Variations on a Theme

This week, show the same thing — an object, place, or person — presented in several different ways.

Say cheese!

Any lover of classical music knows that a great composer is able to take a tune and twist it into dozens of new shapes, each time discovering different textures, tonalities, and moods. Visual artists often do something similar when they approach the same place or object from multiple perspectives, or use a different color palette on otherwise-identical images — think Andy Warhol’s famous silkscreens.

Now, I’m no Bach, but I do appreciate cheese.

Strolling in Amsterdam a few weeks ago, I had a lot to admire: holiday decorations, canals, and the fact that I survived the merciless onslaught of a million bicycles without a scratch. But nothing quite prepared me for the extravagance of the gouda-cheese shop picture above — an entire space, and not a small one, dedicated to the numerous varieties, shapes, and shades of yellow of the famous Dutch cheese. I was in love.

This week, use your camera to discover the endless variety that one thing can contain. It can be a single photo featuring some visual play on repetition and variation — ducks in a pond, each swimming in a slightly different angle, or a wall of stained glass in a church, each panel echoing the other. You could also opt for a series of shots showing the same place, person, or object in slightly different light (literally or figuratively, as the case may be). If you’re not sure how to approach this topic, just let your daily life guide you: every day, you probably repeat several actions, movements, and rituals without even noticing. Choose one and show how even within this repetition, there’s a wide diversity of experience.

I look forward to seeing your photos!

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