Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #143 – Colourful April

Amy asks for a colourful April this week – and usually it is, even in Sweden. This year though, has so far been some degrees colder than usual. But, there is a positive side to it as well …

Sweet April showers do spring May flowers. – Thomas Tusser

To get you in the mood – tulips from Keukenhof in the opener!

However, with the lack of colours (except for the hepaticas I posted in the last challenge) this April, I first decided to use April colours from earlier years, starting with my garden magnolias. But, after a day on the hunt in the forest… I changed my mind. Surely there must be some colours to capture this year as well!

A sea of last year’s grass softly carried my feet up to the old sallow.
The silken colours against the grey trees –
And the lower you go towards the ground…
…the more colourful it gets. Mosses and lichen, mushrooms and leaves.
…even if modestly displayed. Nettles and the alternate-leaved golden-saxifrage are keeping each other company. In Sweden we call this tiny yellow plant ”golden powder” Due to drying wetlands, I understand it is becoming rare, and it is protected in several countries.

Wood anemonies are usually abundant in April, but 2021 the snow and cold has kept them down so much that I doubt we shall see them carpeting the forest floor this year.

Anyhow – spring has sprung, and the colours are beginning to arrive here too. Hope you are enjoying lovely weather and delightful days!

Finally a big Thank you for using your abundant imaginative powers for last week’s You Pick It! Inspirational, diverse, sweet, thrilling, magical…we have enjoyed your choices to the full! Now we hope to see you here again for Colourful April. Please use the Lens-Artists tag and add a link to Amy’s colourful original post!

Next week Tina will be your host. Stay tuned, take care and be kind to others and to yourself.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142 – You Pick It!

”Like robin’s song or bluebird’s wing

Or throats that make the marshes ring,

Her beaming face and winsome grace

Are greetings from the heart of spring.”

– From John Burroughs’ Hepatica

I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.
— Diane Arbus

This week it is my turn to host You Pick it! And, I have chosen different faces of Anemone Hepatica. This tiny flower is the first one to appear in our forests in spring, and it is a much loved beauty. Many people go out looking for her already the first sunny day of March. The flower has got many names – as it usually is with loved ones…She is also named the common hepatica, liverwort, kidneywort, or pennywort, and belongs to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to woodland in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Anemone hepatica grows 5–15 cm (2–6 in) high. Leaves and flowers emerge directly from the rhizome, not from a stem above ground. In Sweden I have never seen them grow higher than 7-8 cm.

I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new. – Ernst Haas

The flowers are blue, purple, pink, or white. The white variety is not common in Sweden, but in my forest all the others grow and they are flowering simultaneously. If they grow mostly in the shadow, their colours are darker – the sun makes them turn purple.

The Hepatica is protected in Sweden, and so are all our orchids. In this photo we can see two stems broken – but I do hope the flowers were not picked. They would have been too short to have in a vase too…
Only photograph what you love.
– Tim Walker
And finally, a lovely surprise when this photo was opened on the computer – a thin spider’s thread making its way between the two flowers. It made me smile.

I am grateful for this lovely morning alone in the forest. I was mostly lying on the ground, but it was very rewarding. And I was very hungry when I came back home again! This day the temperature reached 15 degrees C. But it lasted only for two days, so, now we are back at 7 degrees again. Nature’s wonders are still with us though – and I want them to be slow…

Thank you for all small and big geometric examples last week for Patti’s challenge! We quickly realised that geometry is to be found everywhere we look, and there were so many surprises with things never thought of before!

Last time Tina started off You Pick It by saying …”we hope you’ll share a subject that is near and dear to you, that you find interesting, or challenging, or perhaps that shows us something new or unique to you.”

So, this week it’s all up to you – choose your subject and share whatever it is about it that you find interesting. We are looking forward to seeing your interpretations. Please use the tag and link to my original post. Next week, Amy will be your host.

