Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #180: Favorite Photos of 2021

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Well, it’s been another bewildering, frustrating, hopeful, anxious, and despairing year. And yet, there have been days of wonder and joy. I’ve selected images which focus on these high points which sustained me over the past year.

I will never forget this evening walk at Wallis Sands Beach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The sky was dramatic and glorious.

Up until last year, we had only visited Crane’s Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts in the summer, when it was filled with wall-to-wall sunbathers. But one spring morning we walked along the wide expanse of beach, which was nearly empty except for a few people on horseback, or with their dogs, or simply alone. It was such a treat to walk along the coastline and truly enjoy its stunning beauty.

In the late spring, we drove north to Acadia National Park in Maine–a place we had talked about visiting for decades. It is a remarkable place with varied trails through forests, up mountains, and along the coast. Jordan Pond was one of my favorite hikes.

In July, at Columbus Circle in New York City, I happened to look up and see the morning fog drifting through the spires of several skyscrapers. Even though we were preparing for a funeral and grieving for my dear father-in-law, that moment on the street corner was startling, filling me with hope and reminding me of the beauty of the city.

I’ll end this retrospective with a photo captured during our visit to Vancouver, B.C., where we were reunited with our son Alex. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the time spent with our son, and our walks along the seawall in Vancouver were some of the many highlights of this past year. These glimmers of joy will stay in my memory forever.

Now, I’d like to start 2022 with my personal wish for another year of friendship and creative exploration with all of you. Your support, your participation, and your willingness to share your images and thoughts mean so much to me. A special thanks to you all.

And next, the entire Lens-Artists team would like to share some exciting news. We’re welcoming several new members in 2022. In addition to those of us with whom you are all familiar, we’ll be joined this year by Sofia Alves of PhotographiasAnne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed, and John Steiner of Journeys with Johnbo

Those of you who have followed us for some time will be familiar with all of them as they have all been regular participants and each has guest-hosted for us in the past. We know they will bring their marvelous photography, extensive travel experiences, close-to-home adventures, and fresh insights to our weekly challenges. We are very much looking forward to having them with us. Please be sure to follow their blogs to be certain you don’t miss any of our upcoming Lens-Artists challenges. 

It’s Tina’s turn to host next Saturday at noon, so be sure to visit Travels and Trifles to join in the fun. Until then, have a safe and inspiring week!

81 replies »

  1. Beautiful selections, Patti. The first image is stunning, I love the Lake capture and the NYC architecture image. Hope 2022 is a better year…
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Amy. I’m hoping we have more sunny days a head of us in 2022 and another year of our continued collaboration on L-A! Hopefully we can have some new travel adventures in 2022!


    • Hi, John. Thank you! I was so happy I looked up at that moment and saw the beauty of that skyline! We’re also delighted you’re joining us! All the best to you and your loved ones in 2022!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The sunset and Acadia are my favourites, Patti, but I love the memories you took from the year. And now we have another opportunity to create many more in the new year. Hope it serves you well, hon. Happy ’22!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy New Year Patti! Your fantastic images are a great start to what we are all hoping is a year that will see us return to some sort of normal. If I had to pick a favorite photo from this post it would be Wallis Sands Beach in Portsmouth. I love the clouds and colors. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi,Anne. Thank you! I’m delighted you’re joining the team and look forward to a year of collaborating and sharing ideas/photos. And yes, I am also hoping for improved good health for all of us and the planet. All the best in 2022!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jude. Thanks! I really enjoy your photos which take me to a beautiful part of the world. I am hoping you continue to share your world with us. All the best in the new year.


  4. Wonderful pictures, Patti, it’s hard to pick a favorite, so I’ll stick with all of them.

    A pleasant surprise the new additions to the team. I am ready to enjoy your interesting and fun challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An excellent set of images from your year Patti, and that opener of Wallis Sands Beach is particularly stunning! Thank you for being part of the LAC hosting team. I love this challenge and always look forward to seeing what the next theme is and planning my response 🙂 The new hosts will be great additions to the team too, I am sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sarah. Oh, wow. That sunset was amazing! I have been hoping to catch another one like that someday. Thanks for your kind words about the challenge and our expanded team. It’s great to have new creative “voices” joining us. All the best in 2022!


  6. Perfect photos to demonstrate what was good about 2021, Patti! You spent most of your time in your own backyard as many of us did and I can see it did not disappoint! I believe our experiences are tied to the photos we take and serve as a wonderful chronicle of our lives. I would love that horse-back riding along the beach–bucket list item (anywhere)! Happy New Year and may 2022 shine its positive energy over you and yours!


    • Hi, Frank. Thank you, too! I loved Acadia. A gorgeous park. I’m glad you liked that photo. I appreciate your kind words about our team, too. Thanks. All the best in 2022!


  7. I love how you combine commentary with stunning photos, Patti. Also may I add the sky scraper one was fab. Thank you for doing such an amazing job with the challenge all year through. It makes me want to stay awake every Saturday to check what you all have in store for us. Here’s to many more Saturdays of deep thoughts and fun. Happy 2022, Patti.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sheetal. You really know how to put a smile on my face!! Thank you–about the photo, commentary, and the challenge itself. You’re a valued member of our community, Sheetal. Looking forward to seeing your posts in the new year. 😀😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved the cloud scape in your first photo, Patti! Thanks for sharing the pictures you’ve taken in British Columbia – one of my favorite places to visit. Thank you also for the challenges you have hosted.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Patti, John told me he was joining the team, and I’m so excited for him and for all of you. He is a great photographer and a fabulous human being. You have all made wonderful choices. Although I love water photos the most, your story and stunning picture of the fog captured my heart this time. We need the fog to dim our way sometimes when it is too painful like yours was that day. I’m posting my photos with my WQW post tomorrow. I hope you enjoy them. Have a wonderful year this year. We look forward together for great things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Salsa. Welcome! I really enjoyed your post and photos from Alaska. Thanks so much for your kind words about my shots.😀. I’m wondering how you manage to fly so many miles a year…Are the trips both for business and pleasure? Have a great 2022 and plenty of adventures this year!


    • Thank you so much, Jez. I appreciate your kind words about the pics. (Big smile.). That sunset was stunning! I am hoping to see another one at some point if I’m lucky enough to be there at the right time. All the best to you in the new year.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Cheers, Patti, to your wonderful choices for 2021, and to a new and better year! I know your time with your son must have been the most longed for highlight of the year, and your images from there have been gorgeous too. The skyscrapers is an image I really think is one of the best skyscraper images I have come across. But, the evening walk at Wallis Sands Beach is so breathtakingly beautiful, that i think I can imagine the feeling when walking there – I wish I was!

    Liked by 2 people

    • HI, A-C. I’m still hoping that we’ll have time together someday to go on long walks and for me to totally spoil Milo. 😀😀. Thanks for your kind words about the images. Wallis Sands was a stunning moment. It was so beautiful and hopeful that whenever I think of it, I feel more optimistic and appreciative of Mother Nature. All the best in 2022, AC. A year of good health, happiness, and satisfaction to you and your loved ones.


  11. Wonderful images for your 2021 takeaways – I really like the skies and uplifting beauty – and the Columbus Circle in New York City is my top photo of the top images post 🙂
    happy new year

    Liked by 1 person

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