Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #101: A Single Flower

Nobody sees a flower, really. It is so small.  It takes time.  We haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.― Georgia O’Keeffe

This week, Cee of Cee’s Photography is taking the lead for challenge #101.  She has inspired us with her theme “A Single Flower.”  But which flower(s) should I choose to highlight here?  As many of you may know, I love flowers and have many favorites.  Fortunately, Sharon, one of our friends with a green thumb, provided just the inspiration I needed by giving us a bouquet of glorious peonies last weekend.

At first I took dozens of shots of individual blooms, but then I read the quote by Georgia O’Keefe above, which provided more inspiration and an intriguing challenge.  Could I really see just one flower–its amazing texture, color, shape, and intricate details?  I also wondered if I could photograph how it changed over time.

And so, for my post this week, I’m focusing on one flower in the bouquet–a pink peony.  Here are several shots taken over several days of this one bloom.  For all these shots, I used my new Laowa macro lens. It is a manual focus lens, so with some practice, I was able to get some fairly sharp images starting on Saturday night and continuing to the following Friday.   I’ve arranged them chronologically.

Early Bloom

Peony Full Bloom

Peony More Detail

Peony Macro

Peony Fading Beauty

I hope. you enjoyed this series of one of my favorite flowers.  A little research reveals that peonies are native to China, where they are called the “king of flowers.”  In addition to their beauty, they are prized for their medicinal uses.  Their roots and seeds were believed to cure over 20 diseases including epilepsy and snake bites. In England, children wore necklaces of peony roots to prevent seizures and to help teething pain.

Thank you, Cee for your marvelous inspiration!  This week’s challenge has given me a wonderful gift–of truly seeing a flower over many days.  Its color, shape, and intricacies are miniature worlds in and of themselves.  Imagine if we took the time to truly see each other?  I believe we’d have a lot less hate in the world if we did.

Next week, it’s my turn to lead the challenge, so please stop by here on June 20th for LAPC #102!  In the meantime, I hope you have an inspiring week.  Stay well and stay safe in your corner of this wide and beautiful world.  And keep creating.  This world is a better place because you are sharing the sparks of your creativity.

88 replies »

  1. Patti, your spark of creativity is definitely brightening our world. I had no idea that peonies originated from China. The healing aspect of them doesn’t surprise me. I liked your opening quote which lead to your beautiful photos and story of peonies. Beautiful post. Thanks so much for asking me if I’d host this week. It’s truly a blessing and an honor. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Cee. We are delighted, too! And thank you so much for your lovely thoughts on my post. I was so delighted that our friend gave us the peonies! They are truly a delight. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you find some great flowers to photograph. 😊


  2. I don’t know if it’s your new lens or your very own good eyes, but these flowers are beyond beautiful. I also love that you don’t always show the whole flower — very artistic! I love getting down into a flower with your good eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peonies are so beautifully showy, as your photos so aptly show, but I didn’t know about their varied uses. I like that quote as well. I included quotes, too, but avoided several of my favorites which are also so popular, especially “The earth laughs in flowers.” 🙂 You’re blessed to have such a thoughtful friend.


    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true, Janet. Our friend made me very happy this week. I didn’t know the uses of the peony either. It was all new to me. I love that quote about the earth laughing in flowers. Wonderful!


  4. What a terrific idea Patti to follow the flower’s journey! And what a gorgeous specimen you chose for the exercise. An excellent test for the new lens which has passed admirably :-). Hope the eye infection is disappearing fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tina–on all accounts! And yes, the eye infection is clearing up. 😊. I guess you can see how much I love peonies. They are extravagant and dramatic. I am so grateful that our friend shared some with us! Take care and be well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the way you support your posts with such apposite quotations. And this week-long study is a real lesson in Slow Living, which is something we’ve all been learning to practice, and should continue with once this pandemic is (we hope) a distant and unsatisfactory memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that, Margaret! Slow Living. It’s exactly what I was thinking. I hope we can continue it even as we open up. It’s a wonderful lesson in being present in the moment, in the day. A valuable lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love that Jo….”flounce around” …The petals do look like a pretty dress with many ruffles! I’m so glad you like them! I suppose they are too delicate for the heat in the Algarve. I hope you enjoy the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just marvelous, Patti – idea, images and words, story, history. I too love peonies, they are showy like the tulle skirts of ballerinas. I have dark red ones and pink ones in my garden. I almost never pick them for vases – only love them in their own “habitat”. Love old paintings with peonies though, and to get a bouquet of peonies would be a dream!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful series of photos, Patti. The peony is such a gorgeous flower. I have one in my yard that wasn’t planted prior to my moving here and I look forward to its bloom every year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not even wild horses or peonies I mean wild pony’s will prevent me from stopping at #102! Thanks for informing me about the peonies origin – in future I will speak Chinese to them.

    Yes I think (in general) the ability to see beyond what you like or let me put it differently, to see until you like has become rare gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really enjoyed your post Patti! I especially like how you wove it around Georgia O’Keeffe’s quote and showed the many beautiful angles of the peony flower. (Your new lens did a great job too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoyed your series of macro shots. Using the manual focus (which I also enjoy using) really opens up the possibilities and I love seeing the flower’s progression as you have shown. Such beautiful images!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Patti, Patti … you make my heart start to cry. Poppies and Peonies are my favourite flowers. In Japan the had the most stunning Peonies … big like flying saucers. And the colour shades they were in. I fell in love with them there. It’s so romantic and soft … but still powerful. Thank you for your beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

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