Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #125 — The Presence of White

Magnolia blossom opening

With the freedom given to those of us who contribute to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenges, it came as a welcome surprise that Tina selected “You Pick It” as the topic for this week. As I thumbed through photos of trips far and near, I found that the color white popped up frequently in everything from flowers to cathedrals to people in white clothing. This week alone, in shopping for holiday gift-giving, I’ve noticed a resurgence of white in Christmas decorations. Perhaps we’re drawn to the purity, the absence of color, or just the dynamic of white as a color itself.

And so it is, that I’m sharing the presence of white this week beginning with the photo above of a barely open white magnolia blossom.

White… is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.

G. K. Chesterton

White window in Lyon
White building in Lyon, France, with pink towel.

I call white the most powerful non-color; it’s clean, optimistic, powerful.  

Jason Wu
Ceiling in Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth
Ceiling detail from Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth

I never met a color I didn’t like.

Dale Chihuly
Lighthouse at Castine, Maine
The lighthouse at Castine, Maine

Life is about using the whole box of colors.

White thatched cottage -- Stonehenge
A white thatched cottage behind the museum at Stonehenge, England

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Percy Bysshe Shelley
White Star White Magnolia
A White Star White Magnolia opening cautiously in early spring.

Even though whites can be difficult to photograph because they can turn slightly gray or yellow, I’m still drawn to the purity of the color white and the way white objects catch the light. The presence of white excites me, making me more aware of other colors right there in front of me.

Thanks for checking out my entry in this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #125: You Pick It. For more takes on this theme, go to Tina’s blog, Travels and Trifles, to learn about Wabi-Sabi through her examples and commentary. If you want to contribute to the challenge, link your post to hers and add the tag Lens-Artists.

May you find the beauty of white wherever you are.


38 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #125 — The Presence of White

  1. Toonsarah

    A great choice of theme and lovely images, especially the magnolias 🙂 I really like your selection of quotations too. The Shelley one seems particularly apposite this winter, as we look to a hopefully brighter spring

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks so much. I’m drawn to white flowers, especially when things are just starting to awaken after a dreary winter. And these two made me smile. Hope all is well with you, and you’re preparing for December!

      1. restlessjo

        I can’t make my thoughts focus on December because I really don’t know if I’ll be able to be with my youngest or not. Christmas will either be a whirl of last minute activity or spent here in the Algarve. 🙁

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks so much. I had fun looking back with a specific color in mind. I’m a bit behind reading your posts, but Thanksgiving took a lot more time than I had planned. Oh, well. I’m back and ready for more Compass and Camera.

  2. Prior...

    Rusha – I like your idea for the white and the White Star White Magnolia was my fav today – it had moody shadows and just a calming energy – but the whole post was creative

      1. Prior...

        Take your time because I have nkt done my post yet! And was just at janet’s blog and she did white theme too! You both have me thinking now!!

      2. Prior...

        Hi – take your time dropping by – but I did do the white theme after all – and thanks to you and Janet – ha!
        but make sure you get your xmas stuff done and also other things — because we all know that the blog world will be here – and also – if we neglect other things it pulls from our essence – so all about balance – 🙂

      3. Prior...

        And I think you did the right thing by squeezing in a nice lens artist post!
        It makes me sad when bloggers cannot visit other bloggers and they let that keep them away! No! Visiting is only one part and at times might take a back seat- then other times it might be what we are really in the mood for, ya know?
        But I have learned that posting even when you can’t visit allows for other things to unfold 😉

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks. I loved both of those as well. I may have that magnolia put onto canvas through Shutterfly. I’ve never tried it, but now’s a good time. Hope your plans for December are coming together. I always appreciate your comments.

  3. Tina Schell

    Oh so lovely Rusha – white IS a very difficult subject to capture but you’ve done so beautifully. I loved the spot of pink on the balcony, which only emphasizes the white surrounding it. And of course your magnolias!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks fir that nice comment. I’m a budding photographer. Mostly I take pics of events to post on social media. But I’m inspired by these ladies who are terrific photographers. I’ve learned so much from them.

It makes our day to hear from you.