Day 10: “Architecture” — Go Monochrome


The Instructions

Today, look for architectural elements that translate into black and white: sharp lines, patterns, defined shapes, large surface areas, and a mix of very light and very dark colors.


This is the last day of my course, so I took two different scenarios in monochrome.

I photographed all types of architectural structures. The windows and door frame of the Cathedral, the ferry port building, the concert stadium but I wasn’t happy with any of these.

I ended up with an overall picture of the Mairie de Papeete which is the Townhall . The building is rather elegant and lends itself to a photo in both colour or black and white.

Town Hall in Papeete. Tahiti. Using the cookie cream filter.

I felt a monochrome photograph made the building look like a little piece of history waiting to be told.

I couldn’t resist a picture of the men thatching the roof of this next building. The building is a humble toilet block in the Papeete Paofai Park. I thought the scene looked like something out of a bygone era. But instead of thatching the roof reed by reed, it comes in ready thatched strips a couple of meters long, ingenious.

I was testing out the different monochrome shades in these photos.

Thatchers in action. Using a cookie cream filter then a sunshine filter on this shot.
The thatch arrives in strips. Photo using classic monochrome filter.
Vahine toilet block in Paofai Park. Tahiti. Using the grey scale monochrome filter.

Of all the monochrome photos, I like the Mairie Town Hall photo best.

I will have fun experimenting with my photography in the future.

Day 9: “A Pop of Color” — Incorporate Color


The Instructions

Today, pay attention to how color affects your image. Let color be the star!

Keep it simple: experiment with only one color.


Man the Lifeboats.

Lifeboat with bright orange canopy for easy identification if deployed in a crisis.

Looking across the Marina to the cruise ship dock, I listen to the emergency drill of the latest cruise ship to visit. I hear the words “Man Over Board”

We are currently in the Cyclone season in the South Pacific. I certainly do not want a cyclone in Tahiti.

The weather is unpleasant with lots of rain and wind. Our main concern is the swell coming into the marina, this can cause damage. Some yachts have had burst fenders, when the fenders are squashed between the boat hull and the pontoon. A number of the pontoons have been damaged and many yachts have been forced to move. Every one is on tender hooks, incase they need a fast exit.

The photo shows a pink burst fender. The yachts have moved leaving the tenders tied up securely.

Burst fender in the marina.

No one wants a man over board situation.

Day 8: “Treasure” — Zoom In


The Instructions

Get close to your subject. Use the zoom function in your camera, or physically move closer to it. Often, our goal is to capture as much of a scene as we can. This time, zoom in on your subject or a particular detail to tell a more interesting story.


Today I bought a couple of tickets from the Maison de la Culture in Papeete for the 2018 FIFO International Film Festival. Walking back through the Paofai Park to the marina, I came across one of nature’s little treasures.

We have had wet but warm weather for a number of days now. The combination has given rise to the growth of fungi.

I thought this fungi was rather delightful and deserved to be captured in a photograph. Kneeling down in the moist grass, I zoomed in to take this shot.

Fungi growing in the park

I also took an above shot, of another fungi. It was difficult to recognise it as such but I thought it a rather fun photo.

Looking down at this little treasure.

Another treasure was this Golden Trumpet Allamanda Cathartica.

The flower has bright yellow petals with a gold centre The leaves are green and glossy.

I was trying to capture the rain drops.

I need to practice close up shots because I didn’t think I captured the vibrance of this image.

Day 7: “Big” — A Point of View

The Instructions

Today, let’s go big. Photograph something of massive size, inside or outside. Get creative with your shot: Capture all or just part of the subject. Place it in the foreground so it takes up the entire frame. Or shoot it from afar so it appears smaller — yet still prominent.


Papeete in Tahiti might be the capital city of French Polynesia but in reality its pretty small. There are no swanky skyscrapers or grand monuments.

So I had to make do with the old crumbling bandstand in the Vai’ete Square where the Roulotte stands set up in the evening.

Under the bandstand looking across the Vai’ete Square in Papeete.
Where’s the spider?

This is the Bandstand. I tried to make it look a big and important landmark.

The bandstand in Papeete.

