Sunday Stills: Patterns all around us

I have always been attracted to strong patterns in my photography. The play of shadows across a surface, close-ups of textures that reveal more than our eyes first see, colors and shapes that contrast and compete. So, for this week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge, Lines and Squares, it wasn’t difficult to find a few photos in my files that fit the theme.

The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada
Sculpture in Space Needle Park, Seattle, Washington
Light and shadows in La Paz, Mexico
More light and shadows in La Paz, Mexico
Spiral staircase in the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California
Lines and squares. University of California, San Diego
Lines of vines, squares of stones. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Palms trees and steel reaching for the sky. San Diego, California
Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California.

For more Lines and Squares, visit Terri Webster Schrandt’s blog, Second Wind Leisure. She has some great examples of her theme as well as links to images by other participants.

While you’re at it, why don’t you submit a few of your own?

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

98 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Patterns all around us”

  1. whoa! these are all great. I love the Lou Ruvo Center the best – the building almost looks like its made out of Mother of Pearl.

    1. I’m not surprised that its architecture wouldn’t appeal to everyone. But, fortunately, the brain research center uses its unique architecture as a effective marketing tool. They do amazing research into chronic brain diseases and have found the building helps them attract donors.

  2. I can’t say I bring any expertise in photography, but these images elicited an ‘oh wow!’ response from me, and a desire to see more.

    1. Isn’t it great? Gehry’s buildings are amazing. He designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, which this building reminded me of. He has incredible buildings all over the world, including in Spain and Germany, and the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building in Sydney, Australia (that’s the closet one I could find to you).

  3. I am a passionate fan of geometric patterns and shapes of all kinds. Therefore, I really enjoyed your amazing photos. Especially I liked the spiral staircase, a masterpiece of a photo.

  4. Hey, did I do something wrong?! Did you boot me off of your subscribers’ list? I didn’t receive an email notice about this post but had been thinking about you so I thought I’d check. It’s a great thing that I did. I add an enormous “WOW!!!” along with all the other commenters. Your work is truly stunning. (Although I must admit, the image of the Centre for Brain Health seriously messed with my own brain’s health.) 😀

  5. Amazing pictures. I would love to be a better photographer but I can’t see adding another hobby to my already too large list. I will enjoy your art instead. 😊

    1. You are pretty busy with the hobbies you have so I can understand not wanting any more. I think photography appeals to me because it is more immediate (unlike cross-stitching, for instance). I’m not the most patient person 🙂.

  6. Wonderful photos and visually luscious reminder to look at our surroundings in new ways. I think that is really good for us so we don’t sink into complacency. Go outside and train the eye to see things that we might otherwise look past – the light and shadows so prevalent in every object, leaf, flower, drop of ocean spray.

    Thank you for this,

    Susan Graced

  7. Wow! You get around!!! I love the architectural photos, but probably my favorite (for sentimental reasons) is the one from San Miguel de Allende. We visited there years ago with our exchange student from Mexico. She lived with us for 11 months, then we visited her family in Mexico. What a wonderful experience!

  8. Hi Janis! Nice photos! I do appreciate the “art” of such images but don’t normally see them when I’m out and about. I’ll bet there is some interesting psychological reasoning behind why we “choose” to see certain things over another…or then again, maybe it is just habit. At any rate, I enjoyed your photos. ~Kathy

    1. Interesting… I know that I’m detail-oriented and analytical by nature so that may have something to do with it. I think it’s also habit too, in that we can train ourselves to look at things in a different way if we want to. I’m glad you enjoyed the pics!

  9. Hi Janis, I enjoy reading and seeing photos from the various photography challenges. It does make me pay attention and notice my surroundings in a different way. No words for the Center for Brain Health, except WOW! I suspect these photos were in various files, yet remembered in your mind. Another major WOW for me is the lighthouse. Hmmm, I might think about this for a future challenge:)

  10. Janis – Those were great pictures and breathtaking in that they almost made you dizzy viewing the photos by the angles you shot them. The spiral staircase of the lighthouse was amazing – at least the steps seemed wider than the lighthouse I was in where the steps were narrow and very steep and I was leery going up or down. But you captured that spiral perfectly. Years ago, when our law firm went through a merger, the acquiring firm in Richmond, Virginia wanted parts of our Detroit, Michigan office revamped so they hired a local architect and contracting firm to do that. They decided that the employees using an elevator or the fire escape stairs to get from the 10th to the 11th floor was silly and they put in a spiral staircase. None of the women would use it – not only were there offices at the base of the staircase, it was deadly in heels since the steps had no back, were very steep and the architect put the railing on the opposite side. A few of us tried it, clinging to the rail for dear life (like I did at the lighthouse). The only employees who used the silly staircase were the young attorneys who were sure-footed in their wide brogues. 🙂

    1. Wow, that’s an interesting story! Definitely design over function. I hope some lessons were learned from that design fail. I’m guessing the architect was a man… another great reason for having diversity in the workplace.

