"Star-like purple-blue flower close-up."

How often do we happen to look but fail to see? Fail to take the time or effort to truly assimilate and absorb the life around us? Perhaps something is simply too far away?

"Muntjac deer peering from undergrowth in woodland."

A camera is ideal to focus one’s attention and as an amateur photographer a recent birthday present of a new camera reignited my passion for the craft.

"Two marigolds close-up, golden yellow, folds of petals with crystals of dew drops."

It rarely leaves my side; accompanies me on walks, to the garden, around the house. I’m overjoyed to share ten of my favourite photos taken the previous week and hope you enjoy them and some of the quotations they inspired me to seek out! Each one has taught me to look afresh at the world, showing me a new perspective on life.

"Blackberries, unripe green, ripening red and ready to pick black ones."

“So it is with blackberries. If you pull too hard, you may get the berry but you will lose the sweetness of it. On the other hand, if you leave it, it may be gone the next time you come by. Each person must find this point of equilibrium for himself.” Extract from Death of a Hornet and Other Cape Cod Essays by Robert Finch

"Dog running fast along empty beach towards pier in the background."

“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” Extract from Call of the Wild by Jack London

"Big wheel ride taken from below against white wispy clouds. Shows its dramatic height."

“How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!

Extract from The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Single gull, close-up, standing on outcrop with blue sea in the background."

“His one sorrow was not solitude, it was that the other gulls refused to believe the glory of flight that awaited them; they refused to open their eyes and see.” Extract from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

"Single pink rose called Queen of Sweden, petals startlingly clear and gradually unfurled."

“When you recognise the sacredness, the beauty, the incredible stillness and dignity in which a flower or a tree exists, you add something to the flower or the tree. Through your recognition, your awareness, nature comes to know itself. It comes to know its own beauty and sacredness through you.” Extract from Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

"Autumn thistles against cloudy dramatic sky, white tufts of flowering thistles. In the middle on purple still flowering thistle."

“Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.” by Confucius

186 thoughts on “THROUGH A NEW LENS

  1. Some great photos with fun and inspiring quotes. A good idea for a blog post. I love to have my camera with me too. The Eckhart Tolle quote is very interesting in the way nature needs us or it takes two for a sacred moment in time.

    1. Georgina, that quote is astonishing, I agree and almost gives me goosebumps! 😀 Also the mind and emotions are exercised trying to understand the veracity of these words. Yeah! It’s great you also bring your camera along on all occasions and I love your photographs! How do you ask a butterfly to kindly remain still?! 😀 What is your secret to that one … and many more images! So glad you enjoyed both elements of the post! I might well try something similar later in the Autumn!

    1. Yeah! Jennie, thank you and I’m so glad you enjoyed the fit of words and photos! Some came to mind as I was taking the images, the others I sought out and was surprised myself by their existence! 😀

  2. Mike

    You are certainly making good use of your birthday present Annika. Some fantastic photos and great quotes to accompany them. I particularly love the dog on the beach photo – action and tranquillity at the same time! Can’t wait to see some more of these!


    1. Mike, I’m smiling at your thoughts about the dog on the beach and yes, a perfect combination of action in the midst of tranquillity – yet so quiet and fluid runner there wasn’t any sense of urgency! The camera has accompanied me on every walk so far this month and already mounting up hundreds of photos! Haha! Yes, I might very well be sharing more but don’t want to become tiresome! 😀 Yet Autumn is a beautiful and atmospheric month for photography! Thank you so much for your kind words and interest.

  3. What a beautiful post of your exquisite photos, Annika. You’re right, how often do we fail to see what surrounds us? My husband and I went camping for a couple of days to get away and unplug. It was magical. But in only that short time, I took so many photos. 🙂 I couldn’t help it. So much beauty around us to capture. I see the beauty in your pictures and the quotes are perfect. The dog on the beach is a favorite not only because I have a dog, but also because the quote expresses concisely how I’m feeling right now. I know you’ll enjoy your new gift immensely. Thank you for sharing your inspiration and I look forward to more wonderful photos. xo

    1. Lauren, being unplugged can definitely focus the mind more clearly and let the eye, mind and heart see on a deeper level – I’m glad you had an opportunity on your recent camping trip. Awww ..thank you so much for your wonderful comment and kind words about the photos – I can see me becoming hooked on this craft! There will definitely be more to share!! 😀 Yeah! The dog photo is one of my favourites too and the pure feeling of energy and freedom intoxicating – I only had time to lift my camera to leg height to snap a photo and was glad it came out so well.

