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.






Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #83 – Future

The future is the period of time that will come after the present, or the things that will happen then. Maybe a second away, a week, a year, a decade…When I was young, I read somewhere in a book – its title since long forgotten – that you should try to do something today that your future self will thank you for. I keep trying.

The future remains uncertain and so it should, for it is the canvas upon which we paint our desires. Thus always the human condition faces a beautifully empty canvas.

― Frank Herbert


This week the challenge is FutureShow us what you will paint on Your canvas!


Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Theresa

If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.

Roy T. Bennett

The arrival of the future is considered inevitable due to the existence of time and the laws of physics.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
Gautama Buddha

A path, which, unfortunately, is not always strewn with roses…

The future depends on what you do today.
Mahatma Gandhi

Everything that currently exists and will exist can be categorized as either permanent, meaning that it will exist for the whole of the future, or temporary, meaning that it won’t and thus will come to an end.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Eleanor Roosevelt

For my students, I used to draw a time capsule on the board, and ask them to fill it with what they wanted future generations – or ”aliens” landing 200 years on – to know about our life/time on Earth. Then imagine burying the capsule in the ground. When someone in the future found this capsule, they would learn what defined us, mankind, in the 21st century. An intriguing thought…What would You fill it with?

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.


As I am not a teacher anymore, I only plant seeds, trees and flowers. Next week, it is that time of the year again – to give my pot plants new energy and new life. This is my future dream for the coming week, for the arrival of Spring, for the returning of the light.

As you can see, I have played with double exposure in these images. All from my home.

Now we’re looking forward to seeing Your images of the Future – near or far!

Last week we were happy to have Viveka of My Guilty Pleasures as our guest host – and she chose Capital for us – to interpret our own special way. And the response was fantastic – very innovative and clever! In short – Capital!

Have you seen these?

For the rest of February, we’ll return to our usual weekly schedule:

Remember to link to my original post, and tag it with “Lens-Artists.”  If you’re new to tagging, click here for an explanation of how and why.

As always, we are all looking forward to seeing your creative responses to the challenge –  and thank you for your support!

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #77 – Favorite Photos of 2019

For our last Lens-Artists Photo Challenge of 2019, Patti suggests we look back at our year in images.  Here are my favorites, starting in January and finishing in December. Which ones are yours?

January, Sweden

February, my forest, Sweden

March, Umeå, Sweden

April, Holland, the flower exhibitions at Keukenhof

Hyacinths and tulips, Keukenhof

May, my garden, Magnolia

May, spring forest, Sweden

May, Söderto fortress, Sweden

July, The Sun Voyager, Iceland


August, the Concert Hall, Stettin

September, My garden

December, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Neretva River and Stari Most

We hope you will join in this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019. Just add a link to Patti’s post. (Links from the Reader are not working correctly.) Use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you.

As 2019 draws to a close, we hope you have enjoyed our photographic adventures together – and that you will continue enjoying it!  You’ve helped us create a marvelous creative “space” here on Word Press.  Patti, Amy, Tina, and I truly thank you for your support.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous, healthy, and happy new year!  Stay tuned for my (Ann-Christine’s) first post in the new year (#78) on January 4th, 2020.







Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #60: Framing the Shot

You don’t need a framework. You need a painting, not a frame. – Klaus Kinski

I guess most of us love things framed to help us follow lines and reveal the artist’s intentions with his/her work. At least if we put them on our wall at home or go to an exhibition. Now Amy challenges us to consider framing – and in my selection (from Stettin all except the header) I try to show some very different ones as well. An important thing to remember is, that a frame doesn’t have to look like a frame, and it does not have to apply to the whole picture either.

You don’t buy a Picasso because you love the frame – Joss Whedonm

Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts – Garry Winogrand

What counts isn’t the frame, it’s what you put in it – Otto Preminger

I’ve often noticed that we are not able to look at what we have in front of us, unless it’s inside a frame – Abbas Kiarostami

I have a European frame of mind and Europe is my home – Andrea Bocelli


Thank you for all your inspiring Angles last week!  –  and thank you, Amy, for a beautiful set of frames and for all the fun with this challenge!