Day 6: “Solitude” — The Rule of Thirds

The Instructions

When composing your solitude shot, think about the placement of your subject. Use the Rule of Thirds to place the subject in your frame, ideally at one of the intersections of these lines, or somewhere along them.


Today I would like to introduce you to the Muscovy Duck, who is a transient visitor to the Papeete Marina. His first appearance some six months ago was somewhat of a mystery, a solitary bird who looked lost, confused and out of place. Now he regularly makes an appearance, he’s very laid back and likes to waddle around the pontoons but he’s always alone. I’ve spotted him on many occasions in the Paofai Park but I think he feels safer in the quiet marina, where folks are kind. Sometimes he’s forced to take to the water because a dog or child has startled him. I don’t think he’s keen on swimming and waggles his tail in annoyance.

I’m using the Muscovy Duck who lives in solitude as my photo theme for the Rule of Thirds.

I think this mid distance shot of the duck on the pontoon allowed me to apply the Rule of Thirds to the best advantage.

Solitary Muscovy Duck on the pontoon in Papeete Marina.

I didn’t think the distance shot worked too well bearing in mind that he’s a duck, not an ostrich, so is quite small in stature. Although it made the solitude point more poignant.

Solitary life of a Muscovy Duck.

Being photogenic, he liked to waddle towards me, so most of the shots were close ups, making it difficult to apply the rules.

Stretching his wings.
Waddling along the pontoon

Any feedback on my application of the Rule of Thirds is welcome.

I was fascinated to read about the Muscovy Duck in the Wikipedia link. Look at the last paragraph under the heading Description. Crikey, may be this explains why this Muscovy Duck is a solitary chap.

Day 5 “Connect” Tag your photo.

The Instructions

Be sure to tag today’s post — and your posts in general — appropriately.

I visited the Papeete Market in Tahiti early this morning. I love the vibrant atmosphere. Despite the rain, everyone was in a jovial mood.

Inside the Papeete Market.

The Sunday market is always special as it’s the Farmers’ Market. It connects the people from the many French Polynesian Islands together for a good old chin wag .

There’s a the core of regular stallholders who operate inside the market complex on a daily basis. At 4 am, the rest of the traders set their stalls up in allocated spots along the streets which surround the market building.

Produce from the Marquesas
Cucumbers any one.
Home grown and carefully prepared products for sale.
Families visit the market early in the morning.

Tahiti has a large Chinese population whose presence has been here for a number of generations. There are many stall holders of Chinese and Polynesian descent. The community is interconnected.

I always buy my herbs from these lovely people.

I realised as I lugged my cache back to the marina, that I had bought far more fruit and vegetables than I intended. The produce was all so fresh. Everyone was so happy, friendly and connected.

Fabulous fresh fruit and vegetables. Pineapple from Moorea, Citrons and Pamplemousse from the Marquesas, Avocado’s, Courgettes, White Radish, Cucumbers, Tomatoes,Passionfruit, Bananas, basil from Tahiti. All from the Farmers Market in Papeete

Day 4 “Bliss” Add Caption

The Instructions.

What is bliss to you?
See the short description under the photo? That’s a caption. Today add a caption to your image so viewers know what they’re looking at!


Today I saw the blissful look in the eyes of a little dog called Napoleon, he was being gently caressed, secure in the arms of his owner.

Across the road was an adoption booth organised by the charity SPAP. Animal protection service of Polynesia.

It is true when SPAP say:

“Every day, puppies, dogs and kittens are abandoned in the streets. Every day, animals are abused and suffer from the wickedness of man.”

The object of SPAP is the improvement of animal conditions and reduce animal abuse in French Polynesia. The charity provides shelter, sterilisation campaigns, and public empowerment on the topic of animal welfare.

Today at the SPAP adoption booth, despite the rain, the cheery volunteers were optimistic that their two dogs and two puppies would find their forever home. These are the lucky few.

SPAP volunteers at the booth with their dogs for adoption. If they were all adopted, that would be bliss.
This is photo of the SPAP charity booth with the volunteers and animals for adoption. If anyone adopts these little dogs, then they will love you forever in return.

What is bliss for me?

It would be seeing the blissful look in the eyes of a little rescue dog as he was being gently caressed, secure in the arms of his new owner.