Musings, Photography

Capture the Colour

July 15, 2012

One of my favorite preschool memories: snipping pictures from magazines and pasting them up to create my very own book of colors. One of my favorite childhood ditties: “Red and yellow and pink and green…purple and orange and blue…I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too…”

To this day, I get a kick out of ROY G. BIV, and, yes, I color code my iPhone apps.

No surprise that the compulsive, creative artist/organizer in me loved receiving Paul’s nomination to participate in the  Capture the Colo(u)r themed photo contest. Funny, though, sorting through six months of travel memories to find five photos turned quickly into hours of nostalgia spent scrolling through more than a few snapshots from home. Little square mobile pics reminded me of many good memories and great friends, and they looked so cute in a rainbow row…

For contest entries and competition details, please scroll down farther, but for a side-tracked walk down iPhone-memory-lane, indulge me and stay up here just a wee bit longer:

Row One
Blue: Ted holding Rosalie‘s adorable baby bunny.
Green: Timbers Soccer game with Bryan and Alyssa.
Yellow: My first Hipstamatic photo. Ever. Thanks to Joel.
White: Sweet little Ramona, swaddled in baby blankets, just a few hundred breathes after watching my amazing friend Heather give birth.
Red: Ubiquitous Coke. Is it Portland or rural South America?

Row Two
Blue: Haystack Rock at Oregon’s Cannon Beach, thanks to Tracytwo months before departing on our RTW trip.
Green: Oregon Ducks football in Autzen Stadium with Alex and Jessie.
Yellow: Ted just outside Country Cat: farewell-to-Montavilla brunch.
White: Because I’m sentimental and took a photo before packing up my kitchen. Gold-plated teacups remind me of thrift store finds and summer tea with Miranda.
Red: The soothingly spare locker room at Loyly: sharing life and relaxation with Haley and Alyssa.

Row Three
Blue: My great-grandma’s painting of my wonderful Grandma Shirley.
Green: Portland airport for the umpteenth time, driving shuttle service for the family.
Yellow: Roses blooming at The Grotto; solace before departure.
White: The little white cup that makes us feel at home: the most satisfying coffee in the world thanks to Josh and the rest of the BiPartisan crew.
Red: Bishop’s Hat covered in frost; last minute plant layout with Gavin to finish my parent’s landscape.

Row Four
Blue: A pigeon caught in flight: Milan, Italy
Green: Ted at the rooftop cribbage game in Buenos Aires with Andi and Ariel.
Yellow: Shadows during book club in Lebanon, with Jodi, Lindsay, Samantha, Madeleine, Megan and so many more…
White: Sparkling water on a (guess-what?) Coca Cola table in Argentina with my travel partner, Ted.
Red: A haunting memory of the beauty and scars of Beirut, Lebanon.

As for the official Capture the Colour entry…

No Facebook likes or Twitter follow gimmicks required. Just a chance to share colo(u)rful memories and possibly win an iPad and/or ₤2000. ($3115.30 according to today’s exchange rate. Not shabby.)

Below you’ll find a link to each judge, the color they’re reviewing, a copy of their notes, and five submitted photos and descriptions selected from our 2012 adventures around the world.

Ken Kaminesky – Blue
“I’d like to see some clever use of blue in a photo. While it is not obligatory, I’d like to get your take on the word blue, the colour blue, a splash of blue that captures the attention of the viewer or any other interesting non obvious way of using blue in a photo. Of course any of your favourite photos with blue in them will do just fine, but try to be original!”

Two Blue? Skopje, Macdeonia
Blue. A color. A phase. A musical tune. A temperature. A mood.

These two neighbors sat together and alone, a bubble of blue on red park bench in a sea of green and city of grey. Both in blue collars. One with blue pants, the other in blue socks. Frail old age pulling them like gravity toward a place of rest. Canes at hand. A blue shopping bag at one’s side. A blue umbrella cord in the other’s tired fingers.

Both blue.

