Lens-Artists Challenge #131 – Emotions

This week, Patti is our host, and LAPC#131 gives us the opportunity to focus on Emotions. We can do portraits or street photography – or, choose a subject or scene that evokes an emotion in the viewer.

Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts. – Sigmund Freud


No flowers this time… In my opener, I have chosen rippling water in a soothingly green environment – Madeira’s levadas. Green is always recommended for bedrooms because of its calming effect – and that is the emotion I get whenever I meet the colour Green.

My images here will show maybe one main emotion – happiness. But, also love and friendship.

I cannot think of better choices than students and the storm of feelings on their graduation day. It’s impossible to get enough of their happy faces and their vivid body language!

After three years of hard work – High School graduation! These used to be my happiest days – sharing their joy.

Two of the photos are of my daughter. Now I am maybe being too personal…, but seeing her walking up the stairs last Friday as a freshly baked Doctor – filled my heart with pride. She looks so happy, so confident – so ready for a working life outside university.

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. —Franklin D. Roosevelt

And, don’t we all feel that for our children, for their first steps into this world, for our students and for every person who have worked hard and reached their goal? (For making tears fall it is even enough reading a good book where the hero succeeds…) I am very grateful to have met so many students in my life – and to have left them as fully fledged young men and women.

Looking back at last week, thank you Anne Sandler, for It’s a Small World, which made us all see the beauty in little things. And thank you for the fabulous macro/micro and close-up images from all of your collections!

I, Leya/Ann-Christine, will be your host for LAPC #132 next Saturday, January 23rd at noon. So, stay tuned… and for all of you in the USA – may the inauguration go smoothly.

Now we are looking forward to seeing Your emotional images! Be sure to link them to Patti’s beautiful examples, and don’t forget the Lens-Artists tag. As always – stay safe and well and mind the little things until next time.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. —The Dalai Lama

Thursday Thoughts – Real Winter!

For a couple of days now, real winter is on visit…and I cannot say how happy I am. I will let you wander around in my neighbourhood to hopefully enjoy the white serenity. Last year we had no snow at all, and it is exactly ten years since we got this much.

Sheer Happiness! And the children are out everywhere skiing and building snowmen. So Grateful, so Thankful.

First view in the morning – my garden
Second view – the Spindle
Out walking the dogs
On our way home again

Lens-Artists Challenge #130 It’s a Small World

”This week’s challenge is to take your camera for a walk around your yard or home and shoot some close-up or macro shots. Too cold, too wet, too busy? Feel free to choose some images from your archives.”

This week Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed is our guest host, and we are introduced to similarities and differences between, micro, macro and close-up. Personally I love close-ups from nature, and macros since I bought a new macro lens two years ago. These days there are plenty of opportunities for hunting the little things in our world. My garden is always a gem – and the asters give me my favourite close-ups.

Without water drops, there can be no oceans; without steps, there can be no stairs; without little things, there can be no big things
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Find gratitude in the little things and your well of gratitude will never run dry.
― Antonia Montoya

Seed pods are also favourites of mine. Every autumn I go looking for them – often they display soft, strong colours and a variety of interesting textures.

These images are all from the archives, except a funny hovercraft Rex Begonia – found last week, not hibernating as I thought!

During winter time, I sometimes get roses from kind people…(my husband that is, or visiting friends). The latter not possible right now though… I love roses, they give you infinite possibilities for photography too – even when withered and decayed.

Thanks again to Anne for hosting our challenge this week. Be sure to visit and link to her beautiful original post here. Many thanks for the beautiful images shared in response to Tina’s 2020 Favourites challenge – many of us realized there were more happy moments than expected last year! 

We hope you’ll join us next week as Patti once again leads our challenge. Until then, remember to stay safe and warm – and be kind.

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.

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.

Thursday Thoughts – Ready for Lift-Off?

Goodbye 2020 – Happy New Year!

Thank you All in the blogosphere for helping us stay reasonably sane this year ♥ We made it so far, and I believe there is a light in the tunnel for 2021. Take good care of yourselves and each other – hope to see you soon again! – Ann-Christine