2019 WEEK 35: In Your Backyard

“The world is a mystery. This, what you’re looking at, is not all there is to it. There is much more to the world, so much more, in fact, that it is endless.“ – Carlos Castaneda in “The Journey to Ixtlan”

I strongly believe that amazing photo opportunities are available right under our noses. The trick is to see our everyday surroundings with “new eyes”. So this week we are going to stick close to home (or work or wherever you happen to be in the world).

Finding the Light #2
Finding the Light #2

One way to approach this challenge is to look at the things around you and instead of labeling them in your mind, i.e. chair, tree, flower, etc. try closing your eyes and think of a photographic element such as “lines”. Then open your eyes and look for “lines” around you.  Other photographic elements you could look for include: patterns, symmetry/asymmetry, negative space, shapes, texture, shadows, color, etc. In other words, look at your everyday surroundings as photographic elements rather than subjects. Remember that time of day and weather can drastically change the way your surroundings appear. You might want to explore how the patterns, shadows, and textures in your chosen scene change in different lighting conditions. (You are also welcome to introduce light into the scene through reflectors, diffusers, flash, light painting, etc.)

Another way to approach this challenge is to experiment with different photographic techniques: long exposure/intentional camera movement, shallow DOF, infrared, B&W, etc. In other words, use a camera technique that makes the mundane look different than the human eye typically sees it. (If you have used one of these techniques in a recent challenge, I encourage you to try a different one.) Hint: For those of you in winter right now, B&W is a great option!

If you happen to be travelling, I encourage you to look for something that most other people would simply pass by as uninteresting. The main goal for this challenge is to find mystery in the mundane. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

To recap this week’s challenge:

  • Create an interesting photo from your everyday surroundings (ideally outside). Backyard, front yard, workplace courtyard – or if you’re travelling, find something that most other tourists would pass by as uninteresting.
  • Post your photo during the week of Sunday, August 25 and Saturday, August 31.
  • Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo:  #2019photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2019 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About thedigitaljeanie

I’m a self-taught photographer and way back when I used to love taking photos, but I allowed a business that I started in 2004 to take over my life and my photographic repertoire was reduced to quick product shots and how-to tutorials. When I joined the PhotoChallenge in December 2015, I was looking to rekindle my creativity and bring some joy back into my photography. I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I believe that photography can change the way we see and interact with the world around us. Some people may think that I hide behind the camera, but I feel that I experience the world in a much more intimate way when I am creating a composition in my viewfinder. In those moments distractions disappear, my mind focuses and I am fully present. It is just me and my camera capturing a moment in time that might otherwise go unnoticed. My background is as varied as the photos that I take. I’ve trained and worked as a software engineer, a massage therapist, an English teacher in Vietnam, a photo restoration artist (which is how I learned Photoshop) and for the past twelve years I have run a small software business with my husband where I have been published in numerous books and magazines, appeared on PBS television, created designs for fabric, quilts and machine embroidery and won awards for some of my quilts. It should come as no surprise that I am intensely curious about life and love to learn new things. I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA in the Rocky Mountain foothills outside of Fort Collins with my husband and cat. You can find me online at: Photos: flickr.com/photos/the-digital-jeanie/ Day job: KaleidoscopeCollections.com Facebook: facebook.com/jeaniesa