Yet one man is and the other is not. You can see the absence, there, in his smile…

Abigail King – Green
“I’m looking for something unusual: an image from a place that makes me think of it in a whole new light. Show me something I’ve never seen before. Tell me about how the place relates to its people, their attitudes and their history. And make sure you had fun snapping it. Somehow, that always shows!”

Emerald Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil
This tuft of green is a hidden gem: an emerald easily overlooked in the larger land and waterscape of Iguazu Falls. It reminds me of the value of the natural world at scales large and small.

The enormous series of waterfalls splicing Argentina and Brazil apart was once privately owned, but Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont led an effort to preserve the area and the Brazilian Government created a reserve, establishing a National Park in 1916. Today, visitors from every climate and culture come to visit this 3300 hectare UNESCO ‘Humankind Natural Heritage’ Park and take in the overwhelming vast views.

As a landscape architect, I’m reminded by this shot that we can’t appreciate the grand and manage it well until we’ve appreciated and treasured the tiny, too.

The Planet D – Yellow
“What I am looking for in the photos is a unique way for you to express the colours. Each colour should be an element of the photograph and not dominate the whole scene. I am looking for something beyond the clichés like a red sunset, blue sky or yellow flowers. For me originality will always take precedence over a pretty photograph.”

Dreams by Lantern Light Inca Trail, Peru
After three solid days on the Inca Trail, I could barely calm myself for sleep during the nighttime hours preceding our pre-dawn hike to the Sun Gate. The world was quiet, campers in bed, and only our hard-working guides and chasquis were still awake, holding down the fort in the main tent. Yellow light and warmth spilled out from their gathering, assurance in the cold night that all was settled and prepared for the morning. I tried my hand at a long-exposure shot, reviewed the scene by LCD glow on my camera screen, then snuggled into my sleeping bag and dreamed of Machu Picchu.

Almost Fearless – White
“I love photos that tell a story.  I want something that could have only been taken by you, in that moment, in that way.  I love it when a photo captures a place so well that even if I’ve been there before, I think to myself, wow, I have to go there.”

Only Skin Deep Island of Sao Vincente, Cape Verde
So white. So foreign. We were taken by a local Cape Verdean to the backside of the island and introduced to a bunch of kids swimming in the green-blue waters off the coast of West Africa. Ted (an avoider of water and swimming in general) took the plunge, stripped of clothes and inhibition, and came out of the ocean with a smile on his face in the company of newfound friends.

Daniel from Canvas of Light – Red
“We see the world in beautiful colours, and in each photo, different colours compete to attract the eye. Colour in photography should be used not only to make an image pleasing, but to also direct the viewer to the main subject, grab his attention and tell a story. I especially like the use of complementary colours to create a harmonious balance in a shot.”

Blood Red Beauty Beirut, Lebanon
Complex layers: fabric, jewels, glass and concrete, meaning and memory.

This is one image; no super-imposed shots. I captured the picture with my iPhone while walking down the broken sidewalks on my way home during our final week in Beirut.

The magnificently beautiful red dress in the boutique window display speaks of luxury, power, femininity, and celebration while the red mirror behind and the windowpane in front reflect the scarred shell of the Old Holiday Inn building. The skyscraper, epicenter of Beirut’s civil war, bears bullet and bombshell wounds as old as the 1970s.

Blood has been cleaned off the concrete, but underneath the surface, chaos of war still bleeds in the collective memory of the people. Meanwhile, beauty grows up in defiance.

Nominations for five other friends with blogs and photos and stories and pictures worth sharing:

Kim at So Many Places
Kim and her husband Brian have a last begun their long-planned trip, and whether posting photos of Oregon or of their current visits to National Parks around the U.S.A., they’re sure to share color and zest for life. (Kim, how’s your new camera working out for you? Hope you’re capturing many amazing memories…)

Torre at Fearful Adventurer
An artist, a writer, and an adventurer, Torre paints with words and watercolo(u)rs, and a rainbow of her photos would be a brilliant sight to see. (Thanks for bringing color to my online world, Torre!)

