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: 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? 

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: 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: Abstract

This week, Patti invites the Lens-Artists to “break the rules and go beyond the traditional realistic image of an object, scene, or element” and create Abstract photos.

It’s fun to guess what objects were used to create abstract images. Here are a few abstract shots of playground equipment:

Did you see the moon in that one? I wish I could figure out a way to make that more visible. 

The one below is a public art sculpture, again, with the moon faintly visible. 

Naturally simple lines and shapes can also make great abstracts, especially when you use photo editors. 

How does the emotion and story change in the abstracted versions of the plants shown above? How does your reaction change?
I could play around with possibilities forever on this theme!

Pumpkin guts become…

…pop art!

How fun is THAT? Thanks, Patti!

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-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.