LAPC #104 -Doors/Doorways

I admit I had to dig deep into my archives to find images for Sylvia’s (My Colorful Expressions) excellent challenge. But it brought me back to some fond memories! Hopefully you will enjoy them as well. I will never forget that park…in the header. The whole park was made a home for stray cats. They were everywhere on the benches, stones and grass – even a little house was built for them.

I know that doors are not really my thing…rather it’s windows. To me, a door leaves everything open, but a window gives me fresh air while I still can feel safe.

These are from Tibet, Bhutan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Latvia, Georgia and Croatia.

I like many different styles, this door is simple, but ”clean” in colour and design.

Elaborate style from Bhutan and a more simple one from Spain. I love them both. Gaudís harmonies are wonderful in their natural forms. Even if this mayby is more of a vault, it was the entrance to a room.

Swedish faded green and a white ”igloo”, kontrasting Bhutan’s shop doors.

Three very different doors and doorways – I like them open…when there is a view waiting.

This left door was very tiny, some 30x150cm. I admit I wondered if there might be a dead body inside, left there hundreds of years ago… And then, there is really something special about laundry! In Georgia that was a daily treat, seeing laundry in all colours all over the yards. Painted doors are not that usual, but here is a shop with an attractive door.

Finally one of my favourites – notice the door to the left, with a lock. How I would have liked to have a look inside that house – but only through the blue door!

Please remember to link to Sylvia’s original post and to use the Lens-Artists tag. Special thanks to Anne Sandler for last week’s Local Vistas. A marvellous response – now we got loads of new travel tips! We also hope you’ll join us again next week when Tina hosts the challenge on Travels and Trifles.  

Until then, be kind, creative and sunny!

LAPC #203 Local Vistas

What are your local vistas? Where do you photograph when you don’t have a lot of time or are not on vacation? This week, show us your local vistas – Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed, is our host!

Well, nowadays I almost always post on my local vistas – and here I am on my way to the forest some weeks ago. As I was driving down the gravel road, I saw a moose – who of course already had spotted me from the rapeseed field…
When landing in the forest, I bet the Lily of the Valley and me both loved the silence and the last rays of evening sun.

I think you know that nature is the most popular vista in my vicinity, but we also have several castles in our neighbourhood, all within a 30 minutes’ drive. Wanås castle with its beautiful surroundings is often visited – sometimes with friends

– here is me and Viveka (My Guilty Pleasures) a couple of weeks ago. Wanås treats include both outdoor exhibitions and…
…tempting indoor exhibitions.

Bosjökloster castle in spring glory – also known for its exhibitions and tasty food.

Without a car, my dogwalks are often photographed as well… In any season, any weather, at any time of the day. With or without a dog…

Interesting studios in a nearby town can be visited for a fee, and you will be guided by one of the artists.

Back to the castles, maybe my favourite is Hovdala, every year used for jousting and medieval fun.

It is always a treat to go there, for beautiful nature, for exhibitions – and for very good food.

Last week, Sofia lead us into an exploration of minimalism and maximalism. What a treat! Many of us discovered our personal preferences for one or the other, but some people enjoyed using both. Next week, we have a special guest host–Sylvia Bacon, who will lead LAPC #204, so be sure to visit her site. Until then, stay safe and kind.

Remember to link to Anne’s post as you share your local vistas and use the Lens-Artists tag.

 If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

LACP#202 – Minimalism/Maximalism, Simplicity/Complexity…

Sofia has chosen a very interesting theme for this week – please visit her blog for more inspiration! Personally I might go for Simplicity/Complexity for the most part, but the labels are not easily set… So, let’s discuss them – and I will start with a quote of my liking:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.

– Bertrand Russell

The first two images could go for simplicity/complexity as well as minimalism/maximalism – but, I feel there is a certain difference… do you feel that too? Sofia wondered if it had to do with the subject – and I think it might.

The first one shows an old boatsman’s cottage, sparsely furnished in light, Scandinavian colours. The second one is the abandoned cottage of Åke, the man who made Kyrkö Mosse famous for its car graveyard in the forest. Do you think his single room could be called complex/maximalistic? It is sparsely furnished… but abandoned and left in a mess of details and colours – which also could be a description of what maximalism is about.

