Tag Archives: monochromatic

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weather or Not..

We returned to school, deep in winter.  Flurries of white (paper) mounded as students began their study of snow and inquiry into how to cut hexagonal snowflakes from a square piece of paper.  Outside was cold by San Diego standards with students mostly in long pants and surfers in their full wetsuits.


Weather is rare in these parts.  We hear stories of snow and ice across the country and across the state, but here weather changes are subtle. Clouds change the looks of our mostly blue skies, creating opportunities for dramatic photo images.


More common for us is the grayness of fog.  Sometimes it’s just the grayness of cloudy skies that obscure the sun.  Monochromatic landscapes emerge from the grayness, like these birds in flight near the shore.  I am struck by how much this one looks like a painting with the hints of sunset in the background.


Our oft-promised rain actually materialized this week, giving us a full day cooped up inside the classroom.  At UCSD, the fog rolled in with the rain, painting the world white as the sky crouched low to the ground.  (And what is better than a polka-dot umbrella to brighten a gray landscape?)


Arriving home later that evening after a late meeting, the half moon beckoned, daring me to try to photograph it.  The result, better than I had hoped (no editing or filter here)…with the palms across the street appearing in the dark photo.


And after the rain, yesterday dawned bright.  To cap off the workweek, I headed to the beach for a walk on the beach to clear my head and breathe deeply.  I was treated with creamy sun-kissed waves washing up on the shore as the tide crept to its peak.  I was reminded of a poem we had studied in class with our students about “bubble and froth.”

“Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.”
― Adam Lindsay Gordon


When I looked up, I noticed the moon again, this time in full daylight. This is the blue sky I am used to, punctuated by the palms on the cliffs above the beach.  Sometimes it’s about the weather…and sometimes not.


So, what will you find when you consider the weather…or not?  How does weather impact your choices in photography?  Do you choose subjects differently?  With weather (or a lack of weather) as your muse, what will you find?

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

How will the weather impact your photography this week?  And weather or not it does, be sure to share some of your images!

Beach Hues: Monochromatic

The beach offers me endless inspiration, stimulating my senses with the light, the life, the variety…and the sameness.

The ocean and the shoreline is an endless variety of blues, whites, and grays.  Some days the colors are vibrant and fully saturated, other days, they are muted–layering hues of a single color in subtle textures like this image of a seagull taking flight toward the wave rolling in.


Sometimes the sky is reflected in the wetness of the ground.  Clouds to walk in, waves to walk in…echoes of each other.


And look up and see the clouds like waves, a backdrop for a tiny airplane, perhaps a biplane, awash in blue and white.


It is the monochromatics of the beach that help me see texture, that force me to look closely to notice the daily changes and the endless variety of the cliffs, the waves, the sky, the shoreline…


Light and angle–twin photography tools–teach me about seeing and finding the beauty in the extraordinary sameness of the beach.