Rock formation with sea beyond and gull flying
Pick a Word,  Themed galleries

Gallery: pick a word (September 2023)

I like good strong words that mean something …

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

I think we all hope our words will mean something, and many of us hope that our photographs will too.

Paula’s Pick a Word challenge gives us a chance each month to consider her words and pair them with our photos. This month I’ve taken my selection from China, Iceland, India, Italy, and Nepal. Together, I hope these pairings mean something.

I like to tell you a little bit about each photo, so I haven’t stuck just to Paula’s five words. However I do try to be more succinct for this challenge than for most of my posts!


Misty valley

Dawn over the valley near Bevagna

Waking in the early hours one morning of our stay at a small hotel in the hills overlooking Bevagna I glanced out of the window on my way back to bed after a bathroom visit. What I saw made me gasp, grab my camera and dress hurriedly to go outside. The view of the mist shrouding the valley floor was magical, truly atmospheric.


Relief painting of a Hindu god in front of a mountain range

Painting of Lord Shiva on the gate to the main shrine of Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu

The central shrine at this temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva in his form as Pashupati, protector of animals, is off limits to tourists. But we were able to admire the gate from a distance. Above the central door is this painting of Shiva. He is always portrayed with a serpent around his neck, an adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his hair, the third eye on his forehead, a trident as his weapon, and a drum. In this painting you can see all those emblems.


Rock formation with sea beyond and gull flying

Arnarstapi, Iceland

At Arnarstapi on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Iceland the sea has carved a hole through the rock, creating a stone bridge.


Crowd of people crossing a wide courtyard in front of an Oriental building

The Forbidden City, Beijing

There is no escaping the crowds here, but places are popular with tourists for a reason. You can curse them for getting in the way of your photos (yes, we’ve all done it, even if acknowledging that we are tourists too!) Or you can include them, as an inevitable element of the scene. Here the crowds are following the main route through the Forbidden City, descending the steps of the Gate of Supreme Harmony and towards the Hall of the same name.


Couple on a motorbike passing a truck

In Sadri, Rajasthan

This scene was captured in a small market town in the Aravalli hills, but it could have been anywhere in this region. The typical means of transport for a family is the motorcycle, with husband, wife and often children all accommodated on board. And for goods it’s the ubiquitous truck, adorned with slogans and symbols. This one declares proudly that it is licensed to travel anywhere in Rajasthan and Gujurat. A third common method of transport, the cart, is just visible on the right side of the photo.


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