What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Several weeks ago I wandered through the Rose Garden in Stanley Park, Vancouver and saw the unmistakable signs that the summer was ending. When I see the first flashes of autumn, I start to feel sad that the warmth and joy of summer are coming to an end.
At the same time, nature moves inexorably from one season to the next, each one in stark contrast to the one preceding it. That’s why my first set of images for Tina’s marvelous Opposites challenge highlights the shift from summer to autumn. Full bloom vs. shriveled blooms. Bright, vivid colors vs. faded, dying colors. They’re opposites for me.
I challenged myself to find opposites in the same photo. Here, you can see an image from our multimedia night walk through the woods in Whistler, B.C.. The Vallea Lumina experience reminded me that it had been years since I walked in the woods at night. In this photo, I see opposites–darkness and light, large and small.
That night, I felt like I was walking through a fairy tale woods and any minute a fairy or a wolf in a red cloak would jump out and startle me. Sadly, I can also point out the infamous historical opposites in this photo– man vs. nature which have been at odds for centuries.
(Spoiler alert: in mankind’s battle to conquer and “tame” our environment, Mother Nature always wins.)
In early summer we visited the concentration camp at Dachau, an unforgettably moving experience. In this image, I wanted to emphasize the contrast between the present and the past, the prosperity, hopefulness and freedom of the outside world versus the sadness, deprivation, and desperation of those imprisoned inside.
Here are a few more opposites. In this striking tribute to the author Stefan Zweig in Salzburg, Austria, I spotted: straight vs. curved lines; light vs. dark green, and concrete vs. abstract.
Can you see any others?
To complete my post, I’m sharing an image of a magical summer’s night in Florence. By chance, we stopped at a hotel on the Oltrarno hoping to grab a late dinner. In a stroke of luck, we managed to get a table on the terrace overlooking the Arno. Between the appetizer and main dish, I captured a few (correction: dozens) of photos. Then as we were drinking coffee, we were totally surprised by an unannounced fireworks display on the river. Magical, indeed.
So here’s my list of opposites in this photo: sea vs. sky, darkness vs. light, historical vs. modern, wet vs. dry….
This week we invite you to join us as we explore Opposites, Tina’s choice for this week’s challenge. It’s been fun searching for opposites in my files from the past few months and thinking about how composing a shot with opposite colors, or shapes, or areas of light and darkness, for example, is a valuable idea to keep in mind.
Be sure to stop by Tina’s site to look at her wonderful photos and her inspiring quotes and include a link to her original post if you join us. Next week, we’re delighted to announce that Donna of Wind KIsses will be our guest host. Be sure to stop by her site next Saturday at noon to join us.
Until then, have a week filled with plenty of good health and inspiration.