Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #115 – Inspiration

This week, Tina’s challenge is all about inspiration. What inspires you in life? Go to Tina’s fabulous post for more inspiration – and I am sure you will be lingering there for a while…

I am a nature person and an animal person. I prefer walking in nature and being together with animals instead of people. Nature is all inspiring and the foundation of my thoughts and choices in life. Nature is real, animals are honest and straight forward. Humans can seldom measure up to that.

When I was a child there were always cats in my home. As an adult, always dogs. They listen, they do not judge you, and they are faithfully loving till the end. I believe it is essential for a child to grow up with animals around, to watch them and to learn from them how life and death works. They teach you how you should treat everything living. Furthermore – it is a scientific truth that people feel more calm and stable with animals around. In Sweden we have specially trained dogs to go visit elderly people regularly. Some homes for the elderly have a ”house cat”.

I have met some fabulous dogs and cats over the years – here are two of my favorites.
Nature is my greatest inspiration. From glorious landscapes to its tiniest and most intricate elements.
My Swedish summer landscape, and then something from my windows – size, 7-10 mm.
Abstract trees and flowers in Sagrada Família. Remember that Gaudí found Nature inspiration through walks and talks with his mother.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

To me, reading and books always mean inspiration, film and photography as well. There are so many things to be inspired of…what is inspiring for you?

Thank you as always for your support of, and commitment to, our challenge. We hope you’ll join us next week when Patti brings us challenge #116 on her Pilotfish blog.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 114 – Negative Space

This week, Amy is our host, and she wants us to show the importance of negative space in our photography. Negative space is the area around the main subject of your photograph. (Which means that your main subject is the positive space) Check out her post, see brilliant examples and learn more about this!

Positive and negative space are two important tools for us to give an enhanced emotional feel to our images, which is essential in photography. Looking forward to seeing your choices!

Negative space is there to give your photos a sense of calmness
…and subtlety.
Well used, negative space provides a natural balance against the positive space in a scene.
But, images can also appear lonely
..or solemn (or funny…)
Most of all, I would say negative space often gives a contemplative beauty to the image, a unique possibility for us to declutter, relax and recover in this jumbled and unruly world.

Our special thanks to Rusha Sams for hosting last week’s Labor of Love. We had so many positive and uplifting experiences of genuine love and care!

Be sure to check out Tina’s Travels and Trifles post next week as she hosts Challenge #115.

And, as always – may you stay safe and well. Our thoughts these days go especially to all of you out there fighting the wild fires.

Thursday Thoughts – Autumn is Coming

So now we are here…Autumn is inevitably coming to the northern hemisphere.

A short drive to town – and along the road the familiar landscape is slowly turning into soft autumn colours.

 

Some fields are aglow in the evening light. The harvest is in and a calmness is settling over the landscape.

This year, being a farmer has been a positive thing. Working outdoors all the time,  and the weather staying kind to the crops.

We have to take care of and treasure the few positive things this year – the year of corona. I returned home with a calmness in my soul and a soft smile on my lips. Just like natured showed me .

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #109 – Under The Sun

Last week we had the pleasure of having Xenia of Tranature as our guest host – a real treat of Sanctuary for us all! This week Amy is our host – Under the Sun.

The theme title was inspired by the book Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes (published in 1997). ”However this theme series is not about featuring the Tuscan sun, but photo captures anywhere under the sun.”

Fanö Drakflygningsfestival 245-2

As Amy says, taking photos under the sun is often advised against… but still we do that sometimes,  because sometimes we really have no other choice.

Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.
Roman Payne

I wear myself out and struggle with the sun. And what a sun here! It would be necessary to paint here with gold and gemstones. It is wonderful.

– Claude Monet

Let there always be a bright spot in your heart for the people around you. They might need a bit of sunshine.
Ron Baratono 

These are the soul’s changes. I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.

– Virginia Woolf

We look forward to seeing your Under the Sun photos! Please make sure you include a link to Amy’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can find your post in the WP Reader.

Also – stay well and safe, and be sure to check out Tina’s post next week as she hosts Challenge #110.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #108 – Sanctuary

Thank you for last week’s sparkling Winter images and thoughts – showing that, despite being cold or wet it can be a season of beauty!

This week we are happy to welcome  Xenia of Tranature as our host, and she has chosen ”Sanctuary” – a timely concept for the year of 2020.

A home is a kingdom of it’s own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.

 

I have a friend, whose home is a true sanctuary. In the hills, a kilometer away from me.

When you walk up the gravel road – of course there is a string of grass in the middle – …

…and the houses and the lush grounds meet your eye – a calm, serene feeling of harmony descends upon you.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

 – Hermann Hesse

Sanctuaries are magical places – dare I say holy?

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

 

Just Listen to the sound of Mother Nature – and, only Cats know how to Live In the Moment.

Thank you, my friend, for letting me visit your house whenever I need to.

Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.

 

Take care and stay safe and well wherever you are in the world –

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: #106 – Autumn

Autumn used to be my favourite season when I was young. As I grow older, I am happy to experience the beauty of each season.

Patti’s challenge this week is Autumn – and never has it been more difficult for me to choose images…my autumn tributes counts in the thousands. I will let my choices speak for themselves. As usual, click to enlarge.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

L. M. Montgomery

Hovdala och Hammarmölledamm 199_copy

When the autumn meets the tranquillity, there you can see the King of the Sceneries!
Mehmet Murat ildan 

Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.
Jim Bishop

Happiness is to get lost in an autumn forest, and not to be found is even a greater happiness!
Mehmet Murat ildan 

When everything looks like a magical oil painting, you know you are in Autumn!
Mehmet Murat ildan 

Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.

–  Samuel Butler 

Bockeboda november 2018 064-2

Every season has its own art and the art of autumn is to bewitch the people!

Mehmet Murat ildan

As the season changes, we learn to adapt.
Lailah Gifty Akita

 

A special thanks to Tina for hosting last week’s Spring challenge. And thank you all for sharing your spring poetry with us – hope and joy transmitted over the world!

Finally – Stay safe and well – hope to see many of your autumn memories! Next week it is my (Leya’s) turn to be your host – for Winter. Looking forward to seeing you then.

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #100 – Long and Winding Road

Life gives us many challenges and between those challenges we have to learn to choose happiness. Happiness lies in little things of our lives like kindness, gratitude, learning new things, caring for all living beings on this planet. Life can become a beautiful journey with little effort. Purvi Raniga

The long and winding road is ours to walk – and in this quote lies what we all know in our hearts, and what we now have been given some extra time to contemplate and practice.

 

Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.  – J. R. R. Tolkien

We are, maybe for the first time, in such uncertainty and bewilderment for what lies ahead of us. We are without guidance, without previous knowledge or much scientific evidence concerning this new Corona virus… but we will learn. We have to.

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.  – Edward Abbey

In our daily talks, my grandmother used to say about Life: ”Who said it was going to be easy?” Being a child the meaning of that sentence was not easily understood. As I grew up though, I gradually found out how much truth there was in her words.

Trying times bring out the worst and the best in people. Despite this unruly world, I want to focus on positive things like inventiveness, creativity and kindness – the fact is, today I generally see more good people and helping hands than ever. Our individualistic life has in that respect taken a more responsible, humanistic turn.

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.   – Dejan Stojanovic

Pilgrims know that the road, the long and winding… is the message, the goal in itself. I believe that is what my grandmother meant to tell me. Her words were so well put, as a question instead of a statement.

Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. Erol Ozan

So, I am a pilgrim, I guess we all are.

In 1989, I went hiking with my dog, in Lapland, Sweden. I met a young man from the Netherlands, Wim, who had come here searching for solitude and contemplation. We walked the path you see in the above photo, and decided to meet up again a week later as we were walking different trails the following week.

And so we did. To my surprise he told me that he had left the trail and got lost for two days. That year we had a lot of snow even in the last week of June, so he was unable to find the road marks. Smiling his funny little smile, he told me how grateful he was for having lost his way – because he had found new beautiful paths and his very own way back. More self confident, more relying on his own abilities. ”I can do this.”

There is a bend in the road. I don’t know what lies around that bend, but I hope for the best.
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Mankind has always been curious, adventurous – but there is a balance to be kept, in order not to lose too much for the win in the end. Finding that balance is a delicate matter in its own.

At the end of every road you meet yourself.   – S. N. Behrman

With a dedicated heart, I am sure you can. And with this final quote, I will leave you walking your own long and winding road, while I continue mine.

The trials on the road to world harmony are no greater than the courage of those who accept the challenge.  – Carl Lewis

 

This week, Tina asks us to share our images and thoughts about the long and winding road. See Tina’s powerful post here.  We always appreciate your support and enjoy seeing your responses to our challenges. Be sure to link to Tina’s original post and to include the Lens-Artists tag.

Finally, we are excited to announce that next week the Lens-Artists team will be bringing you a very special event. Cee of Ceenphotography has graciously agreed to lead us on our next challenge. All four members of the Lens-Artists team will join Cee next Saturday at noon EST in response to her challenge subject. We look forward to seeing where she leads us, and hope you’ll join the fun as well.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #95 – All Wet

Tina’s challenge this week is a wet one. See her fantastic bear shots at Travels and Trifles!

My first thought for All Wet, was of Galapagos and its many water living animals. So, two of them are playing in the opener.

These are some of my favorite ”wets” – all from the archives.

A wet forest in Sweden

A hot hot day (42 degrees C) in Bilbao, Spain

A disappearing building in Barcelona

Autumn rain in my garden

I like girls who like the countryside, put on walking boots and can bend with the wind a bit. If you’re going to live with me, you need to be able to embrace the countryside and wet dogs.

 – Jay Kay

And I will end this short, wet story with my favorite dog, my first lagotto romagnolo – the legendary Mille. Why ”legendary”? Well, for eleven summers in a row, he was standing, running or walking in the sea, at our summer house, from early morning until late evening. Chasing bubbles. This was his kingdom. (From the beginning these dogs were water dogs in Romagna, Italy, but the area was drained and the dogs were taught to dig for truffles instead.) Every man and woman in our little village knew him, every tourist, every child patted him and played with him.

We lost Mille in 2014, but people out there still (2019) remember him, and tell their own memories of him. My children planned to make a statue to sit on ”his” beach, so he would forever be watching the sea. But that dream was not realized. I have had many dogs and cats in my life – but nothing and no one compares to him. Also, he was always All Wet.

Thank you for last week’s peeks at Amy’s At home – a challenged I think more than I enjoyed very much. Hope to see you next week again, for Patti’s Challenge #96.

Mother Earth Day

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth –  Thich Nhat Hanh