Tag Archives: orange

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

October is nearly over and the weather has finally cooled a bit, so I’m starting to feel the fall vibe in the air.  And I’m noticing tones of orange in my photos.

Just yesterday when I took a calming after-work walk on the beach, I saw this guy on a very large tractor creating a big berm along the shore to protect the beach from the fall and winter tides.

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And with the sun setting earlier (I know, next week will be crazy dark with the time change back to standard time…it will be dark before I get home from work!), I’m noticing the golden orangish glow of the sunset too.

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Over the weekend I was in Alabama (celebrating my mother-in-law’s 89th birthday) and got to spend some time in the local mountains exploring the changing leaves…the reds, golds, oranges…

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A visit to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens brought me eye to eye with this wonderful Halloween blossom of orangish and black!  (I have no idea what its true name is, but I love the slightly crumpled look of it.)

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Here’s another orange beauty from the gardens.

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And we’ve been studying the monarch butterflies that inhabit the garden box outside our classroom.  Like my students, I am fascinated by this beautiful orange and black wonder.  This guy put on quite a performance today, showing off its proboscis as it sipped from the milkweed blossoms…and it posed patiently for me to snap a few shots with my phone.

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So as October ends, head out with your camera and take a look for orange.  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 #orange for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

I can’t wait to see all the orange that you find as you explore your world this week through your lens!

Seeing Orange

In spite of the rain on Sunday and Monday, it seems that spring has sprung in San Diego.  Today’s warm temperatures brought out the bathing suits, shorts, and lots of people heading to the beach.  And there is plenty of orange around.

The vibrance of golden poppies, the amber of giant kelp, a hearty soup of fresh vegetables, pasta, and beans, hang gliders with sun shining through their colorful sails, beach umbrellas casting shadows as protection from the sun, a tangerine hanging from a tree, a tractor lumbering down the beach–used to protect expensive homes from eroding cliffs, and the sun dipping low on the horizon silhouetting the people sitting on the sand berm watching the waves roll.  I’m feeling the shift from winter as the days lengthen…and we spring forward overnight.

What’s orange in your part of the world?

Breaking Through #Orange

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.

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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.

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On Saturday serendipity struck and I was given a small orange bead that became the focus for both my photo and a blog post.

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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:

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berry with orange

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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?

I’d love to know what you think!

A Small Orange Bead

I’m in New York doing some National Writing Project work at a conference center owned by the Girl Scouts of America.  Girl Scout memorabilia and history are prominently displayed and there will even be a s’mores reception tomorrow evening!  Girl Scouts and scouting generally brings to mind merit badges and good deeds–organizations that encourage appreciation of the outdoors as well as effective stewardship of the home and community.  Many women I meet remember their days as Brownies or Girl Scouts with fondness…and who doesn’t anxiously await the annual Girl Scout cookie sale?  Ummm…thin mints!

I wasn’t a Girl Scout.  I was a Camp Fire Girl.  And other than those in my community and my mother who was also a Camp Fire Girl, I seldom run across others who participated in Camp Fire Girls.  It doesn’t have the iconic imagery of scouting or the name recognition, although it still exists today as Camp Fire USA, a co-ed organization.  But somehow, in my group of NWP colleagues we discovered a common bond–several of us were Camp Fire Girls!  This led to reminiscences of our WoHeLo days and the inevitable progression to our collection of beads and how they were sewn (or not) on our ceremonial vests.

So this morning Judy gave me a gift.  She pulls a piece of paper and a small baggie out of her purse and hand me the paper and a small orange bead–a Camp Fire Girl honor bead.

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Judy and I also spent some time this morning, in the course of our work, talking about play and its value in the learning process–and all the ways it has been pushed out of schools and classrooms.  So what does this have to do with Camp Fire Girls, you might ask?  Isn’t it an out-of-school organization?  It is–and there is still a connection in my way of thinking!  My memories of Camp Fire Girls were of sewing, craft projects, field trips, camping trips, cooking out of tin cans, and selling those butter toffee peanuts–we helped each other when we got stuck, when we needed a next bit of information, or someone to show us how.  I remember talking and laughing with my friends as we did these things, and I still remember how to do things that I learned in this context.

In my classroom I want this same kind of playfulness and collaboration among my students as they learn.  I want them to make meaning from their activity, from useful approximations that are revised and reshaped through iteration after interation–not required “drafts” from teachers, but student-generated improvements that clarify thinking and move closer to the intended end point determined by the students themselves based on their audience and purpose.  I want this in classrooms because organizations like the Girl Scouts and Camp Fire USA are not accessible to everyone–and all our kids go to school (or nearly all).  I want playfulness and collaboration to be educational values that are practiced in our public schools as a means of becoming literate, thoughtful, problem posing, and problem solving learners.

I think I’ll find a special place for this small orange bead to remind me that we all need places to play and explore as we learn.