LAPC #211 – What’s Your Photographic Groove?

Our host this week, Anne Sandler , is asking: ”What type of photography do you truly enjoy doing?”

I enjoy almost all types of photography, but Nature is my Muse. More specificly: flowers, close-ups and macro. And I am happy if in the flowers there is a critter or two as well… I believe our ”groove” changes over the years – as the world is changing – so are we.

For many years my photography was all about travel, new places, new people, new architecture, new food… but there has always been flowers. And why flowers? Well, I was born in the countryside, and from my grandmother I learned the importance of the little things – to see a world in a grain of sand. Flowers – nothing beats their great variety; in colours, shapes and sizes. I have to have flowers in my life!

My blog was named lagottocattleya after my favourite breed of dogs and my favourite orchid. So, the first image is a cattleya hybrid pictured at Keukkenhof, Holland. Then follows a gallery with some old and new favourites, from close-ups to macros and from Spring to Autumn. From forest to garden and indoors plants. I hope they will speak for themselves.

Special thanks to our guest host Sarah Wilkie of Travel With Me for the exercise of picking out three of our favorite images. And thank you to all our wonderful July guest hosts, Aletta, Jez, Andre and Tracy. If you join us, please link to Anne’s original post and use the lens artists tag. We’re looking forward to seeing your photos! As the LAPC team resumes rotation, Patti will present next week’s challenge. In the meantime, have fun and safe travels.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more info. 

Thursday Thoughts – A Piece of Old Time Magic

Sporrakulla is the name of an old farmstead from the 16th century. I went here for the first time almost 50 years ago, and haven’t visited again since my children were small. Last week we decided to drive up to the beautiful farm once more.

When you leave the car, you walk into a harmonious landscape, where time seem to have stopped…and the silence is almost tangible.

The meadows are harvested as in the old days, with a scythe. This is for the benefit of the flora.

The last farmer left in the 1960’s, and now the houses are kept by the local forest authorities. Many tourists visit during summer, and sometimes there are minor events in the garden. Mostly hikers picnicking though. The area is thick with hiking tracks.

The flora around the farm is abundant, and so is the fauna. I could have walked around for hours…

…or just sit and watch the quiet pace of life.

Thank you for returning here with me. Hope you enjoyed the old buildings and the atmosphere. For me – nostalgia, the best kind!

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.

Thursday’s Special – Pick a Word July 2022

Thursday’s Special with Paula. Finally. It’s been too long…Paula, you know this is my favourite challenge! Now I have pulled myself together…and here are my offerings.

COVE

DEBONAIR

GIGANTIC

TEXTURE

WINDOW

Cove – Norway

Debonair – My son

Gigantic – Denmark (The world’s biggest sand castle)

Texture – Iceland

Window – Sweden

LAPC# 209…Surreal

Tracy of Reflections of An Untidy Mind, is leading us this week into the Surreal world. Because that is what our world seems to have turned into, even more so the last few years…

About a century ago, at another time of great societal upheaval, surrealism as an artistic and intellectual movement emerged. Tracy reminds us that modern surrealistic art strives to unite fantasy and reality, and emphasises the juxtaposition of the rational and the irrational. She mentions old techniques like motion blur, unusual camera angles and rotation; double-exposure; playing with light and colour. With Photoshop photo montages and collages have become easier to do. No photoshop? – just cut some pictures and put them together as you like! Please visit Tracy’s site for excellent inspiration!

Personally, I find reality to be surreal even without photoshop…

The shadow of a dragonfly in my window – in B&W even more surreal.

In my garden I have a couple of dead trees that I want to keep for their special beauty and for all the insects living there. Autumn mornings the dew reveals just how many spiders there are…this is enhanced by the monochrome process.

A bathroom in Stettin – playing with mirrors and reflections.

My camera has got a button for double exposure – maybe yours too? And I love playing around with it at times. When I have taken a photo I can take another one afterwards and dimly see the first photo while positioning the lens for a fun result.

Surreal? Simply an umbrella with inside pattern!

At Wanås this art installation does not need any extra tweaks…this is the way it looks. Simply surreal!

And why not go close-up? This is a begonia stem and a christmas tree candle.

Or just…late evening blur.

In the header is a blurred cow parsley in front of the trees. Aliens landing or leaving?

Special thanks to Andre of My Blog-Solaner and to all of those who responded to his Summer Vibes challenge last week. What a summery riot of colour, blue skies and seas we had! Next week, Sarah Wilkie, blogging at Travel with Me, will be our guest host. Sarah’s theme is Three Favorite Images.

”It is time now to create some marvellous surrealism mayhem with photos that we can all enjoy no matter what sort of day we might be having.” (Tracy says) We look forward to seeing your responses. Please remember to link them to Tracy’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.