Lens-Artists Challenge #183 – Memorable Events

This week you will have an opportunity to show us some memorable events – new ones or delightful memories! I had to reflect upon it for some days before I knew what to choose…because life gives us quite some of these very special events, doesn’t it? Happy Birthdays, surprising hikes, meetings with faraway friends, interesting exhibitions, travels to special places…

Finally, I chose our two days in the Sahara desert in Morocko, an event that is often on my mind, and will stay with me forever. The silence, the beauty of the dunes, and the many surprises along the way….I am sure you too will find a favourite or two to post, and hopefully also enjoy this challenge.

I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, from one of my favourite stories: The Little Prince

After some jeep driving, we reached our dinner camp – and I was happy to find rag carpets on the sand – they made me feel very much at home in a place so far from home!

Our tour guides and transportation – camels – were patiently waiting for us. No stress in sight. We were only about ten people, nobody said anything, and the silence was tangible.

The glorious day promised we would have an unforgettable desert sunset. And yes, we had. But, even more beautiful was the blue hour light, slowly filling the endless desert sky.

That night we slept incredibly well in the camp bed, under thick layers to protect against the cold.

In the early morning I went out walking on the dunes again, hoping to see some interesting animals. The day before, a fox had been following us, and I saw quite some scarabs (the first picture below) and their significant paths in the sand. But now something else caught my attention – a hole in the ground… and someone digging and sending up splashes of sand. I kept still and quiet, and was rewarded with a glimpse of this little creature – a Tarabul’s gerbil! Length about 10cm and tail about 15cm. He really kept an eye on me..

I greatly enjoyed both the evening light and the morning light – and the atmosphere of stillness and lack of sounds.

Late evening dunes in warm chocolate waves, and morning dunes almost serenely cold.

I hope the camel – the “ship of the desert,” will continue to cruise the sand sea of the Sahara – and I am very grateful to once have been aboard. It is good to know, that there is still something of Arabian Nights in the world…and shimmering tales from olden days.

Have fun finding Memorable Events – or making new ones! Please include a link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Last week, we enjoyed learning about and exploring Interesting Objects. Thank you Patti for hosting this interesting challenge! Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to stop by her beautiful site and join in the fun! Until then, stay healthy and have an inspiring week!

Lens-Artists Challenge #182 – Interesting Objects

Patti says: ”This week, we’re exploring Interesting Objects on LAPC. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of walking through a city, the country, a museum, or a beach, for example, and something catches your eye…”

In the opener you will find a somewhat strange photo of my favourite Swedish composer – when visiting his birthplace, I found this quote – ”To fight for the Light, yes, that is the highest” – His music shines of a very special light, creating a soft nest inside you.

Here are some of my eyecatchers…

Ireland – an incredible coincidence that I had just read a biography about these young women and the grim fate of their children. This plate sat on a bench in a beautiful park.
A sailing lamp…found in 15th century castle Bunratty in Ireland. This must be one of the strangest lamps I have ever seen. Bunratty is the most complete and authentic castle in Ireland, and in fact there were several chandeliers with these mermaids.
Kyrkö Mosse – a ”must visit” when you come to my part of Sweden. Some hundred old cars, once collected by a dedicated man. Standing in a bog, they are all slowly sinking, and will within not too many years totally disappear.

Patti says, this week we are invited to share images that feature Interesting Objects.

Have fun searching for them on the street, in your home, in your travels, or from your archives. Please include a link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Last week, we enjoyed learning about and exploring your favorite photo challenges. Thank you Tina for hosting the Double Dipping Challenge – an eye opener to many new possibilities! Next week, it’s my turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to stop by and join in the fun! Until then, stay healthy and have an inspiring week!

Lens-Artists Challenge #181 – Double Dipping

This week we’re suggesting that in addition to our challenge, you explore and link to some of the other creative opportunities our friends and fellow challengers make available in the WP blogosphere (or any other sites where you post images). I’ve opened with a flower from my garden, and I’m linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

Callistemon is one of my favourites, and as I finally got a glass house, I can now keep this plant safe all year around. It is a wonder to see its very special flowers unfold every year.

Maybe my Bottlebrush also would qualify for Jez Braithwhite’s Tropical plants in his Photo’s by Jez, Fan of… but this Bromelia I caught from the top of a Kapok tree in its true home, the Amazon, Ecuador.

Finally, I chose an image for Weekend Sky – Blog of Hammad Rais. The deceivingly soft light of a very cold winter evening. The low sun at its highest, you will find in the light blue opener with our neighbouring farm huse.

