Photo Blogging Challenge – Two (March 2015)

All through March I’ve been imagining possible photographic interpretations of two and thinking to myself that our challenge host/organizer must use some sort of random phrase/word generator to help determine each theme. But now that I’ve started the blogging part of the challenge I have a new theory: this month’s theme celebrates the completion of two years of monthly photo blogging challenges! It’s embarrassing that it took me all month to figure that out.

One of the things I find most interesting about photography is that there are two perspectives involved: the photographer’s interpretation of the subject and the viewer’s reaction to that interpretation. As I prepare my post for the photo blogging challenge each month, I usually have a personal favourite out of the bunch. After I click publish, the stream of comments soon reveals whether your favourite is the same as mine. As long as I’m sharing what I consider to be my best work, it really doesn’t matter whether we agree. But when your feedback highlights a photograph other than my personal favourite, it prompts me to take another look, to learn what I can from your feedback. In my view, this is one of the two most worthwhile aspects of taking part in this challenge each month (the other being the opportunity to take on and complete a photo “assignment” each month – an assignment that might take me out of my comfort zone and help me improve as a photographer).

When the new theme is published each month, my usual practice is to jot down any ideas that immediately come to mind. Then I make note of any additional interpretations that I come up with over the next day or so. I often ask the rest of the family for their thoughts. So I typically have 8 or 10 possibilities in mind as I’m out and about, camera in hand. For March 2015, I came up with 7 possible approaches but used only two – which seems fitting given this month’s theme.

1. Two Red Chairs – The Parks Canada “red chairs” program began in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland with the installation of 18 sets of chairs around the park almost two years ago. To the disappointment of conservationists (and despite the fact that funding for conservation and research in the parks continues seems to grow scarcer each year), the program has spread throughout Canada’s national parks. Each set of 2 red plastic Adirondack chairs is reported to cost C$550. I’m not sure whether placing these chairs in scenic locations and encouraging visitors to find them, photograph them and tag them #sharethechairs is at all effective in terms of getting folks who normally wouldn’t venture out into the national parks to put down their devices and head out to explore our parks. But since we were hiking up Tunnel Mountain anyhow, the three of us took turns photographing the other two taking a break.

Tunnel-Mountain-Banff

2. Two Seasons Juxtaposed – We’re right in the middle of K’s spring break and have enjoyed most of the two weeks in Canmore. The day we arrived was extremely cloudy and it threatened to snow or rain most of the day. Mr. GeoK and I ventured out for a walk anyhow. As we were walking along the remnants of a sheet of ice over a gravel bar in the Bow River I noticed pussy willows sprouting on a shrub enmeshed with flood debris. I had to bring up the red/orange saturation a bit to highlight an early sign of spring against the evergreens and ice that represent winter.

Winter-Spring

3. Two Wheels – There are three sets of two wheels in this photograph: Mr. GeoK’s, followed by K’s and then mine at the side of the path. I was at the head of the line in our game of bicycle leapfrog riding back from Banff on the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail, so I stopped a few kilometers (a couple of miles) short of Canmore to compose an image showing the guys headed to the finish line. It was midday and my phone camera lens was pointing into the sun, so I opted to apply one of Trey Ratcliff’s LR presets to deal with the somewhat blown sky. The result reminds me of some Instagram photographs, usually taken at the beach or some other sunny location. I should also mention that cycling is one of two modes of active transportation we used this month (the other being walking – usually to the grocery store, library or post office.)

Rocky-Mountain-Legacy-Trail

4. Two Trees on a Fairway – I carefully framed this image early in March, while walking on a golf course near Canmore. I’ve photographed these two evergreens at night (see the bottom two photographs in this post), but this was the first time I wandered in this direction during daylight hours. I adjusted my position until Ha Ling was perfectly centered between the tree trunks.

Stewart-Creek

5. Two Cubed – Why cubed? First, because I used a little programmable LED light thingy that I made at the local science centre and it has two colours of lights – green and blue. Second, this exposure is longer than two minutes, since it took me quite a while to open the camera shutter, walk into position, switch on the light, trace my outline and then walk back to the camera to close the shutter. And third, this photograph serves two purposes: 1) to round out my set of five photographs that have something to do with two; and 2) to enter a friendly photography challenge between members of the Beakerhead 2015 photo team.

Light-Painted-Self-Portrait

Call to action (on or before April 2, 2015): I’d love to have your support for one or more of my photo challenge entries. Please take a few seconds to fav/retweet this tweet or like either this photo or this photo on Instagram.

That’s it for me this month. I’m interested to see whether any of my other ideas occurred to some of the other participants. To see PJ’s take on the theme, head on over to A ‘lil HooHaa. All the other participants for this month will be listed in the link up at the bottom of his post.

PJ will announce the April theme over at A ‘lil HooHaa on Wednesday, April 1. We always welcome new participants, so please join us!

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22 thoughts on “Photo Blogging Challenge – Two (March 2015)

  1. I don’t know how the red chair thing works out, but the view from them looks fantastic. The LED light painting is wonderful.

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  2. You always have such a fantastic take on the themes. The views you have are pretty amazing, too. Such a great area for photos. But the LED lights … that shot might be my favorite this month. Very cool stuff.

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  3. Magnificent shots of the mountain landscapes. Truly lovely. Your words about perspectives in photography captivated me and I totally agree with your thoughts. You phrased them beautifully.

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    • Lisa, your comment prompted me to do my usual reflection, comparing my favourite image to that garnering the most “likes”. My favourite – the last photo, where I traced myself using a flashing LED thing that I built myself, mostly because it stretched my creativity the most. The photo that seems most preferred to visitors so far is the one with the two red chairs, for various reasons. The difference in perspectives is a good reminder to me to guard against taking the beauty of this part of the world for granted and to start each day feeling gladness about where we make our home.

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    • I think Parks Canada is doing a masterful job placing those pairs of red chairs. And their #ShareTheChair social media campaign seems to be taking off…

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  4. Wow. You had a really good month. I keep going back and forth between several images as to which is my favorite, but I can’t nail down a single image. I guess that means you’ve done a really good job this month.

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  5. Wow! The shot of the pussy willows is stunning. You captured all the textures of the snow, the pebbles, the trees and the mountains. Lovely. The selfie of you glowing is great and shows your sense of whimsy. I enjoyed your comments that accompany each photo and will be back for more of your photos and your words. In love and light Cheryle

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  6. That first one is crazy amazing. It looks like a backdrop it is so “perfect.” WOW… just stunning. All of these are fantastic – but that first one is my favorite!

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  7. The red chairs – that’s my pick of this selection! It’s got everything: composition, colour, human interest, humour … love it!

    I also really, really like the two trees. Very nice shot, that.

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    • That one tree in the middle drives me a little crazy…makes me wonder how many photographers were tempted to pull it out when it was smaller. I took another shot up here where I had K stand in just the right spot to hide that middle tree. Gotta work with what Mother Nature provides, after all!

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      • I see what you mean about the little tree, but hey – it doesn’t not work. You’ve managed to minimise its effect nicely!

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  8. wow, you have some gorgeous views around you. #1 and #3 are my favorites just for the view in the background alone! And your last one is really neat! Really nice job with this set. 🙂

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    • Thanks – that last one was me getting all STEAMED up! (STEAM = STEM + Arts) I had to figure out some kind of STEAM-inspired self-portrait and this was the result.

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