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.