October of 2022 was a heck of a month. It was the second straight month where air quality in Seattle was a total wildcard. Nearby wildfires and wind patterns occasionally catapulted us to the tippy top of the rankings for the city with the worst air quality worldwide. Thankfully, our times as world champions were brief.
In between that, I had a lot of fun during this month: hosting some house guests from out of town, paying a final snowy visit to Mt. Rainier, and driving to Montana and back again to celebrate (and photograph) friends' engagement.
Naturally, all of this informed my participation in weekly photography challenges.
So, let's see how (and what) I did.
Last month, I was pretty darn proud of all of my photos. This month, we start off the bat with an open-ended challenge that did not make much sense to me.
The pictures I take that feature 'letters' the most are graffiti, ephemeral paper signage and the like. I had a few of these shots, but the challenge seemed to also want something that would tell a story or provoke an emotion.
This is a scene that I really liked, which I shot in the fabulous Fremont neighborhood, before meeting a pal for a Cuban sandwich at a nearby pop-up.
I probably should have taken the time to try and straighten them lines though. 🙃
40. Rule of Odds
For pretty much the entire week of this challenge, I had my friend Spencer visiting, and was not particularly struck by anything I saw in day-to-day life that happened to consist of three, five, or seven objects.
Fortunately, as I started my drive out to Montana, this scene, by the Grand Coulee Dam was immediately perfect.
41. Shoot Through Something
I took a lot of shots through things, but I neglected to transfer them to my phone or go through them all when I had internet signal.
So, instead you get this shot, from the Albeni Falls Dam in Idaho.
I tweaked it via Snapseed on my phone, but hated the colors I was getting enough to immediately shift it to black and white and think no more of it.
The final look might be a little too processed, eh?
42. Black and White Minimalism
This was a favorite challenge from last year -- though I might not have fit the brief that well.
This year's picture was taken almost by accident.
It was a Thursday afternoon. That day, and the preceding Wednesday had some of the worst air quality that we got. It was downright disgusting outside, with visibility choked with a nasty grayness that could have been smoke or fog. I wonder if there's a word for that... (smog!)
Given the conditions, I wanted to take a photograph of smog-choked evergreens from the top floor of my office. The results weren't great compositions because the angle of view really did not work well with the foreground of construction and ugly houses, and cropping them out was awkward.
As I walked home from my bus stop, I was interested in taking some pictures of flowers when I noticed a plane overhead.
I got the shot, and it's sharp enough if I zoom in that I can very clearly make out the logo: Alaska Airlines.
The following day, rain finally broke. Air quality immediately improved.
This is a good challenge for right before Halloween, cause rumor has it that this is where the devil is... y'know, the details.
This was an early challenge from last year and not one I thought I really did justice to.
I probably didn't do justice to the concept for a second time, but whatever. In this case, the "details" I want you to notice are the intricately overlapping branches, sticks, and needles illuminated by the golden hour sun.
Anyhoo, I'm off on another adventure very soon!
(Too soon after the last one, if I'm honest 😩, but I'm very excited.)
I'm also very excited to share more of my September and October with you, the glorious moments between smoke inhalation, and before and after its arrival.
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