Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down

I can’t express how honoured I am to be your hostess this week. By joining each week, the Lens-Artists Challenge has been a engaging journey and I sincerely hope you will find this week’s topic as interesting.

When I was growing up, one of my favourite summer things was to lie down and look up at the stars. We would get a glimpse of satellites and the occasional shooting star. I have always found it incredibly peaceful. Now, with a camera in hand, looking up is just as peaceful. The same goes to looking down, when sometimes there are works of art underneath my feet.

For centuries man tried to recreate indoors the feeling of awe, I think we all feel when we look at a starry night, if on a smaller scale. It is a humbling experience, facing the greater things in life. Either with ceilings covered with thousands of stars or even with constellations, this is mankind accepting its own size and the world’s beauty.

For centuries man also tried to bring more beauty to the world looking down. This secular art of mosaic and cobblestone pavements is part of my culture. I still remember seeing men repairing the streets in Lisbon, with piles of limestone cubes by their side, chisel in hand, cutting small bits of each cube so that it all fit perfectly. It is made to last, like the Roman mosaics but now on a much bigger scale.

There are places where everything is worth more than one look in order to fully experience them. For most of us, going to the Louvre means seeing the Mona Lisa and perhaps some other known works of art. But the building is full of other treasures, all requiring a simple glimpse up or down to be discovered.

And finally, there are experiences in life that are hard to capture on camera. Typhoons aren’t something we come across normally but in Japan, we did. We were traveling to the small island of Miyajima off the coast of Hiroshima when Typhoon Vongfong decided to greet us. Tourists were evacuated from the island, but we stayed on, our accommodation already sorted in a local ryokan. Although the rain was now torrential, we were still allowed to be outside for awhile. It was then I realized how hard it is to capture rain like that in all its glory. I was left with looking up and down to see its effects on the shrine. Soon enough we were politely told to leave and get to safety. In the comfort of our ryokan, we saw the power of nature and felt hopelessly scaled down.

So, what have you discovered when you looked up or down? Were you surprised? I would like to thank the Lens-Artists team for this opportunity to host the challenge. If you join us, please include a link to this post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can all find you.

Patti at Pilotfish will host next week, 11th September. Until then, I look forward to seeing your ups and downs.


184 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #164 – Looking Up/Down

  1. You have a set of beautiful photos here and I could spend quite some time figuring out where they come from. I would guess that the first photo is taken inside Atocha station, but I way be wrong. I can’t place the cathedral and the rose window, but the woodwork makes me think that it is Portugal or Spain. But since it is followed by pavements which are definitely from Lisbon, I would guess that the church is also from the same city. The next two sets are not puzzles. Interestingly, I have a photo of the same staircase inside the Louvre, but from a a few steps to the right! I wish I had the light that you got there.

    Crouching slouch, hidden hero

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! You can click on each photo and it will tell you where they are. And yes, I was incredibly luck with the light at the Louvre, that’s why I love that shot so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sofia

    Welcome to your guest host gig for the Lens Artists challenge this week. Congrats. What a great topic you’ve put together. Your stained glass window photos are sumptuous and the mosaics and cobblestones beautiful. I wish we had more ‘street art’ of that caliber here.

    Here’s my offering of some looking up and looking down photos, including Heron, a Meteor, and a Comet:


    Best, Babsje

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I recognise lying in the grass, looking up into the sky…and as always your thoughts go straight to my heart and soul. You are so good with words…too. The images are magical and bring back beautiful memories of traveling days. Glad you used the waves from Lisbon! And the thoughts of things impossible to capture with a camera… My greatest moments are the moments when I feel small, little, insignificant – …”a humbling experience, facing the greater things in life”. I think that is the way your posts make me feel – they transform me to my tinier self and make me feel harmony in life. Thank you for hosting, Sofia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Ann-Christine for your words and support. Now I find this experience of hosting also humbling, as it was your words that went to my heart. Again, thank you.


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