Tag Archives: frames

One Photo, Two Ways: June’s Photo a Day Challenge

Not too long ago a friend of mine posted this article on my Facebook page…with the message, “Thought of you.” The article opens to unfold images of famous places…one the way you are used to seeing it, and then another from an entirely different perspective. Some are unexpected juxtapositions of the classics with modern life like the Pantheon through the windows of McDonalds while others expand your view like the picture of a tree-lined path in Central Park that pans out to allow you to see the park in the larger view of the city.

I love the ways that photography helps me see the world…and present the world in ways that are beautiful, unexpected, unique, and interesting.  And I like that I can take the same picture in many different ways. One of the most important lessons that I continue to learn as a photographer is that it’s up to me to create that image through my lens.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it. – Ansel Adams

As I considered this month’s challenge, I wanted the opportunity for us to play around with the idea of taking the same shot/image and doing something different with it.  So…will this mean posting two photos each day?  I think maybe it will.  And to encourage this experimentation, let’s try a different category of creation each week.

June 1-8:  Frame of Reference

Every day take two shots of your subject, each with a different frame a reference.  In this example I took this shot of the lighthouse in the distance.  It shows the rocky jetty…and people walking on it toward the lighthouse.  The second shot is much closer and captures more of the movement in the water.  You might use a collage app to post your pictures side by side, or you can post each separately.

lighthouse distance

lighthouse close

June 9-15:  Cropping

For this week, take a photo each day and use a cropping technique to create two different shots…the original and the cropped version.  With cropping you can eliminate some of what we can see in the photo, change the place where we see the central image, or draw our eye in a new way to where you want us to place our focus.  My original photo here was of the hot air balloon rising.  My iPhone camera struggles a bit with distance shots…and there is a lot of background in the picture.  Using Camera+ I was able to crop the photo, eliminating the ground, the trees, and the other balloon, focusing your eye on the balloon in the sky.

hot air balloon distance

up in a balloon

June 16-22: Filters

This week use a filter (or two or three) to create a new version of your photo.  There are many apps that offer filters…from Instagram and Camera+ to Vintique, Picfx, Snapseed and more.  Be playful…try something you hadn’t considered before.  With this photo, I loved the original and the way the tall palms play with the low-lying clouds.  And then I was playing with Picfx and found this brown filter that makes the clouds even more prominent.



June 23-30:  Use a combination of techniques

For the last week of June, try combining techniques to create a photo two (or three) ways.  You might crop and filter, shoot from different angles and crop…explore the ways that layering techniques change the composition and effect of your photo.  Here’s one I tried a few different ways.  The original was a long shot of the Cleveland skyline.  In the second version I cropped to eliminate the extraneous foreground and used a “scene” in Camera+ to brighten the photo.  And then in the third I imported the cropped and brightened version into another app to apply a filter.

cleveland skyline original

cleveland skyline bright

Cleveland skyline

So now it’s your turn.  Experiment with creating your own versions of one photo, two ways.  After you shoot, post a photo (or both) each day with the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices to Twiiter, Instagram, Flicker, Google+ and/or Facebook (the more the better!), so that we can all enjoy the posts. If you are game for some extra action, compose a blog post about a photo, a week’s worth of photos, write a photo essay, try a learning walk, or write some poetry or even a song! You are invited to create a pingback by linking to this url or post your blog address in the comment section. It’s fun for me to see what others are doing with the same prompts I am using!

With summer beginning, it’s the perfect time for some playfulness and experimentation…try something with your photos that you have never tried before!  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!














Weekly Photo Challenge: Frames

Here’s the week 2 Weekly Photo Challenge prompt for the NWP iAnthology.  You can look back at week one here.

I take and post a picture every day, and have for over a year and half now.  Sometimes I find myself taking the same photo over and over again.  Somehow I stand in the same place and use the same angle…and the photos begin to look the same.

So to keep myself from falling into this familiarity rut, I try different photography techniques. One I have done some experimenting with is using the natural frames I find in the environment when I am shooting pictures.

Here’s a couple of my examples.  One of my favorites is this view of the ocean through the pier.  I took several other shots, but I love the way this one is like a door opening, framing the sea.

pier frame

Here is a playful one I took during my morning playground duty using the playground equipment as the frame.

playground frame

And here’s one of a window–that includes the window frame as a frame itself.

window frame

Share a photo of a frame you have found…post either the photo alone or do some writing inspired by the photo.  And feel free to be inspired by the photos of others…and either write based on another’s photo or shoot another photograph of a frame based on the inspiration of someone else’s photo.

If you also share on other social media (Twitter, Facebook, google+, Instagram), use the hashtag #frames and include @nwpianthology to make it easy for us to find and enjoy!  You can find me @kd0602.  Be sure to share your media handles too!

And if you are reading this on my blog, feel free to share your photo/response by either linking your photo or your blog to the comment section below.  I am excited to see the frames you have explored through your lens!

September Smooth

The first week of September at #sdawpphotovoices had us looking for texture…specifically taking photos that focused on #smooth.  And while I could find photo subjects that were smooth, I found myself pushing to create more interesting photographic images.

I played with frames and framing and with cropping and the effects of filters using photography apps.  Here’s a fun one from yesterday that has nothing to do with smooth.