Please be sure to include the Lens-Artists tag with your responses, and to link to Tina’s original post as well as any other challenges you elected to feature. I’ll close with a sincere thank you to all who
shared your wonderful images and stories in last week’s 2021 favorites challenge. Your joy and positivity brightened our days. Stay tuned for next week’s challenge, hosted by Patti. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #180 – Favourite Images of 2021

Our team is back and we wish you welcome to 2022. This New Year comes, again, with much hope for the future –

It was as if the land opened its lips and breathed again, and was made anew.
― Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Our “Favorite Images of the Year ” challenge will be a bit different this year too. For me, this year meant continously living in my bubble, but a bit more freedom than 2020. Still much less camera…and much less energy – but, here’s my year through lens and sense. Sometimes maybe not the best image, but the one that stirs up feelings of joy and happiness.

I begin with my absolute favourite image for 2021 – the fabulous, snowy landscape a late evening in February. the opener though, is from yesterday – the frosty landscape we had the last days of December.

We were lucky to get some ”real winter” this year – and vivid memories of my childhood came back.

The feeling of Spring and early Summer is always the highlight of the year – and my backlit tulips represents that to me.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Cicero

Macro moments and surprising views are also much appreciated. A walk by the brook in a special light,

– and a close look at one of the last insects seen outdoors this year – too slow to get away from my curious lens…

My husband turned 70 and we celebrated all summer…one of the highlights was a visit to ARoS museum in Aarhus, Denmark.

Another one was the fact that the biggest wandering sand dune in Europe is to be found – in Denmark.

The beginning is always today.—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

A visit to Tjolöholm Castle was a real treat this summer. A Tudor castle in Sweden! And the most modern things in those days – unknown to ordinary people – were brought here from England. Showers that sprinkled you all around, and Roman baths on every floor.

Every moment is a fresh beginning. —T.S. Eliot

My daughter’s exam, and the most beautiful Lotus flower.

Autumn now just around the corner, but the colours were slow to arrive this year.

It was a joy when they finally fired away and had me using the camera again.

And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

And lovely new things were revealed and enhanced by the late autumn fog – the delicacy of the leaves and trees, and the little things that inhabit the forest floor.

Yesterday’s captures were frosty sheep in -12 degrees C, sticking together despite their thick coats…

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
― Oprah Winfrey

The low sun and the soft light this winter makes it such a joy to walk with Milo. He loves the snow just as much as I do. And, as not many photographs are taken or images made in this cold weather – he is content not having to wait for me…

The Lens-Artists team is excited to announce that we’ll be welcoming several new members beginning in 2022. In addition to those of us with whom you are all familiar, we’ll be joined this year by

Sofia Alves of  Photographias 

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed

John Steiner of Journeys with Johnbo 

Those of you who have followed us for some time will be familiar with all of them as they have all been regular participants and each has Guest-Hosted for us in the past. We know they will bring their marvelous photography, extensive travel experiences, close-to-home adventures, and fresh insight to our weekly challenges. We are very much looking forward to having them with us. Please be sure to follow their blogs to be certain you don’t miss any of our upcoming Lens-Artists challenges. 

Finally – may 2022 bring peace, health, and happy moments to us all. We look forward to seeing Your favorite images of 2021 and understanding why you’ve chosen them. Please use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. As always, we greatly appreciate your continued support of our challenge and the inventive creativity of your responses.

Lens-Artists Challenge #179 – Serene

Patti suggests Serene for the last challenge of the year. A timely choice, as that is what many of us need today, serenity. The hustle and bustle of December makes for contemplation – is this what we really want?

I hope my chosen images all speak for themselves as to what serene means to me.

Serenity is the birthplace for creativity, wisdom, and meaningful productivity.

– Jane Nelsen

He who loves nature loves peace.
― Michael Bassey Johnson

Serenity lies in solitude.
― Lailah Gifty Akita

Meditation takes you to the place inside you which is the most calm and serene place in the universe.
― Purvi Raniga

Like water, we are truest to our nature in repose.

– Cyril Connolly

And, we all strive to reach the light.

Thank you for treating us to a variety of choices last week – a true delight! This week we invite you to join us and show us what serene means to you. In your post, include a link to Patti’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag. We’re looking forward to seeing your photos!

We have two important announcements as well: There will be no new challenge from us on Saturday, December 25th, but we will return on January 1st, 2022 for our annual Favorite Photos of 2021 challenge. The number of images is up to you.

Until then, I wish you Happy Holidays and a happy and healthy New Year!

