Tag Archives: iphoneography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

How many photos is too many to take of the beach? That question runs though my mind as I take photo after photo at this place I treasure. Looking through my lens I see the constant change…in light, in tide, in surf, in people, in rocks, in sand, in shells, in surfers, and more.

The unseasonably warm temperatures (80’s in February) and convenient after-work low tides collided to make perfect conditions for walking and taking photos all week long.  I found the most unexpected treasures as I walked.

The warm temps created different layers in the sky…and early in the week an almost misty condition.  These seagulls seemed to be playing tag, chasing each other into the sun.  I love the golden glows in this treasure.

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Early in the week the tides were particularly low, exposing large expanses of reef.  I walked way out toward the end of this outcropping where the treasures of tide pools were exposed.

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Walking north instead of south another day revealed the treasure of tiny shells instead of rocks under my feet.  I love the colors and textures of the thousands of shells.

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There are lots of varieties of seagulls too.  These guys always crack me up…I swear they look like Groucho Marx with their thick eyebrows and funny hairdos.  And I caught this guy in quite a pose!

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And thanks to my husband and my friend Janis, I can’t walk the beach without noticing the trash that washes onto shore.  This was a week for interesting trash…shoes, pvc pipe, electrical cord, and many surfboard fins.  I’m kind of a trash snob, I prefer to photograph and pick up the most exotic trash…like this piece of shoe that seems to be turning into its own island!  (Thanks #litterati for featuring this one as your Facebook and Twitter photo of the day on Thursday.)

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Yesterday as I bent down to photograph this fin, I was in the perfect position to catch the surfer in the background.  I can imagine him thinking, “Where did that fin go?”  Once photographed, I pick up the trash and carry it to the trashcan (or sometimes take it home–I seem to be starting a surfboard fin collection!).

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And I can never resist taking my favorite shot as I head toward the parking lot…one that features the sun setting behind the lifeguard tower, truly a treasure to behold!  (Complete with sun flare)

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So where do you find your treasures?  Are they revealed as the snow falls?  As you dig in the garden? Exposed by the light shining through the window of your house?

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 #treasure for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

The beach revealed many treasures for me this week.  I can’t wait to see the treasures you find through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quiet

Some weeks the noise and activity of daily life build up to a roar and I crave quiet.  Quiet doesn’t always means perfectly silent, instead it is a place where I can hear myself think…or not think at all.

It seems that when my feet are moving, my brain can quiet.  Sunday’s hike in the Torrey Pines Reserve helped me find that quiet space.  While it wasn’t isolated, the iconic beauty of these rare trees, the endless blue of the sky, and the calming white noise of the waves let me focus on the natural beauty and the movement of my feet instead of the much too long to-do list and the busy week ahead.

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There is something about looking down on the freeway where I spend so much time commuting through the frame of a bare tree that feels calming.  The freeway was a whisper instead of a roar, my attention was drawn to the layers of hills and sky instead.

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The beach called me all week, inviting quiet walks after work several days this week. I watched the seagulls playing in the wind currents as the sun settled into the sea.

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I picked up a tulip plant at Trader Joes over the weekend, treating myself to the quiet beauty of the blooms.  It was also an opportunity to play with my iris macro lens attachment for my iPhone, looking closely from a variety of angles.

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Pulling into my own driveway offered a moment of quiet appreciation of the sky framed by this crazy, interesting tree.  The tree doesn’t grow particularly well, but makes an interesting focus for sky gazing (I take way too many pictures that feature this tree!).

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I was back at the beach again after work today, walking in the quiet, soaking in the sea air, enjoying the solitude.  I picked up this sea fan (not really sure what it is called) and played around with photographing it.  I like the way the sun peeks through this view.

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I saw quite a few of these turban snail shells.  This one was snuggled into the sand…much bigger than the ones I usually see.  Instead of picking it up, I stooped low to collect the photo rather than the shell.

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I noticed the colors…the green of the algae, the blues of the sky and water, the gold of the setting sun and the darkness of the shapes silhouetted by the light behind them…and I heard the quiet of nature’s beauty.  I felt my shoulders relax and dropped my burdens for a while.  I still have some work ahead of me…but the quiet allowed me space to recharge–both my energy and my spirits.

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So, where do you find quiet?  Is it amidst the noisy clatter of the kitchen as you work magic preparing food?  In your garden, tending the plants trying to survive unpredictable weather?  On the playground watching your child at play?  With busy hands as you knit, crochet, sew, paint…?

