A New Challenge: Blogging Photos and Miscellanea

Friday‎, ‎June‎ ‎08‎, ‎2018

Between 2011 and 2018, WordPress organized weekly photo challenges. These essays provided inspiration for bloggers to publish photos in their posts. The final photo challenge was the thirtieth of May this year, but after the surprise came that the challenges were finished, I think I will continue to blog with photos I’ve taken.

If and when other ideas come to mind, I will introduce them into the same blog, but I feel I should continue with similar enthusiasm to what I had when I was reading the photo challenges, over the last two or three years.

To get the answer what to do next, after the photo challenges ended, I turned to Quora, the site where users can pose questions and provide answers for others with a question – https://www.quora.com/

A couple of my old friends use Quora. A wonderful answer was provided by Ms. Jennifer Marshburn. What I could do next, she elegantly wrote, drawing on both her own experiences as a blogger and what she learned from similar circumstances.

You can find her answers on Quora here – https://www.quora.com/profile/Jennifer-Marshburn

The photo I took yesterday morning is of trees, in the city, sheltering a schoolhouse underneath a fabulous blue sky. I want to feature it as it is the first time I have decided for myself to be challenged to take a photo and say a few words. At the moment I took it, I was relieved I finally had an idea.

Friday‎, ‎June‎ ‎08‎, ‎2018
Above the Schoolhouse

WordPress has been nothing but great fun. In my case, it’s been an addition to the work I do as part of a not-for-profit cemetery in its junior operations. You can find us on the Internet here – http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/

There are a couple of other sources I would like to mention that provide additional inspiration.

Sources

How To Use Internet Images Responsibly For Blogs
Blog design mistakes you are probably making – and how to fix them

May 30 Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

Saturday‎, ‎August‎ ‎24‎, ‎2013

Like everybody else participating in the weekly photo challenges from WordPress, I also got the word that the challenges are finished.  Naturally, people reacted.

It was part of my day-to-day life.  I was drawing quite a bit of inspiration from the weekly essays intended to spark inspiration for bloggers taking photos.

I looked through photos I’d taken and picked a few favorites.   It is the very last challenge.

I liked to write something to go with a photo.  The photo challenges have been served up since 2011.

I only made it a hobby in the last few years.  It has been fun.

I am sure others were far more dedicated to the hobby, but I am pleased I did as much as I did.

It was worthwhile to join in while the fun lasted, I think.  It provided a little joy to be part of something like that.

I am not sure what to do next, but I know I will think of something.  I’ve written it before, but my blog is tied to the operations I do at a local cemetery in a not-for-profit capacity.  It is chiefly a hobby, but I am aware many businesses of all sizes utilize blogging to publicize what they do.

One photo I took, that I always liked, is a photo I took August 24, 2013.  I haven’t shown it much at all, but it is the interior the church as it stood in the first several months we were working there.  I liked how it turned out, and I haven’t taken that many inside the church proper.

 

Saturday‎, ‎August‎ ‎24‎, ‎2013
Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery, Saint Catharines, ON

Another photo of the interior of the church I took October 11, 2013.  There was something soothing about the peace of the church, and these two photos are the ones I like best of the ones I took there.

 

Friday‎, ‎October‎ ‎11‎, ‎2013
Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery, Saint Catharines, ON

The cemetery where I work has a small Facebook page.

www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

 

Some of the photos I took where with done with the possibility they would fit into the space we have on Facebook for the not-for-profit.  I learned photography “on the job” as I carried out my photos on a “trial-and-error” basis.

The end of 2017 I capped the experience I gained with the free ten-day Developing Your Eye I.   The course suggested ten days of photos on specific themes, similar to the weekly photo challenges, which I was already pursuing.

Expertise is a hard road to master, and I learned a little about photography and a lot of what doesn’t work.  Still, enough of the photos were pleasant such that they merited a look, I feel.

The Developing Your Eye I course helps break you out of your comfort zone, a touch, and teaches a little more clarity about the matter of taking photographs.

As I got the weekly photo challenges tackled I got included in posts curating people’s output for the photo challenges en masse.  There were dozens of links to bloggers demonstrating photos put together by people who wanted the best out of their participation in the photo challenges.  That was always a pleasure.

Some very talented people participated in the photo challenges.

I’d say I’ve been left better by the experience.  It was a surprise to see this week that the challenges have ended.  it is nonetheless interesting to possibly view the change as an opportunity to do something new that was never anticipated at all.  I guess time will tell.

Thank you for showing support to this endeavor.

It was, I suppose, bittersweet to read this week’s photo challenge by Krista Stevens

May 23 Weekly Photo Challenge: Twisted

2018-05-24

This week Jen challenged us to photograph the appearance of twisted.

I was strolling through the city here when I noticed a vintage car parked in front of a coffee shop.

The odd time there is a vintage car show that comes to town–I imagined the addition of the car to the café might be showcasing such a car show.