      Wishing you a lovely rest of the week and have a fabulous time launching your latest book! Xx

  4. Such a lovely post, Annika. Your camera is clearly bringing you much joy and an opportunity to “see” more clearly the profound beauty all around you. The deer peeking from the shadows in my favorite, but I also love the dog running on the beach – partially because the Jack London quote is such a perfect reflection of that joy. And the Eckhart Tolle quote is sublime. Nature ” comes to know its own beauty and sacredness through you.” ❤

    1. Diana, it is wonderful how you enjoyed the post – thank you so much! The deer photo was from so far away I wasn’t sure anything would show, its face is so cute and slightly wary. The dog photo was literally a lift my camera up to thigh height and snap moment as it was running so fast. It seemed natural to match some to the quotes and I’m glad you liked these. Yes, sublime describes Tolle’s exactly. What an incredible gift we all have and so rarely appreciate it!

    1. Awww … thank you so much, Jacquie! 😀 You’re right that the camera is just the right present – my old one broke a while back (ie. I dropped it one time too many!) and I’ve missed it a lot. I’m in awe of many of the photographs across the blogs and I’m trying to learn a little of the art. The deer is one I hadn’t even seen before I moved to the southeast of England. Quite a stocky deer called muntjac and yes, it does have darker markings on the head – I wasn’t sure if it was just shadows but checked other photos and they are markings.

  5. Congratulations on your new birthday gift of the camera, Annika. I can totally identify the feeling of going everywhere with the camera with you and by you!! Beautiful photos and quotes I enjoyed very much. I used to have the book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull when I was in Hong Kong. I guess I left it behind. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Thank you so much, Miriam! I’m loving my new camera and I imagine you are very much the same about taking photos! 😀 It’s great you enjoyed the images and quotes – some I had in mind as I took them, the others I sought out. Ahh … I’m sorry you lost your Jonathan Livingstone Seagull book – a precious one. My favourite of Richard Bach’s books is ‘Illusions’ – I still have my original copy, well-thumbed, falling apart, but it is never far from my bedside. Although I know it word for word I still like to pick it up now and then. Thank you, it’s a wonderful sunny week so far in England and making the most of the summer warmth (there was so little of it in August). Wishing you a lovely week, my friend! xx ❤️

  6. Annika, I love how you put this post together. You matched just the right quote with each of your adorable photos. Some of the quotes are favourites of mine. Well done, my dear! And congrats on the nifty new camera. 😊

    1. Haha! Nifty indeed! I love the word and describes the camera perfectly! 😀 It means so much to me that you enjoyed the post, Jennifer – your photographs are always stunning, I have a lot to learn! Glad you could revisit some of your favourite quotes here. x

  7. Oh, I loved this so much, Annika. Your photos are stunning, and the quotes you selected to accompany each one were perfect. You’ve inspired me this morning, and brought a smile to my face. I’m going for a walk later and can’t wait for what I might see. 🤗 I hope you have a wonderful week! 💕

    1. Tanya, your wonderful comment has me smiling and I’m overjoyed my post inspired you that morning! Now, I’m wondering if you saw the world a little anew as you headed out for your walk.😀 I wanted a perfect balance of photos and quotes and so glad you enjoyed both. Thank you, it is a beautiful week so far with summer sunshine and warmth (there has been little of this during August)! Hugs xx ❤️

      1. Annika. I can’t even begin to tell you how much your post impacted me. It’s like you switched on a light inside of me and I have not been the same since I read your post. Your words were exactly what I needed. You’ve even inspired me to write, and I am currently working on a new blog post. I’m not really sure what else to say other than thank you. Life has been grim, hopeless to be honest, but it’s like you punched me in the face, woke me up, and made me remember that beauty is all around. I can’t thank you enough! I’m back. ❤️

  8. Behind the Story

    Lovely photos and quotations. I loved them all. Your photos are so sharp and artistic. What a clever thought by Robert Finch. I choose to wait until the blackberry comes off easily. I’m not sure if that’s my life’s equilibrium. Perhaps so.

    I do love “The Swing” (memories of childhood poems). And Confucius is always wise. But my favorite is the quote from Eckhart Tolle. That thought means a lot to me.

    1. Nicki, bless you for your in-depth and profound comment! The Robert Finch quotation was new to me and I love how he managed to encapsulate one’s way of life whilst talking of blackberries, yes, very clever indeed! ‘The Swing’ will always be special to me and talking to my mother she’d bought me a book of childhood poems soon after our move to England. I was aged six at the time and I wonder if this wasn’t the first poem I have learned by heart. As for Tolle, his words are my grounding, his wisdom extraordinary, insightful and able to change our whole view of life. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and kind words. Wishing you a lovely rest of the week.

