A friend participating in the black&white photo fun challenge going around Facebook recently posted a picture of her toddler in the bathtub. One of the "rules" of the challenge is that photos not have people in them. My friend focused on a bath bombe sitting on the edge of the tub, with the back of her daughter's shampooed head out of focus. Social media being what it is, someone had to point out that she'd included a person in her picture. Egads! A rule-breaker!
The Hub invited me to join the challenge a few days later and, rules be damned, I didn't bother to post 'the rules' nor the hashtags with each photo. (And if you think about it, posting the short 'rules' blurb that says "no explanations" is itself kind of explanation, isn't it? I am amused.) The challenge is arbitrary; the rules aren't real. There aren't any challenge police (even my friend's friend who chided her has no authority whatsoever), any more than in any other area of life where we too often worry "what will other people think?"
I lost much of my others-care filter on a milestone birthday a few years back, and I've lost a whole lot more of it since my father died. How many years have I spent worrying what others think? Too many.
So I thanked the husband for inviting me to the challenge and set about seeing the world in black & white. Instead of trying to make a stunning, artful image, I used the opportunity to capture whatever was on my mind each day. It's been surprisingly helpful in continuing to process my grief, as were the many images I took in the week following dad's death.
There just might be more images to come.
And yes, color has crept into my last two pictures. I'm a big fan of color, not so much b&w, so letting color show up in my images is as inevitable as my refusal to follow 'the rules'.