Thursday’s Special: Bird’s Eye (View)

Today’s photo challenge can be interpreted in at least two ways.

You can do a bird’s eye view

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or just a bird’s eye

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Whatever your choice, I’ll be happy with you contribution. Happy Thursday!

 

 
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Once again I am very pleased to present the participants’ entries. Don’t forget to click on the links above images:

Putting things in perspective

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Stelvio Pass

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Bird’s Eyes

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Between the bottom and the summit

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Bird’s Eye View in Hyde Park

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Mrs. Cardinal

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Airy Heights

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Falcon’s Eye View

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Pelicans with a viewpoint

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Bird’s Eye View of Shela Village, Lamu

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View from Tokyo Tower

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Bird’s Eye (view) by Klara

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Kissy 

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Bird’s eye view

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Thoughts on Inspiration

Yesterday I listened to an interview with the Bosnian poet Abdulah Sidran who talked about creation of one of his poems. He said that the poem that seems as if it had been writen during the war was actually written in 1985, and that he had dreamed it first in Macedonian, the language he does not speak. When he woke up he phoned a friend in Macedonia and she told him to write it down. That’s how his poem “Mora” (Nightmare) was created. As far as I know the poem has not been officially translated into English but at the bottom of this article I enclose a very good translation into Italian, and my  translation into English.

To inspire and to be inspired – isn’t that what we all look for in our creative process?

To  be inspired is not taking others’ ideas and making them their own. To inspire someone is to make one look inside themselves and come up with a creation of their own. Not everyone has sensibility and the workings of an artist, but being true to oneself, looking inside instead of imitating is the right way to start.

Appreciate yourself and what you have to offer, and be honest …… with yourself.

 

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A photo of me drawing inspiration from nature (taken by the most inspiring person in my life)

 

L’INCUBO 
Che stai facendo, figlio?
Sogno, madre mia, sogno che sto cantando,
e tu mi chiedi, nel sogno: che stai facendo, figlio?
Cosa canti nel sogno, o figlio?
Canto, madre mia, che avevo una casa.
E adesso la casa non ce l’ho. Questo canto, madre mia.
Avevo la mia voce, o madre, e la mia lingua avevo.
E ora non ho né voce né lingua.
Con la voce che non ho, nella lingua che non ho,
dalla casa che non ho, io canto la mia canzone, o madre.

-Translation into Italian of Abdulah Sidran’s poem “Mora” 

Here follows my translation into English:

NIGHTMARE
What are you doing  son?
I’m dreaming mother, dreaming that I am singing.
And in my dream you ask me: what are you doing, son?
What do you sing in your dream, son?
Mother, I sing that I used to have a house.
And now I don’t have a house. That’s what I sing, Mother.
I used to have a voice, Mother, and I used to have a language.
And now I have no voice, no language.
With the voice that I don’t have, in the language that I don’t have,
from the house that I don’t have I sing my song, Mother.

You may ask yourself what this poem has to do with the attached photo, music and my musings on inspiration. The common denominator is the process of creation, the way inspiration works sometimes, and  I just felt like sharing with you.

Have a good Monday and the whole week ahead!

Black & White Sunday: How to tell a story through B&W photography (response to guest challenge)

Taking part in challenges means stepping out of one’s comfort zone and trying something new. I have not thought about taking photos of people before being challenged by my guest photo challengers. Today I am trying to respond to Allan’s challenge: How to tell a story through B&W photography.

 

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Living off love

 

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Living off coffee

 

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Living off tourists

 

Please join us with your stories in photos and leave links and pingbacks to your posts. Happy Sunday!

 

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Don’t forget to click on the links above little images to see the contributors’ entries:

Taking a Break in the Born

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What’s the story?

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Swimming is so much fun!

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After the wedding

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Mother and child

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I see no angels

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Double exposure plus some street photography

An old man and his dog.

An old man and his dog.

 

Wherein the Beautiful GBH Sticks Her Landing

Wherein the Great Blue Heron Sticks his Landing - BW - babsjeheron

Wherein the Great Blue Heron Sticks his Landing – BW – babsjeheron

 

Auckland Streets

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Late

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Waiting

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Processed with VSCOcam with b6 preset

 

A story in B&W

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The Seeker of Photos

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Guest Challenge: How to Tell a Story through B&W Photography

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Allan:

So, the last time that I guest-posted here we focused on getting emotionally involved with the subject matter we’re recording in full colour photography.  Now, we’re going to work a little harder by producing black and white images.  Stay emotively connected, you’re still going to need to apply that to whatever type of photography you prefer.

Why is black and white photography harder to do?  It’s because most of us see in vivid living colour.  We’re so used to seeing that way that we also instinctively try to shoot that way.  Unless severely colour blind, we technically do not see in monochrome.  Our eyes themselves do not see in colour, but our brains extract that photonic information from the light spectrum, and processes it so that we can appreciate colour.

In order to see in black and white; therefore, we have to condition our minds to ignore all or most colour, as though it’s a distraction, and concentrate on all the other aspects of imagery at the moment we are shooting:

  • Form/shape;

  • Texture;

  • Light and shadow (from bright white, through all grey values, to pitch black);

  • High or low intensity of contrast;

  • Soft diffuseness or hardness of light;

  • Opaqueness of darkness;

  • Composition;

  • Whatever else we can use to dramatize and describe whatever we’re shooting.

