Life in Colour

To find out more about this year’s photo challenge here on Travel Words, please read this post.

This month we will be looking for Green. Green signals new life in spring, fresh green leaves, the shoots of new bulbs emerging from the soil. It is a cool and soothing colour, bringing us moisture and shade. But green doesn’t have to be all about nature.

Bill Reid’s “The Spirit of Haida Gwaii” (Jade Boat)

A 1996 bronze casting can be seen in YVR International. It is intended to represent the aboriginal heritage of the Haida Gwaii region in the Queen Charlotte Islands.

The 13 passengers in the canoe combine human and animal features. Reid’s factious “myth creatures” are drawn from the Haida world.

Eagle bites Grizzly Bear’s paw, Bear faces his human wife and cradles a club and Mouse Woman shelters beneath Raven’s wing.

Other passengers are Bad Bear and Good Bear, Beaver, Dogfish Woman, Eagle, Frog and Wolf whose claws are embedded in Beaver’s back and teeth in Raven’s wing and the human Shaman as the focal point.

Reid said “at least …. the man in the middle seems to have some vision of what’s to come”

Do you have a green story?

Thursday’s Special

This week Paula encourages us to consider the differences between taking a landscape or portrait format. What factors make you decide which way to go? Is it the lens on your camera that forces you into a particular format, or are you making a more conscious decision about what it is you want to portray and what is the best way to do that? 

These two images are of the haunting bronze sculpture that I have featured before in black and white. The close-up landscape version(s) were deliberate compositions to focus on the detail of the women and children as they wait for their husbands and fathers to return from sea.The decision to take a portrait shot was based purely on the desire to capture the entire sculpture and show exactly how small these figures actually are.

I tend to take most of my photos in the landscape mode unless I am photographing something particularly tall like a building or a tree. Of course with editing software it is easy to change any photo into any size afterwards, so it is not always necessary to make the decision at the point of clicking the shutter. I think the most important decision you should make when taking that shot is whether you have thought about what it is you are trying to capture and have you considered carefully that this is the best composition. That helps you take a great shot rather than several mediocre ones when you simply ‘hope for the best’.

I am interested to hear your thoughts.

Lost at Sea

Paula’s black and white Sunday this week is ‘Traces of the Past’.


This bronze by Jill Watson was commissioned by the people of Berwickshire to commemorate the women and children left by the East Coast Fishing Disaster of 1881.

The small bronze figures are the wives and children of Charles Purves, James and William Thorburn, three men lost at sea in 1881 from the fishing village of St Abbs. In total 189 men from the east coast of Scotland perished on that fateful day.