Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #168: Seen Better Days

When art dresses itself in the most worn-out material it is most easily recognized as art.

~Friedrich Nietzsche

Tina has chosen a wonderful theme for all of us this week: Seen Better Days.

Like many photographers, I’m drawn to places and objects that show signs of wear and the passage of time. I love the stories they tell. In my first image, this statue of a woman has seen better days. (On some mornings when I look in the mirror, I feel the same way. πŸ˜€ ) But if you take a closer look, you’ll see the beautiful fading colors of her blue eyes, red lips and red dress. The patina of age also makes her more interesting and hints at her past. (Hopefully, people will say the same thing about me someday. πŸ˜€)

Statue, Whitney Museum, New York City

This vintage coca cola sign caught my eye in Savannah, Georgia. The mural is worn and faded, but I love the glimpse into the past and the claim that coke “relieves fatigue.”

I had to repost this lovely door that I discovered on a walk one afternoon in Florence, Italy. The peeling paint and old metal tell a wonderful story of a different era.

Wood and Metal. Florence, Italy

At first glance, these broken dolls in a store window in Rome seem a bit strange and maybe even terrifying–like something from a Stephen King novel. But don’t worry. The toys are being repaired by a local craftsman. I like to imagine they were lovingly cared for by many children before ending up here.

Doll Hospital, Rome, Italy

This peeling paint tells a sad story on Cockatoo Island, a former penal colony off the coast of Sydney, Australia. Even though the colony was abandoned long ago, its walls can still “talk.”

Abandoned House, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Australia

A special thanks to Tina for inspiring us this week. Her challenge has reminded me of the treasures found in places and things that have seen better days. Hopefully, as we grow older, we find treasures too, growing wiser and more giving over time. My aim is to do the same.

A special thanks to Amy, whose challenge last week inspired many of you to share photos of gorgeous autumn colors.

Next week, we’re delighted to announce that I.J. Khanewala of Don’t Hold Your Breath will be our guest host. Until then, have a joyful and inspiring week, and please stay safe.

64 replies »

  1. Excellent variety of interesting images for this one Patti. Loved your opener and the dolls although both do have a bit of an element of “creepy”! I smiled at your hopes that one day you’ll be seen as interesting with hints of a past LOL. Terrific choices for the challenge. The old door is truly wonderful!


    • Yes, a bit creepy! Glad you like the variety. I was aiming for that. Ah, yes. The old door. So many stories in Florence of times gone by. And the light there is amazing, as you know. It highlights the details in an ordinary street and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. πŸ˜€. Take care and have a good week.


    • Ah, yes, the doll hospital. I caught my attention, too! I walked by it a few times and hurried on without stopping. But in the end, I’m glad I captured it! Glad you like the variety. I hope all’s well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really love peeling paint. In the right light it always makes for great photos. Your door is a great example of a cheerful photo of peeling paint. And that wall in that dismal light, perfect for a old abandoned house. I see the same in the other photos as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, IJ. Yes, the light conveys so much about the mood of the place/scene. Very true. I hadn’t thought of the light in the penal colony room as dismal, but I think you’re absolutely right. It is! Thanks as always for your keen observations/thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the peeling paint shots in particular – the stories the walls of that penal colony could tell, most of them not very pleasant no doubt. The dolls’ heads are creepy but I’m glad they’re getting a new lease of life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like those images. And yes, sad stories in the penal colony, I’m sure. As for the dolls’ heads, yes, it’s true. They are soon to be rejuvenated. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€. I’m happy about that. I rushed by that store window a few times before stopping to take the photo. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful mix images for this theme, Patti. The statue, door, coca cola sign… all tell its stories.
    The last image is great shot, I love the light, colors, texture, and the angle you took!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Amy. It took a while to get that angle just right, but I’m glad I stuck with it!! It was such an eerie place. An abandoned prison….It still gives me chills thinking about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have it all. Patti! Rusty metal, peeling paint and old doors – the perfect concept and so beautifully presented. The dolls…give me chills though. But, of course they too have seen better days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, John! I like that! Peeling paint does show the passage of time really well. πŸ˜€. Fortunately, I don’t have to paint those walls. I’m glad you like the coke sign. I thought it was a fascinating window to the past.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Patti

    Your image of the woman in the red dress statue at the Whitney is beautiful in a haunting way – the gaze in those very blue eyes is so direct that I feel it speaks to the viewer β€œas I am now, so too you will be.”

    Here’s my Lens Artist Submission offering for Seen Better Days. I have just had eye surgery number on Thursday, looking forward to seeing better!

    Beautiful Great Blue Herons’ Autumn Day

    Best, Babsje


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