Tag Archives: texture

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

Life is full of texture, the sense of depth and variation that makes it seem as if our eyes can feel the smoothness, the roughness, and the differences in surfaces that we usually notice with our fingertips.

Tonight’s sunset is a perfect example.  Driving home from the Digital Media and Learning Conference (DML), I couldn’t help but notice the ways the setting sun interacted with the clouds along the coast.  Luckily, the rest area right off the freeway overlooks the ocean, so a quick stop when I was almost home allowed me to catch the sunset up close and personal–the perfect opportunity to enjoy the texture of the colors of the sun and the clouds as it dipped into the sea.

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Other days, the texture is apparent in the lack of color.  This week was filled with low tides at times that corresponded with the end of my work day.  As I walked and watched the seabirds frolic and eat along the exposed shore, my camera captured the texture of the silvery waves, bird silhouettes, and shadows, turning the photo to black and white without the use of a filter.

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Last weekend the light was just right to capture the glassy smoothness of the clouds reflected on the wet sand.  This photo feels smooth and shiny, like I could turn the photo over and the same image would be visible.

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While in Los Angeles visiting with my grandson, I found texture in lights.  I was surprised to find a chandelier hanging in the middle of a street.  The layers of wires and lights create a feeling of texture–I imagine what this would look like lit up in the dark!

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Nearby, at the Museum of Neon Art, I watched these lights in constant movement, creating a texture and depth that the still photo just can’t capture.  I love the idea that light also creates texture.

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And then there’s pomegranates.  Smooth on the outside, unless you look into the star-shaped end.  I love the way the macro lens allows me to see the filaments where the fruit once bloomed.

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Today marks the day that I learned to knit–at a digital media conference–as a way of learning about math!  In less than 40 minutes I learned how to use knitting needles to create this swatch of a yarn textile.  I can’t wait to bring this back to my students!

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Drought resistant plants often have an interesting texture.  This tiny bloom was surrounded by the kinds of leaves that preserve moisture and are common in southern California.  The actual bloom is probably the size of my pinky fingernail!

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So, take a look around.  What texture do your eyes detect?  What looks smooth?  What looks bumpy or rough?  Do colors create texture?  What textures do you find in an absence of color?

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

Where will you find texture?  Head out and investigate the textures we usually notice with our fingertips…what textures will your eyes “feel?”  Be sure to snap a few photos and share the textures you notice through your lens.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

Sometimes a change of scenery can be the perfect push to increase creativity.  So, instead of heading to the beach, I got on a long sleek train and headed up to Los Angeles.  I’ve only ridden a train a few times in my life, but I wanted to explore whether or not the train would be a better option than driving myself through typical weekday LA traffic.

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The Surfliner takes a coastal route as it leaves my place, offering spectacular views of the ocean.  A young woman sitting across from me on her way to Disneyland informed me that the views end when you can no longer see the ocean.  But I kept my eyes peeled for interesting images–and was rewarded by a rich palette of visual textures.

It’s interesting to see what occupies the places near the train tracks. Where the tracks are near the ocean, there are restaurants and homes…and lots of apartments.  As we moved more inland, the spaces near the tracks were filled with building goods stacked high. The rough rusted back of this sign made me wonder what it said from the other side and the stacks of yellow-tipped smooth black pipes caught my eye.

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After some very slow going because of a freight train with a lopsided load, as we came around a corner, the LA skyline came into view. Short and tall, old and new, metal and painted, my eye was drawn to the arrangements that make up downtown.img_9741

As we pulled into Union Station, I caught a glimpse of the sun peeking out from behind the nearby building.  The milky clouds, the bright sun, and the dirty train window all create an interesting textural composition.

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As we changed course and headed toward Burbank, I noticed all the lines of the electrical towers.  Vertical, horizontal, and crisscrossing lines create floating tic-tac-toe boards against the blue and white sky.

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And the LA aquaduct came into view.  These mostly empty cement riverbeds run through the city bisected with bridges of different types and purposes. In some places you might notice the tags of graffiti artists along the cement sides and ducks floating in the shallow pools.

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These iconic palms lined up in rows against the pinks and tangerines of the buildings signaled our approach to the suburbs.  And the blue skies became more mottled white as the weather shifted from summer in February to impending rain.

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As I waited for the train to take me back home later that evening, shiny wetness reflected the lights of the station. And in the distance you can see my train making its approach.

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So take a look around for some visual texture this week.  Will you find it in your ordinary outings or will you need to venture out into parts unknown?

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

Keep your eyes peeled for texture this week…it may be created with color, with line, because of the clouds or even a dirty window.  I look forward to seeing how texture fills your life…and your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

Do you speak in images? Enjoy taking photos to document your experiences or just to express what you notice in the world? Love to share them with others? Welcome to the weekly photo challenge! I post a new challenge each week…check in regularly and join the fun!

I continue to learn about and be challenged by light as I take pictures.  Sometimes the photos I take seem flat, without the detail and texture that I see with my eyes.  Just last week when I was walking at the beach in the evening, the sun was just right and I had to snap a photo trying to capture the softness and the glow of the moment (and those sandpipers I am always chasing with my camera).  This unedited result was even more amazing than I imagined, capturing the texture of the foamy edge of the wave against the smooth sand.

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The light that pours into my dining room in the afternoon lit up the roses in the vase on table. I like that you can see the layers of petals and almost feel the softness through the image–even though the light creates a variegated effect on this solid-colored red rose.

