Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155 – On the Water

The beach at Grand Turk

I am honored this week to be a guest host on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. For a month of guest posts to give Amy, Ann-Christine, Patti, and Tina a break, I get to lead off with a challenge that opens the Independence Day weekend in the United States.

Throughout history, people have gravitated to water for trade and for relaxation. It would seem, however, in this view of the beach at Grand Turk, that people are prone to carrying a good thing too far. From my perspective, no beautiful beach is enhanced by crowds like this one captured on a pre-pandemic Thursday in February 2018.

Coldwater Lake-1
Coldwater Lake

Lakes are often thought of as man-made or natural. Man-made lakes are mostly a product of the 20th century, though there are plenty of examples from earlier times. Coldwater Lake is a natural lake that is a newborn in geologic time. This natural lake was created on May 18, 1980, by the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington State. When lava and mud interrupted the flow of Coldwater Creek, runoff from the source of the creek eventually reached the top of the blockage and created a new lake.  The outflow then continued on its original path down Coldwater Creek. 

Morning Dew
Morning Dew

I don’t want participants to think that this challenge is all about oceans, lakes, and rivers. The theme “On the Water” encompasses whatever manner of water floats your boat (or doesn’t). For example, one foggy morning in Fargo, I captured the tip of some prairie grass sporting a fresh coating of dew drops.

Sunset at Sea-1
Sunset at Sea

Sunsets and ocean views go together as seen in this image from the deck of the Carnival Magic in 2018. Our last cruise was in February 2020, just at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. We canceled plans for two other cruises in 2020, and have already scheduled cruises for 2022 in hopes that the pandemic will be in our rearview mirror as life returns to some state of the “old normal.” I know cruising will be different from what we have always known, but then, what won’t be different?

Dry Docks-1
Dry docks on the Pecos River

The docks shown above are no longer on (or in) the water. Since they were constructed, the Pecos River in this part of New Mexico has receded to the point where they are useless.

I am looking forward to your responses to my challenge of “On the water” this week. Your interpretation could be high-speed photography of water droplets or scenic views of oceans and rivers. Whatever your take on the water, be sure to link to my original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader.

Thank you, also, for sharing your examples in response to last week’s challenge. Next week the challenge will be hosted by guest host Anne of Slow Shutter Speed https://annegeephoto.com and her theme will be Black & White.

John Steiner


  1. Hi John

    What a refreshing topic you’ve chosen for this week. Coldwater Lake is beautiful and its origin fascinating. I remember when Mt. St. Helens blew. We don’t have volcanic lakes here in Massachusetts but we do have kettle ponds. I’m glad you included morning dew in your post. Lovely photos, all of them. And I like that you’ve forged ahead with your 2022 plans!

    Here’s one showing my kayak on the water, definitely a fun use of time:


    Best, Babsje

  2. Beautiful water images, John. There is something about water in all its states, that is refreshing and all of your examples are gorgeous. I will link up this Wednesday when I host for Marsha’s WQW!

  3. I really enjoyed this post John. I liked the photos and also your words that accompanied them. I shall see if I can find some photos to respond to your excellent challenge.

  4. I agree, John, crowds definitely don’t make a water scene better. The stillness of Coldwater Lake is amazing, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a large body of water so calm, stunning reflection!

  5. A guest host is an interesting idea. Great shots all of them. I like the clarity of the air in the photo of the coldwater lake. Makes for a crisp photo. And then the humidity of the air makes the sunset look wonderful. Nice contrasts there.

    The last lake

  6. That photo of the beach in Grand Turk island left me shaking my head. What’s the point of being outdoors at the beach if the entire thing is covered with umbrellas? Might as well be at an indoor amusement park with a “fake beach”.

    The photograph of Coldwater Lake is stunning and I don’t see any umbrellas. 🙂

  7. Hi John

    I meant to comment last time on your photo Dry Docks on the Pecos River. Its an excellent photo that starkly captures the sad depletion of a once-abundant river. The row of docks stretching into the distance calls forth a now-silent echo of happy boating sounds of summer days past. Really effective photo.

    I hope you don’t mind me participating again with a Great Blue Heron encounter on the water in my kayak:

    Beautiful Great Blue Heron in Motion Blur

    Best, Babsje

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