Solitude [Poetic Winter, A Photography Challenge]

Catching a little moment of solitude for myself, walking the two miles from my apartment through city streets to the beach and taking photographs while listening to the sounds of the water out on the shore of Michigan Lake.

Finding solitude, peace and being alone in the city. It’s a different animal entirely to the true solitude you can find out in the vast fields or trees of the country. There are always people somewhere in the city, even in the worst of weather or the dead of night. I do enjoy that about city living, strange as that may sound.

But it is possible to find solitude even here, to look down an alleyway as you pass and find it empty of people, to come across the odd empty house or lot, or find an empty train stop when it’s not rush hour. In Chicago during the winter, the beaches along Lake Michigan are quiet and empty save for the odd couple walking their dog along the sand. Of course, the evidence of people is always there in an urban environment, it’s almost never quiet and sometimes you just have to take a different view or sometimes squint a little to imagine that you have absolute solitude. But there is a quiet internal and even noble solitude to be found in the city, even amongst the busyness of other people.

We’re so excited to be able to offer you all some amazing tutorials, freebies and exclusive discounts for the duration of the photo challenge! Head on over to Kristi’s blog, Live and Love Out Loud today for a wonderful tutorial on using textures with your photographs, with a beautiful exclusive, limited edition solitude texture freebie from Life-n-Reflection!

Thanks to the following sponsors for partnering with us to bring you these fabulous deals; created exclusively for Poetic Winter Photo Challenge participants and valid throughout the month of February.


ClickinMoms is a community where artists, hobbyists and professional women photographers connect and learn from and with each other. Enjoy a 7-day free trial discount to the ClickinMoms forum with discount code RKAFTRIAL. Additionally, receive 10% off the lovely actions/presets sold in the ClickinMoms store with discount code RKAF10.


AdoramaPix is a great source for fine quality photo prints, photo books and all your photo finishing needs. Discount code pxwinpb15 gets you 15% off your next photo book order.

My Four Hens Photography

My Four Hens is your one-stop shop for Photoshop actions and more. Use discount code m4hfun30 for 30% off your next purchase.

Simply Photography

Simply Photography e-classes are perfect for women on the go. Make the big switch from auto to manual shooting, learn how to photograph the children in your life and more with Simply Photography. Click here to receive the special discounted rate of $40 for any spring class.


I’m teaming up with Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud, Alicia of Project Alicia and Faith of Sweet Violet for the Poetic Winter Photography Challenge – an inspiring 4-week photo challenge aimed at capturing the poetic beauty of winter through photography.

Just a few details:

All are welcome regardless of skill level, time commitment and geographic location.

Each Friday, we’ll have freebies, discounts to some of the hottest photography resources, photography tips and inspirational quotes or poems to get your creative photography juices flowing.

Share your favorite images inspired by the weekly prompt. The linky will remain open from 9am Friday – 9am Thursday CST. Link directly to your Poetic Winter blog post or Flickr photo, not your blog’s home page or Flickr Photostream.

Feel free to share your photos in our Poetic Winter Flickr Group as well and don’t forget to visit and comment on the previous entry in the linky list.

This time around, we’ll be pinning our favorite photos to the Poetic Winter Pinterest Board. Not on Pinterest and need an invite? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be more than happy to send you one.

And last, but not least, don’t forget to grab our lovely button.

Next week’s prompt will be warmth. For a complete list of upcoming prompts, head on over to the Winter Photo Challenge page.


  1. I like that Mark Twain quote….so true! Thank you for sharing the links. I’m off to Kristi’s blog to check out the tutorial. 🙂

  2. I’m in love with your Lensbaby shots. I haven’t been quite as successful. I think the problem is I’m trying to take too many closeups. lol

    I love the idea of finding solitude in the city. I think you really nailed it with the photos you took along the beach. So serene. I want to sink my toes in the sand and relax along the shore with a good book.
    Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud´s last post ..Poetic Winter Photography Challenge: Solitude

    • Thanks Kristi 🙂 The first thing I tried with it were close-ups… because I’ve seen some other people have taken and I’ve loved them… but I had a really hard time seeing where to focus was falling! So I figured I’d try some wider shots. Still wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped (lots of completely OOF shots!) but it seemed a little easier. Of course you know by the time I’ve worked it out the rental will be up and I’ll have to save and buy one!

  3. I love that you were able to illustrate ‘solitude’ in a city setting! That set of black and whites are really moving. Wonderful work!
    Tezzie´s last post ..Solitude

  4. Like the contrast of the first set of b/w photos with the blue in the second set. Nice.

  5. I never thought how difficult it could be to find solitude in a city, but you truly found it! my favorite photos are of the beach at Lake Michigan … that’s where my heart truly is, the beach. I know it’s still very cold there as well, but you could never tell by looking at your photos. Love this challenge and all the fun tips, tutorials and freebies you have all included. Thank you!
    Tish´s last post ..Poetic Winter Photography Challenge | Solitude

    • It was cold! But still, Chicago has been unseasonably warm this week so it wasn’t too bad (I was still very glad of my thick coat though). So glad you’re enjoying the challenge!

  6. May

    So these were all taken during the same walk? That is amazing to this land locked girl! Lake Michigan is one of my favorite places on earth. Even so, those city shots in black and white really grabbed me.
    May´s last post ..Solitude

    • Not the same walk, the Black and White Photos at the top were taken a couple of days before but they were taken in the neighbourhood I walk through to get to the beach… so technically could have been taken during the same walk! We were land locked for the 3 years in Germany so it’s nice to be able to go to a beach, even if it’s not the ocean!

  7. Love the feel of that first image!I’m continually inspired by your work 🙂 Thanks for hosting the challenge!

  8. Sometimes I really wish I would live in mild winter conditions like your winter. Your pictures are so beautiful, I wish I could there walking by the beach.
    Henrietta´s last post ..Color palette

Comments are closed.