      1. Ha ha – it would have been a functional spiral staircase at least. You know the “home Firm” deserved that to happen as they had someone from Virginia make the arrangements then hired Detroit construction contractors, but did not allow a local architect to oversee the project. So they were there one time … likely in a hurry. They wanted the entire Detroit office remodeled. We had renovations for at least a year – drywall dust everywhere. And that silly staircase. The managing partner came to visit after the renovation – flew in from Richmond and was pretty horrified, but they left it as is. My boss/I left and went out on our own shortly thereafter and the Detroit office was closed in 2004 as it was not considered profitable (after all those renovations) … such a waste!

  11. oh wow you have some amazing lines here. Stunning photography

    if you do happen to take any more lines and they are in the square format then do pop across to as this was the original lines&squares.

    Terri borrowed the theme for Sunday Stills to encourage link ups between challenges 🙂 the Square Photography gang would love to meet you too. We are around for the whole of October!

  12. Wow, Janis, these are stunning! Each and everyone. I started writing down the ones I loved, but, each one grabbed my attention as strongly as the last. The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health deserves comment not just for your fine image of it, but I just love the building design melded with its purpose!

  13. These photos are striking, Janis. Such interesting buildings and you captured them beautifully.

  14. You have an incredible eye, Janis. All of your photos are extraordinary, but the shadows in the two examples from La Paz are especially stunning to me. I was also pleased to see that you included the Pyramid Building in my beloved San Francisco.

    1. San Francisco has so many beautiful buildings, but that was the first modern one that I was aware of (when I was young) that was a shape other than a rectangle. I always wanted to see what the offices on the tops floors looked like… do they have sloping walls?

      1. I grew up just a few miles north of SF, and remember when the Pyramid was being built. I was 12 when they finished it in 1972. I have seen pictures of the top (48th) floor, which is a conference room with slanted walls that can be rented out. Above the 48th floor, the tower is hollow with a stairwell and ladders up to the aircraft beacon at the point. I can only imagine the views from the tippy top. Coincidentally, yesterday while visiting the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, we went into the famous “cube houses” where the interior walls slant about 55 degrees. The sensation inside was weird and slightly nauseating.

  15. You highlighter patterns and detail on several of my favorite buildings and I don’t think I have paid quite enough detail when admiring them. The photos are spectacular!

  16. Incredible photos. Visually opulent. I used to walk by the Transamerica building all the time while working in the San Francisco financial district for many years. So that photo is a bit close to my heart. Interesting how the “Pyramid” design was considered ridiculous when first conceived and now it’s an icon and a treasure!

  17. Janis, I do like your theme based pictorials. I feel like I am leafing through an article in “Architects’ Digest,” entitled “Different shapes in design.” Keith

  18. I see another pattern that you’ve captured: the blending of the human-made and the nature-made. I can’t help but admire the moments of beauty and harmony you captured as in “Palms trees and steel reaching for the sky”, the or pattens of light and shadow in Mexico and and San Diego, or the pattern of the vines and the stones. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Wonderful selection and examples for the theme, Janis. The first two shots really resonated with me, but my favorite is the spiral staircase in the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. I’m a fan of shooting up stairways like that as well and have a good example – that I still remember – of the purple staircase in the lighthouse of Hope Town, Abacos, Bahamas. And, who would have thought I’d get this emotional seeing your San Diego photo of palm trees (and building) under a blue sky!? Darn, we do miss it and the nice weather…

  20. Janis, I love all these shots especially the university windows! The lines and patterns you’ve captured are fabulous! Perfect for the prompt 🙂

  21. Janis, these are fascinating photos. What I love about photographing the world around us is that it prompts me to really stop and look at what interests me about a scene. You certainly have an artist’s eye.


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