Monday, June 20, 2011

Help Me Decide: Show the Motion Contest

I never set out to photograph motion, but because the world is full of motion, it sneaks into my photos. Cathy and Steve suggested I enter one of the photographs of the robin in the birdbath photos in Gardening Gone Wild's competition this month, which is on motion.

Once I started looking at old photographs, I got a little carried away. These are some of my favorite photographs from Chebeague Island, Maine. To me, they convey the motion of wind and tides and waves and birds. I am not sure that they convey motion to others who weren't there to feel the chill of the northeasterly wind as it raced over the waters, or the power of the tide flowing in. So I'd love to hear your feedback.

Here is a photo that is similar to the one at the header of my blog. I like how the water swirls around the fern that magically grows on a rock in the rushing creek. The fern appears to be in motion, too. 

Next, some photos of butterflies in motion. I think the top one of the zebra swallowtail is the best.

This photo may be more about the water than the butterfly.

Birds are almost always in motion. Because my camera has a limited range of shutter speeds, I end up with lots of blurred photographs. But sometimes I like the effects. You can see the drops raining down on the towhee in the photo below.

This photo never fails to make me smile, though I'm not sure if it can stand alone.

I like how the robin's wings are blurred as it beats the water.

This photo amuses me, too, and I can see the robin in it looking at me while he bathes. But is it too much of a blur? The idea of a contest makes me second-guess my own photos. I'm an amateur with a basic camera and little technical knowledge, though I do bring love of nature and patience to photography.

This photo captures the typical turning of the bluebird as it flies from the box. 

I know from reading others' posts that I am now supposed to reveal my decision. But I don't have one yet. So please help. I'd appreciate your comments and votes for your favorite photo that shows the motion. 

Update: After reviewing Gardening Gone Wild's contest description and reading the comments, I have decided to enter the photograph of the robin beating the water with its wings. I agreed with commenters that the beach scene with the gulls is probably the best photo, but I am not sure it shows enough motion to fit the contest requirements. Thanks to all of you who took the time to offer feedback!


pumpkydine said...

Well I am an amateur myself but the two that stop me for a longer look are the second photo: the clouds floating overhead, the soft light glistening off the water, the gentle waves and ripples on the surface, the gulls all around and flying and the little tuft of grass on the beach that looks wind blown, all create motion in my mind. I can imagine being in this place from your photo. Very peaceful and serine. It stirs the motion of my mind.

The other photo that may fit with a gardening theme the most is the one of the little ferns in the flowing water. This really creates motion and leads me to speculate on how that little plant survives being surrounded by flowing water without getting swept away. It shows the tenacity of life, the desire to survive even in the not so perfect set of circumstances. Sorry, didn't mean to ramble but I look for photos that stir my imagination and those two grabbed me more than the others. They show motion with clarity. To me motion is not always physical but sometimes mental. Ok I'll quit now, Good luck with the contest!

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Your photos are all wonderful but I like the second one the best. The dramatic sky, you can see how strong the wind is looking at the grass in the foreground and the gulls on the water. I have never entered a photo contest so I can only imagine the dilemma of picking a photo. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

The second photo with the gulls is the one that jumped out at me the most, too...I could really feel the motion in that photo - between the swirling gulls and the waves, etc. Good luck in the contest! :)

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Sheila, you are not going to believe this but my family has been going to Cliff Island for almost 100 years. I can't believe you go to Chebeague. Cliff is where I started and run the invasive plant program. Carolyn

Sheila said...

Thanks for the feedback. Now that I look at the post with new eyes, I agree that the second photo is the most striking. I may wait a day or so to see if anyone else wants to weigh in before I submit an entry.

pumpkdine, I have had similar thoughts about the fern and its tenacity and the resilience of life. I like what you said about motion sometimes being mental and not physical.

Karin, You should definitely enter the contest - I always enjoy your photographs.

Thanks, Hanni, for your comment.

Carolyn, what a small world! I can't get over it that your family summers on Cliff. My husband's family has been going to Chebeague for more than 100 years, too. I saw the pamphlets on invasive plants on Cliff when I was taking the Casco Bay boat and stopped there. I was impressed and thought Chebeague could use an invasive plants program, too. I can't believe that it was you who put that together!

Donna said...

For motion I like the fern and the first butterfly...I also like the middle bathing bird...I think the bird in the bath really captures the essence of the contest...great that you entered and good luck...

Stacy said...

Sheila, I also love the second photo. I think your photo shows that beautiful motion stopped in time instead of capturing the sense of motion across time. Don't know how much that matters to the "spirit" of the contest. Like Donna I also love the first butterfly picture and adore all the birdbath ones, but those may work better as a series. The middle one stands alone well, though. Good luck in the contest!

Cathy and Steve said...

I can understand your dilemma -- I love them all!! But I think that the second photo of the birdbath with the bird flapping his wings is my favorite. Good luck!