Matched Pair
My first online photography challenge

I decided to join an online photography challenge this year. I thought this would be an excellent way to gain some inspiration for photography projects. This project is called “Art of Birding Wildlife & Nature Photography Challenge.” Judi Lapsley Miller puts on the challenge and hosts a couple Facebook groups so folks can post their pictures. Every week the moderators introduce a weekly “spark”. This is a topic that helps members gain ideas and inspiration for the monthly challenge.

For January the challenge has been to present a pair of matching images that brings you joy. The weekly sparks have so far included the following:

  1. Week 1: My Happy Place
  2. Week 2: My Favorite Critter
  3. Week 3: My Favorite Plant

During this month I've been thinking of what I can post as my matching pair. Some folks have submitted photos that are photoshopped mirror versions of each other. Others have submitted male and female versions of a species. One of the more unique ideas included one bird feasting and another nesting. I love seeing the different photos that have been submitted. I decided to go with a matching pair of cardinals. Looking through the pictures I've collected this month I found a couple great cardinal shots. One of a male and another photo of a female. What I like about these shots are the birds themselves and how they have contrasting colors. Speaking of their differing colors, that is known as sexual dimorphism. Not all bird species exhibit this condition. Some birds look alike no matter the sex. I digress… Another aspect of the two photos that made them interesting were their backgrounds. They contrasted as well. I was able to capture photos where the two birds were facing the same direction so I was happy with that too.

Overall, I have enjoyed thinking about multiple photos as a connected piece as opposed to each photo standing alone. I think anytime you are trying to learn a new skill or gain inspiration it's worthwhile to see what others are doing. Joining this challenge is helping me to broaden how I think about what I'm shooting and how I can edit images.

I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead and seeing what ideas manifest from this experience.

Resources mentioned in this blog entry:

Art of Birding Wildlife & Nature Photography Challenge - Public Facebook Group

Judi Lapsley Miller

male cardinal Male Cardinal
female cardinal Female Cardinal