Passing grade.

This week, the WordPress Photo Challenge tasked us with “exploring the elements of earth, air, water, and fire through the landscapes that surround us.”

Sometimes I find landscapes challenging – either my focus is off or the shadows are harsh or my composition is bland – so I was actually going to skip this challenge since I hadn’t produced a photo I was happy with.

Then, I scrolled through a batch of pictures I’d made during a trip to the beach with my family a couple of weeks ago. On the morning we arrived at Port Burwell, the sky was overcast and the air was still, rendering the water as a flat, pale sheet. There was a haze in the distance and a row of wind turbines stood ghostly and motionless further along the shoreline.

August 15 (1 of 1)

My photos, then, were flat and muted – I usually prefer more colour and contrast – but I liked the simplicity of this one.

In terms of the photo challenge: earth and water are accounted for (check and check), the static wind turbines imply only the potential of wind (I’ll give myself half a mark for that), and fire is absent (zilch).

2.5 out of 4 will have to do 🙂

Adventure awaits.

August 10 (1 of 7)

One Axe Pursuits, located in Elora, Ontario, is an organization providing adventurous experiences and training in recreational activities such as ziplining and rock climbing.

It operates out of the former Chalmers Presbyterian Church, housed here from 1877-1917. After a number of other community uses over the years, this limestone structure fell into disrepair until it was beautifully restored by the current owners in 2013.

For photos of more interesting doors from around the world, visit Norm 2.0 on Thursdays for his weekly feature, the aptly-named Thursday Doors.

Changing perspectives.

I had a photo coach today.

During our visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens, my first-grader made it a priority to identify several potential photographic subjects for me. Besides the current exhibit of giant nature-themed Lego creations by artist Sean Kenney, the gardens have no shortage of pretty blooms and sweeping lines, all of which attract the folks with cameras slung around their necks.

While sitting together in the shade on a couple of tree stumps, she looked up and pointed out the “ceiling” of this spiral metal arbour, the bars of which were gripped firmly by what I guessed was wisteria, or some other woody climbing vine that seems to have no mercy for its supports.

“Take a picture of that,” she suggested.

I did.

August 8 (1 of 1).jpg

I thought maybe she’d appreciate the opportunity to execute her own ideas (and, truthfully, I had reached my limit of being coached), so I handed her the camera.

This resulted in several close-up and very unflattering photos of my face, but also some very reasonable shots of the Mr. and I together (of which we have very few), a row of tomato plants, a tree branch, a lily, and a pinwheel.

Through what she chose to photograph, how she framed her shots, and her complete lack of hesitation or self-consciousness, I was reminded how compelling it is to see through the eyes of a child.

Unless what you’re seeing is a close-up of my nostrils. In my opinion, they’re not that compelling.