Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #240 – The Road (most often) Taken

The Tower of Hercules.

A while back (July 2021,) Beth of Wandering Dawgs featured a challenge called “Along Back Country Roads.” It reminded me of the Robert Frost Poem, “The Road Not Taken.” As an inveterate traveler, that challenge was easy for me as I spend lots of time on those back country roads, not only in my home state but in my travels as well.

This week’s theme is metaphoric–and not about a physical road. For this week’s challenge, I want you to think of your favorite type or style of photography as the road you’ve chosen to take most often. For me, it’s landscape photography as it fits so well with my traveling soul. My examples are all landscapes, but I want to see in what style you like to photograph best.

For my opening photo, the Tower of Hercules is an ancient Roman lighthouse in A Coruña, Spain. All of these images were recently processed and all but two were processed specifically to feature in this challenge. They were taken on cruise excursions from London to Rome in October 2022.

Côte St Katharine Docks
Côte St Katharine Docks

Before boarding our cruise ship at Southampton, England, we flew into London to tour the city for a couple of days. On one of our evening walks, we dined at a restaurant near a small marina near the Tower of London. I captured this image of the marina with my Samsung S20U phone.

Arcos de la frontera
Countryside near Arcos de la Frontera Spain.

In the province of Cádiz, in Andalusia, Spain, Arcos de la Frontera is located on the top of sheer cliffs that are high above the banks of the Guadalete river and the farmland below. One of my favorite things to do with landscape images is to use Lightroom’s Panorama mode to merge two images together to make an ultrawide view.

Lisbon Panorama
Lisbon, Portugal.

From the balcony of our cruise ship cabin, while docked in Lisbon, I captured a panoramic view of the city and again merged the two cell phone pictures in Lightroom.

Convent of Our Lady of Arrábida
Convent of Our Lady of Arrábida.

Our excursion out of Lisbon featured a trip to a winery and, according to the tour description, “majestic views.” Well, as it turned out, the only sunny days on our cruise were after we departed the cruise ship in Rome. Though we didn’t see much rain on the excursions, it was cloudy every day. Probably the lowest clouds we encountered were on our excursion out of Lisbon. It was made worse by the fact that part of the tour was in the highest altitudes encountered on our journeys. This large compound, opened in 1542, is a former convent, now part of Arrábida Natural Park. The resulting views from the high terrain were, I’ll just say something less than majestic.

Rio Mandeo
Rio Mandeo.

Rio Mandeo winds through the city of Betanzos, Spain. Our excursion put us on a bus to visit this old town located in a fertile valley relatively close to the cruise port in A Coruña, Spain. If you’ve ever been on a tour bus and tried to capture images through a bus window that is highly tinted, you can do what I did here. The image from my cell phone was almost completely lacking in shades of red and was strong in blue and green. It didn’t look good at all, even when trying to tweak the white and color balance controls in Lightroom. I converted the image to black-and-white and then used the HSL filter to give the image a sepia tone. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. >grin<

Old bridge at Betanzos - 4K
The old bridge at Betanzos.

One of two landscapes I featured in a previous post, this image of the old bridge is one of my favorites of the trip. There is a very little history of this bridge online, so I couldn’t provide many details in my original Cellpic Sunday post.

Bay at Saint Tropez
Bay at Saint Tropez France.

Our only stop in France found us on the French Riviera. This beautiful coastline at Saint Tropez was popular with artists and in the 1960s became a mecca for jet setters. Once a thriving fishing village, there are now far more yachts and tour boats than there are commercial fishing vessels.

Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II
Vittorio Emanuele II Bridge.

The wall on the right separates Vatican City from Rome, our last stop on our Mediterranean cruise. The three-arch bridge in the photo was opened in 1911. Named after the King of Italy who reigned from 1861 to 1878, the bridge features four towers, each carrying bonze Winged Victory sculptures. The span is 350 feet (108 m) in length.

I’ve bored you enough with my vacation photos. Now it’s time for you to show us your favorite “road” in photography. Consider a favorite photographic style like low key/high key, monochrome, etc. Maybe a genre of photography like a preference for architecture, still life, portraiture, etc. Whatever your preference, we’d love to see your images captured in your favorite style or genre.

Thanks to Tina for last week’s challenge, Finding Peace, and I will look forward to seeing your posts for this week. My wife and I will be leaving in a few days on another journey, again to regions that don’t always have the best Internet connections. If I don’t respond to your challenge response right away, I will do so when I have a decent Internet connection.

For 2K HD views of my gallery this week, you can click on any image above, or visit my Flickr album here. Next week, Sofia hosts. If you would like to join in on the challenge but aren’t quite sure how to get started, click here for details.

John Steiner


  1. Shame about the weather around the Arrabida peninsula, John. I was there last November and we had a mix of sun and showers. You only get one chance on a cruise but you seem to have managed pretty well. I shall be in Rome in May and am so looking forward to seeing the scene you shared.

  2. […] This week’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge 240 is hosted by John Steiner. He invites to show my favorite type or style of photography as the road I have chosen to take most often. And – I teased a lilttle bit here – that creates a bit of a problem for me. I might need direction. […]

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