Rule of Thirds… But not Today

This week, compose your subject off-center, obeying the Rule of Thirds.

It’s beginning to look and occasionally even feel like spring, so going to see the sea on a beautiful, though windy and somewhat chilly afternoon seamed like the thing to do. The afternoon almost became evening by the time that I was actually out, but the perspective of taking a nice, quiet drive – maybe even a walk if the weather allowed it – thinking of nothing and just stare at the scenery was too attractive. I had the sea on one side, the sun setting over the town on the other, but it struck me how instead of clearing my head and taking in the view, my mind was preoccupied with something else. I was looking for a good place to park and take a few shots of the sunset… or maybe I should just go on the beach… no, the sunset and the trees are a better choice, who knows, that way I could even come up with something suitable for the photo challenge.

Or maybe I could just look and see – actually see – the beautiful images I was looking at. It took getting out of the car and shivering in the cold wind to come up with that ‘revolutionary’ idea, while my already frozen hands were searching for the phone. The bag went back on my shoulder, my frozen hands went into warm pockets and I went back to that old habit of watching, seeing and perceiving everything through my own eyes, not through a camera. More and more often we need to see reality on a screen in order to perceive it… You know how it is, you notice something, you have a small revelation of your own, and then you can’t help noticing all the manifestations of said idea. I was clearly not the only one willing to brave the cold wind for a few cute photos; in fact, my stubbornly not taking any pictures was making me feel a little bit out of place amongst the people out for a walk by the beach in the early evening.

I hurried back to my car and turned up the heating. I would just stay there for a while, in the warm comfort of the metal shell and stare at the view, at the waves, at the sand, at the sky and think of nothing – just a little bit of ‘me and the sea’ time. No photos, no phone, no camera, just my own eyes 🙂 I have countless shots of seas and sunsets, many of them taken in a hurry – having had only a moment to stop, I had more and more often used it to take a picture at which I would look more carefully later, when I’d have the time. So I could certainly take a break from that sort of behavior I had adopted without even noticing it.

And here we are – no new photos for this week’s Rule of Thirds, just a few adapted oldies; somehow, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this one…

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Scale

This week, share an image that highlights a size relationship — make us pause and take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in your photo.

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Remember those old camera phones? Yes, the ones equipped with VGA cameras 🙂 Oh, that sense of pride and joy many of us have felt when having purchased our very first one… Well, this is a picture taken with such a phone many, many moons ago. While reminiscing, go ahead and see if you can find the butterfly 🙂

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And now for something from this decade… It’s interesting to see how all those things so important to us can at time seem so small and insignificant, if perceived from a distance, within a larger picture.

Depth (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week, share with us your take on “depth” — you can take it literally, like me, by showing something (a dense forest, your lawn after a blizzard) that suggests volume, a distance between surface and bottom. Or go with a more figurative approach.

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I would like to say that there is something deep, profound about anything and anyone, but the truth is I don’t believe it. Sometimes what you see is exactly what you get, certain things, places, situations and people are nothing more than what they appear to be. And this can be a real blessing in some cases, the same way shallow waters can become a nightmare in others. But it’s the hidden meaning, the dark depths of mystery that I generally like to look for, whenever existence becomes dull and predictable. It just adds a special thrill to life and routine once in a while 🙂 …

Warmth (Weekly Photo Challenge)

Whether you live on my side of the planet or in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoying real heat on the beach or in your yard, show us your take on warmth.

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As the year draws to an end and the days grow colder and colder, I tend to think fondly of those warm summer days and the even warmer memories they left behind, sweet reminder that we should make the best of those little moments when life offers us beauty and happiness…

Since this is my last post for the month of December, I wish you all a Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true! 🙂

Yellow

Away with the colors of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Show us what “yellow” means to you.

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It doesn’t look like we’re going to have a white Christmas this year here, by the sea, but it certainly isn’t too warm outside either. So this week’s challenge got me thinking of the hot summer days of a trip to Istanbul 🙂 . In case those Christmas lights we see everywhere these days aren’t heartwarming enough, I can only hope that a few shades of gold from summer past might do the trick.

Twinkle

For this week’s challenge, share with us your photos of twinkling light.