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 #quiet for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

How will you express quiet through a photo?  Where do you go when you seek respite from the busy of your life?  This week go out and find your quiet…and share it through your lens!

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: On and Off the Wall

This week I’ve been working on reminding myself to take pictures, even when they seem ordinary.  Today I got lucky and had a bit of time to spare as I headed off to get my hair cut.  I knew I would stop and get some coffee…and remembered some wall art I had seen some weeks before but hadn’t stopped to look more closely.  I parked near my coffee place, but headed off in search of the walls I remembered.

As I walked, I noticed some other places to explore.  When I saw this wall, it was even better up close than I had noticed at a distance.  I love the way this painting on the wall also interacts with the planters jutting off the wall and the building features.

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I crossed the street and headed back in the other direction where I had seen another wall mural.  But first I came across this incredible Eucalyptus with a huge trunk, rounded by years, thick and sturdy.  I started to think about the ways our bodies change with time.  And even if we work to stay thin, mature bodies thicken and bulge as time passes.  I always feel like I want to judge my thickness, push it away, hide it…but admiring this incredible tree made me start to rethink my attitudes.  I’m still working to embrace the aging process.

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Apparently this wall mural is part of an ongoing art contest, featuring a local artist’s work on the side of the building.  On the side of a local restaurant, this larger-than-life art helps to draw attention to the business.  I didn’t get close enough to read carefully about the contest, but the art is interesting and definitely attracted my attention.

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I cut through the parking lot and remembered another painting on the side of the liquor store.  I turned my phone sideways to capture the perspective of wall, liquor store, and parking lot.

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Around the corner from the coffee place, I remembered this wall painting of cats with colors raining down onto them.

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And remembered the deluge of rain on Monday at school–water poured off the roof and the walls.  I have yet to master the art of photographing rain, but I think you can see the water pouring down.

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So take a look at the walls around you.  What’s on the walls…or maybe off the wall in the places your frequent? Maybe you won’t find wall murals…but as you look closely, what will you find? Will you notice a rounded mature eucalyptus tree–and rethink the shape of your body?  Will you notice the beauty of randomly stacked odds and ends?  Or maybe the sun slanting down on an old building?

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 #walls for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So take a look around…what’s on or off your walls?  I can’t wait to see walls through your lens!

Some of My Favorite Things: October’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

More than three years into participating in photo-a-day challenges, the taking and posting of daily photos has become a firmly ingrained habit (my husband often calls it an obsession!).  I create a new challenge each month to keep myself challenged and to invite others to play along with me.  Some months I notice that I mostly ignore the prompts (that I created) and post whatever strikes my fancy.

So I thought we’d try something a bit different this month.  Let’s just focus on our favorite things…images that reach out and grab your attention.  But…let’s challenge ourselves to use a variety of different approaches/techniques each week.

During each week, work through the following seven approaches…in any order.

  1. Black and white
  2. Use a filter
  3. Use the rule of thirds (or simply avoid the middle)–what happens when you frame your subject off center?
  4. Use a natural frame
  5. Experiment with light
  6. Use leading lines—frame your shot by letting the natural lines (fences, roads, walls…) direct the viewer’s eye
  7. Get close

So…to get you thinking, here are few of my most recent favorite things!

Here’s the super moon eclipse, using the rule of thirds and no filter.  It became nearly impossible to photograph as it got darker…but it was pretty right before the light faded away.

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I got up close to this little crab.  I love the brilliant colors…and playing with my new iPhone camera!

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The archway at the Griffith Observatory made a natural frame for the Hollywood sign in the distance.

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The soft light and shadow caught my eye as I spied this unusual flower growing along a fence on a walk to the beach.

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The reflection of the sun on the water creates a leading line that also highlights the lines of the waves and the clouds.  Straight lines and curves playing together.

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And because I love to break my own rules, here’s one that shows action.  It’s not on the list…but I love the play of the splash on the rocks–it doesn’t need a filter in my opinion!

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As always, our challenge will allow us to learn from each other as we shoot our own photos and study the photos others shoot. Remember, each week try a different technique each day…you can follow the seven above in order, mix them up, and/or invent your own like I did. 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 can’t wait to see some of your favorite things…and share lots more of my own!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Tonight was Open House at my school, that wonderful evening of celebrating all the learning that has happened all year.  The third graders (and their parents and teachers) are feeling a bit melancholy, realizing that the end of three years is in sight and there is change in the air.

In addition to spending time chatting with families we currently teach, we also met many of the students who will be our first graders in the fall.  Those shy, unfamiliar faces will soon be a part of our learning community.