By the time I returned to my own neighborhood, I noticed there were several vintage cars at the same coffee franchise location as I’d passed a few minutes earlier.

I don’t know for certain, but it is easy to conclude that the diners were cooperating to bring in additional business.

2018-05-24
Vintage car

I had already read Jen’s essay on twisted and I thought the sight of the car at the coffee shop at the mall would illustrate it nicely, its engine apparent with its pistons clear to the eye.

Jen writes in her challenge that photographers are welcome to interpret “twisty” literally, or to take the next step and to devise an abstract representation of twisty in life.

I would say that not only is the car in my photo beautiful, and for that I can’t really take credit, but it also illustrates the “twisty” paths that drivers take, the vintage automobile looking inward at the coffeé shop and the mall, the driver in the contemporary vehicle driving away from the action behind him.

First and foremost, I took the shot feeling that the antique car represented twisted nicely, a symbol of the power of the combustion engine and of the status that owning a great car represents.

It was momentarily quiet when I passed by and I thought to get the photograph together and to move on.

I think the sight of the vintage car was enough to hold the coffee shop parking lot in relative peace–that’s how a symbol is.

May 16 Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

2018-05-18

Today is International Museum Day.  With respect, the most thought-provoking blog post I have had the positive experience of enjoying was recently published by beautybeyondbones about Catholicism and art.  I suggest you go to it as well–

  https://beautybeyondbones.com/2018/05/14/the-met-gala-catholic-imagination/

 

Returning for the weekly photo challenge, I returned to a picturesque spot in my city and took a point-and-shoot picture to illustrate what’s fluid.  I am trying to advance my ability as a photographer while remaining in the same headspace as other WordPress bloggers interested in daily prompts and weekly photo challenges.

2018-05-18
Ben Huberman’s Photo Challenge Liquid

There are many bloggers active at their craft, and I likewise enjoying spotting some of those that are timely available.

 

Some of my background in the not-so-distant past include taking advantage of free courses from WordPress, both on studying a bit how to write poetry and how to proceed as a photographer.  Writing is a major endeavor to tackle and it is very competitive, requiring an intense amount of activity at making it happen and making it successful.  I usually admire people who have made a name doing it.

 

I feel brief blog posts for the purpose of hobby writing with other WordPress bloggers, both “large” and “small” how their subscribers are, is a sufficient task to practice at this time, in my life, for me personally.  There is a touch of nostalgia attached to a hobby of this kind.

 

I also tweet my blog posts (more or less at random) shortly after I publish them.  I have thought about liquids before; for example, if you think it is pertinent you can visit https://findingenvirons1.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/autumn-leaves-favourite-memories-and-water-balloons-2/

 

My blog is also nominally tied to a small not-for-profit for which I provide junior-level operations.

 

I believe Ben Huberman, who wrote this week’s photo challenge article, also lends his editorial talents to WordPress.com.  Ben has written this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and the topic is accessible and interesting:  his essay is Liquid

May 2 Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Small town plaza

Today is Friday, May 4, 2018–May the Fourth is the day of the year celebrating the Star Wars canon of sci-fi. I’m not a filmmaker, although people involved in that kind of thing are certainly important 🙂 It is very nice to enjoy Star Wars on one of its most special days each year and to remember how much thought and calculation is why the original Star Wars film is so great.

On May 2, WordPress outlined a photo challenge for photography demonstrating a sense of the unexpected. To be honest, I don’t enjoy a wealth of the unexpected, but it happens from time to time that something is out of place and therefore notable.

The Monday of this week I was walking home from a jaunt when I sauntered by a little plaza here that caught me off-guard. I was on the other side of the street.

It is in the middle of expansion and redesign.

I thought at first it was being dismantled, oddly enough, but when I returned yesterday, having read the challenge the day before, I saw what was going on–money is going in.

I had reflected on this event because it was unexpected to me, that sign of development and growth when I tend to take a narrow view of progress these days. What do I know?

For me, it represented something unexpected. I was amused.

I took a couple of photos despite the overcast conditions of the afternoon. You can see the half-empty laundromat sign, the in-progress storefront, the cars signifying the value of the cozy little plaza to the town.

Small town plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That laundromat interviewed me for a job position ten or so years ago, before I was part of the not-for-profit I help operate with my dad. My job would have been to provide assistance with the washers and dryers, to take out the trash, and to make myself available a little for visitors to enjoy the Internet. This was easily an honest decade ago.

I nearly had the job. Like it or not, a neighbor I had at the time, an older friend named Doug discouraged me from starting over with the work I was lining up at the laundromat. He said I didn’t need it.

Local plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That neighbor filled the role of brother to me, at a time when I was cordial but distant to my own brother, and I decided to abandon my plan to seek the entry work.

You know, you make a choice like that, and it is clearly significant, but it reflects how little work I actually accomplished doing until my dad retired and brought me on at the cemetery.

I had other concerns.

