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!

LAPC #199 – Mechanical/Industrial

John – Mechanical/Industrial this week. In the header, – oil platforms in Poland.

John, John – not my best theme, this one, but fascinating – and here I am, computer working again, finally!

How about the first vacuum cleaner for a whole castle? Gothenburg, Sweden. It had to be pulled by horses, and the weight…tons…Imported from England.

New Zealand and an unforgettable ride with the Kingston Flyer. A beauty.

Less of a beauty maybe, but I like it – found on the bottom of the sea. New Zealand again.

Thank you all for last week’s responses to Patti’s Light and Shadow Challenge – unfortunately I had a computer crash, and could not participate as usual. But since yesterday I have my computer again! Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to host our challenge, so be sure to visit her site. If you’d like to join in our weekly themes but aren’t sure how to proceed, look here.

LAPC #198 – Light and Shadow

Patti sends us searching light and shadow…

She reminds us that the experts tell us to focus on the light in photography, but, that it’s not just about the light. It’s both light and shadow, which are two sides of the same coin.

Tolstoy tells us the truth…

All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.

– Leo Tolstoy

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.

– Francis of Assisi
Our job is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today.

– Edward Abbey

In life have a friend that is like a mirror and shadow; mirror doesn’t lie and shadow never leaves.

Unknown

The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say

– Gregory Maguire

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.

-Junichiro Tanizaki

There is strong shadow where there is much light.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Last weekend’s hike was an explosion in light and shadow, the vivid greens of newborn spring and the joy of new life coming.

Last week, Tina inspired us to explore The Rule of Thirds, which lead to many interesting discussions about our preferences in composing a shot. Next week, it’s my (Leya’s) turn to host, so stay safe and be kind until then!

If you would like to participate in our weekly Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us on Saturdays at noon EST: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

Lens-Artists Challenge #197 – The Rule of Thirds

Tina explains the well-known Rule of Thirds, and asks us to show our own examples. Visit her site for more inspiration!I must admit the rule is somewhere with me always, but I never think of it. It is true that this composition is pleasing to the eye, but so is breaking it…

This Shar – pei beauty on the steps – is maybe not totally in the ”right” position, but almost. Many times you need to fit into the frame what would look strange if it wasn’t there – and the dog had to be there, just as I wanted the steps to be there as well. And, I had to be fast – or the dog would go indoors again.

In this image I just wanted something in the foreground, and matched the single boat with the boats to the left and the lady on the bridge – a balance after all. My overall idea is that a balanced image is more needed than following the rules. (Rules might help the balancing of course…)

The Mockingbird and the blue bottle makes a balanced picture despite breaking the rules. I almost always avoid putting the significant object in the middle, so, the balance here is kept by the bottle and the bird leaning away from each other. The lack of other colours/the blending in also makes the bird a star.

I say trust your own feeling for when an image has got the finish you want. This Iceland motif is a favourite – warm evening colours contrasted to the darker, colder side of the mountains, and the distinct line going left-right and upwards. The farm in the lower left corner.

Another example, from Ireland, where I would have liked the shot a bit more from the right, putting the ruins in a better position. But, that was not possible – so I made this image anyway. It works for me, thanks to the hiker on the road.

Finally two images where you cannot follow the rule of thirds properly – and it is not needed either. The Moroccan dune works like the Icelandic mountain ridge – the contrast between light and dark, warmth and cold. Just decide where the line should go. One third?

Finally a horse in the middle, or almost. I felt that was his right position. Do you agree?

In the end – were you familiar with the rule? Do you use it? This week we hope you’ll share some rule-of-thirds examples and explain how and why you chose to compose them. Please link to Tina’s post and use the Lens-Artists tag!

Sincere thanks to John for making our week filled with smiles! Much needed…Patti will lead our next challenge with Light and Shadow. Until then, stay safe and be kind.

Lens-Artists Challenge #196 – Humor

John is a man of great humour, and a brilliant word juggler – this week he is our guest host. ”I hope, as this is published, we can still find at least a corner of our lives for some humor. ‘We must keep our sense of humor, sometimes it’s all we have left.’

