Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – Hope Ascending

This photo is part of WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – my entries for other weeks can be found here.

Hope Ascending

With many dazzling pretty lights abound in this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge on Illumination, I decided to focus my entry on one particular kind of beautiful light: inner light.

Not far from the mists of West Lake in Hangzhou, China, clouds of rising incense fill Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺). As Buddhist pilgrims meander through the hilly terrain, a young woman burning incense lifts her gaze with an intense focus and a sense of hope.

Having hope, especially in the midst of dark times, requires a focus on that inner light. Illumination from a Buddhist perspective also comes from within – the inner Buddha-nature of all sentient beings.  Although she may gaze towards the luminous heavens, the light she sees is a reflection of her inner being.

How does hope illuminate your life?


Want to see the photo-editing magic that illuminated this once-dark photo?  Check out my tutorial here!


mugs and more

Available at my Inner Bodhisattva Zazzle store – (due to Zazzle policies not allowing photographs of people, the image has been cropped and retitled “Incense Ascending”).


A few shout-outs to some other Illumination entries that I liked:

  • mikehardisty has two stunning photos and a great discussion of color balancing in both natural and artificial light
  • timetobeinspired shows multiple photos from different churches featuring different kinds of lights, my favorites being the candles, the chandler, and the church at sunset
  • sherrygaley has a beautifully lite photo with starbursts, with a corresponding poem
  • skww brings a peaceful Stockholm night a-glow with life with beautifully vivid colors
  • milnersblog used long exposures to capture the path of the International Space Station
  • museandsparrow shares night photos full of many bright colors that really pop against the black backgrounds
  • adayinthelifeofjennay shows a variety of different photos, my favorite being the soft glow of the autumn leaf

13 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – Hope Ascending

  1. Jennay says:

    Thanks for the shout out!! =)

  2. […] create the final look of my Hope Ascending photo I used a technique in which I layered the same photo on to of itself repeatedly, while using […]

  3. Thanks you for visiting my blog and mentioning me here

  4. Sherry Galey says:

    Thanks for the shout out. I love your focus on inner light.

  5. […] Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – Hope Ascending (seasreflectingstarlight.com) […]

  6. […] Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – Hope Ascending (seasreflectingstarlight.com) […]

  7. This is so beautiful! And very inspiring :)

  8. […] Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – Hope Ascending (seasreflectingstarlight.com) […]

  9. […] Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – Hope Ascending « Seas Reflecting Starlight […]

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