Tonight’s Open House featured MACville–our student created community made up of twelve 32 x 32 inch grids.  Each grid was planned by a group of four students working within the constraints of a building code.  Here’s a peek at our cardboard community.

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And when I got in my car to head home after a very long day, the sea and sky called to me.  The weather forecasters have been predicting rain, but we often get a chance of rain in the forecast that comes to naught.  But with the sun setting into the ocean and storm clouds gathering, I headed toward the beach with my phone in my pocket.  As the wind whipped my hair and my jacket billowed around me, I snapped shots of the amazing colors of the sky and sea.  No editing was needed, the light and clouds and water did all the work.

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So where is the change in your life right now?  In the weather?  In your classroom?  In your personal life?  In your art?

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 #change for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Change is the air for me right now.  What change will you capture through your lens?

Staying Afloat

I love my job. And yet, I still need time off to refresh and recharge…to stay afloat amid the demands of the work I love. Sometimes I am tempted to use my time off to catch up on the work details that build up in the course of my daily work life or to tackle those cleaning and organizing projects that take so much time. But this week, I mostly spent time exploring, enjoying…and not too much else.

And for this week staying afloat meant climbing the California Tower with my sister and looking out over the beautiful city where I live. The tower, that has been closed to the public for most of my life, offers 360 degrees views…to the ocean, to the mountains, and more. And because of the unique flight path in San Diego, I was watching planes descend right over the city skyline.

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We also met up with this mallard duck couple enjoying a private swim in the small garden fountain. The morning light in this unedited photo seems to emphasize the beauty of the ducks and the surrounding fountain and gardens.

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We found these overturned boats and flowers near the place where Geoff and I lived many years ago, right after we first got married. In the background you can see the boats that are afloat and the brilliant blue of Mission Bay.

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And as much as I love this place I live, getting away helps me to unwind and push work into the background. So afloat, high in the air (is that a stretch of the word afloat?), we journeyed up the coast to San Francisco. This is one of those places I have been to many times, but sometimes forget to “see” it. As we headed out of the city to a destination further north, we took the time to stop and appreciate the towering icon that is known as the Golden Gate Bridge.

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I love San Diego beaches…but northern California beaches are a different breed. These are rough and wild…and in the springtime, adorned with beautiful wildflowers. As we stood looking off the cliff near the Point Cabrillo lighthouse, we watched an osprey soar toward us with a fish gripped in his talons. We heard about the migrating whales another couple had just seen, and watched this squirrel nibble near the edge of the cliff.

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A highlight of our trip was a visit with my son and daughter-in-law. They treated us to a hike up a local mountain…Mt. Diablo. As we drove the curving mountain roads, dodging intrepid bicyclists, my son told us about this peak’s unique qualities—including unobstructed views for miles around. Our day wasn’t crystal clear, but the views were breathtaking!

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And all too quickly, our trip must end. As we drove back to the airport for our trip home, I caught another glimpse of beautiful San Francisco and its golden gate…from the Bay Bridge. And with a bit of editing on my iphone photo, you can see what my eyes noticed as we said goodbye.

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I’m wishing for one more day…to wash clothes, pick up some groceries, and maybe catch a nap. But alas, I will be back at work tomorrow…loving every minute and squeezing those essential chores into the creases of my day, and I think that’s where they belong anyway.

Enormous Smallness: April’s Photo a Day Challenge

Photography reminds me to appreciate moments, to slow down and notice light and shadow, a fleeting smile, the graceful curve of a limb and the reflection in a mirrored wall.  Another blogging photographer I admire, Joy of Joyfully Green, just today said, (photography) “…literally lets me stop time for a split second.”

There is something enormous about capturing the smallness of moments–making time stand still–so we can look more closely, study the details, and savor what is often unnoticed.  Paul Strand (among others) did that with his photography.  A friend of mine recently gifted me with some Paul Strand photo postcards from the recent exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art…and I am inspired by the simplicity and grandeur of the everyday moments he captured.

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And I borrowed the title of this post from the title of a picture book I ordered today about the life of ee cummings–a poet who captured enormous smallness through his poetry.  It seems fitting to celebrate the special qualities that photography and poetry share during April…typically a month that celebrates poetry (at least in schools).

Just this afternoon I was mesmerized by the buds on the orchid plant that nearly didn’t survive some time outdoors during our recent kitchen remodel…and the afternoon sunlight highlighted the enormous smallness of these emerging blossom.

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And this tree that grows near my driveway often appears in photos when the sky catches my eye…like this sunrise a week or so ago.

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Sometimes the enormous smallness is found in places where I share experiences–and food–with friends and family.  And the people who accidentally appear in them serve to enhance that quality, like this photo of the Shake Shack in Washington DC…

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or this from the inside looking out from Milk and Honey in Baltimore.  (I like the way the words are reversed since I was photographing from the inside rather than the outside.)

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Sometimes it’s in the grandeur of the mirrored high-rise that I notice the reflection of the neighborhood…

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or the durability of historic architecture that reminds me that there is much to be learned by reading the world rather than solely depending on books.

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Then there is the interplay of past, present, and future in our nation’s capitol–the place where government resides, but doesn’t live.  Our laws and values are enacted in our neighborhoods and cities, but there is something about buildings like the capitol building that remind us that what is national is also local.

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And in my local community where this historic movie theatre still hosts first run films, a place where people gather in the shadows of those who settled this area before the streets and infrastructure that we take for granted existed, we see that our lives interact with those who came before and will influence those who come after us.

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So April’s photo-a-day challenge is to seek out enormous smallness, the beauty in the everyday, the complexity in simplicity, making meaning of seeming chaos.  If you need them, here are some prompts to get your started:

1. April Fools

2.  history

3.  place

4.  outdoors

5.  new

6.  family

7.  work

8.  poetry

9.  laughter

10.  inside

11.  misery

12.  in front of

13.  behind

14.  tears

15.  life

16.  tired

17.  energetic

18.  writing

19.  fear

20.  house

21.  wheels

22.  doors

23.  nature

24.  advocate

25.  old

26.  near

27.  eyes

28.  food

29.  small

30.  enormous

So for April, find the poetry in the everyday…be on the lookout for enormous smallness. Pick a single photo to post each day or create a gallery of your efforts. Post a photo or gallery each day with the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices to Twitter, Instagram, Flicker, Google+ and/or Facebook (the more the better!), so that we can all enjoy the posts. If you would like to expand your exploration, write the poem or the story of the photo, compose a blog post about a photo, a week’s worth of photos, write a photo essay, or make a video or slideshow. 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!

You can post every day, once a week, or even sporadically throughout the month…whatever works in your life. You can post your pictures in the order of the prompts or post the one you find on the day you find it–or make up your own prompt for the day or the week! You get to make your own rules as you seek out your own enormous smallness. Be sure to share and tag your photos with #sdawpphotovoices so we can find them!

Appreciate those moments…and be on the lookout for instances of enormous smallness in your life.  I can’t wait to see what you capture through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Study

 

Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity knows that I spend plenty of time on the beach. And with my camera in hand, I find that I often begin to study the things that I see through my lens.  I’ve been drawn to seagulls lately…as evidenced in the photo gallery above (all images posted on my blog over the last few months).

And as I take photos of seagulls, I have also studied them.  Noticing their habits, their preferences, their personalities…and more.  As I walk along the shore, I am drawn to the crowd of seagulls.  They seem to be social creatures, gathering together to hang out.  They seem to have some favorite spots…and I walk through them on a regular basis.

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I love the way they casually walk away from me as I come near.  Seldom do they take flight as I approach, they just seem to shuffle over a bit as they keep a close eye on my movements.

I am always surprised by their adaptations.  The runoff from the storm drains flows into the ocean near the lifeguard station at our local beach.  I am assuming that this is fresh (ish) water (at least not salt water).  I often see seagulls taking a drink from this runoff–in spite of the fact that we humans get regular warnings to stay away from this water–especially after the rain because of the risk of bacteria.  I caught this guy in action, taking sip from the flowing runoff.

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I love to watch seagulls in flight.  They seem so carefree and graceful in the sky…when they are not squabbling with one another over a bit of food.  This guy today was nice enough to fly right in front of my camera.

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And there are times when it seems that the gulls take to the sky in a carefully choreographed dance, floating on the air waves, dipping and turning, swooping and gliding.  I notice this most often in the late afternoons when I squeeze a walk in after I am done with work.  There was a beautiful performance going on this afternoon as I headed back to my car for my drive home.

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So…what are you studying through your lens?  Nearby birds? The light in the afternoon?  The way snow melts? The plants in your garden or the tree you pass on your way to work each day? If you haven’t yet studied…this is your week for a mini study!

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 #study for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So take a look around…what are you noticing?  What questions does it raise?  Use your lens as a tool for closer study…  I can’t wait to see what you are learning as you study through your lens!