Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #159 – Postcards

This week Ana invites us to the world of postcards! I am old enough to have received and sent hundreds of postcards, but I admit I haven’t kept them all. – Ana says: ”You can show us some of your pictures that you would send as postcards to someone you love. Or you can simply share with us images of your favorite places.

If you have a garden full of flowers, show us a beautiful and colorful collection of floral postcards. It doesn’t need to be your garden, It can also be your neighbour’s.

If you have some real postcards it would be great if you would like to share them with us, I’m sure they have a nice story behind them.”

I was so thrilled by this theme, that I immediately went looking for my box of postcards – even though I knew I had not kept but a fraction of all I got over the years. As we have rearranged everything in the cellar the last year, they were not easily found – but finally I did.

I will start though, with a couple of my own images, that I would have loved to send as postcards to my friends – from the Verzasca valley in Italy and from Reykjavik. They have something important to say about their place, with no words needed on the picture page – only on the other side of the picture. I used to write quite a lot when I sent my cards, loving to reveal details and experiences. Nowadays the joy is not the same – I agree with Ana – sending an mms is another story…

My box opened, I sat for hours today, in memories, reading messages from near and far, from people long since gone, old friends, collegues and relatives. Birthday greetings, words of wisdom…the upper card on the right saying:

Life is not about the days we have lived, but the days we remember.

I picked some different cards, from people I love and loved, and remember some places where I have been a visitor myself as well. The Acores I have been to several times – and always loved it. But this card comes from our neighbours who toured the world (in 2003 I think). Sometimes the cards are not dated, and the stamp not clear enough to read.

Tenerife and Teide was a yearly visit when the children grew up. Wonderful nature and not much snow wintertime…We often went with friends and children the same age as ours. The lovely Moomin valley in Finland was such a treat – for us grown-ups as well! Many Swedish families visited Finland when the Moomin series were on TV.

Bretagne shows a postcard in a postcard – rather beautiful I think. And then Kashmir, my cousin worked for many years in Pakistan and the area around there, as an ambulance nurse. He sent me cards to calm me down – showing he was still alive. So, the reason for sending cards vary!

The green, middle card, is from a painting made by a local artist – now dead since long. But I met him several times, a very special man. He had a nice pottery too. The forest motif was painted from my home forest.

The last two cards both came with encouraging messages from dear friends. One soft and sweet, the other one fiery – Cards And Senders… In fact I find it interesting to notice how different people pick so different cards to send. And handwriting – that is no more – was an amazing way of showing your personality. Times gone by…

As for the opener, I have featured a postcard from my daughter when I finally had set up my glass house – Oh, the joy! So, in my family, we still send handwritten messages to each other. Feeling the warmth!

Thank you, Beth, for taking us along so many lovely country roads! Please visit the excellent work done by all the previous guest hosts this month:

John Steiner of Journeys With Johnbo – “On the Water

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed – “Black and White

Rusha Sams of Oh The Places We See – “Getting Away

Beth Smith of Wandering Dawgs – “Along Back Country Roads

Remember to link to Ana’s post and use the Lens Artists tag. Next week, we will return to our regular schedule.  On Saturday, August 7, Patti will host LAPC #160 Your inspiration, which can be a place, a subject, a person, a book–just about anything that inspires you.

Until then – stay kind and safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge #158 – Along Back Country Roads

Beth is our guest host this week, and for this challenge she is asking us to show our interpretation of going along a back country road. It can be any road that’s off the beaten track.

My opener is a photo taken long ago, of one of my favourite roads ever. It was a late summer evening, and the last warm sun rays made the whole world golden. I can still feel the air that night.

Last week, as we finally went for a short trip to dear friends some 300 miles from home, we had to drive far out along lovely country roads. We had some trouble finding their house this time, because the world becomes so different when all the trees are cut down…

They live on a beautiful lake named Grecken, and luckily their window lights were easily discerned in the soft darkness falling. So, we found our way.

I have tried to assemble some of my favourite country roads, and I easily realise that almost all of them go through pure farmland. Not surprising at all… Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong…

The most lovable country road should be a gravel road, with grass in the middle. I am lucky to have some of those special roads close to me. As Beth mentioned – I would have wanted to follow every one of them to find out where they are leading to.

Last autumn we walked some new roads nearby. (There are always new old roads!) This one is said to be one of Skånes most beautiful country roads.

My forest in winter, and the tractor road.

I have to finish with a real winter road. The winter roads in powdery snow always make my heart beat extra hard – because we don’t have them every year anymore. And, they can be dangerous too. Careful driving!

Hope you are inspired to come along! If you do, in your post, please include a link to Beth’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so everyone can find your post in the WordPress reader. Be sure to check out the first three guest hosted challenges.

John Steiner of Journeys with JohnBo – On the Water

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed – Black and White

Bert and Rusha Sams of Oh the Places we see – Getting Away

Thank you, for letting us get away with Bert and Rusha last week! Next week on July 31, please visit Ana Campo of Anvica’s Gallery for her challenge – “Postcards.”

I’m looking forward to seeing where your back country roads have taken you!

Lens Artist Challenge #157 – Getting Away

Rusha and Bert at Oh, the Places We See are hosting for us this week, and they say… ”whether you head to a favorite place each year, or you like to travel to destinations far and wide, show us what “getting away” means to you.”

I started traveling, together with my boyfriend, in 1975. The first trip was by car to Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Lichtenstein and the Netherlands. The next year we went by car again, for 5 weeks through France. After that, we went outside Europe too. One of the first getaways was Nepal, where we biked in the Kathmandu valley and hiked around the Anapurna, and also got a glimpse of Mount Everest. We continued traveling for 44 years. Then came the pandemic.

