Summer Photo Fun – 2014 – Memory


So the summer holidays draws to a close and with it our final theme set by the kids of Memory, a lovely theme on which to close as we look back over the last few weeks and hopefully remember the good times we’ve had, days out, laughs, perhaps foreign climates, adventures, family, fun, good food etc.  This has definitely been my experience of the summer holidays and I hope it has been for you as well.  When the final theme was announced someone said how do you photograph a memory, which is of course a good point but at the same time we use photographs to capture our memories all the time and there are many things that remind us of them, whether that memory is one freshly made or from a lifetime ago.  Smells, colours, clothes, jewellery, places, food, everyday objects, things around the house, stuff stuck on the fridge door etc there are constant reminders all around us of our memories and these have been beautifully captured in the collection of images that came in this week.  Of course whilst many memories are shared they are all personal to us individually and this I think was captured beautifully both by the war memorials and the photographs of children, some who have now grown into adults while others are newly born.  I thought this was a lovely way to end this summers series.

I’ve actually put one of my photos at the top this week, I’ve never done that before so I hope you’ll forgive me indulgence.  For me music is an important part of my life and acts as a trigger to so many memories some momentous and important others mundane.  For example whenever I hear The Whole of the Moon by the Waterboys I am transported back to a wet and cold evening standing waiting for a train on London Bridge station !  I’ve been a fervent gig goer for many years even if now it’s only on occasion that I go to see a band as opposed to the several times a week when I was younger.  Ticket stubbs get stuffed in pockets and left on the side somewhere but I ended up sticking lots of them in an envelope, where many still are, but a few years ago I got a picture frame and put a collage of some of them up on my wall.  It might not be to everyone’s taste but each ticket contains a powerful memory.

As always huge thanks to those of you who play along interpreting the kids themes, sending in your photos and making it all so much fun, we really enjoy and appreciate it.  As ever click on the gallery to open it and you can see the photos in full.  Do let us know which ones you liked.  So that’s it for another year, we have done three years of this now and it’s always been great fun.  We will I expect continue to do the other holidays – half term photo fun; christmas photo fun etc and will occasionally just throw in a random weekend photo fun so if you like the idea and want to join in just follow me on twitter (@ianstreet67) which is where the themes get announced.  I’ve also toyed with the idea of doing some sort of exhibition of themes and the whole photofun idea, not sure if I’ll ever get round to that but it could be good fun I think.


Summer Photo Fun – 2014 – Simple


Simple was the theme set by the kids this week for our summerphotofun project and as ever some lovely, thought provoking and funny pictures came in.  Many of you used the theme of simple pleasures with things stripped back to their essence, nature, food and experiences featuring strongly along with a couple of very moving but simple memorials.  You hear a lot about wanting to live a simple life as an antidote to the perception that life is now too complicated or fast paced.  I’m not sure personally that I buy into the over complication argument but I also know that I live a simple, slow life in many respects and have done a long time before the slow movement became a fashionable thing.  For me to enjoy life all you need are to concentrate on the simple things, time with family and friends, good food, spending time outdoors and enjoying new experiences, get that right (and I don’t think it’s difficult to do) and you have a path to contentment.  All things outside this are just distractions, ignore as many of them as you can.  I think when you look at the photos that have come in this week a lot of them are perfect slices of this way of living, none more so perhaps than the photo at the top.

As ever thanks go out to all of you who have contributed and come up with such a lovely varied gallery (I loved the oil and water shot), just click on the gallery to open it and see the photos full size.  Do let us know which ones you liked in particular this week.  I hope I haven’t forgotten to include any but if I have let me know and I’ll amend the gallery.


Summer Photo Fun – 2014 – Curl


I always enjoy the themes that the kids choose and over the last few years we have been playing around with this they have got progressively better at choosing themes as they think about what might come in. They like to come up with a theme that is both definitive in nature but gives lots of scope for interpretation.  I often think that some of the best themes they have chosen are colours or geometric shapes but this weeks theme of Curl was definitely one of the best they’ve chosen and there have been some brilliant interpretations that have come in from you all week.

We’ve just sat down to go through them and there were so many we enjoyed and it gave a real insight into how individuals can take a simple word and interpret it but also how photographs can make you think of the world around you, whether that be nature, art, jobs etc.  I loved the photo that a cardiac nurse sent in of her stethoscope entitled ‘tool of the trade’ and the curl of the blade runner is also a very powerful image.  As always our photofun would not work without all of you who take part and we’d really like to pass on our thanks that you take the time to do so and make it so much fun.  When the pictures are all put together in the gallery they create a vibrant tableau of the world around us.  As always click on the gallery to open it and you can see the photos as they came in, do let us know which ones you like.  Lots of crackers this week we thought.


EasterPhotoFun – Week 2 – Purple



The kids chose a colour – purple – for the second week’s theme of their Easter Holidays, they’ve thrown in a few other colours over the last two years and they always go down well.  I like that fact that people can take photos of all sorts of different things but the single colour unifies them all together creating something greater as a whole colour collage than the individual photos.

It was funny but as the photos came in realised that I don’t tend to think of purple as being a particularly ‘spring’ colour but it clearly is in the range of flowers that are sprouting up now resplendent in their purple foliage.  There was also some lovely takes on the theme Donnie and Marie singing Deep Purple, Prince in his Purple Rain threads and some purple prose from the mighty Hunter S Thompson.

It was generally a relatively quite week but as always we enjoy all of the contributions and thank you all for taking part.  The next photo fun will probably be during May half term which is the last week of may but we might throw in the odd random weekend one as well before the main six weeks of summer.


