Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

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!

It seems a bit cliche, but as I compose this week’s challenge on Thanksgiving evening I do find myself thinking about the richness and bounty in my life and feeling like this might just be the right week to take the time to express some of the things I am thankful for.

I’m so thankful for my family and friends, the people who surround me in my personal and professional life.  While you might find hints of them here on my blog, mostly they aren’t mentioned by name and seldom seen in photos out of respect for their privacy.  But they make everything else in my life possible.

I’m thankful for sunsets and the opportunity to travel and gather with smart professionals from all over the county.  I’ve seen this iconic landmark many times now, but it always captivates me with its stature and simple elegance.  (If you look closely you can see the Lincoln Memorial in the background!)

Washington Monument at Sunset

I’m thankful for long walks on the beach that allow me to decompress and appreciate the place I call home.  It’s different each time I go there… I’m constantly intrigued and amazed as I take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this watery wonderland.

Surfer on the beach

I’m thankful for work that puts me into relationships with interesting people and helps me understand my own work and my own city in new and different ways.  It’s too easy to take my city for granted and miss the rich history and intricacies like these beautiful buildings…

balboa park architecture

or dismiss these mallard ducks as ordinary.

duck in the light

I’m thankful for the freedoms that allow me to walk where I want, without fear of injury or reprisal.  And I wish for the same freedoms for those–even in our country–who don’t enjoy that same privilege.  The sunlight on these poinsettias remind me of the freedoms that are easy to take for granted…leisure to enjoy a day at a theme park, to spend time with my family, to have a few days off work…

poinsettia in sunlight

And I’m thankful for my pets…my cats…who are loving, entertaining, irritating and such available photo subjects.  As I was cleaning this morning, Jack couldn’t resist jumping up on this stool to check out the new view.  And I couldn’t resist a couple of shots of him.

Jack on stool

So what are you thankful for?  What makes your life more full, energizes you, or just simply brings a smile to your lips?

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

Whether you celebrated Thanksgiving or not, I hope you find some time this week to snap a shot or two of something that represents thankful to you.  I can’t wait to see thankful through your lens!

Picture Perfect

Today was one of those picture perfect November days…if you like sunshine and mild temperatures.  And it was a perfect day to play around with taking pictures.

You’ve probably noticed that I love the beach…and so when my son and daughter-in-law wanted to take their dog–a chihuahua named Elli–to the beach, I was eager to go with them.

After a bit of research to find which nearby beaches allow dogs…on leashes…we headed off with Elli and her leash.  This was Elli’s first beach outing, and she loved it!


And I was also on the lookout for other interesting photo opportunities as we walked and Elli explored.  I love this scatter of shoes on the shore while the family dipped their toes in the (cold) ocean.


I wonder where the paragliders (the ones with motors) take off from.  This guy was cruising the beach from high overhead…but I doubt that he came from the glider port in La Jolla.  It seems more likely that he took off from the beach.


And I decided to play around with some apps too.  I just got a new app that lets you adjust the depth of field.  That seems to mean that you can focus on a particular place/item and the other areas get blurry.  It also has some filters that create interesting effects.  Here is little girl who was working at balancing on this surfboard in the shallows.


Sketch also creates some interesting effects…and works better on some pictures than others.  I like how crisp and visible the signs on the lifeguard tower are when it become a sketch.


For this piece of kelp I played around with the HDR effect in PicsArt.  It seems to make the image crisp and brings out the graininess of the sand.


Even spending the majority of my life in this city, I am continually awed by its beauty.  I’ve been hearing the news stories about the storms and snow and ice in the midwest and the east and feeling a bit guilty about our beautiful, warm and sunny days this week.  It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow for Thanksgiving, but who can really complain about low to mid 60’s on Thanksgiving?

Wherever you are, I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy your place for its own beauty…and if you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you are surrounded by those you love as you appreciate all that the day brings.  Happy Thanksgiving!