Variations on a Theme – a family photo challenge

Images in the time of Coronavirus v.4

Welcome to Variations on a Theme, our latest family photo challenge including members throughout Australia and the UK.

After the success of the family based photography challenges, the A-Z of Isolation, and Images by the Dozen, we moved onto 10 Ordinary Objects.

Now we’ve just completed our fourth challenge – Variations on a Theme. The instructions from my sister and her husband, are summed up here in one sentence:

One theme or thing – six images – four weeks (or so) – one magazine to document our creativity.

Two bikes
Two bikes

What was my theme?

I initially started with water but despite having photos of a river, a lake, the beach – I decided to change mid way. Also my nephew had chosen the coast as his theme so I decided I’d try something different. His photos are always sensational and I didn’t want to feel inadequate 🙂

So I chose Bike Bits as my theme instead. I made a list of things I could photograph without actually taking a photo of my bike and set about trying to be creative. The toy bike sign belonging to my granddaughter’s train set, was a last minute addition, mainly because the colours appealed to me!

Bike sign
Bike sign

I tried to attach a similar ‘style’ to each photo too, although I’m not sure if this worked or not.

I also used some apps to edit my photos, this is most obvious in the bike computer photo – the original was very boring but I liked the overlay the ‘spectrum’ filter gave it.

Are you a fan of this sort of editing?

Bike computer
Bike computer

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.

Bruno Barbey

How it worked

We were invited to join the group, (no pressure was applied), and we received the instructions and some examples of what a ‘theme’ entailed, plus the proposed time line.

Over a few Sunday nights, we all got together on Zoom and shared our thoughts from the week and we could discuss our theme to get some ideas from the group. It was a great way to stay connected, think outside the box and have some fun being creative. Everyone’s photos showed their creativity and the world around them.

Themes included: Changed states, At the Beach, COVID Cheddar Gorge, Around the House, the Humble Spud, Sugar Cane, What’s at the tip of my feet, Journey of a Cow, Through the eyes of a 3 year old, The Cafe, Bike Bits, Abandonment, Yalwal Road Home. There were some truly brilliant photos taken and shared!

Bike bell
Bike bell

Family Fun

Family members involved this time round, included my sister and her husband (the organisers), the Mathematician, my daughter, my mother, my niece and her husband, another niece, my nephew, my sister’s daughter-in-law and her teenage daughter, a close family friend – and covered a wide range of ages as you can imagine!

Bike chain
Bike chain

I was very impressed with the range of themes chosen, the variety of photos, the creativity and the diligence of everyone – most of us are not ‘real’ photographers but amateurs simply playing around (well that describes me anyway)!

We helped each other out with ideas, encouragement and support – but I guess that’s what families do! It was a real challenge for everyone and we all approached it in different ways with regular reminders and advice.

Bike sun glasses
Bike sun glasses

As with the past challenges, my sister is now compiling the photos into a magazine, so we all have something to look back on from this tumultuous time.

Can I ask what was your favourite photo from my Bike Bits theme?

So what’s next?

Our next project is Composition Photography Challenge – stay tuned for more….

Hope all is going well with you during these tough times. I always enjoy hearing from you so leave me a comment below and join in the conversation.

Deb 🙂

Joining Denyse for #lifethisweek


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34 Replies to “Variations on a Theme – a family photo challenge”

  1. Thank you for linking up your blog post 20.7.2020. I will be back with my comments this Monday 27.7.2020 when I have more concentration capacity following my major surgery last week. I appreciate your comments always. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So I like them all!! The colors in the glasses are so pleasing to me. Love the reflection. But then the gears and the rounds shapes in that photo are very appealing. And finally the bell. What fun!! Nothing better than a bike bell!! You guys are so cool coming up with family photo challenges. Wish I could get my peeps on board for something like this. Or maybe you guys would adopt me??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You could subtitle these photos ‘Complexity meets simplicity.’ I like the photo of the chains, I didn’t realize there were so many layers, but I also like the photo of the bell. I recognized it from another picture you had done a while back, but as Hugh said, I like the way the focus is on the bell, and everything else is vague background. What a wonderful way to connect a nd challenge each other. Best and blessings, Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great way of looking at it Michele, complexity meets simplicity. Yes it’s been a great way to stay connected and have some fun. The bell was featured in a post a while ago when I was writing about riding and ringing my bell to warn people I was coming. Thanks for following along!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun, engaging idea – I love it! Your bike themed pictures are creative and well crafted. I wonder if I could modify this idea and use it in my third grade classroom during remote learning this coming year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would like to think you could modify it to work with your class. It was a fun activity for all of us and we enjoyed thinking up different ideas for each photo. Good luck with the remote learning. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment for me too, I always appreciate hearing from readers.

      Like

    1. Yes I agree Donna, we are awesome!! Everyone had different themes and did really well. It was so good to have our mum involved and my daughter in England, if only because we got to chat to her (and Dottie) every Sunday night :). Thanks for your interest.

      Like

  5. What a super fun family activity! And then putting them into a book/magazine for the family — what an amazing pandemic legacy. I, like many others, like the sunglasses. But I also like the play of light in the two bikes (wheels).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Pat, it’s been a fun activity for us all to do and you’re right, the magazines will be a great keepsake for us of this time. I like the light in the two bike wheels too, thanks for your thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What great fun, Debbie. I like the bell photo best of all. It looks as if it’s detached from the bike because the rest of the bike is out of focus. It’s a simple object, yet you’ve photographed it in a way that makes it stand out and get noticed.
    However, they’re all great photos. I haven’t tried many of the photo apps out yet. I have them downloaded, but getting around to playing with them is the problem I have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Hugh! The bell turned out just how I wanted it, detached and sort of floaty. I didn’t use many apps while editing these ones, except for the computer one of course, and I’m really pleased with how they turned out. It’s been good family fun during lockdown.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks for that Deb, I really enjoy the challenge and trying to think creatively. Sometimes it works! The reflection in the glasses came out really well and just what I was hoping for.

      Like

  7. The sunglasses one for me … I really like the reflections.
    One of the things I particularly love about our Sunday night gatherings is the chaotic nature of them … so many people, so much talking over, so many kids, lots of gentle ribbing and laughs … and always really interesting photos. It’s my favourite time of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, we have all enjoyed the challenges and the family togetherness throughout this time. Considering we are stretched far and wide, we do well to maintain contact while having fun at the same time. I love the sunnies too.

      Like

  8. As I’ve said before Deb I enjoy your family photo challenges. But I love this one and your bike parts theme. I’m finding it so hard to choose a favourite, as they are all very clever. But perhaps it’s the bike chain by a whisper.

    Liked by 1 person

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