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: Looking Back

“And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look
Behind, from where we came
And go round and round and round, in the circle game”
– Joni Mitchell

“This challenge is about time, how things evolve.” – Sofia of Photographias. Click HERE to see her excellent post on Art History and play along.

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-Artists Photo Challenge: Home Sweet Home

“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

If a foreigner were to spend a week or a month traveling your home country with you, where would you take them? What sights would you tell them to be sure to see? Where have you found some of your own favorite images? What is it you truly love about where you live, or places you’ve seen in your home country?
Tina of Travels and Trifles sets our Challenge this week.

If I were showing a foreign visitor what I like about my home country, I think I’d ask what my visitor was interested in exploring and hope that we could agree on some beautiful outdoor places (like National Parks) that would make good road trip destinations, as well as some nearby walking trails, restaurants, museums, and music concerts. I think that would be a relaxed approach, without any pressure to see the most iconic of places. I’m not a fan of crowds, you see. Hopefully, my visitor would forgive me for not including New York City…unless a really good Broadway musical enticed me.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Textures of the Land, Sea, and Sky

“What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is the possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek.” — Annie Dillard

I am happily inspired by this week’s Lens-Artist host, guest blogger Jude of Cornwall in Colours. The colors and textures of the land, sea, and sky are a borderless palette of life in all its fascinating diversity. Where those places come together and complement and contrast are especially beautiful.

“A day, a livelong day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light toward zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors of season, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odors, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cates, dogs, butterflies and people.” — John Steinbeck

“Texture is closely related to our sense of touch. It suggests something about the make-up or structure of the object that we are looking at: whether it is fuzzy or soft, rough or smooth or sharp or flat. Since we cannot touch the object we are looking at, we are completely dependent on the visual clues captured by the photographer to glean insight into the qualities of the object photographed.” — Samantha Chrysanthou

Thank you, Jude, for your invitation to look closely at Texture and feel the beauty surrounding us!

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!