Black and White Challenge


I came late to photography. Oh, I have had my share of point and shoot cameras and several albums of photos to show for my efforts. But was the iphone with its amazing camera that was my gateway drug. Seeing what fun I was having capturing images and sharing them, my husband, Jeff, bought me a "real" camera, a Canon DSL, for Christmas. Intimidated, I left it in the box for months.

Luckily, Santa Fe is home to one of the best photography workshops in the country, so for my birthday Jeff gave me an introductory course. Five days later, though still very much a novice, I was completely hooked. Since then both Jeff and I have taken more workshops, scheduled time to go out and shoot, and produced some excellent images.  But life keeps getting between me and my photography.

Then in mid-September a friend challenged me on Facebook: Seven days, seven black & white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone every day.

Seven days later I had posted a collection of images, some from home in Santa Fe and some from a road trip to Colorado. While I regularly post photos, they tend to be photographic notes of my life. Sometimes quotidian, other times highlights from my travels. The purposeful nature of the challenge was rewarding. I found myself "focusing" on my surroundings in a new way, literally and figuratively, seeking thoughtful images that told a small story about my world. And I loved seeing the remarkable images posted by those I had challenged. The effort combined the best of features of the social media collective and of a personal practice.  

We all need a challenge from time to time.