Jodi at Small Corner Perspective
A fellow native Oregonian and lover of beauty and iPhone snapshots, Jodi’s shares slices of life from Lebanon and visits to other corners of the world. (Jodi: I’m so excited to see your Alaska shots, whether in blog form or otherwise.)

Peter West Carey at The Carey Adventures
Photography instructor and tech-guru-extraordinaire, Peter travels the world to have fun with his camera and then visits Portland to teach camera owners how to have more fun. And answers frantic emails asking for help with navigating file storage choices. (Thanks a million, PWC! I owe you a few dozen gelatos.)

Mike at Fevered Mutterings
We spent a string of days on the road with Mike, eating and laughing our way around Umbria, Italy. His entry would be rich for the devastatingly hilarious quips that would surely accompany his photos. (Mike, one word for you: sniche)  

With that, thank you so much for reading and sharing the look through our lens. Just in case you can’t get enough of the twoOregonians rainbow, you can peruse a whole smattering of colorful shots in our Capture the Colo(u)r Facebook album.


Blue, Green Yellow, White, Red: Which is your favorite photo?

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  • Reply Joel July 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I love the yellow picture from Peru! It looks so warm and inviting.

    • Reply twoOregonians July 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      I think maybe you’ll have to hike the Inca Trail someday?? : )

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica July 16, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I really like the red photo. Seems like such a simple shot, but there is so much going on with the composition.

    • Reply twoOregonians July 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      As I walked past the window, I thought, “I should take a picture of that,” but it was hot and I was tired, and I kept going. Then I thought, “No, I’ll regret it if I don’t” – I’m so glad I turned around and went back. I think this is one of the photos from the trip that I’ll keep and think about for many, many years to come.

  • Reply Kim July 16, 2012 at 4:13 am

    You are an amazing photographer! I love the photo of Ted diving in the water. Thanks for nominating me. I will TRY my best to do this!

    • Reply twoOregonians July 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      You’re a sweetheart; thanks, Kim! I’m glad you liked the picture of Ted and the guys. Christine asked for something “only been taken by you, in that moment, in that way” – and this one fit the bill. We had such a good time that day, exploring the far side of the island. Great memories : ) Looking forward to seeing your shots; have fun with it!

  • Reply Sights from the City of Skopje, Macedonia - twoOregonianstwoOregonians July 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    […] Post navigation ← Previous […]

  • Reply Andi of My Beautiful Adventures July 18, 2012 at 2:04 am

    The red is perfection, bravo!

    • Reply twoOregonians July 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you! As I was saying to Stephanie above, I’ll be keeping this picture for years and years to come. Ill definitely print it out and keep it somewhere in my home where I can see it and think back on all of the deep memories…

  • Reply Ursula July 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I love the Inca Trail photo. The red is also very interesting after reading your description. And of course, the new baby photo at the top is so sweet.

    • Reply twoOregonians July 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Aw, thank you! : ) I love that little snapshot of baby Ramona… Her first birthday was just this past week; I can barely believe it.

  • Reply Paul July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks for a lovely splash of color, T + B. Miss you guys.

    • Reply twoOregonians July 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Miss you guys, too! Always great to hear from you. Hope the Chicago summer is treating you well : )

  • Reply Kirsten July 31, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I simply teared up when I read the story on FB about the red dress image once you shared it with me on twitter. I do not think a better story about perspective has been shared with me during #ExpediaFindYours. I will be prominently featuring that during my wrap up blog post.

    Thank you, as always, for doing what you’re doing in blogging. I can never stress enough what a refreshing and truthful, wise voice you two have in this community.

  • Reply Your #ExpediaFindYours Stories Inspire Me July 31, 2012 at 2:37 am

    […] favorite, from my friends Ted and Bethany (Two Oregonians) who traveled through Lebanon and took this photograph in Beirut: In their own words, “The […]

  • Reply Alexandra August 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I love the RED shot and as always I am such a fan of mobile photography. The description behind your WHITE is too funny though! Good luck! This is a tough competition everyone’s entries have been so great!

  • Reply Michel August 31, 2012 at 11:20 am

    The red is very intriguing.

  • What say you?