Carousel Horses: What Stories Do They Tell?

With my photography this week, I have been focusing on curves.  And somehow, when I am out taking pictures that concept/word “curves” keeps getting translated in my head to “round.” Now I know that round and curves are related–that curved surfaces often result in roundness. So yesterday when I parked for a meeting in Balboa Park–our city’s urban park–the carousel immediately drew my attention.  I could hear the festive music as the merry-go-round started its trip around and around.  I took a few pictures as I thought about this curved trajectory and the combination of movement around and up and down.


I like the way this photo (with no filters applied) shows the movement of the carousel horse.  I can also see the curved lines above.  The people riding–adults and children–were energetic, giving off that feeling of summertime fun.  I decided to move to my hipstamatic app–and dialed a couple of film types and lenses.  One of them, this gangsta lens creates a round frame.


And while the curved frame works for my photo-a-day theme, what I love about this picture–and I knew it when I tapped to take the picture–is that somehow I had caught the guy with the while cowboy hat in the frame.  In some ways this particular picture feels timeless–the “tough” guy in the white cowboy hat (doesn’t that make him a hero?) with the white t-shirt and jeans on a carousel horse with the young woman nearby.  He’s on the outside so he can reach out for the brass ring, showing everyone his skills on this classic summertime ride.


This third photo is another hipstamatic photo using Americana film and lens that gives a retro feel to the picture.  It also gives the sense of movement–but doesn’t have the same feel of summer as the other more colorful photos.

I’m wondering how photos like these might prompt my students’ writing and storytelling.  How does the visual invoke the powers of imagination?  What evidence is contained in these photos that leads to character development?  An advertisement?  An argument of some sort?  Where would you go with one of these photos as a prompt?

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