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 Thoughts – Sallow, a Keystone Species

The old sallow (salix) standing in our summer garden is slowly ageing – and decaying. They seldom reach 100 years, but this one is even older. These trees are very important for the biodiversity, as almost 200 species of butterflies are dependent on it for feeding their larvae. And, so are many other insects too, like bees and bumblebees – in spring they can find food there during the first harsh months of the new year. Salix trees are also home for birds, mushrooms, lichen and mosses.

When we arrived in Spring 2019, our old man was still in one piece, standing in a pink field of sea thrift – but in autumn the same year, the middle part of him had fallen down.

This year we had to take down another of the oldest and longest arms from the trunk as it would not have made it through the winter.

But, as you can see, he is still standing there…overlooking the sea. And there is a new little one shooting up from the trunk of his old master. We hope he too will be a survivor when the old man is gone.

Thursday Thoughts – Chasing Colours

Every day I am hoping for the colours to arrive… but it is raining, pouring, every day. This morning though, there was a pleasant fog and the occational glimpses of sun. Which made for a lovely walk with Milo!

– Still not many colours so far along the path.

But, I found a single tree that had noticed my wish!

Otherwise, nothing. All this rain and no frost – will keep everything green for a while.

Muted colours and the sun was gone again – but no wind, so the harmonious tone lasted. I will let you know when I find them all…the sun and the colours.

Thursday Thoughts – Happy Children!

What is it with children and trees?

Children and roofs?
Children and sticks?

Children and building tree houses? And climbing and running?

Well, I guess we have all ”been there”. At least my own children have, and they would have loved this outdoors exhibition made for playing. Big or small. Old and young. We had a great day!