Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #131-Emotions

Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.~ Edward Steichen

I’ll always remember this moment at the Navy Pier in Chicago. I was trying out a new telephoto lens when I spotted a young girl and her father whirling overhead on the ferris wheel.  I love the look of delight and excitement on her face.  I can still recall the satisfaction and thrill when my patience was finally rewarded after taking dozens of badly timed shots.

Girl on the Ferris Wheel. Navy Pier, Chicago.

Photography is a mirror. It can capture the emotions of our subjects in front of the lens–in portraits or street photography–for example.  Our photos can also evoke a mood in the people who view our images. A picture of a wooded path ensnared in fog will convey a very different emotion than a picture of a sunflower in a farmer’s field on a clear day.

Here are a few more examples:

This next photo captures a happy moment on a warm summer weekend in Chicago. I was fortunate to see these newlyweds posing for a photo in front of The Cloud Gate–the iconic reflective sculpture in Millennium Park. As an added bonus, the image also captures the looks of surprise and delight on the face of a little girl at the bottom of the image as she climbs under the sculpture. If you look closely at the reflections in the mirrored surface, you can also see a few more emotions on the faces of the spectators nearby.

The next image of street art was captured in Chicago. I love the comic book style of the artist and the hero’s face reflecting anger, grit, and determination.

I can’t look at this sculpture of Medusa with snakes coiled in her hair without cringing a little. This photo conveys the emotions on the subject’s face (Medusa) and it also evokes an emotion in the viewer.

Medusa’s Afraid. Museum of Fine Art, Boston.

Your choice of subject can influence how your viewers react to it. In addition to Medusa, this next image of rows and rows of white grave markers of soldiers killed in the Normandy invasion in World War II is chilling. The contrast between the diagonal rows of white crosses and Stars of David against the vibrant green grass contributes to the impact of the image.

This week, LAPC #131 gives you the opportunity to focus on emotions. Show us portraits or street photography that captures people’s feelings, such as happiness, anger, sadness, curiosity, or fear. Or, choose a subject or scene that evokes an emotion in the viewer. If you are able to shoot new images in your area, consider how light and shadow, the weather, warm or cool colors, the surroundings, and your choice of subject might impact the emotional response of your viewers. In your post, include a link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We hope you join us!

Looking back at last week, Anne Sandler’s It’s a Small World challenge gave us the opportunity to view many fabulous macro/micro and close-up images from your collections. A special thanks to Anne for being a wonderful guest host and giving us the chance to explore the world on a micro level.  She also reminds us to look for beauty in small things.

For those of you who want to plan ahead, the lovely and talented Ann-Christine will be our host for LAPC #132 next Saturday, January 23rd at noon.

I’ll end my post with a note of gratitude to all of you in our creative community who remind me of the enduring power of creativity and community in these difficult times. Your continued participation, support, enthusiasm, and creativity inspire us!   Have a wonderful, creative week and please stay safe.

210 replies »

      • I can’t imagine how loudly I’d be screaming if I had snakes in my hair!! The only thing close to that was when our son’s hamster got loose one night and I felt him running through my hair in the middle of the night….Ah, the joys of parenting!😀. Glad you like the theme and photos, John. I’m looking forward to your post. (Hint, hint)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ah, the Bean. I enjoyed all your choices, Patti. The cemeteries in Normandy are sobering and heart-wrenching. We saw quite a few some years ago when visiting there. My father-in-law landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day, so that added a completely different level to the visit.

    Planning ahead? Were you going to share the theme or is this just a general planning for another Saturday? 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Janet. That must have been so sobering…to know people who fought there. The rows and rows of tombstones was something I’ll never forget. Glad you enjoyed my other photos, too. I hope you can join us. The theme will be announced on the last Saturday of the month…since we have mixed reactions to announcing it ahead of time. Take care and stay safe, too. The numbers are sobering.


      • Yes, Arizona has had one of the worst spikes of Covid, but still not in the league overall with California, New York, Florida, and Illinois. I can’t wait until things calm down and I can visit our daughter and son-in-law in California again and take a road trip back to Illinois to visit friends.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ve captured so much emotion in each of these. I’m partial to the Medusa expression mainly because it reflects what I’ve been feeling lately with my frustration at not being able to obtain the vaccine for Covid-19 as well as the tragedies in Washington, D.C. Thanks for this timely topic. I hope to find some suitable photos to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I like that Rusha. I’m feeling the same as Medusa, too! We’re facing the same frustrations and upset. I am yearning for calm–on both sides. Here’s hoping the violence can be minimized and/or averted. Take care, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to cheat a little this week and link my Saturday Square to this challenge as it is quite an emotional photo for me. Almost the last time I saw my son and grandson in 2017! Been way too long, but life has conspired against us since then,