To me, the first photo shows a scenery for my eyes to rest on, and in the second photo my eyes are immediately drawn to strange details instead.

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.

– Vernon Howard

The second couple of images might be minimalism/maximalism if you compare them, but the white dress is still detailed and elaboratedly made. Simplicity? Maybe, but the right one, a man’s dress, could easily be labelled both maximalism and complexity. Both outfits were made for great feasts but in different countries of Europe.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

– Hans Hofmann

Last week we went for a couple of days to the small town of Västervik, where we wanted to see graffitti from three years of festivals. In an art museum, they also had some old Cirkus posters from one of the world’s greatest collections exhibited. Because of their fragility though, they were now being digitalised before going to the archives. (6000 of them were already there.) Some were as old as late 18th century. In the early history of cirkus some established artists, such as Tolouse Lautrec, were engaged to make the posters.

I would call the first poster minimalistic and the second one the epitome of maximalism. The Cyrk posters were made in Poland, and Trolle Rhodin held his famous cirkus shows in Sweden. Notice the US theme. I find the Polish poster very artistic, and still telling us the story perfectly well – what it is all about – without many details.

My last example is the beach – the first one the way I like it best, and the second one I would never visit. So, what does that tell you about me? I guess I am more minimalistic then, but I still like details… And how did I manage to take the second beach photo? Well, I went there just for a photo of the incredible crowd…

Finally, like Sofia, I will end with a scene that once blew me away – a poster for a fashion exhibition by our world famous designer Lars Wallin. I still find it so ”clean” and delicate.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

– Leonardo da Vinci

Thank you, Sofia, for making me question my thoughts on the essence of these words, and what I really like the most. An eye opener.

I would like to thank you all for the wonderful challenge responses last week. Magnificent, so many inspiring and innovative triptychs! As for this week, Sofia invites us to think of which fits our narrative best, simplicity or “more is more”, minimalism or maximalism, or does it depend on the subject? We’re looking forward to seeing your posts. As always, use the Lens-Artists tag and link to Sofia’s original post.

Next week the brilliant Anne at Slow Shutter Speed will host so make sure to have a look at her blog.

If you want more information about the Lens-Artists Challenge, please click here.

LAPC #201 – Three of a Kind

Maybe you too have experienced that one single image sometimes doesn’t convey what you wanted to say with it? This week, I thought we all would have the possibility to show more than one side of the coin. With Three of a Kind, I want you to think about things related to your main photo – maybe a book, a flower, a room, a piece of art… Almost anything will fit in here – you could make your three images tell a story too! Simply put: Your post should have three separate images that are somehow related. (Another option is splitting one photo into three parts.)

There is a special word for this art of three – triptych. The shape may be seen in Christian Iconography and became a common conventional style for altar artworks in the Middle Ages, from the Gothic era forward, both in Europe and overseas.

Ever since I visited Museo del Prado in Madrid and saw Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, I was hooked. Even if this technique works best for painting, the triptych has provided a new layer to visual art. Let’s give it a try in photography! And let’s make it simple – the images can stand like always, below one another. The Wish Tree images below do, but you can also use, for example, the WP gallery tool.

Yoko Ono’s Wish Trees at Wanås were flowering beautifully last Sunday

Most wishes dancing in the wind these unruly days, were for peace in Ukraine
and for peace on Earth –

Plato once said that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. But, it is a quote from Leonardo da Vinci that comes to mind when I walk among these beautiful wish trees…
There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.

I wish those who do not see, were given the ability to see.

One evening last week I went to the little pond where the fiddlehead ferns grow. For contemplation and some peace of mind. Soon I was lost in a magical walk, to the tunes of the nightingale. I hope you can hear him sing, despite the soundless images! Just like the ferns, he was playing hide and seek with me behind the trees. I never wanted this moment to end.

The Pond

I tried to stay with the shape of a real triptych, but found the mosaic gallery to be the best tool for my images. I kept my main image to the left in each set.

As I was cleaning these old vases, memories of grandmother made me think of using them too for this theme. All we have is our memories, and many times it is the little things that trigger us to remember…Thank you again, Amy.

