Lens-Artists Challenge #170 – Street Art

This week, Patti wants us to find street art from near and far. So, here we go!

These two Swiss houses are both beautifully decorated – but is it street art? In some countries it was an old custom to decorate houses like this, and in this little village they were very proud of their paintings. As you can see, the Adam and Eve decoration is much older than the first one. The motif might also fit in with this artform as being thought provoking.

A parkinglot in Malmoe – cars everywhere of course, but interesting art.

I found several houses decorated in the same style. Sometimes a bit too blurry I think…, but a smart part in monochrome on this one made the whole difference for me.

Lodz, walking in a very worn down area that had been beautifully decorated. I found this piece in an abandoned alley, and thought it very attractive, so I chose sepia to ”lift” the painting from its dreary surroundings and to enhance the overall impression.

A timely pick – Alfred Nobel. Then yellow street art and a blue van – the Swedish colours.

Finally, there is of course Street Art – and Art in the Street…

Covent Garden, London.

This week, we invite you to join us for LAPC #170: Street Art. Show us your captures of street art in places near and far. Be sure to include a link to Pattis original post and use the “Lens-Artists” tag so we can easily find your post in the Reader.

A special thanks to I.J. Khanewala of Don’t Hold Your Breath for hosting “The Ordinary” challenge last week. Many people commented that the photos shared were examples of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. And that is a lovely take on the theme!

Next week, it’s my turn, Ann-Christine’s turn to lead LAPC #171, hope to see you then too, next Saturday at noon. In the meantime, have a joyful, safe, and inspiring week.

Lens-Artists Challenge #169 – The Ordinary

As you get older, you want less from the world; you just want to experience it. Any barriers to feeling emotions get dismantled. And ordinary things become beautifully poetic. – Richard Linklater

Our theme this week is The Ordinary, hosted by I. J. Khanewala. There are many places, moments, things, etc. that we would say are ”ordinary”. But, we humans often use this word or concept differently. I find it interesting how easily ordinary things can become remarkable…In my examples, light is often the difference, and the combination of colours and an open mind. I guess many of us who photograph, write or paint – or are involved in similar activities, recognize the feeling and can easily appreciate the beauty of our ordinary surroundings.

Two days ago, we went to our summer house to close it down for the winter. It was an extremely foggy day, and I was walking Milo (our dog) back to continue packing. Unexpectedly, as from nowhere, the sun shone through the dull hedge on my right hand side, revealing the intense beauty of backlit leaves.
In my own garden, the mist and cold continued when we picked the last grapes, where some of them had ventured up on the roof. While climbing down with my basket full of grapes, I admired the red autumn vines clinging to the walls, windows and ladder.

Then, on my way up to the house again, my eyes followed the adventurous vine climbing along the laundry line. I believe I have one of the most intriguing and beautiful laundry lines in the neighbourhood… an ordinary Monday.

We hope you will join us this week for the interesting Photo Challenge #169: The Ordinary.  Please include a link to the original post from our guest host of Don’t Hold Your Breath, and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you in the Reader.

A sincere thank you to all who responded to last week’s “Seen Better Days” challenge. It clearly shows that most photographers love to focus on the beauty lingering in old, worn or dilapidated places and things. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Patti brings us challenge # 170. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Lens Artists Challenge #168 – Seen Better Days

Tina’s challenge this week is – Seen Better Days. Old, worn and dilapidated …yes, but I’d like to think one of the reasons to why so many of us love these things, and even take photos of them, must be because ageing is unavoidable. Things around us have all seen better days, and so have many of us. We have to accept it and find the intrinsic, inner beauty in what remains of the former glory.

Because often we can find a different beauty now. Just like deep love grows from a stormy infatuation, other values can make things shine. Shapes and colours for example.

Or, like this dilapidated shed, softly dressed in a snowy winter gown.

But – sometimes everything appears to be just a sad story…

Sad, but not without beauty, is Kyrkö Mosse – a famous car graveyard some 200 kilometers from my home. Standing silently there in the forest, even I can feel them talking to me. Someone, somewhere, once found the car of his dreams, and now that car has found its final resting place here, in the middle of nature. (All toxic parts have been taken away from the cars.)

Well, what can I say…Thank you, Still Restless Jo, for giving me the idea to this post when she read this week’s title! Jo wrote: ”Things that have seen better days? Ha! Sounds like me,” Sorry my friends, but I just could not resist the coincidence! Because today happens to be my birthday, and here I am – seen in better days. The photo on the left was taken when I met the world’s oldest blogger, Dagny, in 2017. I had just turned 60 and Dagny was 106 years old. The last photo was taken for my teacher’s ID-card, and I had just turned 50. Those were the days, and life was easier then in so many ways.

Should I reach the same age as Dagny, ( who is now 109, going on 110 – and still blogging…) my qualified guess is I would never look as bright and alert as she does…and I would certainly not be blogging.

Thank you all for the beautiful Autumn colours for Amy’s challenge last week! You offered some really sparkling and fiery entries – no wonder so many of you declared Autumn as your favourite season!

We are looking forward to seeing your posts for this challenge, and please link to Tina’s beautiful original post and use the Lens-Artists tag. Next week we are delighted to welcome I J Khanewala of Don’t Hold Your Breath as our guest host. Until then, stay well and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #167 – Colours of Autumn

This week Amy urges us to find autumn colours. I am enjoying all of yours, but here we are still waiting for them. In Lapland and northern Sweden the colours already have arrived.

The signs are here though – leaves falling – only a few so far, but we see them on the forest paths.

Mushrooms are popping up – big and small. And I love especially the very tiny ones. Many different species, and many of each this year due to the rains.
In fact, most of the autumn colours are to be found in my own garden – until October, when the ”real thing” starts. This scenery is from my kitchen window. I love my bright Helenium.

I was surprised to learn that a number of these species are called sneezeweed, based on the former use of their dried leaves in making snuff! It was inhaled to cause sneezing that would supposedly rid the body of evil spirits. This year my Heleniums have grown taller than ever – much taller than me. I would say they are about 2 metres – 50cm taller than usual!

I also learned that this genus is named for Helen of Troy, daughter of Zeus and Leda. And – now I know why I have so many peacock butterflies in my garden – the larvae of peacock eat Helenium leaves. Well, that’s one of the greatest things with life – you always learn something new.

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love—that makes life and nature harmonize. – George Eliot

But, soon the mist will envelop colourful mornings and evenings. A soft, beautiful, forgiving blanket handed out from Mother Nature.

I loved your artificial lights last week – so many inspiring posts! And some of you didn’t think you would find any photos…but you did! In Sweden we have a saying that goes like: ”He who searches, he will find”. We hope you will join us this week too and show us the colors of autumn through your lens. Be sure to link to Amy’s post and to use the Lens-artists Tag to help us find you.

Next week, Tina will lead the LAPC theme with a “Seen Better Days” challenge: Featuring things that are run-down, dilapidated etc. Please visit her beautiful site at Travels and Trifles.

Until next time – stay well and be kind – and enjoy your autumn colours and the crisp days to come.

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.