Tag Archives: blue

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

As the sun has come out, so have the colors.  The combination of a wet winter and some spring-like temps have plants growing and flowers blooming.  I noticed these native beauties near the beach the other day peeking around the railings near the parking lot.  With their vivid yellow color, they are almost like tiny suns on a stem!

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Later in the week, from my walk along the shore, I noticed this house on the hill.  Now I walk this stretch regularly, so the house is not a new sight, but I was drawn both by the seagull sitting on the rooftop and by the tones of green displayed on the cliff.  If you look in the foreground you can see prickly pear cactus in abundance.  Just wait til they begin to bloom!

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Sometimes the color I find on the beach is less desirable.  I came across this beautiful blue bottle in the surf, washed up or left on the beach.  As part the efforts of the #litterati (a group of people who post photos of trash they pick up and dispose of), I snapped this shot before picking up the bottle.

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Blue is not an unusual color on the beach.  I notice lots of blues there in both the sky and the water, like this shot with the sun coming through the cloudy skies.

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And this one of the waves curling and crashing in the hazy afternoon sun.

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And then there are the colors of a sunset, this one with some pelicans flying through.  In this case enhanced by a filter that took ordinary beauty and intensified the colors into these brilliant yellows and oranges.  I’m always surprised by how certain images are transformed by a filter (like this one) while others are not.

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So, take a look around.  What colors are you seeing this week?  Are they bright and vibrant, or subdued and muted?  You might consider capturing hues of a single color or maybe you’ll try to capture all the colors of the rainbow.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #color for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Turn your camera on the color around you, and share what you find with us!  What color is most prevalent in your place, or is it the absence of color that you are noticing?  I’m looking forward to your color this week!

Learning From Blue

As I have worked through photographing with a focus on a color each week during July, I have noticed that the weeklong focus pushed me to think about not only color but also composition differently.

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Blue…only a short three days as July came to an end…expressed itself differently than I expected.  When I originally crafted the color challenge I thought blue would focus on water…beachy things that are so prevalent in summer.  But my end of July didn’t take me to the beach or near the water as expected.  Instead, with the color in my head, blue appeared in unexpected places.  When I photographed this butterfly I didn’t even know it had blue dots on its wings. I don’t think I even noticed it was sitting on a blue chair.  What I saw was an opportunity to capture this beautiful creature through my lens.  I took a shot, then crept closer took another shot, crept closer…  I was amazed that the butterfly let me get so close.  Maybe it could sense my appreciation.

I find myself looking at the world around me as an opportunity for composition.  And I’m also thinking about the ways my eyes see things differently than my lens does.  Sometimes it’s the light…and my camera captures a silhouette where I see color.  Other times I can clearly see that bird in the sky…and my camera records a spot.  It’s a reminder to me that our lens shifts our view and understanding of the world.  We can look at the same thing and understand it differently.  It’s important for me to remember that what I see and understand doesn’t necessarily represent what someone else sees and understands through their lens.  And looking at those differences creates an opportunity to learn from one another.  As Margaret Wheatley reminds us in her text Willing to be Disturbed:

We live in a dense and tangled global system.  Because we live in different parts of this complexity, and because no two people are physically identical, we each experience life differently.  It’s impossible for any two people to ever see things exactly the same.  You can test this out for yourself.  Take any event you’ve shared with others (a speech, a movie, a current event, a major problem) and ask your colleagues and friends to describe their interpretation of that event.  I think you’ll be amazed at how many different explanations you’ll hear.  Once you get a sense of diversity, try asking even more colleagues.  You’ll end up with a rich tapestry of interpretations that are much more interesting than any single one.

This is what I love best about the photo-a-day challenge…I get to explore my own lenses and see what my friends and colleagues see through their lenses.  And I know this openness and exploration helps me beyond photography…into my classroom, with my fellow educators, and out in the world.