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.

Lens-Artists Challenge #152 – Shades and Shadows

Time for a simple, but hopefully enjoyable challenge for this week – Shades and Shadows. As the weather is fairly hot over here now, you can guess why I chose this theme. Of course it can be interpreted less literally, but as always you are free to surprise us!

In Sweden, and some other countries, we only have one single word for this…so, a neat illustration will start this week’s challenge!

An old friend of mine had his own sleeping preferences …always in the shade. This was one of Totti’s early morning surprises. He was in his prime, agile, loving and sweet.

Skógafoss, Iceland, where late evening light made long shadows and magnificent yellows.

In the Morockan desert, the tiny scarab shows an equally tiny shadow while he is scuttling between sun and shade.

We are still in Morocko, where the narrow alleys and harsh sunlight of Marrakesh makes for both shade and shadows. And difficulties for a photographer.

Finally, an image with not many contrasts, but subtle shadows and shades let the pink/cream coloured sandstone come alive. I loved this moment that suddenly turned up while looking up a side street. That cat owns the area.

Thank you, Patti, for a thought provoking, fun and diffferent challenge last week! We had great fun enjoying your creative posts! Hope to see you this week too under the Lens-Artists tag.

Finally, stay tuned for Amy’s hosting next week, and please be safe and 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.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #150 – Wild

Guest host this week, and our natural guide through the wilderness is Dianne Millard of Rambling ranger – ”I don’t want to see groomed gardens or animals in the zoo. No people or signs of people. I want to see and revel in the natural world in your posts. Where’s the wildest place you’ve ever been? Where do you go to let Mother Nature regenerate your spirit?”

Most of you know I am a great nature lover and I always do my best to protect her and … taking only photographs, leaving nothing but footprints.

But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had eyes to see.

Edward Abbey

Seeing how Dianne lives her life, I can only admire and love her for what she is doing. I share her love of the wilderness, but I guess I was not made for such a tough life that she is living in Alaska… Go see her amazing adventures and photography!

We can all find and love pieces of wilderness at home – but this time I went back to one of my wildest and most loved adventures. Ecuador, the Amazon and Galapagos. I will start like Dianne – with my morning view, of the Napo river.

Every morning after breakfast we went by canoe into the jungle – for a new adventure.

Most significant were the playful monkeys – jumping in the canopy above, curiously swinging down to watch us marvel.
The silence of the gliding canoe, and then all the sounds of the jungle. The diversity in tangled plants and the absolute love and gratefulness of being there… It’s really impossible to describe in words or images, and the feeling impossible to imagine if you haven’t been there yourself.
The light in the darkness under the trees – and us waiting for an anaconda to swim up beside the canoe…
(Luckily?) No anaconda appeared during these days, but every detail was a beautiful gem. Only occasionally it was possible to take decent photos. Low light, no open landscapes, only dense jungle.

Climbing to the top of the canopy, we could hear and see many birds – but from a distance only. We spent our last night high up in a Kapok tree, watching the sunset over the Amazon basin. And I was also enchanted by all the glorious wild orchids residing in the trees.


To really get close encounters with the wild life – we then went for almost a week on a sailing boat to the Galapagos islands.

Here a close-up with one of the most special animals connected to these islands – a giant!

Other special, endemic wildlife here are the Land iguanas –
– and the Marine iguanas. You never forget their faces once you have seen them…
Seals were everywhere of course. This male had a big harem, and he kept a close watch on all the females…

So many adventures we had together, mostly on the water, and incredible close contact with the animals! We met so many lovely faces, and if we only kept a two meter distance, everything was OK. My favourites here are the little yellow warbler and the Mocking bird…they used to come up to me and look me in the eye. The mocking birds tried to steal things from my bag. Paradise is not having to be afraid of one another ♥. We spoke softly together.

Late evening, and both the iguanas and the boobies seemed to love the last rays of sun – just as much as we did.

Every island has its special landscape. Grey, dead trees? Take a closer look…

And every island has its own endemic inhabitants – blending in perfectly. A survival kit we all need.

Thank you so much for sharing last week’s wonderful colours with Tina and the rest of us! And thank you Dianne, for letting me return to another wonderfully wild place on planet Earth. We are looking forward to seeing more wild things, from home or on travels, linked to Diannes original post.

Next week, Patti will be offering LAPC #151, so be sure to check out her site then!  Her theme is From Large to Small.  Pick a colour and take several photos that feature that colour.  Start with a photo of a big subject in that colour (for example, a wall) and move all the way down to a small subject in that same colour (for example, an earring).

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #Cool Colours – Blue and Green

For Tina this week, Cool Colours – let’s explore some ways the cooler colors appear in our world. Personaly, I prefer warmer tones, so they are my start and finish in this collection.

Flowers in this combination offer my senses great delight… But, get a bit cooler and land on a blue-green halfmoon…

…and you will have a great view of a beautifully dressed woman in a theatre in Denmark.

Back in Sweden again, how about an enchanting ”bracelet” made of glass from Tiffany lamps?

Or why not accompany some cool dinosaurs in the biggest stone pond in Europe?

When my adventurous senses have been satisfied –

I think I will settle for a late evening meadow in the vicinity of my home…
…or maybe rather a sunny walk in one of our national parks.

Blue and green go so well together, don’t they? Please go to Tina’s cool post for more inspiration!

Thank you for all your magical Spots and Dots last week – you really came up with the most creative and surprising posts! And I do believe you had fun with it – and so had we!

We hope you also enjoy this week’s Cool Colors and will join us with your own examples. Please remember to link your response to Tina’s original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. Finally, next week we’re excited to announce that our challenge will be hosted by Dianne Millard of Rambling Ranger. Be sure to check out her beautiful blog and watch for her post next week. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.