Go to his site for inspiration! I will try my best to find something in my archives…but I don’t have many laughing people, instead it will be mostly words and signs that made me laugh. And dogs of course.

The first gallery is from China and New Zealand – fun wording and signs. I too wish car explosions were forbidden everywhere…And who would want to keep in touch with the evil looking figure on the sign?

Great fun is to be had every day if you have animals around. My dogs (almost) always make me smile. Totti was a funny dog, he had his favourite chair, and once he had occupied it – no one could remove him from there. His daughter, Belezza, was fast as lightning, but obviously Totty never was…Swoooosch, and she left him bewildered, sitting, lying or standing…take a look at the expression on his face!

Special thanks to Anne for hosting last weeks colourful contributions! They really brightened up our days. For this week, your good humor will be greatly appreciated! We look forward to seeing your responses. Please remember to link them to his original post , and to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. Next week’s host will be Tina, but until then, why not follow John’s advice…

”Stay well, stay safe, be weird, wonderful, shapely and designed, follow your bliss, celebrate your celebrity, be choosy and serene. Have a good year, and above all, keep your sense of HUMOR!”

Lens-Artists Challenge # 195 – Colourful Expressions

Colours!

According to Anne, ”It motivates, depresses, and makes us happy.” The effect of colour is always remarkable. And now – ”how does color affect your photography?” Read more and find inspiration at Anne’s blog, Slow Shutter Speed !

Many of us have read books about the meaning of different colours… maybe that is one of the reasons why I love green. I like both soft and bright colors, green, purple, yellow and orange being my favorites. Combined with interesting textures, colours make me want new images…immediately. Fragrance and fragile patterns are on my list too.

Even if I love monochrome, colours are my life. In my photography, I will always be that little child in the deep forest – surrounded by the colour green – but all the other tones too.

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.

– Pablo Picasso

Muted colours are my best friends, I could never wear bold yellow, orange or blue for example. My skin and features are too fair. But for photography every colour can be delicious.

I seldom photograph something just because of its colour – there has to be something more in it of interest…like structure or architectural spice.

And, just like Anne, I’m also drawn to rust – maybe rusty colours mostly. These forest floor ferns could be my wardrobe – muted colours with glimpses of golden sun.

Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.

– Pablo Picasso

Purple/ lavender/ lilac Wisteria and the colour grey – their marriage is an indisputable success.

Red is not my colour, but winter white and contrasting red is always a hit with me.

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.

– Pablo Picasso

This week, show us how colour affects your photography, what emotions it brings out, and which ones are you particularly drawn to?

When you create your colorful expression, remember to link to Anne’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Special thanks to Sofia, for last week’s wonderful Bokeh challenge. We so enjoyed seeing all your beautiful responses. Our guest host next week will be John RH, of John’s Space, Be sure to visit his site for inspiration.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/

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 #193 – Birthdays

For this week’s challenge, John wants us to show what is special to us about birthdays. This was a difficult one for me – because the happiest birthdays were of course the childhood ones. Today, as for many people here in Sweden, family birthday gatherings only include food and cake, maybe a small present.

Birthdays for me now, means meeting up with good friends for some nice food, a chat and a visit to some new exhibition. No celebrating really. Then I came to think of my 60th birthday, a birthday that I spent without my family (the only one so far!) – instead I went to Poland for The Light Move Festival with my blogging friend Viveka (My Guilty Pleasures). Of course that is one of my most special birthdays! I posted on it in 2017, and when I go back to read those posts again, I keep smiling at the joyful and relaxed time we spent in Łódź – a city unknown to me before, but a huge positive surprise! So much great art, architecture, friendly people, gorgeous food and of course – the best company – Viveka.

– I hope you will enjoy those days in Łódź too, through some of my shimmering memories in this gallery! You might even find Viveka there somewhere…

I had to finish with the beautiful Jewish graveyard, where we spent hours walking in silence, contemplating. Alone together. Both of us love walking in those abandoned graveyards – so much history, sadness, silence and beauty.

