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!

Lens-Artists Challenge #194- Bokeh

Sofia’s Bokeh – an amazing theme. Go to her lovely site for more inspiration!

As Nature is my greatest source for photography, achieving a fine bokeh is always one of my aims. It makes the viewer rest in the image, rest in the harmony and magic of nature. Bokeh images also convey something of my own feelings in that very moment. I do agree with Sofia – it is the feeling that does it.

I will try to explain some of the ways and situations where I’m aiming for bokeh. Most of these photos were made with a tele lens, but for focusing on small details I use a macro lens. Aperture priority.

I love focusing on one object or more in the foreground. Concentrating on a spot with a special light.

In close-up or macros of flowers and their inhabitants – or guests – I want the background to be totally soft, almost non-existent.

In real macros, maybe there is only one detail in focus, which means almost the whole picture is blurred.

This image is a favourite, with one of my most loved tulips as the main subject. The use of strong colours and contrast adds to the special impression. The only thing I would like to change in this image is the placing of the tulip – it should have grown from the left hand side…but the image needed the leaves to come alive, so, I had to accept the way nature wanted it!

Another variety for bokeh is the harmony of colours in almost the same hue, paired/contrasted with interesting and different structures. What is your impression – is this image soft or rough?

According to Sofia, many people see this kind of background as the essence of Bokeh. Late evening light adds to a lovely, speckled bokeh, and I had to go back to this stellar magnolia from some years ago, because last year it froze after one day, and this year it did not even unfold – black buds only…

If you stick your camera right into the greenery – the image gets blurred in front and at the back, but it is also a favourite way to get nice surprices!

Yet another possibility to use bokeh is the way we can create mini landscapes and mini worlds. Is this a small world or is it the big one? What about the ”clouds”?

Finally – who doesn’t love droplets, large or small?

Thank you, Sofia, for inviting us this week to primarily think of out-of-focus areas on our photos. ”Are they an important component of your shot? What is bokeh for you and how do you achieve it?” We are looking forward to seeing your softly blurred areas and their story.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful celebrations with us last week. If you join us for this challenge, please link to Sofia’s post and tag Lens-Artists so we can easily find you. More information on the Lens-Artists Challenges here.

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 Photo Challenge #151: From Large to Small

Patti invites us this week, for a different challenge. ”…pick a color and select several photos that feature that color. Start with a photo of a big subject in that color (for example, a wall) and move all the way down to a small subject in that same color (for example, an earring).” She reminds us of size constancy and the importance of easily recognizable objects for comparing. You will see some of this in my images, but in some there are no perfect objects for comparing.

So, should I go for my favourite – green, or…no, I think I will choose white! And I will tweak it my way.

I could make it easy for me and choose a B&W image – surely there will be much of white in it…

But, I don’t think that is what was expected of me. Instead I will chose a fluffy arctic white cotton grass.

The flower itself is not big, but together they make a massive impression.

And another massive explosion – of tiny water violets – makes for an almost whimsical White view… So, many small dots will finally conjure up that big wall.

Anyhow, let’s leave the wall for now, and go to the white skies over the old whaling station,

and lichen in spots. To me, white is still the dominating impression. But, are the houses Hobbit size under that big sky and can you hold the stone in the palm of your hand?

In this picture, white is no longer the main colour impression – but, the church is still a Big building…

Ribwort Plantain is a resident of my garden since long, and as a child I used to lie down in the grass, dreaming it was a star with plenty of planets swirling around it. Or a satellite sailing in the wind, the little white dots fluttering and flying in their own universe. I still love this plant, it always puts a smile on my face.

So, how is the relationship between large and small…how do we interpret what the concept says compared with the impression through our eyes? I do know one thing, that great walls are not only built of big bricks…but also of tiny and seemingly inconspicuous things. And That, is good to know.

Thank you, Patti, for a thought provoking, fun and diffferent challenge! Don’t forget to visit Patti and her inspiring site – and we hope to see you there under the Lens-Artists tag.

Special thanks also to Dianne Millard for hosting the Let’s Get Wild challenge last week. Her love of nature is passionate, as well as her photography. We were all entranced by your “wild” and wonderful photos.

Next week I will be hosting, at Leya’s, in LAPC #152. Until then, have a wonderful creative week and please stay safe.

Thursday Thoughts – In My Windows

As the garden is waiting out in the cold…let’s make a short walk in some of my windows! Most plants are starting to enjoy life as the light is returning.

One of my many begonias – originally got from a friend at school some 50 years ago. The funny thing is that my old friend last week got a new cutting from mine, as she had lost hers many years ago. The circle is complete!
Phalaenopsis are in flower a couple of times a year, and right now there are quite many of them simultaneously.
Many of my flowers are ”stolen” from friends and relatives, restaurants and hotels. This yellow cactus I brought home from a ski resort in Dalarna – a twig from the mother plant is all you need. Yellow is unusual, we mostly see red or white – possibly pink too.
This is a 19th century species of geranium, L´ Elégante. A bit difficult to handle, as it is hanging and thus easily broken. But elegant it is.
A purple mini Phalaenopsis – lightening up my window. This was mother’s favourite colour.

Medinilla magnifica – the second time I have managed to make it flower again – very happy if the buds will open up instead of falling off…

Finally Alocasia – not a favourite really, but very special…I like the back of the leaf more …

Thank you for the short visit in my windows, towards summer I hope to give you a tour outdoors and in the glass house. Until then – I must of course send you my Russian begonia – my pride. About 2×1.5 meters today.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

Have a strong mind and a soft heart. – Anthony J. D’Angelo

In fact I consider being soft a virtue and an asset. Maybe not always…but almost always!

Now, after all the incredibly creative S’s from you for Patti’s alphabet challenge… we’ll continue with another S – Soft. (Hopefully you haven’t run out of images on Soft for Patti…) So many things are Soft…to look at, to touch, to listen to… we even have software for our technical devices. This challenge is all about how you want to interpret Soft – we are looking forward to seeing your choices! Please link to my post and add the Lens-Artists tag.

I just have to start with Snow – as we have had so much of it this year. Snow envelops you in a soft and silent world. It was many years since I did some serious skiing, but I am not afraid of falling in the soft and fluffy snow.

Soft, almost creamy snow on the old ship setting from the Viking Age.
Soft landscape with clouds, hills and autumn trees. A favourite dogwalk.
Have you ever touched a bumble bee? They ARE soft! Unless you get stung…

I also have a spring ”softie” on my table every year – acacia, or mimosa, as we call it. Its yellow flower balls always make me smile and walk into that room as often as possible… I wonder if acacia will be possible to grow in my glass house? I certainly will give it a try!

Finally – thank you again for inspiring us every week! Next week, March 6, Amy will be hosting Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 and as promised, we reveal the theme already: Natural Light. Be sure to pay her a visit and hopefully join in.  In the meantime, have a lovely, creative week! And… please stay safe.