Tag Archives: photo-a-day

Love to Play: February’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

Since making play my word for the year, I find myself looking for opportunities to incorporate more play in the ordinariness of my everyday life.  How can I be more playful on my commute to work?  How can vacuuming and doing the dishes be more like play?  How can grant writing and lesson planning play with ideas I’ve always wanted to try?

So, playing around with the theme of love in honor of Valentine’s Day, (right smack in the middle of February), let’s put some love into playing with some photography techniques!  (Thanks, Janis, for the suggestion!)

So for February’s #sdawpphotovoices photo-a-day challenge, we’ll focus on a different aspect of photography each week.

After you shoot, post a photo 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 are game for some more playfulness, compose a blog post about a photo, a week’s worth of photos, write a photo essay, make a video or slideshow or try a learning walk!  (More about learning walks here and here) 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!

Week 1:  Playing with Composition

1. Simplify the scene—move in closer to remove distracting details

2.  Rule of thirds (or simply avoid the middle)–what happens when you frame your subject off center?

3.  Use leading lines—frame your shot by letting the natural lines (fences, roads, walls…) direct the viewer’s eye

4.  Use diagonals—shift the angle, tilt your camera…

5.  Check your background—what’s behind your subject? Experiment with finding a background that works with your subject

6.  Fill the frame—zoom in or step closer to fill the frame with your subject

7.  Break the rules—experiment with your own compositional style

Leading lines

Leading lines

Week 2:  Playing with Light

8.  Shoot into the light to create a silhouette

9.  Capture a shadow

10. Find the light in a dark setting

11.  Make light the centerpiece of the photo

12.  Experiment with light and dark in one photo

13.  Include a reflection (water is useful here!)

14.  Try something new with light (either natural light or some other light source)

Reflection

Reflection

Week 3:  Playing with Perspective

15.  Get low

16.  Shoot from above

17.  Create an optical illusion

18.  Play with negative space

19.  Get close

20.  Try a wide angle effect

21.  What other perspective have you tried?

Looking Up

Looking Up

Week 4:  Playing with Genre

22.  Architecture

23.  Black and White

24.  Children

25.  Landscape

26.  Macro

27.  Nature

28.  Street photography

Architecture

Architecture

Our goal is to play, share with each other, and learn from each other as we shoot our own photos and study the photos others shoot.  Each week includes seven suggestions for exploring the technique.  You are welcome to follow them in order, mix them up, or exchange them for a technique you want to try on.  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!

Taking Action in 2014: January’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

Happy New Year!  The New Year is typically a time for resolutions and goals—generally aimed at improving your health or your life.  Unfortunately, they are also easily abandoned and left unrealized.  So maybe instead of focusing on weight loss or exercise or one of those other hard to realize goals, we can take some inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrate this month, and focus on action each day instead.

So for January we have a list of verbs…one for each letter of the alphabet and five more thrown in…to inspire action through photography.  As always, you are welcome to interpret the prompts in whatever way inspires your creativity and pushes your photographic eye. Maybe the action is captured by the photograph.  Or maybe the verb reflects the actions you use to prepare your photo—with filters and editing, camera lenses or photographic techniques.  This might be the month  to explore light and shadow, the rule of thirds, and a variety of angles.  (Let us know if you’ve tried a specific technique so we can all learn from you!)

After you shoot, post a photo 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 are game for some extra action, compose a blog post about a photo, a week’s worth of photos, write a photo essay, or try a learning walk!  (More about learning walks here and here) 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!

Here’s the list:

1. analyze

2. build

3. create

4. climb

5. dash

6. examine

7. focus

8. generate

9. help

10. innovate

11. jumble

12. kick

13. lick

14. mentor

15. make

16. nudge

17. organize

18. peek

19. program

20. question

21. resolve

22. renovate

23. submit

24. teach

25. understand

26. utilize

27. vouch

28. write

29. eXamine

30. yearn

31. zip

Let’s make an impact in 2014!  Have fun, be creative, explore the limits of your photography…January is the perfect time to follow through with what you have been meaning to do for a while.  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!

And here’s a photo to inspire you to get started!

