Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Waiting

In the animal kingdom, humans are a species with a highly developed sense of time. We know past, present, and future and often try to imagine time frames that dwarf our own life spans. 

Waiting, the theme for this week’s Photo Challenge, implies expectations of future events. “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop…” or for the adventure to begin. When waiting seems like a waste of time, it’s because the thing to come is more valuable to you than the present moment. However, if you look at it another way, the present moment is the only real moment and therefore more valuable.

To wait well and gracefully may be to enjoy the present moment and allow the future moment to unfold “all in due time”. 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Creepy!

This week, Ann Christine suggests that we share some CREEPY photos that will show something “causing an unpleasant feeling of fear or unease”. Some of her examples include spiders. I personally find arachnids fascinating and not unpleasant. I frequently share a shower with some of them. And they make great photo subjects:

Do any of you remember that Jim Stafford song, “I Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes”? Well, having picked on spiders as creepy, here’s a shot of a snake:

How about UFOs? That idea is pretty creepy. 

Here’s something that I personally find incredibly creepy, and it lives in my house. It’s a Jenny Haniver. Wikipedia will tell you: 

Jenny Haniver is the carcass of a ray or a skate that has been modified by hand then dried, resulting in a mummified specimen intended to resemble a fanciful fictional creature, such as a demon or dragon.

So, what this tells me is that human beings fabricate “Creepy” to far more fearful extents than anything that exists in nature. 

I took the first four of these photos while walking around in the natural world. I find them perfectly peaceful and interesting. I am a bit creeped out by the Jenny Haniver, as were my children when they found it hidden in our microwave as a practical joke!

Fear is a very natural human response. It can be useful and kind of fun. But manipulating fear is a human activity that can cause great damage, confusion, and disaster. We must be very careful when we create creepiness.  

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Monochrome

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70, Patti invites to explore the world of monochrome–which includes black and white and sepia, as well as different shades of one color.

“…emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” – Kim Hunter

I love the drama of a really good monochrome shot. 

To see in color is a delight for the eye, but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul – Andri Cauldwell

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
― Ted Grant

“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” – Eliott Erwitt

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected” – Robert Frank

Lens-Artists Challenge: Seeing Double

I missed last week’s Lens-Artists Challenge because I was in Oregon visiting my three youngest children. I’m glad to be back for Tina’s challenge this week on Seeing Double

My two middle kids have been best friends all their lives. I call them “The Bobbsey Twins”, even though they are two years apart. They have shared so many adventures and continue to be “besties” as adults in their 30s. And you can definitely tell that they swim in the same gene pool!

Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. – Vietnamese Proverb

My final shot for “Seeing Double” is a tribute to the creepy holiday coming up – Halloween!

May all the pairs of things you begin to notice after looking at “Seeing Double” challenge entries remind you that you are not alone. May that comfort you and bring you joy! 

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Candid

Ann-Christine is hosting this week’s photo challenge with the theme Candid. She invites us to share pictures of people and animals who had no idea they were being photographed.

Stealth shots seem to require that the subject is comfortable with the photographer’s general presence or that the photographer has a lens that allows clear shots from a distance. I cannot claim the long lens, but I can claim that I know a few people and animals who don’t mind me stalking them.

The challenge in candid photos is to be able to capture spontaneous moments when the subject is simply doing their thing, preferably something interesting. Another challenge is in setting up the shot without too many background distractions without “staging” it. Serendipity and shutter speed definitely become factors in the results.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Filling the Frame

Patti is our host this week for the Lens-Artist photo challenge, and she posts a good tutorial on framing your shots so that the subject is treated with the importance it deserves. How does framing make a difference? Consider:

If this is a shot of two people engaged in conversation about the land, getting a lot of land in the picture might be important. But this also has a truck bumper, distant telephone poles, and other distractions. How about this? You still get the feeling that they’re working on the land, but now it’s about their interaction.

Photographing a monarch in its habitat can be scaled down to photographing a monarch at its food source. 

The petals of a fringed gentian make it distinct from other gentian varieties. Why not make that the focus of the photo?

And finally, even if giving a small portion of the subject a full frame might make the object unrecognizable, creating an abstract might make a better shot.

Experimenting with framing opens up new possibilities for making photos more dramatic. Thanks for the tip, Patti!

Lens-Artists Challenge: Pick a Place

Tina at Travels and Trifles hosts this week’s challenge with an invitation for us to pick a place to which we’ve traveled and feature it in our post.
I have not traveled abroad since the death of my husband 11 years ago, but I have done a bit of traveling throughout the western portion of the United States. I am particularly fascinated by canyon country, places where the geology of the place takes center stage an overwhelms the senses, leaving you awestruck.

“When your spirit cries for peace, come to a world of canyons deep in the old land, feel the exultation of high plateaus, the strength of moving waters, the simplicity of sand and grass, the silence of growth.” — August Frugé 

 

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

“Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross 

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Sand Canyon, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado

Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado

“Beauty in front of me, Beauty behind me,
Beauty Above me, Beauty below me,
Beauty all around me,
I walk in Beauty…” — Navaho prayer

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Gunnison River, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado