Being back in my classroom preparing for my students’ arrival next week has taken much of my time, attention, and energy this week. It’s already Thursday and I haven’t really given much effort to finding patterns for my photo-a-day challenge. (#sdawpphotovoices) So today I was intentional about looking for patterns and taking some photos.
I started the morning by finding that Margit had put up a beautifully patterned backdrop on the classroom wall in anticipation of some student work that will be created next week. I love the colors and textures of the paper…and this is just a snippet of the larger wall.
As I headed to the other school for a morning of inservice, this odd assortment of chairs was sitting outside in front of a pattern of wall tiles. I like the slightly shuffled look of the chairs. And it’s funny, because when I came out three hours later the chairs were neatly ordered…a pattern I didn’t capture with my camera.
Coming back to my school I noticed this bike rack in front of the office. I was intrigued by the shadows on the right hand side, adding another dimension to the pattern.
When I left school this afternoon I ended up with a short window of time to myself. I stopped by Starbucks for an afternoon coffee and took a wonderful learning walk around the area. I was surprised by all the patterns I found. These four were all around a local restaurant. Textures, shadows, colors, and peek-a-boos all caught my eye!
I haven’t really thought about the way that looking for photo opportunities and framing interesting shots both feeds and relaxes me. My short five-minute walk and photography session was a boost to my feeling of well-being and energy level. I need to remember to find these windows of time–even when I am busy. Hours later I still feel refreshed by my afternoon pattern walk!
I love the challenge of taking and posting a photo every day. I could just take a picture, but the daily/weekly prompts push me to reframe and rethink what I choose to photograph. This month’s challenge–a different color every week–has posed some new considerations for my photography. Red and yellow pushed at my choices and had me thinking about and looking for ways to highlight those colors photographically. I was still finding interesting scenes and objects…at least one each day that “fit” in the color frame for me. This past week was orange and I began to feel that the task was hard. I could find orange–but it seemed so ordinary and overdone–caution cones, warning signs, and flowers. So I photographed a mural, those ever-present cones, some orange furniture, and made a mural collage.
But my photos were feeling boring–I wasn’t inspired. Apparently, somewhere in the process of spending a week focused on a color I had raised the photography bar for myself. I wanted interesting, provocative, artistic shots–and they still needed an orange focus. The orange umbrellas from Friday were a bit better–I like the framing of the shot.
On Saturday serendipity struck and I was given a small orange bead that became the focus for both my photo and a blog post.
And then on Sunday (the last day of orange) I had a breakthrough of sorts. My learning walk gave me the time, space, and focus to tune into the orange around me in interesting ways. I ended up posting these three:
And there were a few others that I haven’t posted yet.
So today begins green. I like taking the opportunity to reflect on the week of photos and think about my growth as a photographer and my thinking about how the constraints of the photo-a-day challenge (self-imposed) support and/or interfere with my creativity. What am I missing when I focus on a theme or prompt? What do I gain when I force myself to “see” through a constrained lens?