2020 WEEK 11: Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

― Emily Dickinson

Feathers have always fascinated me. Aside from their seemingly magical ability to keep birds aloft, I often feel like I’ve been given a gift when I discover one on the ground. Given the strong symbolism associated with feathers, I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Feather by Nancy Kurokawa
Feather by Nancy Kurokawa

This week we’ll be taking photos of feathers. How you choose to photograph those feathers is up to you. You might choose to photograph a single feather or arrange multiple feathers together. You might choose to photograph the entire feather or get close and photograph the fine details. You might choose to photograph in color or B&W. You might choose to photograph feathers on a bird, though I encourage you to make the photo about the feathers and not the bird itself.

If you are wondering where to find feathers, my first thought is to look in a craft store. They have lots of legally sourced feathers* both large and small. You can find peacock feathers (sometimes in the “silk flowers” department) or bags of smaller feathers with many colors and sizes to choose from. Also boas or feather dusters. Or maybe you know someone who has backyard chickens. Or visit a lake that has ducks or geese and you’ll likely find some feathers on the ground.

*No matter where you find your feathers, please do so ethically and responsibly. In the USA and Canada, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes possession of any part of a protected bird – including feathers – illegal. This was enacted in order to end the commercial trade of feathers. It’s even against the law to possess a feather found on the ground. That said, non-native species (house sparrows and European starlings) as well as game birds (ducks and geese) are exempt from this act. (Info sourced from everythingbirds.com.)

To recap this week’s challenge:

  • Take a photo of one or more feathers. Don’t forget to pay attention to composition, lighting and focus in your excitement of finding a feather. 😉
  • Creative interpretations and/or photographic techniques are encouraged.
  • Post your photo during the week of Sunday, March 8 and Saturday, March 14.
  • 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:  #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 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