You can never really get away you can only take yourself somewhere else.

– Charles M. Schwab

I don’t know how to explain what made me travel from the start. I guess that was a youngster’s ”getting away” in the sense of experiencing new cultures and places dreamed of as a child. And, my boyfriend had a car! What were we waiting for?

A major getaway was going via China and the train on permafrost to Tibet. A childhood dream come true.

But my getaways can also be hiking – preferably in hidden areas – this time in Spain. This was a hidden valley for a long time, which had kept its flora and fauna spectacular with many endemic species.

Get away from the crowd when you can. Keep yourself to yourself, if only for a few hours daily.

– Arthur Brisbane

I walked alone on my track, and my husband walked another track. Important criteria for getting away – being alone to really savour it all.

Another excellent means of getting away is reading. Or finding the inspirational places used by famous authors! This little picture shows the path over the moor to the farm in Wuthering Heights. Who doesn’t love Emily Brontë’s story of Heathcliff and Catherine…?

I’d like to get away from earth awhile. And then come back to it and begin over.

– Robert Frost
The ordinary getting away plan used to include a flight. I loved flying – the feeling of adventure imminent…but now I am not so sure about that anymore.

No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself. – Haruki Murakami
Art is another means of getting away – and it makes it easier to stay close to my home. Interesting exhibitions – or just painting, drawing, singing…

In fact I have found that the tiny worlds around me are my everyday getting away…and I love photographing them. Marvelling at their beauty and complexity.

Thanks again to Anne for the marvelous B&W theme, and to Rusha for #157: Getting Away. Please go to her site for inspiration, and if you join us, please include a link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

We invite you to join us again next week when Beth Smith of Wandering Dawgs leads Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #158. Her theme is “Along Back Country Roads.” Until then, stay well and safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #156 – Black and White

This week, Anne Sandler leads the challenge –“Black and White”.
“What I love about black and white photographs is that they’re more like reading the book than seeing the movie.”
– Jennifer Price

That said, I am not a keen B&W photographer, but I greatly admire those who are. Perhaps I am a late bloomer and just not there yet?

I almost only use black and white with people. Portraits and street photography are extremely well balanced for B&W.

Bhutan and Morocko. Old faces with character – I wish I was less shy and more open to ask for a photo. The opener, the header, shows my all time favourite from Bhutan.

When I go through my files, I notice that I mostly use sepia instead. I hope Anne will not mind if I add some of these…

My work flow is similar to Anne’s – except I don’t shoot in raw. I do sometimes, but usually not. Except from portraits and street, sometimes my landscapes fit the bill – when clouds and structures are appealing together.

So, stay well and hope to see you here next week too with our next guest host, Rusha. Thank you Anne for hosting an interesting challenge, and thank you John for last weeks beauties!

Lens Artists Challenge # 155 – On the Water

This week we are happy to have John as our host, with the theme On the Water – please visit his inspirational post to get started! And he writes:

The theme “On the Water” encompasses whatever manner of water floats your boat (or doesn’t).

We all know that Water is the centre piece of all life. No water – no life. And whenever I listen to the murmur of a brook, the cascading waterfall or the rolling waves of the sea – I must agree with Octavio Paz: The sound of water is worth more than all the poets’ words.

Water can carry Light

– carry Ice and Snow.

It is alive in Rain
Mist

Dew

Water gives Life and a Living

It is a source of Energy – so this old mill tells us

Water is for Sports and having Fun

But also a source of Natural Beauty – On the Water

May we remember that We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.— Jacques Yves Cousteau

Sincere thanks to those who responded to last week’s “One Photo Two Ways”. It was really interesting to see the many interpretations. Now we look forward to seeing your responses to John’s challenge this week. Please remember to link them to his original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, a reminder that next week’s guest host will be Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed who will challenge us with Black & White. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Note: I’ll spend some time in our summer house – with no internet – for a couple of weeks but will try to stay in touch!

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 #153 – It’s a Wonderful World

Amy has found a wonderful challenge for us – because even if we all struggle some days, we can clearly see the world is still Full of Wonders, which is the essense of the word wonderful. Amy beautifully used Louis Armstrong’s world famous lyrics in her post – so please, visit Amy and get inspired!

My choice is some Midsummer Magic in the tiny worlds around us – because they are literally wonders in every sense. They also feel more safe to visit in this chaotic world…

We stayed at our summer house for a couple of days to prepare for the Midsummer celebrations next weekend. As you know, the longest day and the shortest night are very important to us in the Nordic countries. However, because of the heat, I find it difficult to sleep well, so I am usually awake around 4 every morning. This particular morning, I went for a barefoot stroll in the early garden dew.

The world is so full of wonderful things we should all, if we were taught how to apprediate it, be far richer than kings.

Ashley Montagu

This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.

Henry David Thoreau

The World is full of wonders, but they become more Wonderful, not less Wonderful when Science looks at them.

Sir David Attenborough


We are the inheritors of a wonderful world, a beautiful world, full of life and mystery, goodness and pain. But likewise are we the children of an indifferent universe. We break our own hearts imposing our moral order on what is, by nature, a wide web of chaos.

Colin Meloy

Thank you all for your creative and fun entries for my Shades and Shadows last week! I learned many new things from you, and was very surprised to find that not many, if any language except English, has got two words for the concept.

Thanks to Amy for her interesting challenge – we look forward to seeing your perspectives – and please remember to use the Lens-Artists Tag and to link to Amy’s original here. Finally, until next week, when Tina will be leading the challenge, please stay safe, be kind, and enjoy this wonderful world.