    1. Thank you, Donna! 😀 I have so much to learn but keen interest is a good place to start, I hope! Now, your photos are in another league altogether! I find I’m paying more attention to pictures I come across and try to take away something new!

  9. These are fabulous photos and the quotes are inspiring. Annika, your post reminded me of today when I was stuck in turtle pace traffic and I decided to look at the trees and admire them, to look at the people passing by and the flowers at the entrance of the botanical gardens (I was passing by). It was a lot better than being frustrated and impatient. Thanks, Annika, for this beautiful post. ❤

    1. Carol, what an enriching time spent in a traffic jam (or I prefer your turtle pace traffic!) and wow, you took in so much of the life and nature around you. People gazing is always rewarding and have you had a chance to visit the botanical gardens? It sounds like a very special place! I’m so glad you felt beauty and inspiration within my post – thank you! xx❤️

    1. Thank you so much, Liz! 😀 I’ve missed creating these posts and enjoyed the opportunity to share some photos and quotes. It was with little faith that I searched for a blackberry quote and was delighted to come across this gem … so profound when talking about such a simple thing as blackberry picking! A lesson for all our lives!

    1. Betsy, you’re right, it is a deer taken with a zoom. However, not an ordinary deer but one common for the area and gradually becoming the dominant deer species in England called muntjacs. ‘Muntjacs, also known as barking deer or rib-faced deer, are small deer of the genus Muntiacus native to south and southeast Asia.’ (Wikipedia) However a group escaped from a safari park in England in 1925 and have spread ever since.

    1. It is an outstanding book and this quotation was just perfect for the image. I’m glad you like it so much … powerful and profound! How often don’t we see things as a single way relationship?! We have much to learn!

    1. Jan, it means a lot that you enjoyed the combination of photos and quotations – I had an idea for most of them as I took the picture! It’s been a joy to share here and thank you so much for your interest. I am so looking forward to hopefully developing my skills! Wishing you a lovely start to the week! xx

    1. Thank you, Neil! The Ferris wheel was taken at a local seaside resort called Clacton-on-Sea! It has a pier with an amusement park on it and two Ferris wheels seem to be recent additions! (Covid safer, I imagine!)

    1. Teagan, bless! 😀 Thank you for your wonderful words and I LOVE the idea of a stroll out together, taking in nature, philosophy of life through words and quotations. Perfect! Yes, Confucius is a terrific and wise quote, eternally relevant! hugs back to you xx

    1. Balroop, thank you so much! 😀 I had most of the quote sources in mind straight away apart from the blackberry one – so glad to have stumbled across that one on my searches! I’m glad you like the gull photo, one of my favourites! It was incredibly patient, standing on the outcrop for ages as I tried to take just the right photo. My husband was standing next to me and doing a running commentary on the gull’s thoughts which had me in giggles and made it even harder to be steady with the zoom on!😀

    1. Brad, bless and it means a lot that this was a lovely start to your day. Being a wordsmith, it didn’t feel right to just post the images without words and quite a few of the quotations were already in my mind as I took the photos. It is a wonder and gift how photography can focus one’s mind on the beauty around us … feel I’ll be that ‘annoying’ person who slows everyone up on a walk as I stop to take a photo … or ten! 😀

    1. Kamal, it’s great that you enjoyed the combination of photos and quotations – the past week with my new camera has put me in a serene and harmonious mood and wanted to share here! Nature is incredible and I wonder if there is any time it isn’t at its most amazing?! We just have to look harder at times.

    1. Awww … thank you so much, Ritish! 😀 I have so much to learn but I’m keen! Yes, nature can be too far away, either physically or emotionally. Do you have opportunities to head out to green spaces at all?

      1. Yes I do.
        I have my garden and I usually lay down there, close my eyes and listen nature’s euphonious voice.
        But I wish to travel farland and get even more close to nature, and ofcourse with the camera in my hand.

  10. So much truth in your pictures and quotes. I remember doing a science project with my HS daughter, trudging around in the desert, and being stunned by the beauty all around us. I couldn’t stop taking those pictures. I never looked for beauty amongst scrub and thorns.

    What a wonderful gift–the camera. Good on you for marking the pictures.

