Guest Photo Challenge: Calligraphy by Meg Davis

Meg Davis_1



When viewing calligraphy, I have seen the wonder of a drop of dew glistening from a dangling needle, a shower of rock hailing down in a raging thunder, a flock of geese gliding in the sky, frantic beasts stampeding in terror, a phoenix dancing, a startled snake slithering away in fright.

I take on Paula’s request to be guest blogger feeling very honoured.

What theme to settle on? I mind map manically. I scrap ideas. I prioritise.

What I keep coming back to is calligraphy. I think of precision, delicacy, flow. I think of communicating beautifully, of Chinese artists combining calligraphy and paintings, of the elegance of Arabic script. I also think of the calligraphy of nature – the arrangements made by the sea on the beach, the tracks of moth larvae on scribbly gums, the fossilized ripples on a rock face, the leaf skeletons where the veins only are left, tracks in the sand of dog and beach creature, the shadow of ferns on rock. All mark-making with meaning and beauty.

Sun Guoting, in the quotation that begins this post, saw nature in calligraphy. I have seen calligraphy in nature. The challenge for you this week is to represent calligraphy in any way you like. I’m eagerly anticipating your marks on the screen.




Guest Challenge: Organized Noise

Tobias M. Schiel


The notion of son organisé seems to be central to composer Edgar Varèse’s understandung of music. “Son” can be translated into both ‘sound’ and ‘noise,’ and it is the ‘noise’ part that fascinates me. For music, it means broadening the material that can be used for a composition: Varèse apparently claimed that ‘noise’ is only another word for any sound one subjectively does not like .

In my eyes the concept of organized noise begs the question of its applicability to pictures. Photography is known to record ‘noise’ in capturing the old, the broken, the decrepit – the sights someone might not like subjectively. The medium appears to lend itself to this aesthetic choice, and it has been keenly criticized for it.

But there is also the aspect of organizing noise into music – or visual ‘noise’ into pictures. Some sights overwhelm us with their complexity, some with their ugliness or apparent meaninglessness. Nonetheless, I claim that photography can be a means of reducing this complexity, or making sense of the ‘noise.’


So, how to approach this? Here is a couple of thoughts:

  • Take your pick: Not all available ‘sounds’ have to be heard at the same time – not all the available elements have to go into the composition of the picture. Get closer, eliminate some of the ‘noise.’
  • Look for a main voice: Find a visual anchor that dominates all the other elements. Or look for a visible hierarchy of 1st, 2nd, 3rd (etc.) voices. What’s dominant? What’s just background noise?
  • Find a rhythm: Straight horizontal or vertical frame-to-frame lines can convey such a sense.

For this challenge abstract pictures may work better than those showing recognizable objects. The abstract pictures in this post were made ‘using’ the battered trash container below.


Here is a list of participating posts:בהודו

Guest Photo Challenge: Time

Debbie Smyth_august


In a Rush, Mr Walker?

 “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne


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As Paula’s guest blogger this Thursday, I’m challenging you to show us a snippet of time. Time is one of the most valuable things we possess, and certainly one I never have enough of.

As I rushed through Stockholm to catch a train to the airport, this seven metre tall statue and its equally striking statue made me pause and smile; if I had a tartan coat and a fedora, this could be me!


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Who is Mr Walker, 2014, Jan Håfström

The area around Stockholm Central Station is a nightmare for pedestrians, with a spaghetti of roads turning the walking route to the station into a seemingly insoluble puzzle.  So this fun statue in an otherwise uninspiring garden is a welcome sight.

It is the work of Swedish artist, Jan Håfström, member of the Academy of Arts since 1978. winner of a number of awards and Sweden’s representative at the Venice Biennale four times.

This 2014 work is of simple construction.  Four pieces of aluminium, each placed at right angles to its neighbour, gives a sense of movement and urgency.  Looked at from one angle the man seems to jump towards you whilst, from the side, he has no time to waste as he rushes towards the station.


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“Time and tide wait for no man.”
Geoffrey Chaucer

Over to you now – I’m looking forward to seeing your interpretation of time.


Participants in this challenge have come up with the following:

Guest Photo Challenge: Gold Inside



This challenge is all about the search for ´gold´ inside, my focus will be on natural light in interiors.

My interest in photos of decay and abandoned places made me wonder why nowadays photographers often use HDR (High Dynamic Range) software to handle the extreme contrast between dark interiors and light coming from outside. In my opinion where possible the results of natural light coming from outside is much more effective.

These 3 examples of my photos were all taken around the golden hour (roughly the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset) , when the outside light is soft enough to accentuate the colors inside and don´t need any adjustments afterwards.
The key for me was visiting these places close to my house(s) in Spain a couple of times and see how the different hours of day enlightened the place.  That was never a burden as I am intrigued by the history of these houses and the landscapes surrounding these abandoned villages. By spending time there and fantasizing about the people that lived there it made me aware of all the angles and details.

Of course the golden light of early morning and sunset were bringing out the best in them.

Thanks Paula for giving me a chance at these challenges and hope you find some ´Gold Inside´ anywhere for this challenge.


End of Symmetry

 End of Symmetry


Mr Orange and Mr Blue

Mr Orange and Mr Blue


Waiting Room

Waiting Room


Contributions to this challenge are: