Lens-Artists Challenge #104 • Summer

Summer at the Beach • Lens-Artists Challenge

Lens-Artists Challenge #104 • Summer

Amy is this week’s host, and her challenge is to capture Summer.

'Summertime and the livin' is easy 
...
One of these mornings 
You're goin' to rise up singing'

DUBOSE HEYWARD, GEORGE AND IRA GERSHWIN
Summer at the Beach • Lens-Artists Challenge
Summer at the Beach • Lens-Artists Challenge

This photo sums up this season in Holland. While the sun might be shining (occasionally), the beaches are mostly deserted. It’s rather chilly out there, and the Covid-19 scare still is sort of omnipresent

On a positive note though, the light does make for some spectacular photography.

Were it not for shadows • Mr. Candy • Scheveningen Boulevard
Dusk at the boulevard

Anyways, not be a grumpy old man, most of these mornings I sort of ‘rise up singing’ kind of mood.

So far for this entry in the Lens-Artists Challenge #104.

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Challenge, click here.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #102 • A Quiet Moment

A Quiet Moment

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #102 • A Quiet Moment

Patti Moed is this week’s host. She’s challenging us to capture A Quiet Moment. The lockdown rules in the Netherlands have been relaxed considerably, hence the streets, squares, parks and beaches are filling up with people. Fortunately most of them practise social distancing.

Here’s a short movie that I posted before to give you an impression of what is was like at the height of the lockdown in the otherwise bustling Amsterdam.

Coming back to the challenge at hand, here are some photos that I took at the local tennis club, which is situated in the woods. Near the entrance there is this statue of man lost in thought.

Reflective • A Quiet Moment
Reflective • Lens-Artists

Just opposite this statue is this clock that doesn’t work anymore. It is as if time stands still…

Time stands still • Lens-Artists
Time stands still • Lens-Artists

Inside the clubhouse this painting captures a sight seldom seen, three silent women.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #102

So far for this entry in the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #102.

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #101 • One Single Flower

One Single Flower • Up Close

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #101 • One Single Flower

Flower lover Cee Neuner is this week’s host. Not surprisingly she themed this edition One Single Flower. Cee highlighted this quote

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

Buddha

The photo below was taken in Cadaquès, Catalunia in February and clearly signaled spring was in the air.

One Single Flower • Lens-Artists
One Single Flower • Lens-Artists

Now let’s have a closer look at the miracle of that flower.

One Single Flower • A Closer Look
One Single Flower • A Closer Look

And an even closer look…

One Single Flower • Up Close
One Single Flower • Up Close

For me personally, I like the first photo best, as of the three, it signifies the life changing miracle that spring is the most.

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #100 • The Long And Winding Road

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #100 • The Long And Winding Road

Tina Schnell has the pleasure to host the #100 of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, which is aptly called The Long And Winding Road.

Disclaimer: the below isn’t meant to be a politicized message…it is rather meant to be one of humanity. Unfortunately these days, they are joined at the hip.

The United States, as well as the rest of the world for that matter, have had their downs, and some ups, when it comes to discrimination and racism over the last 100 years. But what sets the USA apart from most of the rest of the world is the stance of its leadership given the (global) protests in the light of the George Floyd killing.

On a side note: I have been appalled at the way the Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, is catching all kinds of flak for allowing a peaceful protest against racism to continue despite the fact that it went in against all the Covid-19 rules. This is what politics in the Netherlands have come down to, the how instead of the what.

Back to the subject at hand then, this video illustrates that racial equality still is a long and winding road.

Black Americans have spent 100s of years desperately making the case for their own humanity and have been relentlessly, and often brutally silenced.

James Corden

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #99 • Old vs New

Lens-Artists • Old vs New

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #99 • Old vs New

For the ins &outs, head over to Amy’s Share and Connect blog who is our host of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #99.

Lens-Artists • Old vs New
Lens-Artists • Old vs New

I lifted this photo a while back from a tweet by Elon Musk.

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

Delicate Colours • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98

Delicate colourful pickles • Lens-Artists

For the ins &outs, head over to Ann-Christine’s blog who is our host of Delicate Colours • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98.

My first port of call was to look up what delicate actually means other than subtle or pleasing because of fineness or mildness.

Definition of delicate: pleasing to the senses

Merriam Webster Dictionary

So this week’s prompt can very well mean a colourful assault on the senses, as long as it is pleasing. Now this is something I can work with: the place that sprang to mind immediately is Marrakesh, Morocco.

A pickle anyone?

Delicate colourful pickles • Lens-Artists
Delicate colourful pickles
More Delicate colourful pickles • Lens-Artists
More delicate colourful pickles

Or some flower buds?

But even some houses were a pleasant onslaught on the senses being painted in delicate colours.

A ceiling adorned with delicate colours
A ceiling adorned with delicate colours

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

WARNING I’m Bored • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97

WARNING I’m Bored • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97. For the ins &outs, head over to Sue’s blog The Nature Of Things who is our host of this edition, with the theme pastime.