Grandmother’s Chinese vases

Finally, a Wanås visit would not be complete without the indoor art gallery. The main artist, Peter Linde Busk, used a multitude of techniques and materials, (reuse is his driving force) which made for an interesting triptych story.

The Generous Gambler

Special thanks to Amy for her Little Things theme, that brought much joy and a treasure of posts reminding us that the little things are the most important in life. When everything is swaying around us, we can rest our mind and senses – in them.

We are so looking forward to seeing your Three of a Kind posts, how you chose to display your images, and their different stories! Remember to have fun with this theme, and please add the Lens-Artists tag and a link to my post.

Next week, Sofia will be hosting, and her theme is Minimalism/Maximalism–Single or Flamboyant, Plain or ”More Is More”? Please visit her inspirational site! Until then, stay calm and kind, making the world a better place.

LAPC #200 – Every Little Thing

Amy is hosting Every Little Thing this week, please visit her lovely site for more inspiration! We invite you to share every little thing that makes you smile. Amy says:

”Small things around us have interesting stories to tell if we only take the time to stop, look, and listen.” With this little mixed gallery, I hope to send you some smiles from me!

The important little ones around us, are both necessary for our survival – and beautiful. Not only spring flowers and Yoko Ono art, but animals, insects (even flies)…

…and tiny worlds to get lost in.

And how about a little sun of your own?

Many thanks to John, and for your special contributions to his Mechanical/Industrial theme. I have had a trying week without my PC, but now I am here! Hope you will participate in Amy’s beautiful theme, and don’t forget your Lens-Artists tag and link to Amy’s original post!

Next week it is my turn, Leya, to be your host. May the sun shine on you – and inside you, until then!

LAPC #199 – Mechanical/Industrial

John – Mechanical/Industrial this week. In the header, – oil platforms in Poland.

John, John – not my best theme, this one, but fascinating – and here I am, computer working again, finally!

How about the first vacuum cleaner for a whole castle? Gothenburg, Sweden. It had to be pulled by horses, and the weight…tons…Imported from England.

New Zealand and an unforgettable ride with the Kingston Flyer. A beauty.

Less of a beauty maybe, but I like it – found on the bottom of the sea. New Zealand again.

Thank you all for last week’s responses to Patti’s Light and Shadow Challenge – unfortunately I had a computer crash, and could not participate as usual. But since yesterday I have my computer again! Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to host our challenge, so be sure to visit her site. If you’d like to join in our weekly themes but aren’t sure how to proceed, look here.

LAPC #198 – Light and Shadow

Patti sends us searching light and shadow…

She reminds us that the experts tell us to focus on the light in photography, but, that it’s not just about the light. It’s both light and shadow, which are two sides of the same coin.

Tolstoy tells us the truth…

All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.

– Leo Tolstoy

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.

– Francis of Assisi
Our job is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today.

– Edward Abbey

In life have a friend that is like a mirror and shadow; mirror doesn’t lie and shadow never leaves.

Unknown

The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say

– Gregory Maguire

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.

-Junichiro Tanizaki

There is strong shadow where there is much light.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Last weekend’s hike was an explosion in light and shadow, the vivid greens of newborn spring and the joy of new life coming.

Last week, Tina inspired us to explore The Rule of Thirds, which lead to many interesting discussions about our preferences in composing a shot. Next week, it’s my (Leya’s) turn to host, so stay safe and be kind until then!

If you would like to participate in our weekly Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us on Saturdays at noon EST: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

Lens-Artists Challenge #197 – The Rule of Thirds

Tina explains the well-known Rule of Thirds, and asks us to show our own examples. Visit her site for more inspiration!I must admit the rule is somewhere with me always, but I never think of it. It is true that this composition is pleasing to the eye, but so is breaking it…

This Shar – pei beauty on the steps – is maybe not totally in the ”right” position, but almost. Many times you need to fit into the frame what would look strange if it wasn’t there – and the dog had to be there, just as I wanted the steps to be there as well. And, I had to be fast – or the dog would go indoors again.

In this image I just wanted something in the foreground, and matched the single boat with the boats to the left and the lady on the bridge – a balance after all. My overall idea is that a balanced image is more needed than following the rules. (Rules might help the balancing of course…)

The Mockingbird and the blue bottle makes a balanced picture despite breaking the rules. I almost always avoid putting the significant object in the middle, so, the balance here is kept by the bottle and the bird leaning away from each other. The lack of other colours/the blending in also makes the bird a star.

I say trust your own feeling for when an image has got the finish you want. This Iceland motif is a favourite – warm evening colours contrasted to the darker, colder side of the mountains, and the distinct line going left-right and upwards. The farm in the lower left corner.

Another example, from Ireland, where I would have liked the shot a bit more from the right, putting the ruins in a better position. But, that was not possible – so I made this image anyway. It works for me, thanks to the hiker on the road.

Finally two images where you cannot follow the rule of thirds properly – and it is not needed either. The Moroccan dune works like the Icelandic mountain ridge – the contrast between light and dark, warmth and cold. Just decide where the line should go. One third?

Finally a horse in the middle, or almost. I felt that was his right position. Do you agree?

In the end – were you familiar with the rule? Do you use it? This week we hope you’ll share some rule-of-thirds examples and explain how and why you chose to compose them. Please link to Tina’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag!

Sincere thanks to John for making our week filled with smiles! Much needed…Patti will lead our next challenge with Light and Shadow. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #196 – Humor

John is a man of great humour, and a brilliant word juggler – this week he is our guest host. ”I hope, as this is published, we can still find at least a corner of our lives for some humor. ‘We must keep our sense of humor, sometimes it’s all we have left.’

Go to his site for inspiration! I will try my best to find something in my archives…but I don’t have many laughing people, instead it will be mostly words and signs that made me laugh. And dogs of course.

The first gallery is from China and New Zealand – fun wording and signs. I too wish car explosions were forbidden everywhere…And who would want to keep in touch with the evil looking figure on the sign?

Great fun is to be had every day if you have animals around. My dogs (almost) always make me smile. Totti was a funny dog, he had his favourite chair, and once he had occupied it – no one could remove him from there. His daughter, Belezza, was fast as lightning, but obviously Totty never was…Swoooosch, and she left him bewildered, sitting, lying or standing…take a look at the expression on his face!

Special thanks to Anne for hosting last weeks colourful contributions! They really brightened up our days. For this week, your good humor will be greatly appreciated! We look forward to seeing your responses. Please remember to link them to his original post , and to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. Next week’s host will be Tina, but until then, why not follow John’s advice…

”Stay well, stay safe, be weird, wonderful, shapely and designed, follow your bliss, celebrate your celebrity, be choosy and serene. Have a good year, and above all, keep your sense of HUMOR!”

Lens-Artists Challenge # 195 – Colourful Expressions

Colours!

According to Anne, ”It motivates, depresses, and makes us happy.” The effect of colour is always remarkable. And now – ”how does color affect your photography?” Read more and find inspiration at Anne’s blog, Slow Shutter Speed !

Many of us have read books about the meaning of different colours… maybe that is one of the reasons why I love green. I like both soft and bright colors, green, purple, yellow and orange being my favorites. Combined with interesting textures, colours make me want new images…immediately. Fragrance and fragile patterns are on my list too.

Even if I love monochrome, colours are my life. In my photography, I will always be that little child in the deep forest – surrounded by the colour green – but all the other tones too.

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.

– Pablo Picasso

Muted colours are my best friends, I could never wear bold yellow, orange or blue for example. My skin and features are too fair. But for photography every colour can be delicious.

I seldom photograph something just because of its colour – there has to be something more in it of interest…like structure or architectural spice.

And, just like Anne, I’m also drawn to rust – maybe rusty colours mostly. These forest floor ferns could be my wardrobe – muted colours with glimpses of golden sun.

Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.

– Pablo Picasso

Purple/ lavender/ lilac Wisteria and the colour grey – their marriage is an indisputable success.

Red is not my colour, but winter white and contrasting red is always a hit with me.

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.

– Pablo Picasso

This week, show us how colour affects your photography, what emotions it brings out, and which ones are you particularly drawn to?

When you create your colorful expression, remember to link to Anne’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Special thanks to Sofia, for last week’s wonderful Bokeh challenge. We so enjoyed seeing all your beautiful responses. Our guest host next week will be John RH, of John’s Space, Be sure to visit his site for inspiration.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/