Lens-Artists #243: It’s Tricky

Donna Holland is leading the challenge this week. She cleverly chose her theme with April Fool’s Day in mind.

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.

Mark Twain

She asks us: What tricks do you use to get the shot you want? … Is there something hidden in your photo, or the unsuspecting behind a wall?

I’m starting with something unexpected or hidden. This photo by two Iranian brothers ICY & SOT took me by surprise. I thought I saw a woman with flowing hair. But, as I moved closer and closer to the canvas, I saw the trick–her hair was in fact a hijab filled with birds (a symbol of freedom). This wonderfully deceptive and powerful “trick” really made me stop and think about the bravery of the women who are protesting the restrictions of their freedom in Iran.

The exhibit of ICY & SOT’s work is currently at the MOCO Museum, Amsterdam.

This friendly statue outside a caffè on the Via del Corso in Rome played a wonderful “trick” on me. I had walked past this statue years before, surprised by what seemed to be a layer of dirt covering the torso. “It can’t be,” I told myself over and over. But just this week, I saw small green shoots growing around the neck of the statue. Apparently this fellow makes a hospitable home for vegetation!

I have two more “tricks” up my sleeve. This one has to do with action shots. Sometimes when I’m out with my camera, I think I’ve finished shooting, and turn off the camera and put on the lens cap. But soon afterwards something remarkable catches my eye. By the time I get ready to take the shot, the moment has passed.

Several days ago, we stumbled upon the celebration of the100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force in Rome. I had already turned off my camera, thinking the show was over, but then we heard a rumble and roar. I looked up, fumbled with the on/off switch and started shooting. At the last second, I managed to capture this image before the planes disappeared.

The lesson: be a Scout and always be prepared for the next photo opportunity.

This final shot is another tricky situation for me. I am often hesitant to capture people on the street–like this man playing the piano near the Spanish Steps in Rome. I took several shots of him, but he didn’t look up at me. Finally, I put a few coins in his hat. He looked up and gave me this big smile.

The lesson: street performers are great subjects if you reward them for their effort and skill.

We hope you join the fun this week for Donna’s It’s Tricky challenge. Remember to link your post to hers, and use the Lens-Artists Tag. I’m eager to see what tricks you have up your sleeve!

A special thank you to Anne for her New Experiences challenge last week. Your adventures were fabulous. I learned a lot about you and your interests and even something about beer tastings! Many thanks to all of you who participated.

Next week we are delighted to announce our next guest host, Siobhan of Bend Branches, whose photos of nature, history, and places near and far from her home in Bend, Oregon are always a delight.

Interested in learning more about the Lens-Artists Challenges? Click here for more information.

50 replies »

  1. LOL Patti – I was trying hard to figure out why your opening image of the pianist was tricky and then thankfully at the end you explain it – terrific! Love, love, love the Iranian art – also a perfect example of tricky. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I had you guessing and wondering! Yes, street performers can be tricky–for me. Glad you like the Iranian art, too. It sends a very powerful message. I love it. Take care and have a great week. Thanks for your thoughts, as always.


  2. I loved this from start to finish Patti. The Mark Twain quote was right on. lol. The canvas was powerful. It is often hard to believe this is real life in other parts of the world. Great selection. The dirt man was fantastic and I admit I would proudly display him in my hard, if I had more space. I laughed at the airshow photo. Its a challenge to be there. Always on alert for the surprises, and I think I have posted a photo before of funny missed shots. This was so creative, Patti.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Donna. So true about our perspectives about what is reality. That’s what I love about traveling–and I’m sure you do, too. Your sense of “what’s real” and what it’s like in other parts of the world evolves. This was a fun challenge, Donna. I’m enjoying reading the posts. I’ve got a lot more to go! Have a great week traveling or at home.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. An interesting and thoughtful post as always. The picture of the woman in the hijab is an important reminder of the restrictions to their freedom women face in Iran (and elsewhere). And you’re right about street performers – I always like to give them something in return for my photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tricks and explanations Patti! I loved all the photos, and I’m have a difficult time picking just one. The biggest thing I’ve learned from this post is to not pack away your camera until you are at the car! Many times I packed my camera in the bag only to see another picture opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anne. Yes, yes, yes. It has happened so many times for me, too! I am determined to wait to put it away until I get home from now on! And thanks for your kind thoughts on the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Sylvia. I was so happy to spot both of them. The MOCO museum is new. I enjoyed the art work there very much. Take care and have a good week.


    • Hi Marlene. It’s true what you wrote about street performers. We reward them and they reward us! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Have a good week, too.


    • Thank you so much, C, C & X! I’m delighted that you stopped by and shared your thoughts. So we both love art and nature entwined with art. It’s true–I love when I see the intersection of man-made and nature-made! Have a great week and thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My favourite has to be your first one, in a post full of wonderful photos and stories. But that first one is pretty special, it reminds me there’s always room for tricking the establishment if you know how and are brave enough to do it and get your message out there. Excellent find, perfect for this challenge.


  6. Patti
    thanks once again for ART!
    the a hijab filled with birds (symbol of freedom) was cool and also makes me sad that so many women over there are suffering – ugh
    the piano player smile is awesome and I try to support street musicians – they are uslly so grateful – and how cool is this?? to play piano on the streets in Rome – omg

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The hijab is a beautiful work of art. And I agree, always show your appreciation for a street artist if you take the time to enjoy the performance or if you want a photo.


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