Boredom: the desire for desires

Leo Tolstoi

I’m so so glad this quarantine is not deemed so strictly necessary anymore. Cinema’s and museums are open again since yesterday (two of my favorite pastimes that I so dearly missed). And restaurants, terraces will follow on June 1. And hopefully the beach clubs will open the day after tomorrow, since I live approx. a 20 minute walk from the beach. So yes, this being more or less cooped up in my or my girlfriend’s apartment has made me bored to the point that I’m contemplating buying this mouse pad…or worse. Just to spruce things up a bit.

Another favorite pastime of mine was city trips with my girlfriend. Both in the Netherlands as elsewhere in Europe. Just roaming the streets of an unknown city, having a drink and a meal on a terrace and photographing anything interesting that comes in front of my camera.

Berlin Central Station
Berlin Central Station

But these will not be on the cards again anytime soon because of the Covid-19 lockdown and my worsened physical condition due to my Parkinson’s Disease. But both things will get better in due course I’m convinced.

I’m bored

So how did the past few months just dawdle past? By spending time catching up on reading…

My To-Read Pile
My To-Read Pile

My mentor when I started out in advertising taught me an invaluable lesson: Read weird shit’. So I still do. And for the first time I’m interested in history. A sign of old age?

Passion goes, only boredom remains

Coco Chanel

And then there was Netflix… I have been watching a wide array of series and movies. From La Casa de Papel to the history of the Vietnam War to The Last Dance to Peaky Blinders to Le Mans 66. But, finally, I got bored of watching TV.

Did I tell you I’m bored…

So there is only so much even I can take before boredom sets in. I miss going for walks in unfamiliar places, learning about their history, savoring the best the local cuisine has to offer and taking my Leica with me. Being outside, where the action is.

Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination; both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.

Susan Sonntag

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

Cropping For Effect • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96

1973 Pulitzer Prize • The Napalm Girl

Cropping For Effect • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96 For the ins &outs, head over to Patti’s pilotfishblog.

Photography helps people see

Berenice Abbott

Cropping That Helps People See More

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned, and this was a long time ago, is that there is a difference between a pretty picture and a good photo. And that difference is largely determined by how close you get to your subject; deliberately avoiding the ‘noise’ that otherwise distracts from the photo’s message. Thus cropping can help people see.

Cropping For Effect: The Napalm Girl

1973 Pulitzer Prize • The Napalm Girl
1973 Pulitzer Prize • The Napalm Girl

We all recognise (I hope) this photo by Nick Ut of the 9 year old Kim Phuc Phan Thi – a.k.a. the Napalm Girl – that won him the Pulitzer Prize. The scene is one of sheer horror.

The Original

Nick Ut's Uncropped Version Napalm Girl
Nick Ut’s Uncropped Version Napalm Girl

The uncropped image shows the otherwise unknown third of the photograph. It reveals on the right of the image a man absent-mindedly adjusting his camera, completely unaware of the chaotic events unfurling around him. His inclusion certainly paints a different picture than the cropped version which previously excluded him.

As Michael Shaw muses on his website Reading the Pictures: 

I have to think this is one of the most significant crops of all time. With the right half of the photo suddenly claiming more storytelling weight, it’s stunning how much it competes, diluting that dramatic scene burned into all of our heads. Studying the “new” cluster of figures and the body language of the soldiers at the edge and across the road, the guys look like it’s Miller time. Even more incredible, however, is the specter of the soldier attending to his camera. Given that he’s almost parallel to the burning body of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the message is that he’s got some time right now, that there’s nothing going on right that moment that’s worth capturing, or even deserving of his notice. …Just wow.

So my question is: was this photo cropped entirely for effect? for simplicity sake? or, because the nonchalance of the soldiers, in juxtaposition with the scorching of the children, would — from a compassion standpoint — have been like a second napalm hit?

Now, before I rub someone the wrong way, I think the cropped version is by far the most powerful of the two. In a way, the original doesn’t come close to the cropped one. So I think Ut’s crop was justified. To come back to Abbott’s quote, it helped make me see the horrors of war.

Before you go, there is more…

This is not the only controversy surrounding his photo. According to Wikipedia: Audio tapes of President Richard Nixon, in conversation with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman in 1972, reveal that Nixon mused, “I’m wondering if that was fixed”, after seeing the photograph. 

And far more recently, back in 2016, Facebook removed this photo from a post since it contained nudity. I kid you not, just head over here.

And currently, there’s discussion this photo should be removed fromWikipedia: ‘This is a copywritten image owned by the Associate Press, it is not Public Domain‘.

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.

All Along the Watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90

All along the watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists#90.jpg
All along the watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists#90.jpg
All along the watchtower • Distance • Lens-Artists#90

All Along the Watchtower • Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90 is my entry into Tina’s challenge of distance. And it triggered a wonderful song again. While Bob Dylan wrote this multi-layered masterpiece, my favorite performance is the one by Jimi Hendrix (see the link below).

I’d like to point you to the last verse, which ties it back to the prompt of distance:

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too
Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl

Jimi Hendrix • All Along the Watchtower

There are many interpretations of the lyrics of All Along the Watchtower floating around, see for instance this. My favorite is along the lines of the first, not in the least since I vaguely recall an interview with Bob Dylan where he said something similar…

For more of my entrees in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, click here.