Lens-ArtistsPhoto Challenge #141 – Geometry

In this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #141, Patti has chosen Geometry for us to share images that feature geometric shapes. They do come in many different shapes, don’t they…so I really enjoyed this opportunity!

Images included from:

Sweden, England, Iceland, Ireland, Georgia and Morocko.


Looking back at last week, we were inspired by Beth’s interesting challenge, A Change of Scenery. The theme made us think extra about some special places we’ve visited, near, and far, from the archives or right now. They were both refreshing and hope inspiring.

Next week, I, Ann-Christine/Leya, will be hosting Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142, so I hope you will join in, because it’s time for You Pick It – a topic of your choice. In the meantime, have a wonderful, creative week and please stay safe.

Remember to include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find you in the WP Reader. You are welcome to join in!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #140 – A Change of Scenery – Hunting for Spring

A Change of Scenery – Our guest host, Beth, challenges us to show images of somewhere different from where we usually like to take photos. It doesn’t have to be far from home, and photos from the archives would be good, too.

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. – Eddie Cantor

I have been waiting for a sunny, and less windy day, for my outing. This area is about three kilometers from my home, and I visit every year at least once, looking for orchids. But that is in May-June.
So, this was the first time in a winter month. Usually there is too much mud on the trail this time of the year, but we have had a fairly dry period since February – so, for a change of scenery, I went after breakfast.

There were many fallen trees covered in mosses, some with rolled up bark sleeves – and I happily noticed that the lapwings are back!

The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.
― Sir James Jeans

About half of the hike is on boardwalk, and it was of course the other half of it that I was worried about. But there was no need to be, it was perfect. No wet feet or shoes, only bouncing trails and singing heart.

Last year’s leaves lingering, waiting for youngsters to let them go… and catkins heralding the spring, but …

The key to a better life isn’t always a change of scenery. Sometimes it simply requires opening your eyes.
― Richelle E. Goodrich

…the real green so far is only sweet moss. There are some more weeks to go before swelling buds and the new leaves dare showing their faces. Always a long wait…but when spring takes the leap, everything almost always goes too fast. We want to keep it slow…making that special feeling of Life returning last as long as possible.

Thank you all for sharing your special moments with us last week – very positive and inspirational! – and some tears as well…

Click here to visit Beth’s beautiful “A Change of Scenery” of a small town on the Gulf Coast of Florida. We hope you will join us. In your post, please include a link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so everyone can find your post in the WordPress reader.

Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

This week, we will look beyond the life-changing events and share some other special moments and what they mean to us, Tina says. I think we all have so many of them…It will be hard to choose, but I will try to pick some unforgettable ones …

A moment of solitude and contemplation on this small crater island of the Azores. Walking up the mountain, we did not know what to expect when turning around the bend… but the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful – The feeling of floating free in this silent universe. Blue hydrangeas, blue sky and blue ocean – and us flying on a green, tiny spot in the middle of it all… Otherworldly.

The Pothala palace is representing the Dream-Come-True moments in my life. I have been so lucky as to have a few of those. So, I finally arrived in Tibet, after some 40 years since I read about Shangri-La in Lost Horizon, the 1933 novel by James Hilton, and saw the movie Lost Horizon from 1937. They represented the enigmatic and enchanting world out there…far away from my home and far away from any landscape I had ever been. I was lost for words – and breath – in the thin air.

April 2017, and I met Michael Lindnord and Arthur. The Swedish multi sport team were in Ecuador 2014, trying to win the world championships. Instead the team leader, Mikael Lindnord, found that in the middle of the jungle, his team of four had got a fifth member…Arthur. Mikael had never had a dog of his own and never thought of getting one – he was a tough athlete and a determined leader for his team. But, all it took was one meatball…

King Arthur. He owned the place from the first second he entered the room. I loved every minute of being close to him, touching him and listening to their story. Seeing the very special bond between Mikael and Arthur.

Mikael himself says that Arthur stands for Hope.  The Lindnord family have also started a fund for homeless dogs in Ecuador – There is hope for many ill treated and abused dogs with people like Mikael, who was prepared to even let go of his team’s victory to save this dog’s life. Mikael says he recognized himself in Arthur that very first day…they both stand tall, they never give up. So, how could he let Arthur down, when the dog put all his trust in him ?

December 9, 2020, Arthur passed away from an aggressive cancer, 13 years old. 2021 is the startup for shooting the Hollywood movie – ArthurThe King, with Mark Wahlberg starring together with a not yet chosen dog to play Arthur. I am looking forward to seeing it – hopefully cinemas will be open by then…

I can honestly say, that no other journey in my life gave me more special moments than the one to Arthur’s home country, Ecuador. Sailing along the Napo River in the Amazon and in the Galápagos Islands.

I could not stop watching them, all these little seabirds following our sailing boat in Ecuador. They could actually walk, run and stand still on the water! This is the smallest seabird in the world – an Elliot’s Storm-Petrel. Another enigmatic fact is that no nesting site for these birds has ever been found…

The stay at Sacha Lodge on a quiet lake – open to all the sounds of the jungle – still echoes in my mind today, 5 years later. Silent canoing through the tangled forest, watching swarms of monkeys foraging in the trees, jumping and playing. And the tiny Paradise Tanager – shooting veritable neon lightings in the trees – (I only managed to capture a couple of them in a photo) The first glimpse of the flock was very special – they moved faster than Chip ‘n’ Dale juggling around with the colourful Christmas baubles – and Pluto trying to handle the situation…

So, I will end with the late evening climb up in the Kapok tree, staying for the day’s last hours watching the sun set over the Amazon Basin. Imagine the sounds, the light, the soft warmth, the birds and the monkeys calling each other…I have never slept better in my entire life, than I did in the Amazon jungle.

Finally, a big Thank You for the inspirational set of Natural Lights, and hopefully you will join in for some special moments too! Please link to Tinas original post, and add the Lens-Artists tag.

Next week we’re excited to announce Beth of Wandering Dawgs as our Guest Host. Be sure to stop by and check out her always-interesting blog. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 – Natural Light

Remember: Always walk in the light. And if you feel like you’re not walking in it, go find it. Love the light. – Roberta Flack

This week, Amy’s beautiful challenge inspires us to explore natural light. In photography, light is everything. And for this week’s challenge, I’m offering you a gallery of images with some of my favourite natural lights. No sunrises and no sunsets though…

Light in Nature creates the movement of colors. – Robert Delaunay

Denna bild har ett alt-attribut som är tomt. Dess filnamn är 20191209_073431-redigera-2.jpg
After a short walk by the sea, the late evening clouds opened up for a dramatic sky.
An autumn evening. Driving home, I noticed the colourful sky behind me, stopped and made it stay with me for ever.
A similar sky, but much warmer, with the clouds mimicking the dunes. Compare the two of them, and you will see the hues are completely different.
I love backlit, and light shining through petals, clouds or cloth. This piece of art reminded me of my camping days.
Soon the beloved wood anemonies will be here…carpeting our forest floor.
Backlit berries in my garden – in the middle of the day.
Magical light through heavy clouds – a favourite catch.
And right now, I would love to just sail away on a soft, warm night…and into the sunset…

I hope you’ll join Amy and the rest of us this week as we explore natural light. I’m looking forward to your posts and your inspiration!

Last week my LAPC#137: Soft challenge gave us the chance to see all your diverse, fun, and beautiful interpretations – and there were many smiles and much loveliness. Thank you!

Next week, Tina will lead the challenge, so please stop by Travels and Trifles and join the fun on Saturday, March 13th at noon. 

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.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136 – Alphabet Challenge, Letter S

Let’s go with the letter ”S” for the alphabet challenge, says Patti. It could be…snow, sun, smile, shadow, shoes, or conceptual ideas like silent, slow, serene, etc.

