Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background……sort of

The latest Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘In the background,’ isn’t as straight forward as I at first thought. I looked out a few pics with something interesting in the background, like this one of Table Mountain in Cape Town,

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and one taken from our hotel balcony in Rio, with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the distance,

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and one taken across the Hudson River, with the Twin Towers rising above Lower Manhattan.

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Then there is this one taken on our long-boat canal tour, showing Bangkok coming into view.

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What about this one of a country market in Ecuador, with a giant yellow blow-up ‘Pilsener Light’ beer bottle and the smoke from a volcano in the background?

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and this one taken on a boat off the coast of San Pedro in Belize, with hubby and his dive buddy bobbing around in the background.

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I also love this smiley one of little Sienna, with a shark in the background.

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Then as my teachers at school used to tell me, I thought, “Let me read the question again.”

In the Background: The places that we pass through day after day, or even once in a lifetime, leave in their small way, echoes and traces of themselves upon us. But so often when taking self portraits or pictures of friends, the places themselves become a soft blurred mush of indistinct semi-nothingness, the limelight stolen by our smiling faces. In today’s challenge, let’s turn the tables. Take a picture of yourself or someone else as a shadow, a reflection, or a lesser part of a scene, making the background, or — as in the example above — the foreground, the center of attention.

Well this was a different kettle of fish entirely, and all I could come up with, was this one taken by hubby during our kitchen renovations in Florida. 😀

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my pics of foregrounds and backgrounds nevertheless, even if I didn’t keep strictly to Michael Pick’s guidelines. 😳

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Ailsa’s Travel theme: Hot

Ailsa this week wants us to show some hot shots for her theme,

I’ve had so many vacations to hot places, but I think Egypt in July was the hottest I’ve ever experienced. It was, as you can imagine, a very dry heat, which I find far more bearable than heat with high humidity. Nevertheless, when we arrived from winter in Johannesburg, to temperatures of well over 40 C, it was quite a shock to the system. We were met at the airport by our guide, and whilst our luggage was transported straight to the hotel, we were immediately herded off into the desert, still in our ‘winter’ clothes minus jackets, and stuck on top of camels in the blazing heat. I didn’t even have a hat, and my feet, swollen from the flight, were screaming to get out of my socks and trainers, and into some sandals. Hubby had the well-behaved camel, but after the photo was taken, the one which I was on, had a bit of a tiff with the third one, and decided to break away from the group and go cantering off,  with me hanging on to my son’s waist for dear life. The handler came chasing after us, shouting what I imagined were all manner of obscenities in Egyptian, and eventually caught up and grabbed the rope. Here you can see the heat just shimmering on the sand.

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In Ecuador, whilst travelling on the much pot-holed Pan American Highway, our transport slowed as we passed a local Saturday market. The people there seemed totally oblivious of the volcano over the next hill, spewing hot ash into the air. Hubby did notice that many of the houses had reinforced concrete roofs to protect them from falling hot rocks.

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At Yellowstone National Park, there was no shortage of hot spots. Here you can see the steam from one of the underground geysers. The air temperature there was so cold that there were icicles all around the crater.

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I was shivering with the extreme cold up on the ground, but it sure looked hot down there.

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One of the most enjoyable visits I had on the trip, was to the ‘Hot Springs’ at Thermopolis. After being frozen to the core in  icy temperatures, it was so great to just thaw out in those wonderful hot mineral-laden waters, heated by geothermal processes.

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I think this post would be incomplete without a really hot sunset. This photo was taken from our cruise ship on  the Barrier Reef. Did you know that our sun is more than 25 million degrees on the Fahrenheit scale and that there are many thousands of stars in the universe that are thousands of times hotter than the sun?  Just  imagine that!

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If you’ve enjoyed my HOT post, you can see more interpretations of Ailsa’s theme by clicking here.