Sea Blue Lens

What’s Your Sign?


The Kat Eye Studio’s Exploring with a Camera topic for this month is Signs. I had a lot of fun searching through my archives as well as more recent photos to see what signs of signs I could find in my pictures.

There seem to be three main reasons I include a sign in a photo. One is for information — to record something about a place that I’m visiting. The second is because I am attracted to the way it looks, either on its own or as an element of a composition. The third (and most frequent) is because the sign itself strikes me as interesting in some funny or quirky way. I see such a sign and immediately begin telling myself a story about it.

Here’s a random assortment from my sign collection, starting with one of my all-time favorites:

Ever the Optimist

This sign was posted on the door of an antiques (i.e., junk) shop in Maine. I’ve often wondered how things turned out for Steve.

And on a related theme:

I Do’s and Don’ts

This wildlife sanctuary on a bluff overlooking the sea is a lovely spot for an outdoor wedding, but you’d definitely want to hold the reception elsewhere. The juxtaposition of the three signs cracked me up.

Seen Better Days

Notice the sign embedded in the granite boulder, lower left?

As She Was

The beautiful brass plaqueΒ  includes a glimpse of the “before” of this formerly grand old home that is now just a ruin.

You Are Here

It’s good to feel certain about one’s place in the world, even if only for a moment.

Beach and Bog

Ooh, let’s go play in the peat bog! Besides, it’s so much closer than the beach!

Say What?

I guess bears aren’t the only thing to fear in the woods. Finding this sign posted alongside the trail on one of my favorite nature walks did not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, but it did make me glad my warm and fuzzy jacket was brightly colored. Why would hunting be allowed on a nature preserve with high visitor use? Why wasn’t there a sign to warn visitors to watch out for hunters??

Tools of the (Sign) Trade

Just think of these stencils as signs-to-be. And see that NO GUNNING ALLOWED IN THESE WOODS? Now, that’s the sign I would have preferred to have seen posted in place of the one above.

Bygone Days

I couldn’t resist the early morning light on the old-fashioned grocery store sign.

To the Point

I was hungry when I came across this sign. It told me all I needed to know.

How Now, Colorful Cow?

The grammar nerd in me hates it when people misuse quotation marks for emphasis, but I still loved this whimsical “OPEN” invitation.

Dreams for Sale

My daughter and I drove past this house for sale on Campobello Island several times when we were vacationing in the area. I loved its simple lines and location overlooking the bay and fantasized about living there year-round.

Believe It!

The lighthouse was indeed picturesque (and I took my share), but so was this rather endearing sign hand-painted on a granite block.

But On Top Is OK

Probably everyone has a favorite shot of someone flouting a No Parking sign. This is mine.

Trap Tags

The colorful tags on this lobster trap, washed onto a rocky beach by a storm, are the signs which identify its owner.

Cloud Bank

I love this picture, and the sign. Don’t know why, I just do.


Doesn’t this tattoo studio with its hanging baskets of flowers, bright OPEN banner, and classic movie reference (note the sled) tempt you to go inside?

Closed Sunday

The beautiful blue, the sunlight and shadow, the peeling textures all combine to make this one of my favorite signs.


This is a sign with a message worth thinking about. Every summer, the owner of this frame shop plants the most amazing flower garden, all in pots and window boxes in front of her store and the ones on either side. I couldn’t resist trying to capture myself “in the garden.”

Thanks, Kat, for another great idea to Explore with a Camera. I suspect I’m going to be a lot more conscious of signs from here on out.

Come check out the linkup, everybody!

22 thoughts on “What’s Your Sign?

  1. The no parking sign and the last one are both my favorites. The paragraph on the card in the window on that last one has the coolest message…love that idea of skidding in broadside!

    I really enjoyed your signs.

  2. Ha ha, that was really “awesome!” And that cow is GORGEOUS!!! πŸ™‚

  3. What a great collection of signs — and your clever captions! I don’t know where to begin……the closed Sunday is super, as is cloud bank! I also like the stencils a lot and the you are here. I so enjoyed viewing them all! Thanks, Lee.

  4. Wow these are terrific Lee!!! All of them are great finds and the captions are perfect!!!

  5. I think you should have written my post! These signs are all fabulous. Well seen and well captured. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Your titles and captions made this all the better. Thank you for Exploring with a Camera this month! It’s always so great to come along here and visit with you. Now, when do we get to visit in person???

  6. You definitely take first prize for the most amusing sign captures – I was smiling the whole way through your collection. Thanks for that.

  7. I’ve always had the same reaction to Rosebud Tattoo when driving past. Also, Closed Sunday has a texture and character I love. Good to hear/see your post again!!

  8. Great update! Tried to email you and it got kicked back. Send me a note when you get a chance.


  9. I love your signs! You’ve captured a wonderful variety! My favorites would be the stenciled signs, closed Sundays and framed!! Great post!

  10. I had to laugh at your first sign.

    Family lore is that one of my brothers asked one of our sisters to be a witness at his (latest) wedding. For whatever reason, the officiating justice of the peace asked the prospective bride and groom whether they had been married before–both responded “yes,” and my brother, with typical enthusiasm, added however many times he had already been married (probably more than most people would consider prudent). The bride had a similar history. The combination of their responses apparently inspired the JP to inquire whether they “really” wanted to go through with the union. They did, so the JP continued with the ceremony. Unfortunately, I must report that union was as unsuccessful as its predecessors. I do hope Steve’s marriage had better results!

  11. Oh I LOVE your sign collection! So delightful!

  12. YEAH! After months of trying, I am finally allowed to comment again! I guess WordPress didn’t like me for some reason! Glad I tried one more time. πŸ™‚

  13. These are absolutely awesome…just awesome! So many great shots and written up so well. Love them all!

  14. So many signs, you’ve done a great job collecting photos of signs, they’re great.

  15. I don’t think anything could beat the humour and the hope contained within that first sign! Hope it’s fifth time lucky for Steve!

  16. What fun! I love the signs and your photography skills make for lovely viewing.


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