Lens-Artists Challenge #90: Distance

Lens-Artists Challenge #90: Distance

…These days, everyone’s talking about and hopefully practicing “Social Distancing”. Since it’s something we should all be doing, we thought a challenge focused on DISTANCE might be an appropriate reminder of its importance.

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I hope that sometime in the not so distant future we never need to hear the term “Social Distance” again. Which ought to be called “Physical Distance” – a more accurate description. A time of anxiety…and often loneliness. For me and most everyone I know.

I am very thankful for the connections that social media and FaceTime and Zoom and Skype offer us. However…I increasingly miss actual three dimensional flesh and blood face to face conversation. A rectangular screen is no substitute for a big bear hug. One little hand holding yours. Catching up with friends over lunch at a favorite restaurant.

At times it feels like I briefly stepped into a nightmare I had as a child…where I got off the school bus in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Panicked, I ran up and down empty streets from house to house unable to recognize any as my own. Until I woke up, heart racing, groggy, straining my eyes in the dark until I finally realized it was just a dream.

However…now for very good reasons…we do what we have to do. Distancing ourselves.

I know that someday I will wake up from this surreal existence. In the meantime, I try to remember how beautiful distance can actually be…

…when I purposely sought out being alone…

sand footprints

comforted by an empty path through the trees…

path ahead

offering a glimmer of hope…

distance sun

…in the distance.

Lens-Artists Challenge: A River Runs Through It

Lens-Artists Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It

…photos of rivers running down mountains, through valleys, along plains where you are or you have traveled, and we also love to read your stories…

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A river runs through the small town of Exeter, NH.

Known commonly as The Exeter River, it is technically a tidal river originating in the town of Chester – located west of Exeter.

The Exeter River begins in the town of Chester and flows east and north to Exeter where it becomes tidal and changes name to the Squamscott River, before emptying into Great Bay. (DES.NH)

As it enters Exeter, it flows under a bridge behind the main street, lined with local businesses….

river bridge

Winding its way past downtown, the river picks up a bit of speed…

river2

…next flowing by a public park where visitors walk or jog along the perimeter…river…and often pause to rest…on one of the numerous memorial benches donated by local citizens.river benchA peaceful place of refuge.

Lens-Artists Challenge #87: Reflections

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #87: Reflections

…we invite you to be creative to find any reflective surfaces to show us your reflection photographs.

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My most recent favorite reflection happened in January during a walk on the beach. The tide was lower than I’d ever seen before. The afternoon light caught the clouds above while the beach transformed into a mirror.

Magical.

I had driven to this beach with an overwhelming need to clear my head. Walking along the ocean…listening to the waves hit the shore…the blue sky meeting the water in a far off horizon.

It never fails me…

january clouds
Hampton Beach 2020

A few years ago I caught this moment during a walk close to sunset…

beach sunset
Hampton Beach 2016

Last summer, reflections appeared on a pond at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont…

vermont pond
Shelburne, Vermont 2019

This past week has been quite difficult on a personal level…which drove me to the beach again yesterday. No reflections this time…but these photos brought it all back.

The peace. The calm. The comfort.

Gotta love the power of the images we capture – as they transport us back to a healing moment in time.

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(I resisted inserting the Supremes rendition of Reflections, as it kept going through my mind while writing this post…it’s funny how songs just pop up at the most unexpected times)

 

Lens-Artists Challenge: Change Your Perspective

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #86: Change Your Perspective

…we invite you to break the habit of shooting photos at eye-level and change your perspective.  Instead, show us your photographs taken from a variety of perspectives–by getting down low, by looking up at the subject or looking down, or walking around the subject. 

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This past Sunday – sunny but cold – seemed a perfect opportunity for a walk on the beach. The bright afternoon sun enhanced the perspective potential for this challenge…and I am always chasing the light.

It didn’t disappoint.

Along the walkway bordering the beach is a shelter that covers several lines of benches. The sun lit it up with lines as well.

Catching my eye from one side…

roof 2

A bit less eye-catching from the other side…

roof 1

Venturing underneath and looking up…

roof below

…revealed an entirely different display.

