Lens-Artists Challenge #166 – Artificial Light

Some of us are living in the Northern Hemisphere, and we will soon be in need of more artificial light as we are moving away from the sun. Artificial light means man made light, but, I also learned something new – that candles do not count as artificial light.

So, how do we use artificial light? Simply because we need it to see, to do what we need to or want to do?

No, today we also use it for fun – for example in fireworks and for Halloween.

We use moving light too – here on the houses’ facades at the Lodz Light Move Festival.

And moving light – is always used in concerts. In fact I am so old, that I remember when the laser harp was made popular by Jean-Michel Jarre.

Artificial light can be used in so many art forms – this is an art walk at ARoS, Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Denmark.

Painting on Ipad instantly became a new art when the Ipad arrived some years ago – here a David Hockney at the Louisiana exhibition in Denmark.

We need light, artificial light – but, do we really need as much of it as we use? The costs can be high. The results are in many cases negative for nature and with that, also for ourselves. Newborn sea turtles die when they cannot find their way to the sea, and head towards the light of motorways and towns close to the beach. And that is only one example of many.

For some time I watch the coming of the night? Above is the glistening galaxy of childhood, now hidden in the Western world by air pollution and the glare of artificial light; for my children’s children, the power, peace and healing of the night will be obliterated. Peter Matthiessen

Thank you to Patti for last week’s fun, Going Wide, which set our eyes wide open to the world!

For this week’s LAPC #166, we invite you to throw some artificial light on things! Please use the Lens Artists tag to help us find you, and we look forward to ”seeing the light”.

Next week Amy will be your host – until then, be well and kind.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide

This week, Patti is going wide – and so are we! ”What’s a wide angle lens? It’s any lens that is below 35 mm on a crop-sensor camera or 50 mm on a full frame. The wide-angle view is perfect for capturing a broad vista like a landscape, seascape, or cityscape.”

In the opener, I had to use a wide angle in order to show as much as possible of the paper cutting – but I still did not manage to get the whole width, 5 meters, in the same picture.

My first example is of an old ”light house” in Skagen, on the east coast of Denmark. Ca 1625 ”vippfyren” was invented by the Dane Jens Pedersen Grove of Elsinor. Vippfyr could be translated as ”tilt light house”, and worked via a lever lifting a metal basket with an open fire. The first of these innovations were set in Skagen, Anholt and Kolabacken, Falsterbo, Sweden.

I used a wide angle here to show the sense of a golden ”sea” in front, and the light house facing the open, blue sea.

Another wide angle – this time the necessity was…to catch the two giant platforms in the same picture.

And I finally used a wide angle to show the vastness of Råbjerg Mile, a migrating coastal dune between Skagen and Fredrikshavn, Denmark. According to Wikipedia, this is the largest moving dune in Northern Europe with an area of around 2 km2 (0.4 mi2) and a height of 40 m (130 ft) above sea level. The dune contains a total of 4 million m3 of sand. The wind moves it in a north-easterly direction up to 18 metres (59 ft) a year, but it was originally formed at the Skagerrak coast, more than 300 years ago.

For this week’s LAPC #165, we invite you to go wide and we’re looking forward to seeing your wide-angle views of people, places, and objects taken with your camera or smartphone.

Last week, Sofia’s Up/Down challenge gave us a multitude of beautiful images captured while looking up and down. A special thanks to Sofia for her creative and inspiring theme and for hosting the challenge!

Next week, I, Leya, will be your host for the challenge. Until then, please stay calm, kind and well.

Lens-Artists Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down

Sofia of Photographias is our host this week – welcome! In a way, she continues Amy’s lovely ”Keep Walking” by wanting us not just to look around ourselves, but also to look up and down:

”So, what have you discovered when you looked up or down? Were you surprised?”