This bride and her groom were being photographed on the beach…and this guy on his bicycle rode by at the perfect time to get him in the shot.  I love the juxtaposition of these people in my shot.

I think my favorite image of smoothness is this picture of a smooth rock swirling in the smoothness of the surf.  It’s funny because I had bent down to capture this smooth rock and my sunglasses fell onto the ground before I snapped the shot.  When I grabbed them and reset myself to take the shot I nearly landed in the water–the surf had come back up without me noticing and surprised me as I remained low to the ground to get my shot.  Sometimes happy accidents make the best photos!


I was obviously not at my smoothest, but I like this #smooth shot!

An Unusual Point of View

Yesterday I wrote a post about playing with frames where I was looking for different ways to photograph the ordinary in my life.  This evening I headed off to the beach (again) to cool off and enjoy the sunset.  And with my iPhone camera in hand I was again looking for new ways to explore the beach photographically.

When I sat down to write this post, I wondered about my topic.  Would I write about my school day?  Would I participate in Five Minute Friday and write about red?  I took a quick look at my blog reader and saw today’s Friday Weekly Photo Challenge on The Daily Post…and discovered that this week’s challenge is just what I have been working at!  The challenge is titled, “An Unusual Point of View” and talks about trying new ways to take photos of ordinary (or popular) views.

Back to the beach.  The tide was ultra low when we arrived and the seabirds were feasting in the wet sand.  I love sandpipers and their gently curved beaks that poke deep in the wet sand pulling up tiny shellfish and crabs.  I was stalking this pair as they searched the shore and shot this photo, capturing the reflection of the cliffs in the wet sand.  Can you spot my pair of sandpipers?


As the sun moved lower on the horizon, I took a few shots and then felt that they were too much like the sunset photos I took last week.  How could I frame them differently?  I noticed that through my sunglasses the view looks different than it does when I look without them.  I decided to use my sunglasses as both a frame and filter for a picture of the setting sun.


And then as the sun sat down into the water, I tried using the people in the water as features of my photos.  I tried some fishermen, some surfers…and then captured this pair which I am titling, Into the Sunset.


I love stretching and trying out new strategies.  The experimentation adds a new dimension to my view of the world and has me alert to novel opportunities for photos.  I look forward to seeing what others produce with their unusual points of view.  What does an unusual point of view do to your craft?

Reflections on Yellow

I love focusing on a single theme all week long with my photography.  Instead of feeling limited, I find myself not only looking for ways to capture my “word,” I also find myself searching for new ways to frame my shots to create interesting and different photos.

One of my favorites this week is this picture of the variegated hibiscus (orange with yellow at the center) with the flamingos slightly out of focus in the background.  I was intentional at including the flamingos and was working for a crisp focus on the flower.  I’m pretty happy about the result.

hibiscus with flamingos

I worked hard to avoid yellow as road signs and street markings (once I got past the fire hydrant) this week.  Yellow was more challenging as a photographic topic than red.  Here’s a snippet of the entire week:

yellow collage

It is so much fun to see what other people participating in this photo-a-day challenge come up with!  There are some gorgeous yellow pictures out there this week.  I love that Janis’s (@janisselbyjones) yellow “abandoned bucket” was featured on the Litterati Facebook page this week!

Looking forward to orange!  We’d love you to join us, check out the challenge here.


With each photo I take with my cell phone, I spend more and more time thinking about how to frame the picture I see. I’ve learned that using the zoom feature on my phone helps me see the object clearly in the moment, but degrades the quality of the photograph when I go to edit. I can reframe in the editing process, pulling the image in closer, eliminating some of the background noise. If I shoot too “big” I often find myself with a nondescript landscape. Finding some kind of focal point makes the photo more interesting–and often evokes the curiosity of viewers.

This article in the New York Times on July 2, 2013 also has me thinking about frames and framing.  The author plans an outing for his 6 year old nephew based on both his budget and his nephew’s interests and personality.  A focus on Grady’s interest in art and low-key, meandering pace in life creates a day filled with drawing and art museums punctuated with opportunities for Grady to interact with working artists, study a variety of art forms, and enjoy a leisurely day with his uncle.  Framed in another way, Grady could have been disenfranchised, alienated by having to hurry here and there without the time to study and try out what he found interesting along the way.  Uncle Seth’s focus created spaces for Grady’s curiosity to blossom.

This has me thinking about ways I can use this idea of framing in my classroom and in my work with teachers, foregrounding student interests while keeping the skills and processes needed for learning success in mind.  I’m wanting each of my students to feel like Grady did on his outing with his uncle: like learning is what you do when you’re enjoying what interests you.  That’s what happening with my photography.  I’m learning as I play around–and through connections with others with a wide variety of interests and skills that relate to what I am doing.  My photography (and the photos themselves) are not framed in a permanent shape with a single focus, I am continually exploring frames and how they work with the images and ideas for each shot.

School curriculum often feels like it exists in the noun “frame” rather than used flexibly with the verb “frame”–ignoring students’ strengths, challenges, and existing interests and knowledge.  Does the frame/framing metaphor work for teaching and learning?  I’d love to know what you think!