A Photo A Week Challenge: Props

Nancy Merrill Photography’s blog has a weekly challenge and this week’s theme is Props. It’s often easier to take portraits of people if they have familiar items with them, especially for children to try to keep them focused. People like to show off their things, creations, anything that gives you an idea of who they are. In my post, I’ve decided to show some photos from a historical fort, Louisbourg, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where the staff dress in 18th century period costume and portray what life was like in the French fortress in that era. To see more of my visit to Louisbourg, check out my Flickr album.

Declaration

He’s guilty! (Sentenced to having to stand in an iron collar for two hours a day for three days in a row. All for stealing a bottle of wine.)

Costumed "inhabitants"

Passing the time of day.

Louisbourg Drummer

The Drummer Boy

Basket Weaving

Basket Weaving 101

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Travel Theme: Faces

This week at Where’s My Backpack, the travel theme is Faces. I’m not one to take too many portraits of strangers when I travel but sometimes manage from afar or don’t feel as self conscious if the person is performing in some way.  Faces are everywhere, and not just on your fellow humans. Art based on portraits is standard issue. Pretty much all animals, insects, birds and sealife has a face of some sort.

This first photo was taken through a shop window on Ile St. Louis in Paris. There is the shop worker, and little statues of angels, and look closely and you can see all sorts of items in the display with faces.  There are eyes, eyes everywhere!!!!

Shop in Paris

In the Tower of London there was a display of carved wooden heads of kings and queens.

Henry VIII and (I think) Charles I, Tower of London

Next, back to Paris again in the Dali museum in Montmartre. “Him indoors” loves Dali’s art!

Graham and Salvador, Paris

We discovered an exhibit in the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal about Napoleon, from a private collection, a few years ago.

Bust of Napoleon, Montreal

And finally, from a local celebration (“Mawio’mi”) held by the Mi’kmaq First Nations, a very fierce looking warrior

Elaborate and traditional dress, Mi’kmaq Mawio’mi

WordPress Challenge – “Split Second”

WordPress’s weekly challenge is titled “Split Second”. Show a picture that tells a story in the one frame. Candid shots and street photography are often good for that. Here’s a few of my favourites, some I have used before in other challenges.

New York Public Library.

Shopped til they dropped

Curiosity

Age has nothing to do with how much you love to dance. Joe Murphy’s Blues Band on stage

Feed the birds, Tuppence a day. Green Park, London

Lost Mittens. He looked a bit lost himself.

A Word a Week Challenge – Old

A Word in Your Ear’s weekly challenge this week is “old”.

“Old” is a loaded word. People don’t like to be called “old” but they shouldn’t mind it. With age comes experience, respect and a better sense of who you are. You have stories to tell. You have seen and done a lot, made mistakes, hopefully learned from them and can pass on advice, whether it’s taken or not. Think of all the amazing things you’ve seen in your life and all the people you have touched and whose lives have touched yours.

Getting old isn’t for sissies, either. It takes stamina. Things don’t work the way they used to and it’s hard learning to depend on people. There can be a loss of independence. There’s a lot of loss, full stop as you start to lose loved ones.

Here are some portraits I’ve taken over the years of people I’ve known, met or just seen on the streets. They are people that have endured. Some are no longer with me. Some I remember with a smile and a tear. Some were complete strangers but their vitality and grace drew my camera their way.

Let’s start with family, first. You will notice the common denominator here is humour and laughter. We’re like that :)

My father. Enjoyed Christmas.

My mother. Chilly, in Leeds Castle, England

My aunt and uncle, siblings to my dad

My uncle, my dad’s twin

The following were strangers to me, people I’ve seen while people watching.

There’s a lot of life in the old dancing shoes yet

Old friends enjoy the summer sunshine

Father and son “down the pub” for a chat and a visit with friends.

I think of these men who could not walk the streets together, dressed like this, earlier in their lives. It makes me happy to see them be who they are in the face of the world.

The older generation make sure the traditions live on.