Leanne Cole does a weekly Monochrome Madness post consisting of all monochrome (mostly B&W) photos submitted by users each week. It’s not a contest, but a place for photographers to show their B&W work; anyone can submit photos and it’s also a good place for seeing what can be done when it comes to B&W.
At the beginning of each month, the submissions are supposed to follow a theme and for next week — Monochrome Madness No. 207 — the theme is Relaxation.
This has actually caused me a measure of anxiety . . . well, not really. But, even Leanne admitted it would it been a bit easier if the theme would have been “relaxing.”
Personally, I think the two words are somewhat interchangeable insomuch that one of the ways to show relaxation is by showing someone relaxing. Another way might be to show something that people associate with relaxing but that can vary significantly.
For instance, my own range of relaxation spans everything in between me watching waves and me shooting a couple of boxes of ammunition at the range. When I used to play racquetball, relaxation was playing 3-4 hours of highly competitive games. Before going to sleep, I occasionally relax by reading one of my fine fiction offerings (the ones with bad guys meeting timely and well-deserved ends) or watching movies like Hitman. Sometimes, I relax by doodling.
As you can see, all of those are difficult to depict photographically. I mean, I could show stuff like that, but it’s unlikely anyone would associate them with “relaxation.”
Honestly, as far as I’m concerned, I’m heading down the path of showing someone relaxing.
Even then, there’s a slight problem . . . I don’t photograph people all that often. I thought of using statues . . .
. . . but despite what should be a relaxing pose, that statue doesn’t inspire relaxation. It’s more along the lines of “I don’t trust you and I have my eye on you.“
I then thought animals might stand in for people. I mean, animals relax, right?
. . . perhaps a bit much . . .
One of the common reasons tourists break the federal laws prohibiting people from getting closer than twenty feet from a sea turtle is that they — the sea turtles — often look like they died and washed up on the rocks or beach. So, I mean, relaxing for them, but somewhat disconcerting for the people who see them.
Camels are no better. These two were resting, but . . . well, let me show you them . . .
Tell me that doesn’t look like the one camel killed the other and is now cannibalizing the carcass?
Horses, too, push one’s thoughts toward funereal concerns . . .
I mean, it was relaxing but that’s also how it might look if it suffered a heart attack and keeled over while galloping.
Meerkats seldom relax but when they do, they look either pathetic . . .
. . . or downright creepy . . .
I live on an island and I do have what might pass for a quintessential “relaxation” photo . . .
. . . except . . . see them things above his head? those are coconuts and almost mature. That’s about the time when they start dropping. If you ask me, that is not a relaxing scene. Every time I see the picture, I think about the fact that if Isaac Newton had been sitting under a palm, we might have gone many more years before “discovering” gravity.
I gave some thought to just using a scene that evokes quiet time spent lost in one’s thoughts . . .
. . . and my thoughts turn toward the fact that’s the front of the Stanley Hotel where the movie The Shining was filmed. They say the place is haunted and while I don’t believe in ghosts, the very thought that there are people who do believe in ghosts is quite upsetting to me.
Eventually, I thought of Bones, Bob Bones (I resolved to always introduce him à la Bond, James Bond).
I have two photos of Bob relaxing and this one . . .
. . . has him looking more like he’s having too much fun as opposed to relaxing. I think I’ll go with this next photo of Bones, Bob Bones.
In case anyone is wondering, Bones, Bob Bones was reading a beautiful book on the history of the Convertible. One of many books I sold or gave away when we left Colorado.
Monochrome Madness is open to all. As mentioned, it is not a contest; it’s a showcase for people’s adventures in B&W photography. Professional or amateur, all are welcomed. If you have a favorite B&W photo or even a not-so-favorite, consider contributing; you will not be judged, and the photo might provide enjoyment for a pair of eyes or two. Monochrome Madness comes out on Wednesdays in Australia but because they are ahead of us in time zones (about 23 hours or so), it’s actually published here the day before. Or it should be.
If you plan on submitting, please follow the procedures listed on the site.
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