Although it’s a funny word to be associating with creative photography, what we want to do is illustrate our subject matter.

My background in the arts is that of an illustrator.  Illustrators use visual art to tell stories; either real or imagined.  I am specifically a 2D visual artist; I paint and draw.  It is the techniques that I rely on as an illustrator that I also apply to my photography, especially my B/W work.  Here are a few illustrators’ narrative techniques that you will need for this challenge:

  1. Exploit exaggerations, especially in regards to physical movement.  We like to photograph faces because so much can be interpreted; accurately or inaccurately, from someone’s physiognomy and expressions.  Sometimes, however, you can’t or don’t want to photograph people up close.  This obviously means that you can’t rely on faces too much in telling a story.  Look for body movement that illustrates that someone or something has triggered a reaction in another.  If a cat is virtually motionless while pivoting only an ear to focus on a sound coming from somewhere, it may be better to wait for that cat to turn its head and articulate its body in order to look in the direction of the sound.  Photograph that body language.  Show that exaggeration.

  1. Play mind games through straight photography.  Many of us enjoy using Photoshop and its contemporaries to make unrealistic scenes, like turtles flying through the pellucid air of someone’s bedroom.  There is a challenge; nevertheless in trying to photograph something as it actually is while relying mainly or exclusively on tricks of natural or unnatural light to create a fanciful idea.  Induce emotions, curiosity, surprise and bewilderment in your viewers by making them question if what they see is possible or not.  M.C. Escher was an illustrator who did this often.

  1. Photograph subject matter that either leads up to or away from the climax of a story.  Yes it can be powerful to photograph a house, fully engulfed in flames with its family and neighbours standing by watching firefighters do their best to save the home.  Impact can still be made about how the place looks after it’s been gutted, and the homeless family might be in a temporary shelter somewhere dealing with loss and an insurance company.  There’s a story outside of the climax that needs to be investigated and told.

Now let’s see what happens to your B/W photography.  Straight monochromes, duotones, tritones, and quadtones are all included in the black and white realm of photography.  Show the world what you can do!

Casting

Casting

 

Chico Solitario

Chico Solitario

 

Hey Look at Me When I'm Talkin' to Ya

Hey Look at Me When I’m Talkin’ to Ya

 

It's Been a Long Night

It’s Been a Long Night

 

Life Is . . .

Life is …

 

Low Key

Low Key

 

Shame On You

Shame On You

 

Here follow links to contributors’ posts: 

Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past 02

Standing on a 200 m high dolomite rock at the elevation of 634 m in the Spiš region of Slovakia Spiš castle (Spišský hrad) is one of the biggest European castles whose land area covers 41,426 m².

First built in the 12th century in Romanesque style at the site of an earlier hrad (hrad is Slovakian word for castle), Spiš Castle was the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of Szepes County of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1464. In the 13th century a two-story Romanesque palace and a three-nave Romanesque-Gothic basilica were added, and in the 14th century a second extramural settlement was built which doubled the castle area. In the 15th century while still in the possession of the Kings of Hungary the castle was entirely rebuilt and a late Gothic chapel was constructed. Three family clans took possession of the castle afterwards; the first being the Zápolya family (until 1528), which is really Zapolja family from Požega County of Croatia (imagine my surprise when I found that it had been once owned by a Croatian family), then by the Thurzó family (1531–1635), and the Csáky family (1638–1945). In 1945 the castle came into possession of the state of Czechoslovakia and as of 1993 after the split between the Czech Republic and Slovakia the castle’s owner is the state of Slovakia.

In 1780 the castle burned down. There are several theories about its unfortunate destiny that led to its abandonment. One of them says that the Csáky family purposely burned it down to reduce taxes, another theory says that it was struck by lightning, and some guesses are that some soldiers there were making moonshine and managed to burn the castle.

Whatever the case, after the fire, the castle was abandoned and gradually fell into dilapidation.

 

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This is the second in the series of posts themed “Traces of the past”. In this series I am posting photos of structures belonging to different periods and countries. You are invited to join me and to interpret the theme as freely as you want. This challenge will appear again in August, and every other month after that. Waiting for your entries I wish you a glorious Thursday…

 

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As usual I am treating you to a preview of participants’ contributions: Don’t forget to visit the links above little images:

Værnes Church

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Loveland Feed & Grain

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My daughter’s yard in photos

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An Old Barn

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Kinkakuji

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The Kaiwharawhara Magazine building

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Skrik by Edvard Munch 

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Les Beaux en Provence

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The Leaning Tower of Bridgnorth

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Capella d’en Marcús

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A Mermaid in a Church?

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A view of Colosseum

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St. Raphael’s Ruins

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Exploring the convict past

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Victorian Industrial Past

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The Irresistible Lure of Venice

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Gallorus Oratory

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Next Stop

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The Twin Fishes of Ayodhya

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Finchale Priory

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Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

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Sing me a lullaby

I’m not walking today, I am sleeping; but if you feel like walking I suggest you join Jo who is heading to the city of Norwich today.

The following photo shows a sculpture that I discovered while walking the streets of Bologna.

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Nudo dormiente by Sergio Unia

https://restlessjo.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/jos-monday-walk-finchale-priory

 

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