Towering: Thursday Photo Challenge

Welcome! Come and join the Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos! Anyone can join in with any type of camera.

This week’s challenge is towering.

I ought to be jealous of the tower. She is more famous than I am.

Gustave Eiffel

What way will you interpret this challenge? A photo of something tall, perhaps, or of a person who is a tower of strength? Everything is relative, of course, so perhaps you might want to take this in another direction and find something really small that lives in a world of towering giants?

My photo is of some huge palm trees towering over a waterfall and a flower in Palm Springs, California, on a cloudy winter’s day.

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!

Senses: Join the Thursday Photo Challenge!

Welcome! Come and join the Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos! There are lots of other great photo challenges out there, but this one is the Thursdayest of all the photo challenges.

This week’s topic is senses.

All our knowledge begins with the senses.

Immanuel Kant

In biology, it’s generally agreed we have five sense. But what about all those other things we call senses? A sense of dread before an exam? A sense of excitement? Common sense? There are so many ways this challenge can be interpreted and I hope you have fun coming up with something!

My photo is from the Candylicious store in Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE. The sense? Sense of wonder! But if it had to be a scientific sense, sense of taste since it’s a tree made of candy.

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!

Confusion: Join the Thursday Photo Challenge

Welcome to the new weekly Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos!

This week, the challenge is to show confusion.

Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.

Roger Ebert

As photographers, all the advice we get given is to have a clear subject, follow this rule of thirds, follow that rule of using a tripod, follow yet another rule about the right lens, the right ISO, the right exposure time, the right sort of post-processing…

Throw it all out. Right now.

Start from an empty slate. Don’t even try to make sense. Just take a photo!

My photo is of a taxi I saw near Shanghai. I’d been living in China for about a year at this point. I snapped the picture while we were both moving at around 50mph. I was inside another taxi (you should be able to see the window reflection). This guy was just driving down the motorway with his boot open and seemed to have no idea that the white lines were supposed to show you where to drive!

I wanted to get the shot, because I’d never seen anyone driving like this before; most drivers in China are excellent. But there was no way this would ever fit those rules we impose on ourselves as photographers.

I was so confused about how anyone could just drive down the road so oblivious to the fact his boot was open (he must not have looked in his rear view mirror once the whole journey) or the fact that he was straddling two lanes.

What can you come up with?

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!

Flow: Join the Thursday Photo Challenge

Welcome to the weekly Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos! Anyone can join in, all you need is a WordPress blog and a picture you have taken with your camera!

This week’s challenge is flow. This is a super open-ended one, so it’s going to be hard to choose your picture!

Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.

Lao Tzu

Mine is from an artistic waterfall in the Dubai Mall near the Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Mall is possibly my favourite shopping centre in the whole world. I really adored visiting Dubai and look forward to going again in the future.

Alongside all the myriad literal interpretations of flow, you could go metaphysical and look at the flow of life’s rhythms, or perhaps examine the impact of too much or too little water flow, cash flow or electricity flow on a community. If you’re in Minnesota or Canada, a frozen waterfall might be the way to go! I look forward to seeing what you can come up with.

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!

Dance: Thursday Photo Challenge

Welcome to the Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos!

This week’s challenge is dance.

Hand in hand, on the edge of the sand they danced in the light of the moon.

Edward Lear

Dancing is one of my favourite things to do. I never had ballet lessons as a child because my mum thought girls shouldn’t be girly. I miss the childhood I never got, with the princesses and dance shows. I grew up to be an ice skater (amongst many other jobs). Go figure.

I have taught dance and one of the things I loved as an elementary teacher was incorporating dance into my classes’ daily routines. We danced good morning, we danced goodbye at the end of the day. In between, we sometimes all stood up and had a wiggle to get the energy out. Seven-year-olds need to get their energy out sometimes.

So this theme is one I wish I had more photos for. Unfortunately, when I’m dancing, the last thing I can do is take a photo. So I have chosen a photo of feathery ice crystals frozen in their intricate dance, instead.

How does dance inspire you to create a photo?

Anyone can join in! Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your post so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!

Gift: Come join the Thursday photo challenge!

Welcome to the Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos! You don’t have to be an expert artistic photographer (I’m not), just someone with a passion for pictures!

This week’s Thursday photo challenge theme is gift. Share a photo you have taken of a gift. It doesn’t have to be a present, it could be a gift like a talent, or a gift of kindness toward someone, or any other way you choose to interpret it! I love the things people come up with for photo challenges!

“The past is history. The future is a mystery. But today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Oogway, Kung Fu Panda

My photo of a gift is from Seoul, South Korea, where we found vending machines selling bunches of mixed flowers and beautiful arrangements of roses and greenery for people who needed a gift for their loved ones on the way home from a long day at the office. I thought it was such a beautiful idea. A gift vending machine brings joy to people and reminds us to think of others amidst the daily hustle.

