The kids chose Contrast as the theme for half term week and I was immediately thinking to myself what a contrast it was that we were in half term already as it seemed only last week the kids were getting ready to go back to school after the summer holidays and of course our #summerphotofun. It got me thinking about all the contrasts that we have in our everyday world as we go about our lives and the fact that they are (for me anyway) everywhere. A small one relevant to this post is the contrast between what I might see in my eye and what appears on my screen when I attempt to photograph it. Occasionally this works the other way when something on the screen takes me by surprise but that’s rare compared to the other way around.
What struck me looking at the photos that people sent in was how much contrast there is around us but that how beautiful it is. Beauty is not something that perhaps first springs to mind when you think of contrast as it perhaps goes better with compliment but some of these photos buck that notion for me: the simple red mug amongst a sea of white, the autumn colours, a carpet on a wood floor, new and old, stillness amongst activity. Look closely at these pictures and there is a real beauty to behold (perhaps apart from lettuce and gravy). I absolutely loved the photo of the person sat on the pavement reading a book, totally in a bubble while all around people are chatting and laughing.
The photo at the top was taken by one of my kids on their phone at the recent Leeds Light Night and gives a pretty good example of contrast as the city hall is illuminated with stunning visual projections which stand out against the blackness of the night sky. Light Night is an amazing thing that happens each year in Leeds and is a perfect example of a good contrast when the whole of the city centre changes it’s normal Friday night characteristics and becomes a family friendly playground.
Me and the kids have been doing our photofun themes during the various holidays for a couple of years now and really enjoy and it’s humbling that other people join in and make it such fun. Thanks to all of you who have taken part this time it’s really appreciated. We’ll probably do #DecemberPhotoFun over the 4 weeks so follow me @ianstreet67 on twitter if you don’t already to pick up the themes. We might throw in the odd random #weekendphotofun as well along the way.
Click on the gallery below to open it and scroll through the photos in the correct size they came in.
I was sat chatting to the kids a week ago after they’d broken up for half term and we were discussing themes and maybe doing one of, what has now become, our ongoing #photofun series. We were bouncing ideas around and I asked them what one word encapsulated half term for them and both of them said Free almost instantly so that became the theme. Things got off to a quiet start and I think that for some people it was a tricky theme to interpret but I think it was a pretty inspired choice by them actually. They’ve got really good at choosing themes and now don’t tend to pick something obvious that will bring in perhaps one style of photo but go for something where we can never really anticipate what will be sent in by those who choose to contribute. Free was brilliant for that and when you look at the gallery it will perhaps be difficult to know what was on the mind of the contributor as you can’t see the twitter description they sent in with the photo but I like that, you are going to have to work a bit but needless to say there have been some really brilliant interpretations.
As always when we do these photofun’s your contributions really make me think and this week has been no exception – what is Free? a state of mind, something physical, a feeling, a combination of all of these things or something different altogether? what does it mean to me? To be free and to express ourselves freely, be that through thought, word or deed is something that we perhaps take for granted and yet without even thinking about it our children can demonstrate beautifully what free means just by watching them play and have fun. On Friday I went to Brimham rocks with my two and to watch them drop any inhibitions and to be Free to explore, climb, clamber, slide and play to their hearts content on a load of old stones was a truly magical experience. For this reason I was very tempted to put my photo in of them charging at dusk towards their next stone playground at the top of the pile this time round. However this idea of being free and to be able to express ourselves freely (and learn through free access to books via libraries and by going to museums which both feature in the photos sent in) was thrown into stark contrast by two photos this time round, the poppy appeal photo – for those who gave so much for us to be Free and the photo of Nadia from Pussy Riot at the top who is currently serving two years in a penal colony in Russia for daring to challenge the state and the church in Russia through punk and situationist art. She may not be Free but her bravery should be a sobering reminder to us all.
As always thank you all so much for your contributions, a brilliant week this week I thought and a special mention must go out to John Deasey (@JDeasey) who always sends in great photos but has been suffering from a damaged finger which he is now Free of as it was amputated this week – ouch. Don’t forget if you click on the gallery it will open and you can scroll through the photos as they were sent in. This whole series may be having unintended side effects as one of my kids is now talking about looking at photography as a GCSE (or whatever they now are) option. Who knows what we are all creating here.