Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Change Your Perspective

“I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.” ― Stephen Hawking

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” ― Steven Wright

“Distance lends enchantment to the view.” ― Mark Twain

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is — infinite.” ― William Blake

“Look at everything as though you are seeing it either for the first or last time, then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” ― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Thank you, Patti, for challenging us this week to change our perspective as we photograph our subjects and for reminding us that Ansel Adams said,

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Treasure Hunt

Today’s photo challenge from Tina is sort of a laundry list of prompts which includes:

  • Challenge Items: Sunrise and/or sunset, Something cold and/or hot, a bird, a dog, a funny sign, a bicycle, a seascape and/or mountain landscape, a rainbow, a church, a musical instrument, a boat, a plane, a waterfall
  • Extra Credit Items:  An expressive portrait of one or more people, a very unusual place, knitting or sewing, a fish, an animal you don’t normally see, a bucket, a hammer, a street performer, a double rainbow, multiple challenge items in a single image. 

Tina’s choice photos illustrate these beautifully, as usual.

Well, let’s see what’s in my Treasure Chest.

Gotta admit I treasure the photo above. It’s my son and his dog on the coast of Oregon, where I’ll be moving at the end of June. So, it’s an expressive portrait of my son at a seascape/mountain landscape with a dog. Do I get extra credit?

How about the picture above for a sunset over a mountain landscape? 

Expressive portrait with a musical instrument? 

Double rainbow. Check. 

Very cold waterfall. Check.

My favorite church photo.

And my favorite bird photo.

I do enjoy the treasures I have in my photo files. Thanks, Tina, for sending me on this hunt!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Narrow

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14

The road that leads to destruction is paved with excess, with greed and growth. Its breadth permits the accumulation of possessions. The narrow road admits only the unburdened. 

Travelling the narrow road with steadfast feet and open eyes, you open yourself to the natural world around you, imposing few of your own devices on it. To learn from the path, from the trees, from the sky, is the beginning of wisdom. 

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. – Henry David Thoreau

Life is a narrow path. At last, only you can get through it. – Poolu

Thank you, Amy, for this week’s challenge. 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Future

Ann-Christine challenges us this week with a beautiful collection of double-exposure photos and quotes about the Future.

What a peculiar responsibility we have, as presumably the only species on Earth with the capacity to think about the Future. And as the dominant species, our actions create an impact that will be felt for a long, long time.

Knowing this, how do we choose to live? How do we spend our time? What do we use, and what do we throw away? What do we create? And how will we, individually, impact the Future?

Looking in my photo archives, I can easily see a few things I’ve done that will influence some part of the Future.

I have planted trees, both on the suburban property I used to own and on public properties as a member of a larger community. 

I’ve worked for the past 5 years for a conservation organization, a land trust that buys land to save it from development and plants trees and prairies for wildlife habitat.

But probably the biggest impact I will have on the Future is through my four children, who are now adults. Their choices are no doubt influenced in part by the values we talked about as they matured. Most likely, they will use, create, vote, dispose, and act long after I have ceased to do any of those things. The legacy I will have through them is not mine to predict but theirs to fashion.

I am very proud of them, and feel confident that their choices will be intended for good and not for harm.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Capital

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.

–Thomas Jefferson

Viveka of My Guilty Pleasures is acting as this week’s challenge host. She is an avid traveler, and has posted some lovely and varied shots of world capitals she has visited. She invites us to interpret this challenge however we choose, though, and since I haven’t got any digital photos of the world capitals I have visited (Washington, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Mexico City, Nassau, Budapest, Vienna), I am going in a totally different direction, following Mr. Thomas Jefferson’s lead in the quote above.

Nine years ago, I moved into a bookstore. I have been sharing a roof with Scholar & Poet books ever since.

In economics, capital consists of assets that can enhance one’s power to perform economically useful work. For example, in a fundamental sense a stone or an arrow is capital for a hunter-gatherer who can use it as a hunting instrument, while roads are capital for inhabitants of a city. — Wikipedia

Books are assets that have enhanced my entire life. They have definitely enhanced my power to perform economically useful work, like cooking. How many cookbooks do you have? When did you first make a meal using a recipe in a book? Did you learn anything about parenting from a book? Or about the skills that you are paid to perform?

I sometimes wonder whether books will become obsolete as technology advances. Perhaps in my country, that is a possibility. But globally, I think books will endure as long as human civilization does. 

I look forward to the day that I can read a book to my grandchild and pass on the pleasure, the investment, and the treasure of reading a book.

Yes, indeed. That would be capital! 😉 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Something Red

Patti starts out this week’s challenge with this observation:

Sometimes in the middle of winter, the world is reduced to stark shades of black and white.

No kidding? This is what I saw out my front door this morning.

It was as if I’d stepped into a infrared photograph. But no, this is just Wisconsin in January after 2 days of wet snow.

So, I am definitely ready to step into a RED photograph right about now! Now, that looks cozier! Let’s see if I can find some more…

Yes, Patti, that color definitely brightens up the scene…and my mood! Thanks for a great challenge!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Leading Lines

This week’s challenge host, Tina, says, 

Leading lines carry our eye through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. They create a visual journey from one part of an image to another and can be  helpful for creating depth as well.

I’ve never had any formal instruction in photography, but I think I have a pretty good natural eye for composition…sometimes. Let’s see if I’ve intuitively used Leading Lines in any of my pictures. 

Okay, wow. That one was obvious. You could argue that Lake Shore Drive and the street lights all lead to the Chicago skyline in that shot. 

The rustic fence and the gravel road take your eye to the Schottler farmhouse.

These two seem like they follow a reverse leading line…a receding line, or a vanishing point.

I think these last three are my favorites, though. They draw my eye to the horizon, which I long to explore.  

 

Anyone want to come with me?