Who are these friendly people extending their hands toward one another? See their smiles?
The arthritis in my left hip has reached critical mass, and until well after my hip replacement surgery in July, there are certain things I can’t do.
When I saw The Daily Post’s photo challenge this past week, I knew exactly how I would finish this sentence. You see, yesterday was the 31st Phoenix International Folk Dance Festival. I brought my camera and took lots of pictures, but I’d rather be…dancing.
Those lovely people above who look so happy are dancing to an American folk tune called Paul Jones and executing a square dance figure known as a grand right and left. If you scroll through the photos at just the right speed, you’ll get a feel for the sequence.
Or you could watch the short video below.
The festival was delightful, but I missed out on the best fun, the dancing. I have lots more pictures, so I’ll post a whole photo essay on the festival soon.
Inspiration for creative folks:
In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge prompt: Sunset to Sunrise.
A nearby community here in Arizona decorates the cacti in the road medians at Christmastime:
Near my home there’s a streetlight shrouded by willowy tree branches:
A dozen articles to amaze and inspire you.
Read in the description of the video on YouTube (you’ll have to click “show more”) what Mike Olbinski says about making this film.
When I go out with my camera, I’m usually either focused on an event or a location. Sometimes I’m out to capture random objects; other times I’m hoping to collect images for a series. Here are some ideas for your next photo outings. (By the way: when I write “shoot,” I mean with your camera.)
- Doors. Are you aware of Norm 2.0’s Thursday doors challenge?
- Flowers. Cee Neuner has a Flower of the Day challenge.
- Shoot from a different perspective. Lie on your belly. Stand on a ladder. In One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp allows her little daughter to use her camera. She’s surprised how different familiar items look when photographed from a small child’s height.
- Animals. Go to the zoo or to the dog park. Go to a pond and take pictures of ducks, fish, or turtles.
- Street photography. Go downtown. If your town is anything like mine, you’ll see all kinds of people: formally dressed, extensively tattooed and pierced, wearing costumes, using unusual transportation, faces registering complex emotions. Just don’t be obnoxious or intrusive.
- Architecture. My town’s City Hall is an inverted pyramid. Nearby Phoenix still has a lot of art deco buildings, but they’re disappearing fast. Record the iconic, the historic, the innovative, the typical, the abandoned.
- Focus on a color. Sometimes while going through my images, I will sort them by color, and use them for a color story. A yellow grouping might include a pickup truck, a fire hydrant, and a lemon tree.
- Musical instruments. Visit a community orchestra rehearsal or a street festival and photograph the musicians. Shoot a window display at a music store.
- Shoes. The ones in your closet. Or as you’re out and about, focus on people’s feet.
- Trees. In your neighborhood. At an arboretum. On vacation.
- Symbols of the season. Easter eggs. Christmas decorations. Trees displaying fall foliage. A public swimming pool. Whatever’s current.
- Food. Whatever you’re eating. Or go to the farmer’s market. Or create a still life at home.
- Sports. Go to a spring training game. Go to the beach and shoot the surfers. Go to a skate park. Go to a golf tournament.
- Dancers. Go to student recitals and cultural festivals. If you’re in the Phoenix area, attend the Phoenix International Folk Dancers festival on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 1500 W Maryland Avenue, from noon to 4:30. ($10 donation.)
- Classic (or not-so-classic) cars. A vintage car club in my area meets at a local coffee shop on certain Saturdays. The parking lot is full of gorgeous old cars and owners willing to talk about them and pose with them. I’ll bet you can find a car club meeting in your neighborhood.
- The night sky. You’ll have to get out of the city. Some towns have light pollution ordinances; you might be able to get good pictures there. If not, head out to the wilderness, or to a state or national park.
- Tombstones and mausoleums. Visit an old church cemetery, or a pet cemetery.
- Mountains. And mountaintop views of the surrounding area.
- The weather. Rain. Clouds. Tornados. Snow. Sunlight.
- Trains. Go to a train station or hang out at a railroad crossing. When my daughter played softball, a freight train routinely passed the park during her practices.
- Waterfalls. This may involve travel, but there’s probably one in your state.
- Babies. Don’t do this unless you have the parents’ permission. Or just shoot your own.
- Public art. Street art. Murals. Sculptures. Grafitti. Yarn bombing.
- Fabrics. Throws. Shawls. Sheets. Tablecloths. Beach towels. Anything you can artfully drape. Drapes.
- Kids in Halloween costumes. Actors in play costumes. Dancers in costume.
- People in uniforms. Military. School. Sports.
- Street signs. Traffic signs. Warning signs.
- Boats. Go to a local body of water.
Were these ideas helpful to you? Then please click the “Like” button, and share on all your social media.
Do you have a favorite subject to photograph? Share in the comments below.
For your idea-sparking pleasure: