Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #9: Action

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.~Thomas Jefferson

Trapese School

One afternoon I strolled through Hyde Park in London and discovered a trapeze school.  I stood, transfixed, watching young people climb up the swaying rope ladder and take turns practicing a challenging move–leaping from the safety of one swing, soaring across open space and grasping the outstretched arms of an instructor on a second swing.  Timing was crucial.  If they let go at the wrong moment or missed the instructor’s hands, they’d tumble far below. There was a safety net, but still, the prospect of letting go of the ropes and flying across open space had to be terrifying.

Some of them clung to the swing, waiting in vain for just the right moment to leap across the chasm.  Others took a few trial swings and finally made the decision to go. After a successful acrobatic maneuver, satisfied smiles lit up their faces.  In this moment of release, of action, these kids discovered their courage and found a true measure of their capabilities.

Thomas Jefferson is right.  Our actions define who we are.

At various times in my life, I’ve been up there on the swing (figuratively speaking, of course), waiting for the right moment to act, to put a plan into motion.  In those moments of action, my fears fell away and my spirits soared.  I remind myself of this as I work on my next novel.  It’s so easy to fall victim to inaction, to make excuses.  But those moments of self-doubt finally give way when I take action.  It’s a joy to let the story unfold in surprising and satisfying ways.

This week’s challenge is all about action.  Capture nature, people, objects, or animals on the move.  Capture action in the sky or on land, on the playing field or on a busy street.  It’s totally up to you.

Absolut Vodka Bus Stop Decor in Chicago.  Shot with a Canon 40D.

Here are a few reminders about the Lens-Artist Photo Challenges:

  • We hope you join the challenge this week.  Your participation is exactly what we are hoping for.  When you do, include a link to this post.
  • Use the tag “Lens-Artists” in your post.  If you use a different tag or have a different spelling, other bloggers won’t find your post in the Reader and that would be a shame.  Also keep in mind that you should use fewer than 15 tags for your post or it won’t appear in the Reader.  For more information on how to tag, click here.
  • Ann Christine will post the next challenge (#10) on Saturday, September 8th.
  • Missed our initial Lens-Artists challenge announcement? Click here for details.
  • Do you want some advice about taking action shots?  Click here for some tips from the Digital Photography School.

As always, thanks for joining the challenge and have an inspiring week!

154 replies »

  1. “Don’t ask. Act”
    Enough said! and well said – empowering message with words and images here.
    I liked both the sky shot and land one –
    and side note – I found it interesting that you described the second photo as the
    “Absolut Vodka Bus Stop Decor in Chicago.”
    The inclusion of the Absolut ad in the title of the image versus
    something like “bus stop along brick wall” or ” person in front of Bus stop with green concentric circles”
    or just Bus Stop – hmm

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Prior! The Absolut bus stops were an advertising campaign in Chicago. Each bus stop was unique and featured Absolut Vodka! I’ve seen different companies use this same marketing idea too–but mostly in Chicago.

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh very cool. And GO Chicago for this cool idea.
        Quick story – last July we had a 50th birthday party with little momentos from 5 decades. One item for the 1980’s – little gift bottles of Absolut- because in the late 1980’s this brand had ARTSY ads that were outstanding; many of us who worked in hospitality had a lot of free Absolut items – and the Absolut Vodka ads were just brilliant (esp the ads in magazines – imagine those) – and so your photo here shows their artsy advertising continues all these years later.
        And those chairs at the stop… Are they part of the ad?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Pauline. I have had a few courageous moments, but this definitely was not one of them! I can’t imagine letting go of the ropes. So glad you like this challenge. I loved the shots of your daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the trapeze action, Patti, but I could never, ever do that!! Chicago? If you’re ever back there, let me know. I can take the train into the city and we could meet. Participating tomorrow, so I’ll see you again then.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Patti of course your captures are great but I also like the philosophical/intellectual undertone of your posts. I am certainly not intellectual but like to associate myself with those of said inclination 🙂 . I have to castigate you though as I had to bend my brain to be worthy of the example which was set. But with such a MOEDige (courageous) leader, how can I not 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Abrie! Your kind words always make me smile. I don’t know if I am a true intellectual, but I like to ponder! Thanks again for jumping into the challenge with verve and a great sense of humor. 🙂


  4. Wonderful action shots, Patti! There is a trapeze school near my office. Sometimes I look out my window and see people flying through the air. it’s a bit disconcerting for a moment until I remember there is a net beneath them! Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

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