    1. Jacqui, lovely to hear about you and your daughter’s project and I bet they were scenes you’d seen on a regular basis but the camera ensured you viewed it all anew! 😀 A couple of bloggers post desert photos and it looks stunning … although I wouldn’t want to get lost there!

      As you can tell I love my new camera and just the perfect gift. My old one didn’t survive the last time I dropped it – I’m trying to be much more careful!😀

    1. Kelly, it is fun, isn’t it! 😀 I spotted the dog heading out of the water at speed with a tennis ball in its mouth and just managed to lift my camera to hip height and clicked. I had not idea whether it had worked but so glad it came out well! Capturing all his energy! Wishing you a lovely Sunday too … I’m just back from blackberry picking!

        1. We live next to a nature reserve, fields and woodlands and there are lots of hedgerows which contain blackberry bushes (along with lots of nettles!). I like the sound of yours in the garden! 😀

          1. Great find for you. No matter the location, there are thorns to work around. We have protected woodlands next to us and a river two blocks away. Wild grape leaves abound. I used to harvest some and stuff with a Middle Eastern recipe mix of hamburger meat, rice, cumin and cinnamon. Tasty treats. 🙂

  11. Dear Annika, what a wonderful use of a birthday present. In your hands and looking at nature with both eyes and heart you have created such beauty.
    Each photo, each comment fills my heart with joy and peace.

    The comments are fantastic and most of them favourites of mine. Together I feel
    your post will continue lifting me high. Thank you 💕.


    1. Miriam, wow! ❤️ Your comment lifts me higher and I’m honoured with your wonderful words about the photos, quotes and it means so much that this post has touched you deeply. I know how close nature is to your heart, your life and it is a privilege to share my photos here! Knowing how valued my post is here to you and others I will ensure I always keep my camera close and look forward to sharing more pictures in the future! hugs xx

  12. Beautiful photos and quotes – a wonderful post. We are required in so many ways to not see, because then we might slow down, be less productive, less engaged. The irony is that it took a pandemic for many to understand that we don’t always have to scramble, that less can be more.

    1. Lynette, thank you so much for your profound comment! It is sad and disheartening how many rush past the beauty around us all – yes, for many it did take a global pandemic for a total stop and a daily walk to appreciate nature. Yet, I fear many have returned to their lives of haste. I’m so glad you enjoyed the combination of photos and quotes for this post! Wishing you a lovely Sunday! xx

  13. Hi Annika. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we see, and fail to see, the world and each other. I also enjoy photography and used to actively shoot with my old Nikon. I also collect quotations for inspiration and writing ideas. I love what you’ve done here and have inspired me to try the same. I particularly like the Ferris Wheel since my novel-in-progress features an amusement park setting.

    1. Evelyn, thank you so much for your lovely and fascinating comment. It means a lot that my post has inspired you to try something similar – you sound all set with your old Nikon (does it use actual film?) and a collection of quotations. How true that we fail to see the world and each other – both equally sad. So many in a hurry we never take in the precious gifts around us.

      How interesting that part of your WIP is set at an amusement park! I haven’t been on a Ferris wheel since my son was young but wanted to do something different that day! I wonder if the big wheel in your book will be part of a bright positive event or feature darker undertones! I can imagine both! 😀

  14. I loved your photo essay. How marvelous to have a new camera and to enjoy using it! Mine generally stays in my pocket all the time, too. I’ll never be a good photographer, but I’ll always have quick pictures of events.

    1. Anne, I love how you refer to my post as a ‘photo essay’ – thank you so much! 😀 I’m loving my new camera and imagine my interest will only develop! It is fascinating to see the world afresh. Oh, I enjoy the photos that accompany your posts, full of family, nature, warmth, kindness and fun!

    1. Jill, it’s been a joy to be out and about, taking LOTS of photos – and then the tricky part of choosing just a few to share here! ‘The Swing’ quote came to me on the Big Wheel and was one I recited to myself as young on the swing, loving the sense of freedom. It gave me the courage to enjoy this fun ride – the views were stunning! Wishing you a magical Sunday, my dear friend! xx ❤️

    1. Wow! Bernadette, I’m in tears at your profound comment. Bless you! 😀 Sometimes I wonder if it is right to post something and then when I see comments such as yours I feel overwhelmed with gratitude of our connectedness. I often do feel nature is my temple – a cliche, perhaps but true! hugs xx

    1. Derrick, your comment means a lot to me, thank you! ‘The Swing’ poem is one I used to recite to myself as young when swinging high on the park swing! An intoxicating sense of freedom -which I sort of relived on the Big Wheel (once my initial terror had subsided!)😀

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