Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #169: The Ordinary

You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.

― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

A week or so ago, we went on a morning walk through Stanley Park and wound our way to the seawall. As we approached the water, the ordinary scene was transformed into something new. People walking dogs, running, and striding along the seawall were cast in shadow with the bright blue of the sea in the distance.

This is what I.J. Khanewala, our guest host this week, calls Photo Dhyan, that almost mystical moment when heart, mind, and soul of the photographer catches a glimpse of something beautiful, striking, or almost magical and clicks the shutter.

Along the Seawall, Vancouver, B.C.

Here’s another moment from this weekend, when we were taking a late-afternoon walk through the gardens of the majestic Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria. Among the shriveled blooms, I discovered a few roses still thriving in the cool 11 degree C temperatures. Serendipity!

The Last of the Summer Beauties, Victoria, British Columbia

 Here’s another example from a few years ago. On a walk along Hollywood Beach, Florida, I spotted a cluster of seagulls on the lookout for another meal. The light, shadows, and colors of the beach caught my eye as I captured this scene.

Walk on the Beach, Hollywood, Florida

For my final image, I chose this dried husk of a flower which I spotted on a walk in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Even when the frost comes, the faded and shriveled remnants of summer can be beautiful.

Faded Beauty, Portsmouth, NH

This week’s challenge reminds me that as we pick up our cameras, we are learning how to view the world around us in all its complexity, beauty, grace, and simplicity. By opening ourselves to a new way of viewing the world, we can find moments of the “extraordinary” in the “ordinary.” We hope you share your discoveries this week as I.J. Khanewala of Don’t Hold Your Breath hosts “The Ordinary” challenge.  

A special thanks to Tina for her “Seen Better Days” challenge last week. I loved the treasures you discovered in places and things that were weathered and worn.

Next week, it’s my turn to lead LAPC #170, so please stop by next Saturday at noon to join the fun. In the meantime, have a joyful, safe, and inspiring week.

71 replies »

  1. I am so jealous! The Canadian border is closed to us, so we can’t go to Victoria to celebrate our anniversary any longer (hubby refuses vaccination, and the procedure to get admitted is onerous to us). Your pictures bring back memories, and are excellent. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful choices Patti – the shadow people are wonderfully captured and the roses are glorious. Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary indeed. I loved your thought about learning how to view the world. Perfect!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tina! Wonderful to read your thoughts on these images and “learning how to view the world.” It really is one of the gifts of photography…the Zen of it! I had a day or two of panic when my Fuji lens wasn’t functioning very well, but all’s good now after downloading the latest software. How I depend on my camera! I need it for my peace of mind, I think! Take care and have a good week.

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  3. Wonderful selections, Patti. I love the first image showing the joyfulness of walking and jogging along the seawall. Birds are happy there and dried husk is a cool shot. Finding “extraordinary” in the “ordinary.”, very well said, Patti.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank so much, Amy. I’m delighted you like them. The first image is fun, isn’t it? I was thrilled to see it and capture it at just the right moment. I hope you’re enjoying the fall in your home state. I’m sure you’re going on plenty of walks and capturing the autumn colors. Enjoy!

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    • Hi, Janet. Great question! What’s ordinary? Even the “ordinary” can be “extraordinary” if we look carefully enough, I think. I’m delighted you like these images. I scoured my archives for some of them! Fortunately, I had two recent ones, too. I hope you join us! Enjoy the week.

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    • Hi, Marlene. Oh, thank you!! I took a couple of shots, and picked this one because you could see each person individually. Glad you noticed that! Much appreciated. It is cool how everyone is doing “their thing,” isn’t it? Take care and have a good week.

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  4. Your first photo is a stunner. So many contrasts: the shadowed foreground and the bright sea, some walkers in the shade, mere silhouettes, while one takes on solidity and form as he walks into the light, the flatness of the foreground and the depth created by that one person sitting in the shade, the movement of the walkers contrasting with the world spanning voyages of the ships at the back. Truly a photo that invites meditation. The roses, the gulls in a long gone moment of joy, the dried husk of a flower that did not fruit, all also meditations on the nature of the world, its promises and its cruelties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so thankful for your beautiful reply, I.J. Frankly, I’m a bit stunned….in a totally happy way!! 😀. And thanks also to you for the inspiration this week. It’s a gift to all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like all of what you shared Patti
    But a moving photo for me was the way you made the seagulls look so artsy even elegant – because they sure do annoy me many a times at the beach
    But you really did capture an essence with angle, light, etc.
    ☀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment made me laugh, Yvette!! Yes, the birds are annoying at the beach! They are surely not afraid of humans and will go to great lengths to get food. Still, I guess I still managed to find some elegance there! 😀

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    • Hi, Robert. Thank you! I think the first one is the favorite this week. I’m glad you agree. It was a happy moment when I spotted the people in silhouette. 😀. Thanks for stopping by. Have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great illustrations of those serendipitous moments when a scene suddenly begs to be photographed! Those roses look fabulous for this time of year, and I love your seed husk (which could also have fitted last week’s theme!) but my favourite is the shot of the seagulls – the light is lovely and the shallow depth of field very effective 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The seagulls were photogenic on that beach! Thanks. It is exactly as you say–those serendipitous moments are “begging” to be photographed. I hate when those moments slip by and I don’t have my Fuji with me. So frustrating. Thanks so much, as always, for your thoughtful and perceptive comments, Sarah.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A wonderful lesson on how to view the world, Patti! So well thought through and images well chosen – the transformation from ordinary to extraordinary. My favourite is the Vancouver seawall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That image seems to be the favorite this week, AC. I’m delighted you enjoyed it, too. I was so happy I had my Fuji with me that day! And your post was exquisite….as always. I hope you have a sunny day today. Enjoy!

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