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‘Tis the Season: December’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

Short days, long nights, decorations, parties, presents, shopping, vacation, lights, food, family, and friends…  December is full of fun, frenzy, tradition, and celebration.  No matter your religious beliefs, December is filled with signs of the season–whatever that season means to you.

Let’s take this month to interpret the season in ways that make the most sense for us as photographers.  Here’s a list of 31 seasonal prompts to be used in whatever ways stir your creative urges.  You can use the prompts daily in the order they are displayed…or you can pick one to use all month, you can mix and match them, combine them, focus a week on one or two…it is totally up to you!

Be sure to post a photo each day with the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices to Twitter, Instagram, Flicker, Google+ and/or Facebook (the more the merrier!), so that we can all enjoy the posts.  If you are feeling daring, you might compose a blog post about a photo…about a week’s worth of photos…create a photo essay…the possibilities are endless!  Be sure to link back here to create a pingback by linking to this url…or post your blog address in the comments (or create your entire response in the comment section).  It’s fun to see what others do!

Here’s the list to get you started:

1.  green

2.  deal

3.  gift

4.  garland

5.  candle

6.  bargain

7.  decorate

8.  poinsettia

9.  feast

10.  red

11.  Santa

12.  hearth

13.  tradition

14.  elf

15.  tree

16.  present

17.  holiday

18.  star

19.  festive

20.  frosty

21.  winter

22.  candy

23.  celebrate

24.  bells

25.  wreath

26.  fruitcake

27.  retrospective

28.  light

29.  party

30.  parade

31.  new

Have fun, be creative, explore the limits of your photography…after all, 2013 is nearly over!  You can post every day, once a week…or sporadically throughout the month, whatever works in your life.  Be sure to share…and to tag your photos so we can all find them!

I hope you’ll join me as your photos help you express your experiences of the season!

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Sense-ing Your World: November’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

November is a month that tickles our senses.  Delicious tastes of holiday traditions, the smells of fragrant fall spices, the sounds of crunching leaves, and the caress of breezes hinting of winter to come…

Alexandra Horowitz, in her book On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes, reminds us:

“To a surprising extent, time spent going to and fro–walking down the street, traveling to work, heading to the store or a child’s (or one’s own) school–is unremembered.  It is forgotten not because nothing of interest happens.  It is forgotten because we failed to pay attention to the journey to begin with.  On the phone, worrying over dinner, listening to others or to the to-do lists replaying in our own heads, we miss the world making itself available to be observed.  And we miss the possibility of being surprised by what is hidden in plain sight right in front of us.”

November’s photo-a-day challenge is an invitation to pay attention by “seeing” through your other senses.  How can you capture taste, smell, sound, or touch in a photo?

Each week we will focus on a different sense.  Feel free to interpret the prompt in the broadest possible way.  Be playful and creative…and most of all, have fun!

Be sure to post your photo each day to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Flickr using the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices.  (You can post anywhere, but if you want others to be able to follow your photos, Instagram and Twitter are best!)

November 1-8: taste

November 9-15:  sound

November 16-22: touch

November 23-30: smell

I can’t wait to see what we all come up with!  You might also want to reflect on what you learned with each sense and curate your favorite photos.  It would make a great blog post!  Be sure to provide a link to your blog post in the comments below.

Here’s a preview entry from my time in our school’s garden today:

Young arugula will soon find its way into a #tasty salad.

Young arugula will soon find its way into a #tasty salad.

You are invited to post every day, once a week, or whenever you can find the time.  Join in the fun!  November is a great month to begin! (or begin again!)

Make it Write: October’s Photo-a-Day Experimentation

Maintaining an extended photo-a-day practice (mine has gone on for over a year now!) means figuring out how to keep it interesting and creative.  I depend on my friends to help me think through new ideas and consider whether my ideas are feasible or not.

So Abby suggested making this month about writing since it is the month of the National Day on Writing.  And I was thinking about what that would look like.  I know I don’t want to have to take pictures of hands and pencils all month!  But I love the idea of exploring all the ways we “write” our world.  What inspires our writing?  What impedes our writing?  Where do we find people writing?  Where do we find writing in the spaces we inhabit?  Where is writing absent? What is the writing on the wall?  (How will I incorporate macro photography with this prompt?  Hmmm….)

