art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 209: “surrealism”

This week, we have a tough topic. Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism. When thinking of Surrealism, I assume, that most people think of the painting by Catalonian artists Salvatore Dalí or Joan Miró. Surrealism began in the wake of the First World War when the horror and violence experienced by so many had shifted perceptions of sanity and reality.
But, what is surrealism?
What are the key characteristics? Surrealism is the doctrine of something going over the edge of reality. It is the try to imagine ideas, dreams, and/or emotions. A painter or sculptor can follow her inner voice to picture her imagination. But a photographer? Cameras are supposed to capture reality. So, how can they capture surrealistic images?
There are a few photographers active in this field like Brooke Shaden and Kyle Thompson. They create dream-like images by transporting the methods and ideas from painting to photography. Strange shapes, floating body parts, and bizarre landscapes: the Surrealists sought to challenge notions of normality through the power of photography. 

What makes a photo Surrealism?

“Surreal images tend to be dreamlike and tap into people’s unconscious,” says Tryforos. “They’re often made of different elements that are put together in unexpected ways.” Surreal images almost always contain recognizable elements from real life.
Features of Surrealistic Art
  • Dream-like scenes and symbolic images.
  • Unexpected, illogical juxtapositions.
  • Bizarre assemblages of ordinary objects.
  • Automatism and a spirit of spontaneity.
  • Games and techniques to create random effects.
  • Personal iconography.
  • Visual puns.
  • Distorted figures and biomorphic shapes.


Having this in my, I have a few images to show:

details: a fairie’s dream
following an idea from the fairytale “The flying suitcase (Der fliegende Koffer)” by Hans-Christian Anderson
  • wrong white balance or using coloring filters / colored light

  • focussing on shapes and shadows instead of recognizable subjects

  • find surreal settings around you to capture
a shop-window in Rennes, France, a couple of years ago.


tree mummies of Dead Vlei


huge parts of the Icelandic landscape are looking so surreal
  • settings were parts don’t fit

here, you can read a bit more about that shower


  • dreamy scenes


a dreamy forest on Kerkyra


surpresed landscape


  • infrared
photographing in infrared


You see, you don’t have to be a painter to be able to create surrealistic images. And, as you can see, the border between surrealistic images and abstract images can be quite small sometimes.

Take care!


art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 207: “seeing double”

It’s summer time and thus we have a couple of guest hosts for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week, Jez Braithwaite of Photos by Jez is our host. When walking along the streets you can quite often see things in pairs. Get your camera, take an image and share it with us. Here I have a few examples.

Not one, or three, or four. Only two. Have fun participating in the challenge.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 206: “treasures”

It’s summer time and thus we have a couple of guest hosts for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week, Aletta Crouse of Now at Home is our host and she asks for treasures.

I’m very sure, the word treasure means something very different for each of us. Thus, I assume we will see a huge variety of images from all the participants.

For me, the natural world is the biggest treasure we have as well as the relationship to my inner family. The natural world feeds us, gives us oxygen to breathe, and ground to settle on. But, all of this is only possible in a small range of changes. Too much heat will kill the environment and us. Too much rain will kill us, the soil, and the seeds. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase the temperature, make the glaciers melt, increase the sea level, kill water plants because less light will reach them, hinder us from breathing well, and many issues more. Our planet works well, but as a marble on top of a pin of a hemisphere can roll down very easily, all these natural processes interlock with each other like a mechanical clockwork.

Monocultures must be avoided since although they offer a paradise for pests, beneficial insects such as bees starve to death because food is not always available for them. A good mixture of different fields and natural habitats is beneficial for insects and a good force against many pests. So, farmers can even save money and work for not to have to bring out poisons (or at least less of them) which helps keep the soil healthy, because poisons can be absorbed by the plants themselves and of course the ground water.  Instead of planting the same plants each year and pouring a lot of fertilizer on the fields, the outcome can be increased by changing the plants each year. A rhythm of changing between only 3 different kinds of plants would do so. Having 3 different plants of medium to small-sized fields side by side would help a lot, while the enormous large fields we see in some countries need more and more fertilizer each year while having more and more problems with pests and less useable outcomes in the same time. I’m asking you, is this wise? In my opinion not.


grain field


apple tree blossoms


But also the natural landscapes are to preserve. I don’t say, back to the roots to live as hunters and gatherers. I say, use the natural environment without harming it more than absolutely necessary. All the resources are precious and we are not allowed to waste them. We have only lent this planet from our descendants.

Water is key for nearly all processes, on which this environment is based on. Keep it clean and it will refresh you.


On top of these freedom and peace are treasures. I’m so happy, to live in a free country, and be able to go, wherever I want. This image should represent this idea. No more war and the borders set after WWII are torn down.  Pray for Ukraine to give those people peace and freedom back at once as well as in Syria, Etiopia, and the other regions not so present in the news.

Sorry, for the long rant. But, going through the world with open eyes, you can see so many misbehaviors.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 205: “The eyes have it”

This week, Tina has found a very challenging topic for The Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge: The eyes have it

Yes, eyes can have a message and you have to be able to read it. For the gallery below, I picked some images from my archive, where the eyes have a message. For us, the mimic is an essential part of our communication. Faces are something a baby can recognize very early. And even as adults, we see faces very easily in everyday things around us, like clouds, tree barks, blossoms, and so on. Even some animals have eyes-like patterns on their bodies like i.e. the peacock butterfly. Other animals have, from our point of view, quite strange eyes. I was even searching for an image with a sheep’s or a goat’s eye but failed to find one.

The first image in the second row is a bit different. It’s a sculpture of 3 boys having circled around a girl. This sculpture is called “Türelüre-Lißje” and pictures an old legend of a girl who used to live here near the cathedral in Aix-la-Chapelle. One day, she had a big need to pee, but a few boys got aware of that problem, circled her, and hindered her to follow the call of nature. I included that image here because the artist was able to model the faces of the figurines so well. Now we can feel how the pained girl must have felt, but also see the cruelty of the boys.


Take care!