Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: One Lens Walk

“Look and think before opening the shutter.
The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.”
Yousuf Karsh

It has been a long time since my last Photo Walk. Winter in the Pacific Northwest is often rainy, dark, and cold. It affects my mood more than it affects the beauty of my surroundings. I struggled to leave my warm, flannel bed this morning, but when I looked out the window, I saw the fog and sun in a dance of the Present Moment. I grabbed my camera and headed outside my door into the big world of the temporal rainforest. This is the story of One Walk with lenses.

I have only one lens for my camera: the one issued with my Canon Rebel T3i – 18-55mm. It also has some helpful pre-sets for close-ups and landscapes which I use quite frequently. I also bring along the lenses on my eyeballs and my varifocal eyeglasses. I am rarely without those.

The lens of my mental state has been fixated on the cold and my longing for sunshine. I visited the chickens in the yard and thought about their being cooped up outside all winter, albeit with down coats to cover themselves.

Oregon cold is not the same as Wisconsin cold. I’ve discovered that it’s wetter. It’s more colorful, too.

I wish I could imbed the experience of walking around here into this post. The ground is thick with fallen needles, ferns, rotting wood, Oregon grape, mosses, lichen. It’s springy and moist as well as colorful. There are literally worlds underfoot.

After a short ramble, my fingertips are numb. I head back inside to the warmth of my garage loft studio apartment. I have a bird’s nest view out my window.

Thank you, Anne, for motivating me to get outside for a Photo Walk. I appreciate that Lens-Artists are out and about in search of beauty all over the globe this week, traveling lightly. Happy hunting, all!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favorite Images of 2022

The sun has set on the year 2022, but the memories, the images, the lessons learned, and the resolve for the future carry forward. My most epic adventure of the year was my wilderness backpacking trip in Olympic National Park, during which I fell and broke my wrist. I have now learned that I have “severe” osteoporosis, which may well mean that it will have been my last wilderness adventure. Nevertheless, it will always stay in my memory for its awe-inspiring natural beauty.

The Pacific coast is only an hour’s drive from my home, so I can hope for more glorious sunsets in the years to come.

I am so grateful to have been here in the Pacific Northwest, near mountains and coastline, for all of 2022.

Thanks, John, and all the Lens-Artists for your inspiration last year. I look forward to seeing what 2023 brings into your viewfinder!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Last Chance

For the last Challenge of the year, Tina’s invitation to the Lens-Artists is to post photos taken in 2022 that haven’t been previously published but somehow didn’t fit into any of the challenge categories selected. So here is my Last Chance gallery. They do fit in the category of Oregon Nature, however. (not surprised!)

See you next year!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: “Perfect Patterns”

To my eye, there is no palette of color more pleasing than the Autumnal spectrum of green to red. This Himalayan blackberry bush presented an amazing array within a single leaf. I think it’s a rather perfect Fall pattern.

Humans often strive for a kind of geometric balance and symmetry in Art and Architecture that seems far more “perfect” or precise than most of what the naked eye sees in Nature.

What exactly do we mean by a “pattern”?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a pattern is “any regularly repeated arrangement, especially a design made from repeated lines, shapes, or colors on a surface.”

Which of these examples would you call “perfect”?

Thanks to Ann-Christine for inviting us to share our “perfect” or even approximate examples of Patterns. Please see HER POST for an awesome diversity of patterns!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Diagonals

Diagonals are leading lines. They draw your eyesight and attention toward a vanishing point.

My brain is having fun with the idea of leading lines. Something like, “An aardvark, a can opener, and a Nihilist walk into a bar…”? Or maybe, “The night was dark and stormy…”.

Anyway, enjoy the gallery! Thanks to Patti for hosting a great challenge and explaining and illustrating the technique so well. Visit her blog HERE.

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Wildlife Close to Home

I have been extremely fortunate to live in places where wildlife habitat was nearby and protected. For four years, I lived on land trust property, 56 acres of preserved land. Now I live on property that is on a forested mountain ridge; a creek runs down the valley. Black bears, mountain lions, wild turkeys, elk, deer, bobcats, skunks, raccoons, opossums, moles, rabbits, owls, bald eagles, and various other rodents and birds as well as a host of others make their homes here. I rarely catch them on camera, though, as the more exotic ones prefer to stay hidden and the common ones don’t compel me to run and get my camera. I admire wildlife photographers who have the patience to set up and wait for an encounter. I also imagine a zoom lens would make it more rewarding to try to photograph wildlife when I venture out.

That said, here’s a gallery of wildlife found living close to my homes in Wisconsin and Oregon:

Thanks to Anne Sandler for hosting this week’s challenge.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Flights of Fancy

How do you photograph a fantasy?

What do your daydreams look like?

“Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in reverie.” – Henry David Thoreau

 “Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.” – Dr. Seuss

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.” – Carl Sandburg

The fabulous thing about this challenge is that you would have no photographs to submit unless your flight of fancy could become reality. We may be more fortunate than we dare to imagine. Thanks to Johnbo for the prompt!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Mountains Are Calling

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir

“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.” – John Muir

Thank you, Amy, for the challenge to seek higher ground.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Over the Hill

“The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down. ” – George Eliot

Donna of Wind Kisses is our host for this week’s challenge. She mentions that she will be turning 60 years old this week and invites us to explore the idea of “over the hill”. Coincidentally, I turned 60 last month, so the topic turns my thoughts to the long view of life’s journey.

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain’t nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill
But since we’re on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride.” – James Taylor

The journey of my life has definitely been a range of summits and valleys, each with their difficulties and exquisite beauties. I’m not looking to quit any time soon, although my pace has slowed a bit. I strive for the wisdom and grace that will teach me to walk observantly, respectfully, and kindly toward unknown horizons.

Happy Birthday, Donna, and many happy returns of the day!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favorite Finds

“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins as in art with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.” – Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Our host this week, Ann-Christine, writes, “I am sure you have something hidden in your archives that once surprised you or filled you with awe…” I am delighted to be continually filled with awe by light falling on something living, something vibrant. Most recently, it was the orchid my daughter gave me last week for my birthday catching the morning light streaming through my kitchen window.

Getting a beautifully lit close-up at marine life at the Oregon Coast aquarium was a special treat. So was that perfect moment of morning fog being pierced by the rising sun at Spencer’s Butte.

Looking deep into the undergrowth to find those diamond dewdrops, you might be rewarded by a wealth of jewels, arranged in magical symmetry.

My favorite finds are these simple and exquisite examples of Nature’s inexhaustible variety and beauty. Thanks for asking, Ann-Christine!