My garden is still filled with fluttering wings and buzzing bees this autumn. Sunny days with no wind – and I go out in the mornings to enjoy the last colourful flowers, butterflies and bees. My Buddleias have grown very high, about three meters, so I mostly look up to find the little beauties eating breakfast in the warming sun.

I was surprised to see a common brimstone – they haven’t been here since Spring. Hundreds of butterflies come to my garden every day, but now in September mainly red admirals, peacock butterflies and small tortoiseshells. The occational comma and cabbage butterfly.

When I look down, I find the hydrangeas are already fading into their new beauty – laced and plumcoloured. I don’t really know which way I like them best…but these silent, warm Septemberdays, I so love them.

On our trip to Denmark some weeks ago, we walked to the northernmost tip of the country to see the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet. The sky was spectacular, and we remembered the 19th century Skagen painters who used to come here because of the magical light.

Time to look down as we reached Grenen, where the two seas meet. A tough walk in the strong wind, but beautiful waters awaiting. Quite a special feeling to stand there in the flying sand to the sound of clashing waves. Michael Ancher’s famous A Stroll on the Beach seemed a bit far away though…

They say the two seas meet in different colours. It was rather dark when we finally got to the point where they do meet – but maybe you can see a faint difference in this photo if you look closely? Anyway, it is time to look both up and down when you come to a special place like this.

Please go to Sofia for more inspiration, and if you join us, please include a link to her post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you.

Patti at Pilotfish will be our host next week, 11th September. Until then, we are looking forward to seeing your ups and downs. Stay kind and cool.

Lens-Artists Challenge #163 – Keep Walking

Amy says: ”This week, our theme is “Keep Walking”. Let’s share our walking and/or hiking experience.” I have always been a walker, and hopefully I will keep walking – just like the two elderly gentlemen in Segovia. I walk to see and feel – to come close to everything living on our planet. I walk to think and contemplate. Why do you walk?

Why not start with a pair of beloved shoes – my young son’s batman shoes… Shoes are very important to keep you walking. For longer hikes, I mostly wear hiking boots, but my other family members prefer ordinary walking shoes.

Our children are used to extensive walking. As soon as they could wear more solid shoes, at the age of three or four something, they walked with us in the forest and on our vacation trips. The Swedish mountains in the first image, then Madeira and the Azores – all favourite hiking areas. The first time they walked the levadas in Madeira, they were three and four years old. The Ribeiro Frio-Portela route is the most popular one with us. We visited Madeira five times, and that hike was always a must. My mother liked it too. In this photo she had just turned 75.

The Azores are constantly on our list – one day we would love to go back for more hiking. The last photo is from Norway, also a favourite hiking area. I am on my way to Svartisen glacier.

We were fortunate enough to visit Bhutan in 2018, and walked the famous path to the Tiger’s Nest. A strenuous five-hour-hike, but worth every step.

Pilgrims from the whole world walk this path and we met many wonderful, smiling people. This family offered me small treats to make me feel less tired. (The dog got one too – everything living is to be cared for.) I learned that the elderly lady was 75 years old, but she just swept past me like a wind and soon disappeared with light steps… while I kept struggling in the thin air.

Finally – a walk I still dream of for the future – if there is one. The walk to Santiago de Compostela. The way of St James. A walk through the whole of Spain, for many a way to find out more about themselves, and how they want to live their Life. In 2016 we drove parts of the Camino, and walked small parts of it. Talked to people and found ever so many different reasons for making this pilgrimage. I guess today we can find even more reasons to walk the Camino…

Many thanks to Tina for “It’s all about the light” last week. She gave a series of comparisons about the power of light, and through your beautiful thoughts and images, we have learned even more about the importance of light.

This week, we invite you to share your walking adventures and photos on trails, streets, gardens, neighborhoods… Remember to link your post to Amy’s original, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.

We’re excited to announce that LAPC #164 will be hosted by Sofia Alves on September 4th. Her theme is “Looking Up/Down”. Be sure to visit Sofia’s site.

Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It’s All About the Light

Tina has chosen Light for this challenge –

I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.

Trent Parke

The most crisp and serene light ever, is to be found in Iceland. So, for a starter, an image from north western Iceland, that I have posted before. I have done nothing to enhance or change the original. It has it all – natural, clear Light.

I could have chosen so many images from Iceland – but only one more pick – the graveyard. There is the light, and the beauty of flowers, mountains and water. A well chosen place to rest.

A couple of days in Denmark last week was refreshing. We visited the biggest sandcastle in the world (- now in the Guinness Book of Records). It was raining when we arrived at the sculpture park, so I took a photo before it would get even worse… The second photo was taken about two hours later – as when we were leaving the park, the sun came out! The most significant difference is the colour of the sand, and how much more alive the feeling is in the second photo.

In Aarhus we wanted to visit their famous art museum, ARoS – but also the harbour area with its modern architecture. They were still building new there, and at a traffic light I opened the window and photographed some of the constructions. The next morning we went there again to see more of this interesting area. This time we parked the car…To our great delight, now the light and the clouds made the visit an almost surreal experience.

I leave you with a favourite image made at the Fluela Pass in Switzerland. At our hotel they featured a big poster of bikers riding along the spectacular pass road, and we were eager to see this the following day. While we were aiming for a couple of interesting villages, we were also on the lookout for ”The View”. To our great disappointment, there was no ”view”…there was only a lake and a mountain. Quite ordinary. But, when returning to our hotel in the afternoon, taking the same road, this magnificent view suddenly opened up. Magical! The right time of the day, the right angle, and the right light. I learned something that day. About patience, and waiting for the magical moment to arrive.

We hope you will join us this week for Tina’s inspiring theme for LAPC #162: It’s All About the Light. Many thanks for last week’s fun Feet and Shoes. There were many smiles as we saw the variety of your responses! This week your challenge is to share images that illustrate the power of light – even better if you also include the same or a similar scene at a different, somewhat less beautiful time. Remember to link your post to Tina’s original, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week as Amy leads us on her Share and Connect post. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #161 – Feet and Shoes

Going barefoot is the gentlest way of walking and can symbolise a way of living – being authentic, vulnerable, sensitive to our surroundings. It’s the feeling of enjoying warm sand beneath our toes, or carefully making our way over sharp rocks in the darkness. It’s a way of living that has the lightest impact, removing the barrier between us and nature.

— Adele Coombs, “Barefoot Dreaming”

Summer usually means many bare feet around, and light shoes. Here in Scandinavia we have had a lovely summer, sunny and filled with water time, rolls in the grass and much laughter. This year we had a first-time-ever-dipping-feet-in-the-sea at our summer house – with a new little girl in this world. So I thought – why not celebrate summer fun with some Feet and Shoes? Even science tells us about the importance of letting our feet be free…

To start with, some fancy shoes, many decades ago in Holland – wedding clogs. Surely there are many hours of work behind these. But how comfortable are they?

Now, more fancy shoes – from today. Still not very comfortable…? A poster from a Lars Wallin exhibition.

Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world. – Marilyn Monroe

Comfortable shoes and the freedom to leave are the two most important things in life. – Shel Silverstein

As for me, soft leather boots and shoes are comfortable favourites. (Maybe most young people would say sneakers or trainers?) I have always wanted a pair of green ones…but never got to buy them. But someday I will!

I always judge a man by his shoes and his watch. – Tamer Hassan

I know people still do, or at least did, judge you by your shoes (and your whole appearance of course). But shoes. When my mother was young, boots should be impeccably shining, and so should any pair of shoes. She was very particular about her dancing shoes.

But there are still places in the world where not everbody has got a pair of their own.