Lens- Artists Challenge #178 You Choose

The very fact of snow is such an amazement. – Roger Ebert

This week Tina is inviting us to post on a subject of our own choosing. ”Feel free to use your imagination to take your post anywhere you’d like – we look forward to lots of variety!” I’ve chosen some of the winter sceneries we’ve been lucky enough to experience here for a couple of weeks. Too early to stay until Christmas though, but certainly putting myself, children and dogs into the spirit of the holidays!

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different. – J.B. Priestley

These images are all from a short drive yesterday, to visit friends.

Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity.
– Novala Takemoto

A glimpse of sun through thick skies.

Despite all I have seen and experienced, I still get the same simple thrill out of glimpsing a tiny patch of snow.
– Edmund Hillary

A short drive up the road we passed this house by a small pond. Happy to enjoy curtains of icicles!
To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.

The snow lifted for a second, and the majestic trees showed off their soft duvet – a winter wonderland.
I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’
– Lewis Carrol

Winter forms our character and brings out our best.– Tim Allen

On our way home, the snow started falling again, and I loved every second of it. As Tina says – every day is indeed a gift. This snow will not last for many more days here, but I try to live in the moment – taking it in, loving the serenity.

We look forward to seeing what the week will bring as you gift us with posts that suit your own fancy. Please be sure to link them to Tina’s post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you in the reader. Thank you for sharing your celebrations last week, and next week Patti will be back at the helm. Until then, stay safe, enjoy the holiday season – and remember: One kind word can warm three winter months.Japanese Proverb.

Lens-Artists Challenge #177 – Celebrating

Amy reminds us this is the season for celebrating – but in reality, we are of course free to celebrate anything worth celebrating! My choices are some of the celebrations I have always loved, and they will forever stay with me.

The opener is my celebration of winter and snow.

Throughout my working life as a teacher, I have been fortunate to follow many lovely students graduate every year in June. They celebrate their achievements as students, and the beginning of a new life.

Walking is a passion with me, and seeing the pilgrims’ arriving in Santiago de Compostela – after struggling on the roads and paths for months, weeks and days – I know their feat is worthy of a great celebration.

Another passion of mine is flowers. Celebrating spring flowers in Holland, Keukkenhof, is indeed a festival for all senses. We have visited three times so far – and hopefully we will get the chance to go again.

Christmas is coming – and even though it does not hold the same magic now as when I was a child, I can still remember that tingling feeling. And celebrating the children coming home, candles lit, parcels made, dogs cuddled and birds fed – is a complete joy. Even more so when there is snow!

Finally, the New Year…My grandmother never liked this celebration, and I share her thoughts… more and more each year. She was a hard working country woman who struggled through life to make ends meet, and she always feared the next year would never bring her much good. My own generation belongs to the lucky ones in many ways, but ahead of us lies tough tasks in order to save our planet – because we don’t want to leave those troubles to the next generation, do we? Let’s mend the world while we can.

My deeply grateful thanks to all of you who joined in for the “One Image/One Story” theme – my heart is now filled with your wonderful stories and beautiful images! This week we hope you will join us to share your photos of the celebrations you’ve seen through your travels or at home – whether it’s a festival, birthday, anniversary, holidays – or any special day. Be sure to link your post here and to use the Lens-Artists tag so we can find you in our WP Reader.

Next week, Tina will host LAPC #178. Stay tuned and be sure to visit her site, Travels and Trifles.

Lens-Artists Challenge #176- One Image/One Story

I thought we would go for a minimalistic challenge this week – a good excercise, but I know you as I know myself… So, that doesn’t mean you must only use one, single image…I am sure you have several stories to share! Pick one or two, maybe three? As long as you use only one image for each (possible) story you have captured.

What is a photo story? Some photos are staged, or taken just for their story, and some stories come up first when you see your photo on the screen. A lot of photographic storytelling involves capturing shots of interesting scenes and phenomena that cannot easily be explained through words. These photos either tell the story of an interesting person or persons/animal or animals, or maybe occupy a human rights or awareness angle by depicting the plight of people in poverty-stricken or war-torn places. There are so many stories to capture…and to tell – we are looking forward to seeing some of yours!

I have chosen three different stories. The opener is a staged image at an exhibition of painted (artist Martin Jacobsen) back drops from a famous Swedish play: Queen of F*cking Everything, starring Jonas Gardell. Here Jacobsen uses landscapes in a dialogue with art history and popular culture. We easily recognize the Disney castle and the beautiful Swan Lake hint.

Standing close to a theatre back drop is indeed awe inspiring, just the size of it, and I always wonder how an artist can paint at such a large scale and get the perspective right. Be it in churches, street graffiti or elsewhere. I guess that is what the people in this image are expressing too.

