Black & White Photo Challenge Completed

I completed the seven day photo challenge today. The instructions were simple: post seven black & white photos of my life, over seven days. No people were to be included in the pic, and no explanation was to accompany it. Each day, someone new was challenged to play along.

The challenge was easy to do, and yet for me it was intriguing and thought provoking.

I quickly understood omitting people from the photos. We all tend to fill our pics with our family members and our friends, or capture selfies in front of iconic locations. There’s nothing wrong with doing those things. The game becomes a challenge as we seek to capture moments that represent our lives, without the people in them that can define who we are…parent, grandparent, spouse, significant other, child, friend, boss, worker. It was challenging, and liberating, to find ways to creatively express my life, without people in my photos, and without explanatory captions beneath them.

I enjoyed and appreciated rising to such a challenge!

Here are the seven photos I posted, plus a bonus pic added so I could challenge additional people. Honoring the game rules, I will not caption them or explain them.

And the bonus photo:

No explanations for my photos, however I can say that these black & white photos tell stories about my life, and where I am, currently, on my journey. This week I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of capturing moments devoid of color. The eyes are allowed to explore the photo, and interpret the story, without being distracted by colors or focusing in on the most vivid object.

I found a quote that captures this experience perfectly, although I could not find the source. It is included below, at the end of my post.

A movie brings its own spin to a story. Reading allows the imagination to create the characters and the scenes, providing room for a multitude of interpretations. There’s room in my life for books and movies, and their different ways of telling stories. And there is room in my creative life to broaden my photo taking skills. I intend to make use of more black & white photography.

Black & White Photography Challenge

I have seen a couple of my friends playing this new game on Facebook. For seven days, you post one black and white photo each day that is representative of your life. The instructions are that no people are to be in the photos, and no words of explanation are to accompany the pics.

Each day, you tag another person to play the game as well.

I don’t participate in very many Facebook games like this. However, this one intrigued me. I like the beauty and simplicity of posting one photo a day, without comments or explanation. And I like that the photos are supposed to be snapshots of my life.

The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is true. As a blogger, I take a lot of photos each day, as they are an important part of my story or message. I’ve never let them tell the whole story, though, without using words.

My long time friend Becky tagged me last night, to play the black & white photo challenge. I accepted. The fun part, the interesting part, will be to capture photos that tell the bits and pieces of my life. I’m excited to play and bring that awareness into my daily journey.

Below is my Day 1 photo. No comment. No explanation. I’ll post again on Day 7, and share all seven black & white photos.

Day 203: Paul Caponigro Exhibit at Spiva Center for the Arts

Paul Caponigro portrait e

Writing about today’s first, visiting the Paul Caponigro Exhibit at the Spiva Center for the Arts, almost qualifies for a first, in and of itself.  Rarely do I complete my first and have the chance to write about it so early in the day. With a busy afternoon and evening planned, I seized the opportunity to stop by Spiva, located at 222 W. 3rd Street, before lunch and view this extraordinary exhibit.

Paul Caponigro still water e

I knew the Main Gallery’s exhibition featured the work of master photographer Paul Caponigro. That’s all I knew. I was not familiar with him, or his photographs. I was in for a treat. As I slowly studied the black and white photographs lining the walls, I was moved by Paul’s eye for landscapes and still lifes. Each piece told a story. I appreciate how photography allows the viewer to see what the photographer sees, and to know what was important to him, so important that he stops time and captures the moment. The use of black and white photography seemed to eliminate distractions and bring the focus sharply into view. There was a mystical quality to his work. I was enchanted.

Paul Caponigro has captured scenes from all over the world. This exhibit included pictures from the US, England, Japan, Wales, Ireland, Italy, and to my delight, Scotland. I enjoyed the pieces titled Scottish Thistle 1 and 2. I was drawn to the magical photos of Stonehenge and other stone megaliths and domens. The ancient secrets contained in those portals and stone circles are fascinating to me.

Paul Caponigro Scottish thistle 1 e

I discovered that Paul, born in 1932, is an American photographer known for his stunning landscapes and still lifes. His interest in photography began as a young teenager, although he also had a strong passion for music. He began studying music at Boston University College of Music before switching to the study of photography at California School of Fine Art. When I looked him up on google, I found that he is known also for the mystical and spiritual qualities in his work, which confirmed what I felt while viewing his photographs. He has said that photography is a medium, a language, through which he might come to experience directly, live more closely with, the interaction between himself and nature. That interaction, that connection, is evident in his work.

Paul says, “In my years of photography I have learned that many things can be sensed, seen, shaped or resolved in a realm of quiet, well in advance of, or between, the actual clicking of shutters and the sloshing of films and papers in chemical solutions. I work to attain “a state of heart”, a gentle space offering inspirational substance that could purify one’s vision. Photography, like music, must be born in the unmanifest world of spirit.” Amazing and inspiring. I appreciate the beauty in his photographs and in his soul, and how he offers both to the world through his art. Today, I became a Paul Caponigro fan.

Paul Caponigro Megaliths e


Special note…Taking photos of the pieces in the exhibit is not allowed, and understandably so. I was able to locate online samples of Paul’s work to share here.