personal photography

Challenge accepted!

As a photographer, I sometimes find myself lacking in motivation to take photos that are important to me as a person, rather than those for commercial purposes. In these situations, challenging yourself, or accepting an informal challenge from someone else, may well help you to see the world in a new way and reconnect with what is important to you.

So it was that I found myself accepting a challenge to create three images in three hours. The challenge was laid down by my wife and there were certain constraints:

  • I had to use her camera, the Canon Powershot SX50, which I can highly recommend, by the way!
  • All photos had to be taken in the house or garden of my parents-in-law, where we were staying at the time.
  • There were subjects constraints as well
    • One had to be of a living organism, be it a plant or animal.
    • One had to be of something that had once been living, most obviously something like wood.
    • One had to be something that had never lived, for example plastic, stone etc. (I decided against commenting on the hydrocarbon origins of plastic!)

I really enjoyed spending the time investigating my surroundings looking for images to fulfil the brief, however informal it happened to be.

The first image was inspired by an article I had recently read about “white” paintings and why some were worth millions, and others, less so. The influence of my favourite artist, Piet Mondrian, was also in evidence. As can probably be guessed, it is the tiling in the bathroom. I did see the different whites in the image, as well as enjoying the different textures. However, I do readily accept that the image will never be worth anything in monetary terms!

The content of the “once lived” was always likely to be wood and so it proved. In complete contrast, quite literally, to the first image. I was investigating the wooden cladding on the garage. As I was scanning the walls for anything interesting, likely from a texture point of view, I happened across this fly that somewhat mirrored the structure of the plank upon which it was sitting.

I will admit to “cheating” when it came to the third category of “living” but only in the sense of not being able to choose between two images. Due to the extremely windy weather that we were experiencing, the photo of the bee wasn’t as sharp as I had wanted and I was ready to discard it. However, I realised that adding a “painterly” effect might retain the interesting composition. The same plant offered an opportunity for a monochrome shot concentrating on the amazing structure of the flower head.

The challenge was good fun and I am pleased with the results, as is my wife, so I think that I passed this one!