The above image is from an outdoor exhibition in Denmark, where a big ring was set in the grass, and children were happily jumping in and out of it. – Suddenly the ring started sending out smoke (smoke-rings, haha…), which got parents (and me…) swinging up their cameras. An ordinary thing doing extraordinary things… this had to be immortalized!

My last image is from an autumn hike, where I was lucky to capture this scene. Through a narrow tunnel of leaves – in a glen of light… I saw the old couple standing. As the path was narrow, I waited for them to pass first, and then I showed them the photo, asking if I could keep it. They were all smiles and happy to share. Before walking our separate ways, they told me their story…..

Thank you so much for last week’s blissfull moments! Amazing opportunities for us all to share wonderful inspiration. Now we hope you’ll join us in sharing YOUR stories: funny, inspirational, beautiful, special….as they are yours. Be sure to include a link to my original post and to use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you in the Reader.

Next week, December 4, Amy will be your host, and her theme will be Celebrating. Be sure to visit her on beautiful The World is a Book.

Wishing you a lovely weekend and hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Lens-Artists Challenge #175 – Follow Your Bliss

Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.

― Joseph Campbell

Lindy is very welcome as our guest host this week! She has already taught me much about birds, and now a new expression – Follow Your Bliss. She explains that to follow your bliss is to pursue that which provides you happiness and joy. In my life, and I guess in yours as well, there are many such things to follow. I have chosen three of mine. They are all connected to the natural world, as you know is my Life.

When I was young, I would sit painting and drawing for hours after school, but today I am afraid these skills are almost forgotten. Being retired, I am having great fun though, trying to conjure them up again. After so many years hidden in some crevice far back in my head… I enjoy every minute I am filling an empty page with doodling or watercolours – This is indeed a revival of an old bliss.

Another great way to relax is by pressing flowers and plants, and making them adorn books, cards, and frames. Many years ago I even arranged my best friend’s wedding bouquet and framed it for her bedroom wall. It is still there after 35 years…

This year, my son decided to give me a real flower press for my birthday – I have always used books and papers and ”under the rug” pressing before… Now I collected my first leaves for the flower press from the hike in my opening image – and framed some of the really delicate ones for this post.

My last example is maybe too obvious a bliss… – photographing the world around me. The big world during my traveling days, and now mostly the little worlds that are essential to make our big world a whole. I have made it my mission to show how magical and fantastic our world is, down to its microscopic parts. We need everybody to understand, that if we lose these small worlds, we will lose our only home, Planet Earth.

Fauna – ( Fauna, Roman goddess of earth and fertility)

Humans (Homo sapiens) are the most abundant and widespread species of primate

Flora – (Flora, the goddess of plants, flowers, and fertility in Roman mythology)

Thank you for last week’s many shapes and designs – amazing! Now we hope you’ll join us in sharing how you follow YOUR bliss. Be sure to include a link to Lindy’s original post and to use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you in the Reader.

Next week, it is my turn to lead the challenge, so you are welcome to stop by at Leya’s on Saturday, November 27, and join us. Until then, stay safe and well.

Lens-Artists Challenge #174 – Shapes and Designs

Patti‘s challenge this week makes us look for shapes and designs. I often look at the likeness between nature and our human creations. If we manage well, the results might be harmonious shapes and beautiful designs. But as Salvador Dalí stated –

Have no fear of perfection – you´ll never reach it.

I believe even if we don’t try hard to, we unintentionally design some of our art and constructions with nature as the model. Just look at these pairs of images.

Above a gigantic lamp at the Kosta Boda Art Hotel – and Miss Willmott’s Ghost.

These galaxy shaped leaves from a plant at Kew Gardens I really liked – below a swirl and snail design.

In my windows there sometimes lie withered leaves…this one is from a Poinsettia –

– below one of my students’ hair designs. There are obvious likenesses…

Wonderful, isn’t it? But no matter how hard we try, Mother Nature will always be our master. Many great artists declare they are deeply influenced by Nature, and one of them is Gaudí. In my world, I believe every artist is.

For Tina’s Interesting Architecture challenge last week, you shared marvelous examples of architecture from around the world. What a treat for all of us! Thank you! Now we are hoping you will share some of your interesting shapes and designs with us. Please use the Lens Artists tag and link to Patti’s original post.

We’re also delighted to announce that Lindy Low LeCoq will be our guest host next week for LAPC #175. We invite you to visit her beautiful site next Saturday at noon to join our next challenge. Until then – stay well and safe.