Happy fourth birthday to the Photo Blogging Challenge! I really appreciate the community of creative, supportive, funny people participating each month. And I’m grateful that taking part in the PBC means I hit publish at least once each month! Thanks to PJ for the external accountability, for selecting themes that encourage imagination, and for facilitating a monthly blog-hopping session.👏
As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved numbers. If you’re not a fan of numbers, these fun and fascinating facts just might convince you that the number four has a lot of character:
- Four is the only cardinal numeral in the English language that has the same number of letters as its number value.
- Four is the smallest squared prime and the only even number in this form.
- The fourth finger (ring finger) of a human hand automatically bends when the little finger bends (trying is believing).
- In Tetris, a game named for the Greek word for four, every shape in the game is formed of four square blocks.
- Humans have four limbs and human hearts have four chambers.
- There are four seasons in a year, four suits of cards, four cardinal directions…
Four also offers a lot of scope to get creative with photography. Not only is the number four embedded in all three variables of the exposure triangle (think f4, ISO 400, 1/4 second shutter speed), but if you include four of something in your composition, you’ve nailed the theme!
My five on four:
1. Webbed Feet
Thanks to a week of very cold temperatures early in March, there isn’t much open water around. This pair of geese was honking so loudly as they made an awkward landing on the ice that I got distracted and forgot to power up my camera! After they touched down, the sun angle was just right to cast legless shadows, so there are just four webbed feet on the ice supporting two Canada geese and their shadow bodies.
2. Frozen Soap Bubble
To photograph frozen soap bubbles, conditions need to be just right: a temperature well below freezing, warm soap-bubble liquid with some corn syrup mixed in, no wind, and a high contrast background. I finally succeeded in making some acceptable frozen soap bubble images on my fourth attempt this winter. ISO 400 allowed a faster shutter speed and increased the likelihood of making a photo before the bubbles popped!
3. Hello Spring!
One of four seasons, I consider spring the start of the natural year. It marks the beginning of gardening season, migratory birds return and baby animals arrive with all their cuteness. This photo is from just after sunrise on the first day of spring. Interestingly, it’s taken looking to the west, so the lovely pinks and purples are thanks to Venus’s Girdle, enhanced by colours in the eastern sky (behind me) reflecting off the snow. One other relevant tidbit is that this photo was taken with my lens wide open at f4.
4. Two Ducks, Squared
This four frame panorama features mallard ducks and the magnificent mountains that run along the north side of the Bow Valley. While it appears that four mallards are enjoying the open water in the large pond, I know for a fact that the same pair of mallards appears twice in this image. They paddled far enough in the time that elapsed between the second and fourth frames of the panorama, that they appear twice!
5. The Fab Four
For anybody in my age range, one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about the number four is the Fab Four – The Beatles! Lucky for me, our youngest son unwrapped a Beatles-themed Lego set this past Christmas and I only had to bug him a few times to get him to build it this month!
This month I passed the 4 months post-surgery milestone (ACL replacement in my left knee) and finally graduated to phase 4 of the kneehab exercise regime, which means I’m learning to hop and jump all over again. I’m pretty uncoordinated right now, especially when it comes to hopping! Speaking of hopping, how about hopping on over here to see how PJ and the other participants photographed four. And feel free to leave a comment sharing what comes to mind when you think of the number four.
I treat this photo blogging challenge like a photo assignment. The one-month time frame makes it pretty low stress. New participants are welcome any time, so please join us! The April theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa tomorrow.