Half Term Photo Fun – Vivid



The kids chose Vivid as the theme for #halftermphotofun and, following on from the extraordinarily bleak weather we’ve had over the last few weeks, I for one was happy that a bit of colour would most likely appear as people interpreted the Vivid theme.  There have been some lovely interpretations, mostly focussing on vivid colours but not all, check out the black and white photo of the old man’s vivid face, I’m not sure there is a better interpretation than that.  A vivid imagination is required to create the great art and literature that we enjoy and this has been beautifully captured in many of the images sent in.  As for the fish, the sender was flagging up the colour but I reckon there would be a pretty vivid smell as well.  Objects and experiences can also bring back vivid memories of things we have done, places we have been or of people who are sadly no longer with us.

One of the things that we like best viewing the photos when the come in, is not just looking at the interpretation but where and who they are from and in particular it’s great when other children take part, after all the whole idea behind this is created by my own children who set all the themes for the various photofuns that we do.  Youth has been to the fore this week with photos from a 3, 5 and 8 year old as well as entries from my kids.  I think it creates a playful nature to the whole affair, introduces the idea of visual interpretation to children and keeps all the clever adult photographers on their toes.  You can’t immediately tell which photos are from adults and which are from children and indeed one of my favourites in this weeks collection is from an 11 year old.

We really appreciate everyone who takes part, its good fun but is also teaching valuable lessons in the power of social media, how ideas and pictures can spread for example.

The photo at the top is of Tom Hill and I loved it straight away, the contrast between the vivid green of Tom’s helmet compared to his mud caked legs, a vivid reminder of the weather we’ve been having.  As those who read this blog regularly or follow me on twitter (@ianstreet67) will know I like riding bikes and Tom’s photo immediately brings back vivid memories of similar rides and I’m sure that the ride Tom had just completed will be lodged away in his memory bank.

I hope I haven’t missed out any photos, but I usually do so I apologise in advance if this is the case.  Let me know if I have missed you out and I’ll update the gallery.  If you click on the gallery it will open up and you can scroll through the photos in all the vivid originality they were sent in.  Keep your eye on my twitter feed for the odd #weekendphotofun and the next week-long ones will probably be April – #Easterphotofun.  Thanks to you all for making this week a colourful one.

December Photo Fun – Week 5 – Together


Our December Photo Fun project came to an end with the final week’s theme chosen by the kids being Together, a nice theme as I’m sure lots of us have been together as families over the last few weeks and / or came together with friends over the New Year.  It’s a bit weird having December Photo Fun go into January and I’m sure a few people were confused but I wasn’t sure how else to do it as the final week started in December even though it ended in January but as always you did not let us down.  I was chatting to one of the kids about the photofun themes that we’ve run for the last 18 months or so in various guises and one of them said to me that one of the things they liked most was the sheer variety of the photos and who they came from, everyone from children to very serious photographers and all points in between.  This got us talking about interpretation and how all people see things differently or through their own eyes, so even though we often have a bit of guess as to what people will send in we are always totally surprised.  Getting to understand that all people see things from their own perspective is such an important principle to understand as after all if people see the word ‘together’ in so many different ways then the same will apply to how they see the world, society, politics etc.  So having a play with photos can uncover some important truths about who we are as people and how we see the world.

As you will see from the gallery there have been some lovely interpretations of together and thank you so much to all who contributed to this week and the others throughout December, we’ve had lots of fun and hope you have too.  Click on the gallery to open it and scroll through the photos and do let us know what you liked.  We’ll have a little break now but will throw in the odd random Weekend Photo Fun and will do Half Terms and probably Easter before we roll back round to summer 2014 !  I have wondered how best to keep people informed of when we are doing a new theme, at the moment I just use twitter (@ianstreet67) but some will of course miss this.  I could set up an email list ?  If you are interested or have any other ideas then do let me know.

The other thing I’ve thought about doing is actually pulling all of the galleries that we have done, the summers, weekends, Decembers and creating a physical exhibition in a gallery.  Not sure how I’d go about doing this but again if you think it’s got legs or would be interested in helping do something like this then again get in touch.

Thanks to you all from me and the kids.  Cheers

December Photo Fun 2013 – Week 4 – Curious


The kids chose Curious as the theme for Christmas week and I must admit that when they chose it I suspected that we might simply get lots of photos of wrapped presents but of course I was doing all of you who take part a disservice as you were bound to interpret the theme in lots of great ways, as well as a few presents.  I think that being curious is perhaps one of the best attributes you can have as a person and it’s something about myself that I’ve really grown to appreciate the older I get – a sense of wonder if you like at all that’s around me.  When I was younger my ability to day dream was legendary, my mind wandering all over the show and it’s something that I still do pretty much all the time.  I can vividly recall one of my teachers saying “Street, be careful or you will end up daydreaming your whole life away” – wow what a perfect thing I thought to spend my life in a state of daydream.  I think that my daydreaming then was and still is simply allowing my brain to be curious about stuff, whatever that is, and by doing so it helps keep it flexible, creative and open to ideas.  I’ve been reading some stuff on Einstein recently and one of the most interesting things was his passion (or curiosity) for the world around him which he summed up as follows:

I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious

The gallery is a great example of this and none more so that the photo at the top where you can see the sense of wonder and curiosity in the little boys face as he looks at the image of himself on the phone screen, hopefully that curiosity will stay with him throughout his life.  Thanks as ever to all who took part, young and old alike, and as ever click on the gallery to open up and scroll through the various interpretations from Alice in Wonderland to Gay Cats ! and let us know what you liked and what made you curious.