So all month in our photos I invite you to consider writing in the broadest sense.  Where will this open-ended experiment take you?  Will you find it restrictive or inspiring?  And as always, take some time each week to reflect on your photos, write a blog post or comment sharing those thoughts, select a favorite photo, or create a collage and share it on this post.

And here’s a photo to get you started:

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This is Jack, one of my two cats.  He’s wanting my undivided attention and definitely interfering with my writing as he snoozes on my computer!  (He even managed to type a few letters with his body in the process of being in the way!)

Can’t wait to see all the ways that writing can be interpreted in a photo…

Be sure to post your photo each day to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr using the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices.  (You can post anywhere—if you want others to be able to follow your photos, Instagram and Twitter are best!) For more information about posting click here.  At the end of each week you’re also invited to curate your pictures from the week and select one to highlight.  You might post it on your blog along with some musings about why you selected it.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, you have a couple of choices—you can create a blog (be sure to share it with us by including your blog address in the comments here—or better yet, tweet it using the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices) or you can post to the SDAWP Voices blog.

As the month goes on, come back to this post to link up your curated photos!  Click on the link up button below and add your favorites.  Or post a comment with an image on this post!

The Silent Hand of Design: August’s Photo-a-Day Journey

I’m now just a few days away from a full year of participation in photo-a-day.  This daily practice of taking intentional photographs and posting each day has had a profound effect on my photography skills–and on my powers of noticing in the world.

For the last few months, my #sdawpphotovoices friends and I have been exploring different prompts to push our creativity.  We’ve been inspired by Picasso and Neil Gaiman and last month we spent each week focused on a single color.

I recently came across this Ted Talk by Rob Forbes who talks about design within reach.  He takes about 5000 photos each year, capturing interesting design elements.

I love the idea of the silent hand of design uncovered in the photos he takes.  Unexpected patterns and textures, angles and curves, symmetry and technology pop up in our everyday lives when we take the time to look.  Forbes suggests that the first job of design is to serve a social purpose and that the best design preserves diversity and culture.

For the month of August, let’s focus our photography on design.  Each week we will focus on a different element…and at the end of the week we’ll reflect on our photographs and curate our own observations and learning.  (I am cross-posting this at SDAWP Voices where Barb will create a link up for us each week)

photo-4

Take a picture each day that somehow captures the design element and post it to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr using the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices.  (You can post anywhere—if you want others to be able to follow your photos, Instagram and Twitter are best!)  For more information about posting click here.  At the end of each week let’s add an additional challenge:  curate your pictures from the week and select one to highlight.  You might post it on your blog along with some musings about why you selected it.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, you have a couple of choices—you can create a blog (be sure to share it with us by including your blog address in the comments here—or better yet, tweet it using the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices) or you can post to the SDAWP Voices blog.

August 1-4:  symmetry

August 4 or 5: reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

August 5-11:  curves

August 11 or 12:  reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

August 12-18:  angles

August 18 or 19:  reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

August 19-25:  patterns

August 25 or 26:  reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

August 26-31:  repetition

August 31 or September 1:  reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

As an extra invitation, at the end of the month, pick your five favorites to inspire a bit of writing or art or something else you want to make.  Be sure to share your creativity and what you discover through the process.  I can’t wait to see what our focus on design elements will reveal!

Basketball Hoop with #Green Backboard

This week’s photo-a-day theme was green.  Finding green was easy…plants and trees are everywhere!  The challenge for me was to find interesting photographic subjects beyond the beautiful plants, leaves, stems, and buds that caught my eye.

And I took some beautiful pictures this week.  (Check out yesterday’s post for some examples)  And I also took a number of photos this week that I like and didn’t post.  I have a great one of green tomatoes that I’ve been tempted to use.

So I’m going to highlight my most puzzling photo for the week.  I took this photo of a ragged basketball hoop with a green backboard at a local elementary school where I attended a workshop this week.  The school is older, but well kept.  There are interesting art installations on the grounds and a super cute garden.  The only thing that seemed out of place was this particular basketball hoop with the green backboard.

photo

There were other basketball hoops nearby–all white, and with intact nets.  So why is this one green?  And why has the torn net not been replaced?  I think there is a story here…or at least one developing in my mind.  What story does this image suggest to you?

And then…this is the perfect picture as green ends and we move to blue…