I continued walking down the boulevard…but before turning around to head back to my car, I glanced up.

Apparently two seagulls took it upon themselves to be on the lookout atop a light pole…

seagulls from below

…and sat at attention long enough for a photo.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Treasure Hunt

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #85: Treasure Hunt

This week we’re going on a Treasure Hunt! The challenge is to search for specific items – either from your archives or newly captured – from the list below. Extra credit items are a bit more challenging. Focus on quality over quantity and hit us with your best shot(s)!  

    • 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.

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A photo scavenger hunt!

This reminds me of party activities when I was a kid – going house to house asking for odd items. Like a feather or a paper clip. We also searched for items in the yard. The object of the game was to complete your collection before anyone else did.

For this challenge, I scavenged through my archives and found these photos…

A bird

bird on wall

…painted on the side of a building in Burlington, Vermont.

A dog

dog

…missing his humans on Christmas Day in Washington, DC. (also substituting for a person in the “expressive portrait” category).

A waterfall

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…flowing in a park in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Guitars in the making at the Martin Guitar Factory…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

A fish at the entrance to a seascape

seascape fish

…in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

A sunset behind a mountain landscape. Boats settled in for the night…

vermontbay

…in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

The End

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Future

Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #83: Future

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Today was all about the future.

It was voting day in New Hampshire.

I live in the state which holds the first Primary in the race for President of the United States. Hordes of candidates have been campaigning here during the last year. Speeches. Rallies. Town Halls. Visits to local diners. Television and radio ads. Much shaking of hands and thousands of selfies.

I won’t go into all the drama and teeth gnashing that defines today’s politics. Much of it polarizing and potentially toxic within families and friendships – where differences of opinion exist.

This is not about a particular candidate.

What I want to focus on here is the wonder of living in a country where we actually have the right to vote. A chance to shape our future.

Express our opinions, as diverse as they are. Hopefully with respect.

Sometimes that goes well and sometimes it doesn’t.

Today it went well. I was more than happy to wait for a parking place at the packed voting site. It signaled a large voter turnout. People taking this responsibility seriously. Perhaps it meant less voter apathy. I hope I’m right.

To vote is to put your voice to work for everyone’s future. All the candidates promise – in one way or another – a better future. Whether that be health care, tackling climate change, jobs…and my favorite since my teenage years: promoting peace. World peace. How we all need to get along…better.

I was greeted by campaign reps standing outside with their signs. Media personnel conducting random interviews.

No shouting. Just friendly hellos and smiles.

primary walk

Once inside…

voting sign

Show ID and find a booth…

booths

As a two party system, you must choose a Democratic or Republican ballot for a primary election. This was mine…

ballot

So many choices.
[As far as I know, a $1,000.00 filing fee is all that’s needed to get your name on the ballot]

Last but not least…

pen

 

Let’s hope we vote for a bright and prosperous future for us all.

Time will tell.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Capitals

Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #82: Capitals

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I have visited Washington DC, the capital of the United States, many times.

My first trip to DC was with my Cadette Girl Scout troop when I was 13. A very long time ago…but I do remember a few highlights of that long weekend: staying in an old brick hotel, getting in trouble for using the room phone to call boys across the alley at a different hotel and visiting a science museum where an “elephantiasis leg” was on display in a tall glass case. Yup, some poor departed soul’s diseased leg floating in murky fluid proved both fascinating and mesmerizing to my young scientist mind. I have no photos of that trip. Which is probably just as well.

However, as luck would have it, my adult children now live in DC. As well as my grandson. Excellent reasons to visit!

In 2012, we made the rounds of a few tourist destinations…

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pond:

DC reflecting pond
September 2012

A visit to the National Portrait Gallery…

gallery
The year before – in June, 2011 – we spent Father’s Day weekend with our son – including taking in a baseball game at Washington Nationals Park…

baseball

Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered this between innings…

GF food
And last – but not least – we returned to further explore the Smithsonian National Museum of American History…which always includes a pilgrimage to the display case featuring Elizabeth Cotten’s Guitar.

My guitar player husband insists on it…

Cotten guitar

…a respectful moment of silence ensues.