Mirror (interpreting a photo challenge theme)

Mirror image (interpreting a photo challenge theme)

Joining online photo challenges is a good way to hone photography skills. To stand out, one has to submit some really good photos so it’s not unusual to shoot, re-shoot and re-shoot some more until one has at least one image that one feels will stand out in the crowd.

Personally, I don’t have the time nor the energy to shoot and re-shoot. When I join a photo challenge, I automatically comb through my hard drive to search from photos taken over the past several years. Because I am not a professional photographer and I do not have the advantage of taking photos with specialized (and very pricey) photo gear, I don’t compete on that level. I compete on the basis of interpretation.


Yes, interpretation. A photo challenge theme (which often consists of a single word) can be interpreted in many ways. This week on Photo Friday, for instance, the theme is “Mirror“. Easy enough to take a photo of a mirror and one doesn’t even have to step out of the house. Just go to the bathroom, take a photo of the mirror, and voila!

But a photo challenge isn’t just about submitting any photo. The operative word there is “challenge” and a participant is meant to challenge himself. Of course, there are people who join photo challenges not for any attempt at artistic endeavor but simply to create back links to their sites. Never mind them. When I join a challenge, I like to feel the challenge. And one way of tackling the challenge is to find a not-too-common way of interpreting the theme.

So, I was going through my hard drive to find something for the “Mirror” challenge. What does mirror mean? A “looking glass” is only one definition of mirror. A screen shot from my Mac’s Dictionary:


And I remembered a series of photos that Sam took in Tagaytay in an attempt to entertain herself while I was finishing an op-ed column. The first photo in that series is of Speedy with his Ray-Ban reflecting the remains of our lunch. There are several versions of that photo and I decided to use a still-unpublished version for Photo Friday’s “Mirror” challenge.