Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 185- Change

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who will best manage change.” – Charles Darwin.

I am a fan of technology of all types. Sometimes frustrating, sometimes amazing, technology change is always interesting to me. Coming from a state steeped in agriculture, I’ve always been interested in farm technology of all sorts. In the compare image above, that Avery steam tractor was probably manufactured in the late 1890s or early 1900s. The model was captured while taking on water at the Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion at Rollag, Minnesota.

Contrast that with the diesel-powered John Deere Model 9560R on the right. Manufactured in the early 21st century, it’s equipped with electronic displays, GPS navigation, auto-steering, and other features. Expect to lay out a cool $200,000-plus for a 2013 or 2014 model.

Before tractors became the “workhorse” of choice, the largest horses, oxen, or mules were hitched up to pull a wagon full of goods. The image on the left is of two draft horses on their way to pick up a wagonload of freshly threshed grain at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion.

Those animals don’t have to work nearly as hard these days. Tractors like the John Deer model in the opening sequence do most of the work in this country. In the image on the right, draft animals like the Budweiser Clydesdales are driven around the country, four to a semitrailer.


When they get to an event, the eight horses are meticulously dressed in the finest of tack and connected by an eight-horse hitch to a mostly empty wagon to drive around a parking lot or on a parade route. Well played, Mr. Horse, well played.


In the 1970s, I got interested in the burgeoning industry of personal computers. I started my avocation of writing by authoring monthly columns on personal computing for a couple of different computer-oriented publications. I started with a Radio Shack Color Computer (CoCo for short). I had a tape drive and a TV for a monitor similar to this setup I saw at a trade show some years later.


These days, I find myself in front of a laptop computer tied to a High Definition monitor for editing my photographs, as you might note in this selfie captured with my cell phone/camera/computer that fits in the palm of my hand.

Wright Flyer-1

In 1903, after experimenting with gliders and following in the footsteps of balloon and gliding aviators, Orville and Wilbur Wright set about to fly the first aircraft that could take-off and land using an engine-driven propeller. The aviators flew the one-person aircraft by laying on their stomachs in a cradle. In addition to using hand controls, pilots had to shift their weight in the cradle to initiate a turn. The image above shows a view of a simulator built to emulate the flight characteristics of this first powered aircraft.

The person flying this aircraft took off and landed safely at least once in the simulator, a feat that I was never able to accomplish. I guess I don’t have the “Wright Stuff.”

Float Flying

By 1947, planes like this Piper Cub were popular and relatively common. This aircraft sports a handful of round gauges to provide me with the information I need to safely land and take off from the airport on land, or when equipped with floats, on the nearest Minnesota lakes.


These days I often fly in later model Cessna C182 aircraft that have dual computer screens, GPS control, autopilot, and many other modern features. This particular model is over 15 years old, and even newer technology has been added to the latest model Cessna aircraft I fly.

Given that change is inevitable, for this week’s challenge consider change as it applies to you. Maybe it’s the changes in your family over the years, the change of seasons in your favorite park, or even the change in the technology of your camera equipment. In short, what does “change” mean to you?

Thanks to Amy for her Travels Have Taught Me challenge. Next week, I’ll be looking forward to Sofia’s challenge topic.

John Steiner


  1. I remember seeing the Clydesdale horses during a parade at Bush Gardens in Tampa, Florida.
    They are huge and beautiful.
    The old computer was a perfect pick for the challenge you’ve posed. A cassette machine … wow.
    Thank you for hosting the challenge. It was quite different. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
    Isadora 😎

  2. I think your first quote from Darwin is so right John. Looking forward to more of your challenges now that you have joined the lens artist group.

  3. John, you are so right about change, especially everything in the Tech Industry. By the time we purchase a new gizmo, it is on its way out. I remember my first computer program in college, basically it was a fancier type editing, program. But, I thought it was so fabulous! I had no idea how much tractors are now! My aunt, who is 95 had people calling her all the time, to see if she would sell her tractors and now I see why! I also had a question…….How do I know each week, who is hosting the Lens-Challenge? Is there a list or something? I find them hit or miss right now! Here is my LA post for this week. Cady

    Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Changin’ Seasons

    • Many of those tiny single-pilot ultra-light aircraft with flexible wings use weight-shift to control direction. It does seem counter-intuitive, but Orville and Wilbur Wright proved the theory first with gliders, then with an aircraft with an engine. 🙂

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