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!

Vibrant: Come and join the Thursday photo challenge!

Welcome to the new weekly Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos!

This week’s topic is… vibrant.

Life is a sea of vibrant colour. Jump in.

A.D. Posey

Vibrant colours are all around us, lifting our souls and energising our senses. Studies have even shown different colours behave differently at a molecular level (colour chemistry is a whole branch of the natural sciences).

So join us in celebrating the many brilliant and diverse colours in the world! You can show a photo with lots of colours, one particular colour, or an absence of colour. Whatever the word “vibrant” means to you!

I can’t wait to see what you share!

My photo is of some tins of sardines I found in a supermarket in China. I thought it fitted this challenge in a sort of pop art way.

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then I will be back in the New Year to post the next challenge!

Come join the weekly Thursday photo challenge: Flavour

Welcome to the Thursday Photo Challenge! This is the most delicious time of year in many homes. Food underpins most celebrations around the world. Whenever people come together over a good meal, their spirits are lifted and hearts are replenished.

Usually, we travel somewhere for our December holiday. In 2017 we were in Thailand. 2018 was three weeks of morning sickness in Malaysia. Last year, we went over the Irish Sea to England. This year, we expected Greece, but instead, we are staying home in Belfast.

Instead of travelling, we will cook and share the flavours of places we loved.

This week’s challenge, then, is flavour. How do you photograph a flavour? I’m not sure I captured it amazingly but I know many food bloggers who are experts at it!

Here’s how to take part in the challenge:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!

Come and join the Thursday Photo Challenge! Nature

Welcome to the new weekly Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos!

This week’s theme is nature.

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.

Alice Walker

Nature is interwoven with our story as humans. At the same time, we revere it and irrevocably change it. Nature supports life, and is both our saviour and executor. Natural disasters such as volcanoes, tsunamis and earthquakes happen every year. But from the rubble, new life springs forth.

Our contradictory relationship with nature is hard to represent in photography. For this challenge, show what nature means to you, how you see nature, humanity’s place within nature, or something special from the natural world which you have captured with a camera.

Here’s how to take part:

  1. Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
  2. Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
  3. Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution and check out your blog.
  4. That’s it! Super easy.

This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, comments will close and I will post the next challenge!

Check out these prize-winning Earth Photo competition entries!

Wow! The photos for this year’s Earth Photo competition are incredible! This is one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world and I get so excited to see all the entries!

It was actually this competition that got me interested in photography in the first place, when I was about twelve, and we went somewhere on a school trip (I don’t remember where) which had an exhibition on the year’s Earth Photo winners. It was amazing and inspiring to see just what photography could be, because before that, all I’d ever seen were the photos in the news, magazines, or on the front of expensive food we couldn’t afford at the supermarket. Our food almost always came from a blue-and-white tin.

You can find the photos for this year’s winners here.

First place was won by French photographer Jonk, whose work on abandoned spaces is breathtaking. In the lead photo in the BBC article, I’m blown away by the level of skill demonstrated. I would have made a different choice about how to frame the image, so I’ve definitely learned something, here! The lighting puts me in mind of Studio Ghibli imagery, but made real.

Clicking over to the Royal Geographical Society, which hosted the competition alongside Forestry England, the rest of Jonk’s collection is visible. The “Swimming Pool, Italy” is especially breathtaking. The diving board is a poignant reminder of what a precipice humanity is on right now with regards to the climate.

The People category was won by Yanrong Guo, with an image entitled “Miss” which was a photo of one of the Yi from the Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, which is in Sichuan province, about 300 miles southwest of Chengdu.

But I think one of my favourite entries was the winner of the Nature category, which was “Dryland Farming, Study 7”, Yi Sun’s aerial photograph of Spanish farmland during a drought. At first glance, it looked like a space landscape or an abstract painting. When you look closely at the photo, you can see the wheel marks from where the tractors have gone around corners.

When I first looked at it, I wasn’t as amazed with the winner of the “Changing Forests” category, entitled “Dead tree #1”, as I think there are better and more evocative ways the prompt could have been interpreted, but when I looked a second time, I decided that actually, I am impressed by the lighting.

The A Climate of Change category winner, Joe Habben’s image of high water in Venice, was also, from a technical standpoint, something for me to learn from. Getting the sky to not be over-exposed while getting that level of detail in the water’s reflection is amazing. When I got married, I found out a lot of professional wedding photographers can’t manage to capture the detail in a white dress on the background of a bright day. The challenge in having two bright objects, both of which are actually best detailed in different camera settings, is tricky.

Which one is your favourite?