Checked last week! – I never thought there could be so many different possibilities! So, this week we hope you will join us again, and we look forward to seeing your creative photos and reading about Your Photography Journey. Please link to Amy’s original post and don’t forget the Lens-Artists tag.

Next week Tina will present us with “Before and After” We’ll be asking you to share images that didn’t quite live up to your expectations together with your final versions after editing them. Until then – stay safe and be well. Stay close to Nature if you can, and communicate with mockingbirds – just like I do…because if something is promoting a photographic journey, it is love of what you are doing, and in my case – Love of Mother Nature.

Life in Colour Photo Challenge 2021 – Brown

Jude has started a colour challenge for 2021 – who can resist colours? She starts out with the colour Brown.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 114 – Negative Space

This week, Amy is our host, and she wants us to show the importance of negative space in our photography. Negative space is the area around the main subject of your photograph. (Which means that your main subject is the positive space) Check out her post, see brilliant examples and learn more about this!

Positive and negative space are two important tools for us to give an enhanced emotional feel to our images, which is essential in photography. Looking forward to seeing your choices!

Negative space is there to give your photos a sense of calmness
…and subtlety.
Well used, negative space provides a natural balance against the positive space in a scene.
But, images can also appear lonely
..or solemn (or funny…)
Most of all, I would say negative space often gives a contemplative beauty to the image, a unique possibility for us to declutter, relax and recover in this jumbled and unruly world.

Our special thanks to Rusha Sams for hosting last week’s Labor of Love. We had so many positive and uplifting experiences of genuine love and care!

Be sure to check out Tina’s Travels and Trifles post next week as she hosts Challenge #115.

And, as always – may you stay safe and well. Our thoughts these days go especially to all of you out there fighting the wild fires.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97 – Pastime

Thank you all for sharing your interesting photo crops for Patti’s challenge last week – so many good pieces of advice! As usual we can learn much from each other. Now we are happy to welcome our guest host this week – Sue (Mac’s Girl) of The Nature of Things.

Sue inspires us to post about our pastimes, old or new. ”Pastimes. It could be something that you are trying for the first time or a hobby or interest that you have enjoyed for many years.” Please visit her site for more inspiration!

Leaving my jigsaw puzzle for some hours, I have chosen to post my newly found (some weeks ago…) pastime, sparkled by ”Swirls and Twirls” at the World according to Dina.

These are some of my first attempts. I started with the little house (in the header) from a spring walk for Thursday Thoughts. Find the house here.

After making a couple of images, I realized that roads were good starters, leading straight into the swirl. This one is from Iceland, original photo here.

A lonely house on a hill, a cold, cold evening in Jämtland, Sweden. Windows are helpful to get the feeling of ”wind and light” running through.

The cherry blossom path. See the original photo here. As usual, click to enlarge.

Finally, this colourful library in Warsaw, where the original photo can be found here.


What did I learn from some hours of fun creating? Some things that felt right for me, were:

  • Colourful photos (rather vibrant) worked best – monochrome worked well too.
  • Roads and paths were good choices for a start.
  • Buildings – doors and windows were helpful to make the swirling go”live”.
  • Animals and people will need more practice…(Dina was very successful in her post!)

Another thing is how much time flies when you get absorbed in this – but that was of course part of the intention. If you want to try it, for guidelines, please go to Dina’s site (Link above), and/or to Youtube.

We look forward to seeing your interpretation of the Pastime theme. Please be sure to link your response to Sues post (use the original post link, NOT the one from the WP reader) and use the Lens-Artists TAG so we can all find you.

On May 23, challenge #98, we will be back on schedule, and I (Leya) will be your host. Until then – take care and stay well.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96 – Cropping the Shot

Patti challenges us to show how we crop our shots and why. See her own great examples of how to do here.

There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.

Robert Heinecken

There are different ways to enhance a photo, and I am quite sure many of us use some kind of software to help deliver the feeling we want to shine through to the viewer. One of the easiest ways to change a photo considerably is by cropping it.

”This week’s challenge is a chance to explore a photo editing technique and the benefits of cropping the shot.  Show us how cropping helped to improve an image and create a desired effect.  Include the shot “before” and “after” so we can see the difference.”


I cannot say I am an avid ”cropper”, but often I do some minor cropping. I am fully aware of the photo losing quality if I crop it too much.

Today I tried to find photos where I could easily show how I think. In the header/opener is a photo from my garden and the magnolia in late evening light. Even if I like that photo, I was not happy about my house showing as a blue ”shadow” in the background. There was also a flare on the upper left hand side. I made a rather tough cropping and the result is only the brightest flower in focus. I still like that first image, but a close-up was my final choice.

A boat trip in Holland last spring went to an outdoor museum, and this is where we landed. I loved the orange and blue together, but the old factory was the main building,

so I cropped out everything on the right side of the photo. This also made the content more substantial. In the first photo, I found the ”division in two parts” disturbing, even if the skies were much more alive and the photo had a lovely ”painterly” feeling.

A final example is from a misty morning walk, where the path is a much loved one, but the image is in more harmony when its focus is far away to the upper right.

This was my final choice. The light green moving towards a darker nuance, instead of being a dividing part in the middle of the photo with darker green in beginning and end.

All in all, it is a good idea to put yourself the question Why should I crop? Because, there should always be a reason. And you always lose something in order to win something else. The goal is to make the first image the final image, but at least for me, it seldom is. I have noticed one thing though – I should trust my first thought/shot. Often I go back to it again – to find it wasn’t that bad…

Next week, we’re delighted to announce that Sue of Mac’s Girl will be our guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97 on Saturday, May 16th.  Please be sure to stop by her site and join the fun.

Thursday Thoughts – Capital Doubles

While in Stockholm for a couple of hours between trains, I had to make the most of it…merging some of the famous buildings together in one image .

Fotografiska is a great place to be – this time exhibiting my favorite Erik Johansson again! As you are not allowed to take any photos, or at least not sending them via internet…

I decided to have some fun outside while walking. How about two amusements parks instead of one? I guess Gröna Lund fans wouldn’t mind!

In ”Chaos” I used one of my best attempts from Stockholm railway station – here is another one. A multitasking transport system?

Anyway I had great fun…but I can assure you I went by a single, ordinary train home to Skåne again.