52 Week Challenge: Week 49

WEEK 49: Portrait: Dancing – Whether it’s a professional dancer, or just some kids in the street. Try experimenting with slow and fast shutter speed to both blur and freeze the subject.


To use British vernacular, this was a real bugger to do.  The combined challenges of poor lighting (from a photography perspective) and the relatively small aperture of my zoom lens when fully extended meant that there was a fair bit of trial and error with getting this shot. Again, I opted for a black and white composition as there was a fair bit of noise caused by the stage lighting and high ISO setting.



52 Week Challenge: Week 50

WEEK 50: Landscape: Symmetrical – Often considered one of the hardest compositions to pull off, Symmetry. Challenge yourself this week by shooting a symmetrical landscape/urbanscape.

I used this evening’s trip to Longwood Gardens to see the light display to my advantage here. The Italian Garden afforded a great opportunity to use formal garden symmetry to fulfill this landscape requirement, with an added twist of being a night shot too.



52 Week Challenge: Week 51

WEEK 51: Artistic: Art – It is time to really challenge yourself. Your artistic interpretation should be art, about art. So meta.


Interpreting art can be difficult so how about looking at two pieces through another one… I shall not say what these are, although I have given a few clues for those who wish to play Sherlock Holmes…



52 Week Challenge: Week 40

WEEK 40: Portrait: Sitting in a Chair – Either a formal sitting portrait or a re-interpretation of this classic. Photography your subject sitting in a chair.

With the lack of willing models available to me I decided to get creative with this one. At a recent visit to MoMA in New York City I was looking through the blinds in the cafeteria and into the museum’s courtyard below. I took a couple of shots focusing on the blinds and then the courtyard and have merged them, having desaturated the main subjects, to emphasize that they are outside, yet still inside the museum confines.



52 Week Challenge: Week 42

WEEK 42: Artistic: Minimalist – Isolate your subject using the minimalist approach. Inspire someone with your art.

Wow, I am at the last day of the year and I still have 9 photos to complete for the 52 week challenge! This really has been more difficult that I expected, especially after I lost momentum in the summer months. I started on January 7th, 2016 so I still have a week to try to do as many as possible.


This piece is called Red Room Redux as it was a color photo that I desaturated to make it look more moody.


#r2bcheerful11 – Dominica Camels

I must admit that I don’t really understand what Ian was getting at here – Dominica or Dominecker – I’ve seen it written both ways, the country or something else? Camels, of course, could refer to the cigarettes of the same name or the humped ungulate, famed as a pack animal with a seriously bad temper.

I don’t smoke but I have ridden camels on a few occasions in Australia, Egypt and the US, so I have chosen the mammal as my answer to the 11th r2bcheerful challenge.


I guess if you needed to travel a significant distance, especially over a sandy, dry terrain they would certainly give you a reason to be cheerful, despite their tendency to grunt and spit and generally act like curmudgeons.


Are you up for the #r2bcheerful photo challenge?

This is going to be a long post, and is definitely my most ambitious communications with the world wide web to date!

By source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46754912 

This is a difficult Photographic Challenge. It is based on the lyrics of the 1979 song, “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3” by Ian Dury and The Blockheads, and was the last single released by the original band line-up. I still love this song and I unearthed the 12” translucent green vinyl copy that I purchased 37 years ago for my daughter to play on her “new” record player very recently. What goes around comes around, I guess, sometimes literally!

Anyway, I wanted to launch this challenge for myself (and to anyone else who wants to participate) before the summer is over where I live. This is simply because that word is the first “reason” challenge of the song.

So, here we go:


  1. Be creative and have FUN.
  2. Images can be taken in any order.
  3. There are no more rules.

It would be nice if you would use hashtag #r2bcheerful and/or #r2bcheerful followed by the number to help people find your images. For example, if you have a picture of yellow socks use hashtag #r2bcheerful21 to help find images. Remember, cheerful has only one letter l.

At some point, assuming that others take this up, I will feature some of the entries on this blog, and on my current twitter, facebook, and pinterest accounts, as well as anything else I set up.

It will be really interesting to see if anyone can actually finish this challenge, as I think it is extremely tough. For that reason there is no order to the list – so go at it as you see fit. Also, I am quite happy to allow interpretation. For example, I realise most of us are never going to get an image of the Bolshoi Ballet, so get creative, play around with the words, create a pun, use your mind, just please explain it if it’s too existential…

Here’s the list in it’s full glory:

Why don’t you get back into bed? Why don’t you get back into bed?

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3...

  1. Summer (Some of*)
  2. Buddy Holly
  3. The working folly
  4. Good golly, Miss Molly
  5. Boats
  6. Hammersmith Palais
  7. The Bolshoi Ballet
  8. Jump back in the alley
  9. Nanny goats
  10. 18 wheeler Scammels,
  11. Dominecker camels
  12. All other mammals
  13. Equal votes
  14. Seeing Piccadilly,
  15. Fanny Smith and Willie
  16. Being rather silly
  17. Porridge oats
  18. A bit of grin and bear it
  19. A bit of come and share it
  20. Your welcome we can spare it
  21. Yellow socks
  22. Too short to be haughty,
  23. Too nutty to be naughty
  24. Going on forty
  25. No electric shocks
  26. The juice of a carrot
  27. The smile of a parrot
  28. A little drop of claret
  29. Anything that rocks
  30. Elvis
  31. Scotty
  32. The days when I ain’t spotty
  33. Sitting on a potty
  34. Curing smallpox
  35. Health service glasses
  36. Gigolos
  37. Brasses
  38. Round or skinny bottoms
  39. Take your mum to Paris (*Taking mum to Paris)
  40. Lighting up the chalice
  41. Wee Willie Harris
  42. Bantu Steven Biko
  43. Listening to Rico
  44. Harpo, Groucho, Chico
  45. Cheddar cheese and pickle
  46. A Vincent motorcycle
  47. Slap and tickle
  48. Woody Allen,
  49. Dali,
  50. Dimitri and Pasquale
  51. Balla, balla, balla
  52. Volare
  53. Something nice to study
  54. Phoning up a buddy
  55. Being in my nuddy
  56. Saying okey-dokey,
  57. Sing-a-long a Smokey
  58. Coming out of chokey
  59. John Coltrane’s soprano
  60. Adi Celentano
  61. Bonar Colleano
  62. Yes, yes, dear, dear
  63. Perhaps next year
  64. Or maybe even never
  65. In which case
  66. Reasons to be cheerful, part 3

Have fun and don’t forget to tag your work as #r2bcheerful and #r2bcheerful with item number added and pop back here once in a while!

Update (22-Jan-2017): since discovering the book Hallo Sausages: The Lyrics of Ian Dury,” edited by his daughter Jemima Dury, I have had to make a couple of corrections – as noted by the * above. The most surprising one to me was “Some of Buddy Holly” rather than “Summer, Buddy Holly.” Personally, I still think that Summer is a good reason to be cheerful so I’m keeping it in as an editorial error on my part – call it artistic interpretation is you like!


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