Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A Window with a View

Amy of The World is a Book is the host for this week’s photo challenge. She writes: “This week, we invite you to explore ‘A Window With A View’. Share with us photos you’ve captured through windows.” Some of the views she shares on her post take my breath away!

In my part of the world, this is a typical January view. It’s good to be on the inside looking out!

The moving window of a car is a difficult opening through which to photograph, but I’ve seen some of the most spectacular sights through those windows. 

Telluride, Colorado

Near Hovenweep National Monument, Utah

Windows high above a vista provide a good frame for a landscape shot.

Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin

From the spire of the Basilica on Holy Hill, Wisconsin

And sometimes, the view from the window is not as important as the contemplation within.

Whether you are inspired from within or without, may you have new windows of perspective in this New Year!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Special Spot Shots

This week, Ann-Christine gives us a tour of Diocletian’s Palace in Croatia and invites us to share our own Special Spot Shots. 

My special spot is not an exotic location far away. What makes it special is that I wake up to it every day, in every season, in all kinds of weather. It is a parcel of land measuring about 56 acres, including woodland, wetland, and prairie habitats. I rent a house here from my employer, the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation. Recently, it was opened to the public as the Joan M. Pick Nature Preserve. 

I have been extremely fortunate to have called this place my home for 3 years. I am planning to leave in another 6 months, and I know that I will miss its many facets and familiar charms. Here is a gallery of photos that I’ve taken of this property. 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Favorite Photos of 2019

Favorite Photos of 2019 is Patti’s pick for the theme of this last Lens-Artists Photo Challenge of the year. She organized her eight top shots by category and included a ballot to collect votes for her readers’ favorites. Check out her excellent Challenge HERE.

I have selected 12 of my favorite photos from 2019 to make into a Retrospective Calendar. I have to admit that the photos were not necessarily taken in the month to which I assigned them for this gallery. What that means is that some months, I did not take any great photos…and in others I took more than one.

These photos all have special meaning for me, and I hope that you find them interesting for your own reasons. If you would care to comment about your favorites, that would really be uplifting to me. Thank you!


May 2020 provide you with at least 12 great shots and many more great memories!

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: 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 Photo Challenge: Magical

Ann-Christine finds Magic in her garden and invites us to share the magic in our lives.

This is something I have to ponder. I tend not to believe in magic. I am in awe and wonder of the natural and suspicious of what others call “supernatural”. However, the dictionary gives me a second definition that I certainly can embrace: 

“beautiful or delightful in such a way as to seem removed from everyday life”

So here’s a gallery of some of the most beautiful and delightful moments of my life. Enjoy!

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Taking a Break

I just came home from a walk along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to check on the photo challenge theme for this week. Our host, Tina, encourages us to slow down and focus on rest and relaxation. Taking a Break” for me is also “Restoring My Sanity” by being out in nature.

Nothing restores me to a grounded pace as well as hiking in a natural area where the presence of people is the exception to the rule.

Look around. Breathe. Listen. Feel. Birdsong and running water do wonders for the soul. 

An outdoor walk helps me take a break from sitting down at a computer screen…something I spend far too many hours at every day.  And if my feet start to swell and feel hot, dipping them in a cool stream is the perfect antidote. 

And if walking tires you out, you know what to do…

Taking a break is quite natural, of course. (If you can’t tell, that’s a bat sleeping in a tree).

Thanks, Tina, for reminding us to take it easy. It’s a long road, and it’s not a race.