Setting the Mood: September’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

Images can tell stories and set a mood by the way the subject is framed, by the quality of light, the angle of the shot…and more.

I’m guilty of taking many, many photos of my favorite places and subjects…sunsets and waves, seagulls and surfers, dandelions and bumblebees, lavender…and my cats! The beauty of taking multiple photos of similar subjects and places is that I have the opportunity to view them through from different perspectives…and notice the moods they evoke.

Sometimes my shot of a seabird is not just about the bird, but about the energy in the background.  This one sets a hurried mood for me as I see the still image but notice the speed of the bird and the force of the ocean.


Other images feel tranquil, washing me with calm and cool with the lack of color and reflected light.


There’s a mood of urgency set by this image of a military chopper hovering low over the shoreline…is there an emergency they are attending to?  (And I love the seagulls in the frame!)


This image definitely feels upbeat and energetic with the musicians belting out their songs, bringing the audience to their feet, dancing and tapping their toes!


Sometimes distance can give a sense of isolation…and even seriousness.  This photographer creates a mood of isolation…alone in the overcast with only distant surfers visible.


And other times, the selected use of color and a pair of empty chairs creates a feeling of wistfulness, wishing for a sunset, waiting for a couple to fill the chairs…


Perfect light on a sunny afternoon can create a reflective mood as the light creates distance and perspective…perfect for thinking and remembering.


And there is the giddy mood of floating in the wide blue of the sky above and sea below, a bird’s eye view!


So for September take another look at your favorite subjects and places and see what moods those images can set.  And to help you vary your shots and stimulate your thinking, here is a list of moods for each day of the month!

  1. lonely
  2. amazed
  3. amused
  4. frustrated
  5. hesitant
  6. energetic
  7. anxious
  8. shocked
  9. inquisitive
  10. powerful
  11. pensive
  12. satisfied
  13. indifferent
  14. confused
  15. courageous
  16. isolated
  17. eager
  18. serious
  19. overwhelmed
  20. jealous
  21. tranquil
  22. happy
  23. excited
  24. peaceful
  25. irritated
  26. distant
  27. apathetic
  28. fulfilled
  29. confident
  30. astonished

And as always, our challenge will allow us to learn from each other as we shoot our own photos and study the photos others shoot. Every day of the month includes a word prompt to inspire and challenge you as you work to set moods through your images. You are welcome to follow them in order, mix them up, or throw in a new word prompt for the rest of us to try. You can post every day, once a week, or even sporadically throughout the month…whatever works in your life.

Be sure to share and tag your photos with #sdawpphotovoices so we can find them! You can share on Twitter (follow me @kd0602), on Instagram (@kd0602), in the CLMOOC community on G+, on Flickr, or even link back to my blog here.

I’m looking forward to seeing how you set September’s moods through your lens!

2 thoughts on “Setting the Mood: September’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

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