A fun example of the importance of shoes is Crakows, they had extremely long toes and were very popular in15th century Europe. The style was thought to have originated in Kraków, Poland, but were used much earlier in Asia. To stay in shape, they were stuffed with moss or horsehair in the front. The richer and more important you were, the longer your shoes … sometimes their tip had to be chained to the wearer’s calves to let him walk at all.

Have you ever tried wearing such shoes? I have. Stumbling headlong on your face is a highly possible result…

But there are other feet to meet…a beautiful big beetle climbing up the foot of the abandoned glass. His slender legs and many feet work perfectly well – he is good at manoeveing them.

Finally back on the beach again. First a rainy blue day…shoes abandoned, and then our new little family sweetie, barefoot, grandfather carrying her shoes. She did not wear them for the rest of that day…left them waiting all alone on a stone. I bet they were missing her tiny, soft toes…

If we were to actually walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, there’s a good chance that we’d end up opting to live the rest of our lives walking barefoot.
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

I admit I would live without shoes – if it were possible. How about you? And now it´s your turn to share any feet and shoes – we’re looking forward to your treats!

Thank you Patti, for letting us indulge in so many inspirational posts last week! On August 21 Tina will be our host for Challenge #162- hope to see you then as well. Until then… stay calm and be nice.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #160 – Your Inspiration

This week starts with Patti at the helm, and then the other Lens-Artists too will be back from the summer break.

But first, we’d like to send special thanks to our 5 guest hosts who led the challenges so wonderfully and
skillfully in our absence –

John Steiner of Journeys With Johnbo, Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed, Rusha Sams of Oh The Places We See, Beth Smith of Wandering Dawgs, and Ana Campo of Anvica’s Gallery. Your themes inspired
some terrific photographic fun for all of us!

Please visit Patti’s inspirational post, where she also uses quotes from artist Agnes Martin.”Agnes Martin pinpoints two key elements of inspiration–the quality of light in a place and our feelings at that moment.” As I see it, there is no need for further explanations. Light is everything and through natural light I feel inspired.

My main inspiration is Nature, and always has been. I guess many of you already know. Patti continues: ”For Martin, happiness and beauty are interconnected. Both are conduits of inspiration.” I totally agree. Both of these I need, and also get when I am alone in Nature.

Other than light and nature – I would like to say something about us, humans. Because, other people and their work get me inspired to make things, produce things, invent things…Good people, dedicated, accurate and meticuluos people are always inspirational – I admire every one of them. They make it an Art whatever they do. I was rather good at this when I was younger, but age, retirement from work – and then a year and a half with corona – unfortunately have made me less meticulous. Some things just seem to have lost much of their importance.

Creativity and creative people – are hopefully inspirational for everyone of us.

I am fortunate to have several creative people in my family and among friends. In little things as well as bigger things.

Is this ordinary laundry (not on a lamp this time ;-D…) swaying in the wind? No, it is installed there by the owners of the house, instead of a hedge or a high fence. There is a road some 20 meters behind it, and this is an efficient way of pleasing the eye from both directions… Even the colours are carefully chosen.

And in their garden you will find a beautiful grand lit placed among the wildflowers. They call it their ”sunbed”. What the owners do, is relax on that bed whenever they feel like listening to the sound of crickets, birds and all the busy insects in their haven… And silence. The best of rooms under the sky ceiling.

Maybe after your rest, a short walk down to the lake for an early morning- or late evening swim? Inspiration arrives with the water enveloping you. (The image below was made around four o’clock in the morning – and so is the opener)

This week, we are inviting you to share photos of Your inspiration. It can be a place, a subject, a person, or a book, for example. Actually, it can be just about anything that inspires you.

Please include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can find you in the WP
Reader. Your creativity is always inspiring and your continued support means so much to us.

Looking back – thank you Ana for a real postcard treat, (you made me find my old box of memories!) and ahead to August 14, when it is my turn to lead the challenge for LAPC #161. Hope to see you then too! In the meantime, have a wonderful and creative week and please stay well and be kind.

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.