I am not ashamed to admit it – in spite of my age, decorating the Christmas tree fills me with a kind of childish joy and positivity which I hope to never lose 🙂 . While I am not a religious person (I apologize to those who might find this offensive, but I am who am and this is my personal choice), I treasure not only the symbolism and values behind this holiday, but also my own memories – both good and bad – and I refuse to give up all those little things that have become traditions over the years. There were difficult times in the past when I kept thinking that as long as I found it in me to decorate even a small, not too extravagant tree, I was still far from hitting rock-bottom. And not a year has gone by without a Christmas tree yet, which now serves as a good reminder to slow down, appreciate and enjoy what I have (even if I normally am an ambitious person who strives for better and more)…

Gone, But Not Forgotten

In today’s challenge, show us what “gone, but not forgotten” means to you.

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Beautiful moments stay with us long after they dissolve into the fog of the past. We need to remember them in order to be able to hope and move on. History – both our personal history and that of our civilization – is also a lesson we can never stop learning, a reminder of past mistakes and a source of support at the same time. We found a way to survive the bad, in order to reach those much sought-after moments of happiness. So let’s try and remember this and focus on what we hope to achieve, instead of the obstacles we’re trying to overcome 🙂 .

Seaside Blues (Daily Post Challenge)

Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?

A writer mentioned somewhere, sometime, how deeply touched he was by those mornings when the sea has no sky. So many ways to interpret such a thought…

Earlier this week I took advantage of what may very well have been the last beautiful days this autumn and I enjoyed the warm sun and light breeze while strolling on the beach. The sea regaled me with surprisingly bright shades of blue, especially for this time of year. Yes, I would miss those calming, reassuring seaside blues and the salty air if I ever had to move…

Dreamy (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!

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I wasn’t completely sure what it was until it started to move. That was also when I noticed the man whose pedaling transformed the unusual looking contraption into an old-fashioned merry-go-round – does he not look like a character from a fairytale? I was amazed and happy to see the children so excited about this somewhat anachronistic ride. So they can enjoy something else but the wonders of technology, as long as they are provided with such a source of fun…  However, I couldn’t  help channeling the evil witch in Hansel and Gretel for a second 🙂 … And those of you who ever tried to have a pleasant dinner in a nice, romantic restaurant while a few children running amok were disturbing everybody but their parents, will probably understand what I mean. For a moment, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of these right next to the coat check?…”

Nighttime (Weekly Photo Challenge)

What nocturnal photos do you like taking? Whether it’s a starry sky, a street lamp, or the shadows cast by your cat, share them with us. Your shot can be outdoors or indoors, blurry or crisp, overexposed or ominously dark. As every owl (and night owl) knows, nighttime is when the real action starts.

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I just discovered I have a surprising number of night photos – one worse than the other 🙂 . But this one appealed to me more than the rest, in spite of the fact that it was taken with what was – judging by today’s standards – quite a rudimentary phone. Maybe it’s the sentimental value it holds…

Adventure (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week, share a photo that says “adventure.”

Ever since I was a child, I was particularly fond of heights. In fact, having the chance to take in the scenery from the top of a tall building or floating in the clouds has always been a treat for me. This is why I really need to focus on trying to be understanding when it comes to a good friend of mine who cringes at the mere sight of such photos. For him, travelling by plane or even a ride in a cable car are life-threatening adventures. But I still think everything looks nicer seen from above 🙂 .

Dialogue (Weekly Photo Challenge)

For this week’s challenge, bring together two of your photos into dialogue.

I mentioned earlier this year that I would like to visit Vienna again, perhaps even have some more of that great apple strudel I tried at Schonbrunn Palace. Without realizing it, that was the opening line in a very enjoyable dialogue on this topic, as somebody dear to me had paid attention to those slightly melancholic words. So you’d like to see Vienna again, he said to me a few days later. I took the spoiled brat approach and replied, I’d rather go to Paris first, if we’re to revisit places… I though the conversation died then and there, but somebody needs to have the last word every time, so in June I was very pleasantly surprised with a long weekend in Vienna. What can I say… given how nice our little getaway was, I think I can live with occasionally not having the last word 🙂 And the strudel was as great as I remembered it. One thing had changed though – the flowers in the Palace gardens were now different, a bittersweet reminder of the passage of time, whispering to me that spring and summer are never alike and years will leave a mark on anything and everything.