There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf, singing from every river, shimmering from every sky.
― Dejan Stojanovic

So, let’s start with a Summerhouse Sunset…and then travel South for some more S’s…before coming Safely back again.

Sandy Sahara panorama
Sunny Sea in Spain
Snowy Steps in Sweden
Spider web in my Summer garden
Now, this week we invite you to share images that feature a subject starting with the letter S. Or, capture an image that illustrates a concept with the letter S, such as serene, somber or silent.  In your post, include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader.
Last week, we were inspired by Sheetal’s marvelous challenge, ” Glimpse into Your World” Starting in India, your posts took us all around the world. Thank you for sharing the places, people, and things that make you happy – and made us happy too.
Next week, I, Ann-Christine, will be hosting Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #137, so be sure to pay me a visit and hopefully join in.  In the meantime, have a lovely, creative week and please – stay safe and warm!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #135 – A Glimpse into Your World

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. – Anne Frank

This week, we welcome Sheetal as our special guest host, with the theme A Glimpse into your world. ”Show us the things you love that makes your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.” Sheetal tells an interesting story of music and travel – and of The Beatles!

Many things in life fill me with joy, but few things make me ”delirious” anymore. I guess that comes with age…but I always strive to keep my eyes and mind fresh and open. My most enchanted moments are always with Nature and all its living creatures, with Flowers and Light. Together they make my world complete and whole. I must live close to nature and just like Monet, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” And Light. With these few images from my Nordic home, I want to show some of the moments when I felt totally immersed in the beauty and wonder of our planet.

Secret gardens
16000 cranes arriving at Hornborgasjön, early morning, 3 am

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Nordic Light – Sweden

Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. – Annie Leibovitz

Nordic Light – Norway

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself. – Desiderius Erasmus

Nordic Light – Denmark

I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love. – Conor Oberst

Nordic Light – Iceland

By almost any measure, Iceland is one of the world’s most unique lands. – Roger K. Sandness

And the Nordic Light – is purely Natural.

Remember: Always walk in the light. And if you feel like you’re not walking in it, go find it. Love the light. – Roberta Flack

Thank you for last week’s fun challenge from Tina – and thank you All for showing us more useful tricks to enhance forgettable pictures! Very creative. As always, please remember to link your responses to Sheetal’s original post, and to use the Lens-artists tag to help us find you. Until next week, stay warm, well – and even a bit delirious with joy? We are looking forward to seeing what makes Your world spin!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #134 – From Forgettable to Favourite

Tina wants us to show how we can make a forgettable image into a favourite one. She demonstrates it beautifully with several examples. It is a joy seeing the process from start to results.

I will take this opportunity to show something I recently found in Photoshop – a possibility to change the skies in a photo with almost one single click.

The original photo

So, why would I want to change skies in my photo? Well, since I don’t photograph in RAW, it sometimes happens my sky is blown out in white light, which makes it impossible to normalize in any of my software.

I realised only two weeks ago, that Photoshop now had this simple feature, so I wouldn’t have to go a long and tricky way to make the change. Suddenly this seemed worth a try, and I knew just which photo from the Galápagos Islands would make a good model for it. I had always felt a bit sad about the miserable sky in this picture, but could not discard it because it showed so well the spectacular landscape of just that island.

Naturally I had to try even more spectacular skies…but watch out for the reflections – in this case I had to modify the colours in the water to fit the skies.

We hope you’re willing to share similar experiences demonstrating your use of editing to improve results. Please remember to link to Tina’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists tag.

This last picture many of you might recognize, it was taken in Jämtland some years ago. Using the swirl it turned out rather a favourite!

We very much enjoyed your responses to Amy’s “Photography Journey” challenge last week. It was great fun to follow you from start to where you are today! We are also excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be hosted by Sheetal of Sheetal Thinks Aloud. Be sure to check out her interesting blog and watch for her post next Saturday. Until then, stay safe and be kind – to yourself as well.