    And yes, what is the theme for next week?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I love the wedding couple shot; it’s so joyful. And the Normandy image is so emotional. From 2014-2018 the lawn at the Auckland Museum was transformed into a Field of Remembrance for NZ service people lost in WWI. A very similar picture — and incredibly moving.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. great theme – and the wedding coupe and many extras in that photo were amazing
    and the BLAM! really did have a chicago connection to pop art – the mob connections and just a cool street art capture

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Anne. I’m glad you like the theme and images. Now, I’m curious what you think about emotions. I’m sure you definitely have thoughts about animals’ (horses’) emotions. I was amazed at how our dog sensed what we were feeling–both happy and sad. Animals are so responsive to what we are feeling.


    • Hi, Amy. That first image was an exercise in patience! I’m thrilled that I was able to capture her expression. And yes, the last one is difficult to bear–the human cost of war. It’s so sad. I’m looking forward to your post, too. I’m wondering if you’re going to include a photo of your furry friend! Take care and enjoy the day.


  6. Great post! I think photos are quite powerful. They can evoke so many memories and feelings. Your photos are great! (ok, except for the snakes on the head thing… 😁) I do love the couple who just got married ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, SH. You’re right about Medusa. There are definitely several emotions on her face. I guess for me, fear is the dominant one. The last shot was a bit tricky, given the immense size of the place. Glad you like the perspective I chose! I’m happy you joined us this week. That was an intriguing shot.


  7. Great theme, Patti! Wonderful pictures!

    Photography and emotions go hand in hand. Emotion of the photographer in the capture, of the portrayed at the time of being photographed and of the person who sees it.

    In my post I have gone to look for the emotions of the colors…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Ana. You raise a great point about the emotions of the photographer. That definitely influences what our eyes “see” that day when we raise the camera to our eyes. I’m looking forward to your post!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Neveah! Glad you like the images and the challenges. Thanks so much! You chose an interesting wedding shot for the challenge in a great spot! It really drew my attention to the couple and made me “read” their expressions more closely. Interesting!


    • Hi, AC. It’s so true. Emotions are running wild. I was so happy to see those wonderful moments in your post this week. You gave all of us a big smile. I’m glad you like the little girl! Isn’t her expression priceless? I loved the excitement on your students’ faces too! Wow. A great capture at a great moment. Take care, AC. I hope you have a sun-filled week.


  8. Holy smokes Patti – you definitely hit a hot button with this one!! Wonderful post as always and your images tell the story as beautifully as your text and quotes. I loved the wall art especially – so powerful! And Medusa….what can I say?! The thought is enough to make me lose sleep! A perfect image for these times unfortunately (and UGH for your personal hamster story!!!). Let’s hope this week’s inauguration and celebration, combined with the increasing availability of COVID vaccinations, puts us back on the path to better days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tina. Yes, there’s plenty of emotion flying around us, isn’t there? Here’s hoping that the projections are wrong and it’s a calmer week. Glad you like Medusa (I’m still more scared of snakes than hamsters!), and the street art. I agree. Here’s hoping that after this emotional, health, and political upheaval, there are calmer and happier days ahead. Take care too. I hope you have plenty of sunshine and golf this week.


  9. Wonderful displays of emotion in picture form, Patti. These are very uniquely captured. I remember reading about Medusa and I think that sculpture shows her shocked face as she is beheaded by Perseus in the Greek myth. Well captured by the sculpture! Your first image of the joy on the girl’s face is priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Terri. Thank you! Your thoughts had me “running” to the web to check the myth! I can see shock on her face. I guess I see horror, too! Glad you enjoyed the photos and I hope you’re able to join us, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your choices of pictures to illustrate different emotions were spot on. I love the gritty cartoon. Talking about weather helps me think outside the box on ways to illustrate emotion. Finally, I don’t want to spend any time in the same room as Medusa. Have a great week, Patti. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Matthew. I’m so glad you enjoyed these pics. I also enjoyed yours very much. The black and whites are perfect for those urban scenes. Welcome to the challenge and I’m glad you joined us.


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  12. Hi Patti,
    WOW … this was a tough one. There were so many ways to go.
    I didn’t want to have photographs that mimciked others.
    Thanks for the creative push.
    The photo of the swing ride is perfect for the challenge. I have 3 daughters
    so wddeing photos were my first thought then … I changed my mind.
    Have a great week … Be Safe 😷
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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