This week, our Lens-Artists guest host is Bren of Brashley Photography. She challenges us with, Bringing Softness, to our photos, a gift she eloquently showcases in her blog. With her introduction to the challenge, I immediately think of items that suggest softness. Maybe you do too. Photos of clouds, blankets, lush fields, and even tender moments all come to mind.

But her challenge takes us on another journey, a chance to step outside our box, our comfort zone. In some respects, it feels like the chance to play with a new toy, with results that bring a fresh mood, or softness to my photos.

I hope so.

Visit her dreamy, photo examples here along with some guidance on editing tips. 

Before I tackle the task, I recall a favorite photo that evokes softness with it’s unedited presence. This Bighorn lamb at Valley the Fire in Nevada has landed in my blog before. There are always two responses to this photo: “Awe, how sweet.” and “Where is the mama?” Rest assured she wasn’t far, as was the herd. And with worry aside, I showcase the photo because the landscape, the fur, the expression on the lamb’s face, and the tenderness of the moment encompasses everything soft.

Stay soft, it looks good on you.

Bringing Softness:

In Tuscany, calmness and tranquility seem to be the mood, anytime anywhere. On this July day, I could only imagine what it might feel like to open the shutters of this castle winery. And funny how this view also wants me to close my eyes for just a moment to take in what can’t be put into words.

A matter of focus, indeed.

An entrance gate, at the Appalachian Trail, crossed the road from a forest into this field. It’s light suggests a welcome. To the through-hikers, the journey is a chance to realize a dream that has more meaning than placing one foot in front of the other.

Gates made of light swing open, leading to the trail, and a place to welcome your body, mind and soul.

Love? On a trip to Mt. Rainier, I was touched by this young couple who did their wedding, photo shoot on the road up to the overlook. I didn’t know them, and loved the chance to capture a moment that looked as if they were in a dream…in more ways than one.

You have a place in my heart no one else ever could have. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

At home in Arizona, even from the beginning, I remember thinking…how in the world can I bring a romance or softness to our prickly and spiky desert? And it dawned on me…

Softness is not a weakness. It often takes courage to stay delicate in the chaos. Beau Taplin

And years ago, a kayak float along a river in Yellowstone, takes me where I hear quiet, and opens my senses to the trickle of water, and to wherever the river takes me. This was one of my favorite days during my time in Yellowstone. The float took me past fly fishermen, waterside patios, herring, a moose and her calf. It was one of those days you keep looking ahead, never wanting it to end.

Nothing is softer than water, but it’s force decides where it wants to go.

And finally, I introduce you to a soft spot in my heart, Yellowstone and bears. Our two years living in Yellowstone taught us their habits. Springtime searches with fingers crossed for the first cub sitings were always a priority. But I loved watching them snack their way through the wildflower fields at the foot of Mt. Washburn. It is here I learned my connection to the bears.

Have you ever experienced a moment in time where the world seems to disappear? A moment where you are so focused that nothing else matters? A bear in wildflowers does.

So do I.

Wind Kisses, Donna

Thank you to Bren for hosting this week’s interesting and informative challenge. Not only does she showcase beautiful images, as we attempt to explore Bringing Softening, she makes it easier with her guidance. Trust me. I loved seeing the way some of my favorite photos gained a dreamier effect, and I am encouraged by the freshness it offers to old photos. Remember to link your post to hers and include a Lens-Aritsts tag so we can find you.

A special thank you to Amy as she had us take a look at East Meets West/North Meets South last week. Once again, the global interpretations to the challenge were creative and inspiring.

Next week, join us as we see how Anne Christine inspires our week in photography,

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