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Sometimes it is the breeze that creates the texture in a photo.  The Star of India is an old clipper sailing ship that now operates as a museum on the San Diego waterfront.  I like the way the sails…and the American flag billow with a roundness you can almost touch.

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My macro lens is always good for capturing texture.  Getting close makes the textured details more apparent like in this photo of dandelion fluff.

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Or this one of the intricacies of cactus spines on the plant in my back yard.

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And then there is the visual texture of the pattern worn by this giraffe.  His distinctive coloring creates a texture all its own.

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And I love the physical texture I can almost feel with my fingers as my students explored this mystery substance last week in a science lab.  They were mesmerized by the way it was runny and liquid-like sometimes and hard and powdery other times.  I used an app to filter the image that seems to bring attention to the texture of the substance on my student’s hands.

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So now it is your turn to find and snap a photo of texture.  Will it be something oozy and wet, something soft and furry?  Will the light help to define foamy edges or expose the details of layers?

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

What textures will your lens expose?  I can’t wait to see what you find!

 

 

 

A Macro View: Texture

I love using the macro lens.  It magnifies subjects so that what is ordinarily unnoticed suddenly takes shape and comes to the forefront.  So when I saw the Daily Post weekly photo challenge topic of texture…I knew exactly what I wanted to post.

The macro lens on my iPhone is not particularly convenient, I have to take the cover off my phone and then attach the magnetic lens, so I don’t use it as frequently as I would like.  Earlier this week I was in a beautiful garden…meant to be a replica of a homestead garden…in Bozeman, MT at the Museum of the Rockies.  A bounty of flowers and vegetables flourished…calling my attention.  There were poppies, sunflowers, and myriad flowers whose names I don’t know.  And the onions were magnificent!

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And while we needed to head out to the airport for our flight home, I just had to steal away a few minutes for some macro shots.  Here is one of the onion above.

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And here is one of the blossoms of a different variety of onion.

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The brilliant red poppies also caught my eye.  They are gorgeous without looking closely, but magnification brings out the delicate tendrils and the distinctive centers.

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And I also saw these same centers standing alone without the crimson petals.

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As I wandered through the garden I continued to move close and zoom in on blossoms.  This one with the spiky center looks almost like a bouquet of colored pencils

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This fluffy tan ball revealed small individual flowers through my macro lens.

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I’m not sure what this tiny purple ball wrapped in green spines will look like when the bloom opens.

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When looking closely through the macro lens, centers pop, revealing intricacies of design.

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Looking closely creates opportunities to pay attention.  Seeing the contrast between hard and soft edges and elaborate design with repeated patterns also seems to draw attention to the vibrance of color…like in this purple blossom.

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Textures often go unnoticed when we look at flowers and vegetables.  Instead we tend to notice the overall shape and general color, and sometimes the fragrance as well.  I love the ways the centers of flowers uncover distinctive details about how the flower reproduces and unfolds.  What originally appears smooth and soft is more complex and nuanced with a closer look.

And that is true of life too.  Looking closely and paying attention can change our observations and our perspective.  Sometimes you just have to lean in and take the time to smell…and photograph the flowers!

 

A #Scratchy Week

Taking photos of textures is tricky.  It’s easy to find smooth and rough…and even scratchy. But it’s much more challenging to compose an interesting photo that also highlights the texture intended.  For the last several months I have been working to push out of my comfort zone and NOT photograph the most obvious  thing associated with any given prompt.  This week was no different.

Here is a collage of my first 6 days (in random order thanks to the app collageit) of scratchy.

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Monday’s photo was a scratchy old fence that I see on my way to work.  I’ve been eyeing this ramshackle construction for a while, waiting for the perfect time to capture its dilapidated beauty.  Tuesday I was in the school garden and couldn’t resist the scratchy pumpkin stems. Wednesday was probably technically cheating since I used scratching rather than scratchy to describe a student hard at work with writing…and scratching out ideas!  Thursday I was back to my mushrooms…and using my macro lens to capture the scratchy texture on the underside. Friday I played with shooting a tree through a screen to create the scratchy texture.  Saturday I used this snail–whose slow pace allowed me to capture it as it crept across the scratchy sidewalk in front of my house.  And I love my Sunday photo…the scratchy spine of an aloe plant with a spiderweb attached, highlighted by the use of the vintique app.

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It’s always a little bittersweet to move from one prompt to the next as I start to see the world anew.  It always seems to take a week to really see and notice the prompt in interesting ways.

How was your scratchy week?  Today I began to look at my world through the scaly lens, who knows what the week will bring…

Noticing Texture: September’s Photo-a-Day Invitation

September arrives on our doorstep tomorrow and announces the unofficial end of summer. There’s something about the way Sssss roll off the tongue that suggests a texture that you can feel if you pay enough attention.  This month, for the September photo-a-day challenge, you are invited to notice texture in your world and capture it in photographs.  There are no rules–you are in charge in determining whether your photo fits the category!

The #scaly inside of a mushroom.

The #scaly inside of a mushroom.

Take a picture each day that captures the spirit and feeling of the texture 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.

September 1-8:   smooth

September 8 or 9: reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

September 9-15:  scratchy

September 15 or 16:  reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

September 16-22:  scaly

September 22 or 23:  reflect on your week and share your thinking and picture (or collage) on the link up

September 23-30:  silky

September 30:  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.

What will you find to photograph as you explore the texture in your world?  Join us…for a day, a week, or the entire month!