Yes, we had a great time, Vivi and I – and we often talk about those days when we meet up. A wonderful trip…that would be the kind of birthday to have more often …

Sincere thanks to John for the opportunity to reminisce about our special events. Whatever event you choose to feature, please remember to link your response to John’s original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag. Thanks also to Amy for last week’s Earth Story challenge. She is worth celebrating and taking extra care of – and you helped to show a marvelous display of Mother Earth’s many gifts – and her vulnerability.

As always, we thank you for joining us and hope you’ll be with us again next week, when Sofia leads our challenge. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.

Interested in joining Lens-Artists? Click here for more information

Lens-Artists Challenge #192 – Earth Story

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.
― Mahatma Gandhi

Earth Story. This week, we hope you will join us in sharing earth stories through your lens. As we share the natural world, we hope to share our understanding of planet Earth and the glory of her magic. Amy made me decide to celebrate Arbor Day, April 29, and in fact I think I celebrate it every day.

Let us start with an image of sky, mountains, water and trees – Earth seen from above.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
― John Muir

And as we fly downwards, under the canopy, to the forest floor – we will find the tiniest creatures that need you to lie down on the ground to meet them. Their little world is filled with a special kind of magic.

Trees have beautiful souls and science has proved they can communicate and help each other when in trouble. They can even ”walk” some centimeters.

When trees age, they stay beautiful. This oak tree in Blekinge, Sweden, is about 300 years old.

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Trees bring us spring in soft showers…

…where some are as short lived as the shimmering magnolia beauties.
Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.
― Khalil Gibran

Some trees are famous because of the way they grow, and because they have appeared in popular movies.

This old beech tree is one of my best friends. I talk to him every week and rest quietly in his shadow.

Silent autumn moments are healing.
Winter trees bring a lasting serenity that I never tire of.
I often contemplate the bare trees and their reflections in the water. Calm and quiet moments. Not many animals are to be seen during this season. But trees are home to many creatures…
We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
― David Brower

… and some live in them their whole lives. They eat, play, mate and raise their young.
What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?
― Henry David Thoreau

Finally, without trees the world would not exist. We are all dependent on them. Everywhere in art we find trees as well, and many of us have special ties to certain trees, or remember special trees from our childhood. So, treasure them and protect them, plant seedlings and make the forest and your garden grow!

The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.
― Pope John Paul II

Thank you for last week’s many curves from you! I must admit there were curves I had never even thought about – creative! Next week, John (Journeys with Johnbo) will host LAPC #193, and we should be thinking about what is special to us regarding birthdays or anniversaries… Be sure to visit John’s site for more!

Lens-Artists Challenge #191 – Curves

Magic lives in curves, not angles. – Mason Cooley

On a visit to Gothenburg last week, I was mesmerized by some intriguing curves, in nature and at a museum…so, this week, I thought we would find more examples of curves: funny, beautiful, unusual – roads, paths, art, architecture, animals, plants – anything that interests you. Because, curves are everywhere around us. In nature almost everything is – curves.

You will find them in small stones under your feet…

In water…

In trees…

Under and below the trees…

Sometimes they are a bit scary…

But mostly friendly…

Curves exist in every little creature on Earth…

In roads and manmade things too, like in this agricultural landscape.


Last weekend I found great curves in something called a Treillage – at Gunnebo there is a really big one – 7 meters high. There are three reconstructed ones in modern times (they were common in 1500-1800), and those are to be found at Hampton Court in England, Het Loo in Holland and Versailles in France. The trellis forms a kind of link between nature and architecture, and over time, the growing trees at its sides will form a bower.

Finally, in the opener is my favourite curve, a koru. And, I will close the circle of this ”curvy”post with an orb of a spider’s web in my garden.

In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves. – Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Many thanks to Patti for the great Close and Closer challenge that gave us such a variety of interesting entries – thank you all for the treats!

We are now looking forward to seeing YOUR curves… pun intended! Be sure to link your responses to my original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Next week, Amy will be our host – until then, please stay safe and be kind.

If you would like to participate in our weekly Lens-Artists Challenge, we have easy to follow instructions. Just click this link and join us: https://photobyjohnbo.wordpress.com/about-lens-artists/