I remember, of the couple who ran the place, when I showed an interest in how the laundromat helped the street get online, the fellow told me to my face I seemed like Internet Terminus.

I wouldn’t trade the appropriated cool of time online for much else, however.

Ten years ago, common Internet platforms of today were a lot newer, such as Twitter and YouTube. I think Netflix was a service for DVD delivery.

I hate checking my facts. Try writing that bluntly and see how it feels. As a blogger, I am interested in being honest, and there is always that propensity to lie, to seem bigger or better than I am.

That’s quite a common phenomenon, I think.

Terminus is also the title of a sci-fi film available on Netflix. It’s the one about rejuvenation.

May the Fourth Be With You.

Wednesday, May 2’s WordPress photo challenge is an essay by Michelle Weber.

April 18 Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

1/200 sec. f/5 8.8 mm

To be honest, I took this photo about nine in the morning Wednesday, before I’d read Krista Stevens essay on the idea of “prolific.” I’d known, however, that a photo challenge would be published again that day, and I took photos with the idea they might fit into the challenge, or otherwise find use.

Prolific is a word that suggests kind of an outpouring of artistic work, like writing, painting, or music. A talented person who is prolific and is known for the creative mind they have often led the way with what they contribute to their field of endeavor. The best-known people who are successful and enduring are often found to be that way because they are both hardworking and adept.

It’s been a long, long winter, and even this morning here it’s quite cold. I guess it is daunting that the conditions are so adverse, but taking photos for fun is hard for me to resist and I think this one is possibly along the lines what Krista invited this week with the challenge, a photo of water and snow in front of the church where I help with its operations.

1/200 sec. f/5 8.8 mm
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It has been disbanded since 2006, but it is pretty to the eye. It is unusual that snow is still on the ground in mid-April.

The reason I spend weekly time at the church, other than having an interest in religion, is that there’s a not-for-profit of which I am the junior member caring for the cemetery which lies behind the church. That’s where I apply my skillset, including photography. It happens to be a benign setting for shooting photographs.

The wind stirring the water on the ground struck me that I might get a good photo if I tried to capture it–I am a little sorry it isn’t a touch better, but the sky was a little dark even though it was morning. When spring finally breaks properly, photos will be better.

I also have a nicer camera available to me now–I will need a little practice. I just don’t want to take it into the outdoors much what with the cold temperatures. It will lend me a new mode, so to speak, of versatility when I do get to apply it.

I am also including a photo I took after reading Krista’s challenge–I took it Thursday. I photographed a spot on a local trail for similar reasons to why I took the photo of the water puddle in front of the church. Again, with skies like we have, it is hard to get a photo that isn’t too gloomy, but I don’t think it is too bad.

1/160 sec. f/4.2 16.2 mm
Thursday, April 19, 2018

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the WordPress photo challenges–they are open to all and they are easy to join. It is an advantage both to be able to think what other bloggers who enjoy photography are doing, and from the standpoint of wanting to speak in blog posts on WordPress, the daily prompts are likewise helpful to getting something tagged and published.

I feel it is a good idea, given that my chief aim on WordPress is to have fun, to look at the daily prompts now and then and to read the photo challenges. We’re a real-life not-for-profit, but there are no rules or restrictions how to participate in blogging despite the requirement to do work in the offline world.

I am not exactly prolific, I don’t think, although I am dedicated. Like many, many others, I enjoy blogging and I feel it is valuable to be “aligned” with what other bloggers might be doing or thinking. I appreciate any feedback I receive from people who see my blog.

April 11 Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

2592 x 1944

My dad and I began work on our not-for-profit venture in the year 2012 (a year widely prophesized to be the very last of life on Earth). 2012-2013 was our formative year as a nonprofit.

I took photos that helped define what we’re doing. This week’s photo challenge from Jen at WordPress is an essay on awakening. I thought I would show a formative photo from Louth United Church, which disbanded in 2006, when it came into our hands and how it was that first summer we were there.

2592 x 1944
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 1:41 PM

In the summertime what’s probably our chief task is to keep the grass cut. I try to fill other roles to illustrate to my dad, who’s senior in our operation, that I’m worth keeping in the picture, shoes like SMM and web designer. None of it is too hard for me, but not everybody would want to involved keeping care of a little cemetery. There are numerous of them everywhere.

It is extremely disheartening what’s happened with Facebook and the latest privacy scandal, and even the nonsense on Twitter is likely discouraging. It is as if the only resort is prayer.

I have heard of the Christian adage, “Everything is as it should be.”

I am game to look at some of the posts other bloggers do in response to the WordPress essays on photography. Some of them are devastatingly good! It is an invigorating hobby.

Businesses require blogs, but I am only nominally tying this blog to the practical operations we do at the cemetery. I am mostly held accountable to my dad. I realize we should be both transparent and authentic, and I feel we are, but also genuine in a touch of passion for our venture. It is pleasing for me to share a look at it with the outside world.