Photo Blogging Challenge – People (November 2013)

When P.J. revealed this month’s theme, I groaned out loud! My comfort zone is nature photography (landscapes, skyscapes, photos along the trail, macros of flowers and butterflies, etc.) and I enjoy trying different techniques for abstract photography. I’ve seen some amazing results from ICM (intentional camera movement) street photography, but I’ve never really been interested in trying street photography, so that didn’t seem like a good fit for this challenge. Bottom line is that this month pushed me to try a few new things. Some worked out OK and some weren’t successful at all. Over the course of the month, I learned a couple of things and added a few of ideas to my “to do” list. People still won’t be my “go to” subject matter, but at least I won’t actively avoid photographing people going forward!

Selfie – Early in the month, I thought about putting together a set of photographs that only hinted at people, rather than including people. Think snow angel, snow man, foot prints, etc. This photo is a reflection of part of me, walking along the pathway behind our local public library, a route I walk at least a couple of days a week. I guess you could say it’s a selfie! Seems fitting I took my first selfie in the same month Oxford Dictionaries announced selfie as their international Word of the Year 2013.


Mr. GeoK – My next idea was to take a photograph of each member of the family, the people most important to me. I wasn’t thinking of portrait style photographs. Instead, I wanted to photograph each family member in action. Mr. GeoK got me started in photography, so it seemed appropriate to photograph him taking photographs while we were out walking in Canmore over the Remembrance Day weekend.


Youngest GeoKid – Well, two out of three ain’t bad, or so the saying goes. Oldest GeoKid runs anytime a camera starts to point in his direction, but his younger brother is still amenable to posing. I really wanted to do a mash-up of his silhouette and a nature photograph – a composite using Photoshop. I even had a photography magazine tutorial that I saved from a few months back, which I tried to follow. Unfortunately, we have Photoshop 4 and the tutorial is based on Photoshop 6, and since I’d never used Photoshop before (Oldest GeoKid uses it for yearbook design projects), my original idea didn’t work out. I moved on to plan B and layered in a texture and a sepia filter instead. The result is OK, but I definitely would have had him look at least a little more towards the camera if I had it to do over again.


Community Choir – I sing with a community choir from September through June each year. We began working on our Christmas program the first week of September and this week we finally started performing. Wednesday we joined with two other community choirs to sing at a cathedral in downtown Calgary. Each choir sang a couple of pieces and then we massed together to sing three more songs, ending the program with the Hallelujah Chorus. It was an amazing experience. Friday, we sang at a retiree annual Christmas luncheon. In past years, as a token of appreciation for the entertainment, they’ve presented each choir member with a $10 Tim Horton’s gift card – very kind, but certainly not necessary. This year, we asked them to write a cheque to the Canadian Red Cross for the Typhoon Haiyan relief fund instead. In this photo, the head of the retiree organization is presenting our choir director with a cheque for $700, which will be matched by a local energy company and the Canadian government. So today we sang for $2100 for the Philippines!


Black Friday Shopper – Over the past few years, the Canadian retail sector has embraced Black Friday. If lining up at midnight to take advantage of Black Friday bargains is at one end of the spectrum and taking part in buy nothing day is at the opposite end, I’m definitely closer to the #buynothingday end of the continuum. So I opted to take some time on Black Friday to photograph Lego minifigs for this challenge instead. Since Lego introduced their first version of figures, they’ve gone through at least three iterations. I set things up so it looks like this particular Lego minifig shopped Black Friday sales at the Lego shopping centre and came away with some bargains…


Thanks again to P.J. over at a ‘lilhoohaa for hosting this monthly photo blogging challenge. Click here to see P.J.’s interesting people photos and for the list of other photo blogging posts for month nine of this challenge. Participation seems to be inching up each month. Maybe you’d like to join us in December?

7 thoughts on “Photo Blogging Challenge – People (November 2013)

  1. One great thing about a monthly challenge like this is it will hopefully pull people out of their comfort zones at times. I think, in the end, you did a marvelous job and I love your stories that go with each image. As always, nicely done … I always look forward to your posts! 🙂

  2. I could have written your opening sentences. I’m much more comfortable as well with nature and close ups. I also have to push myself to get people in the shots.
    The portrait is great. I’d really like to mange those kinds of shots in the future. And Canmore once again reminds me that I’ve got to make the trip from Quebec to Western Canada one of these days. Nicely done.

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