52 Photo Challenge: Week 19-Blurry Foreground

“Things blossom in their time. They bud and bloom, blossom and fade. Everything in its time.” —Neil Gaiman

This week my assignment for the 52 photo challenge was to create an image with a blurry foreground. My daughter and I went to the McKinley Rose Garden in downtown Sacramento at sunset, but I found it hard to not focus on close-up photos of the gorgeous petals. I spent hours messing around with the settings on my camera and getting very annoyed at myself. I left grumpy, covered in mosquito bites, and feeling like a fraud.

On Friday, in an attempt to feel better, I grabbed the camera and took a few shots of my darling nephew. Unfortunately, I’m not sure about those shots either. It seems I’m discontent with everything I create right now. It feels like I’m stagnant or perhaps I’m too close to see my own growth. It’s making me feel insecure, needy, and impatient. Ugh.

All this to say, I really need help in picking an image to share with the photography group this week. Any favorites? Also, any advice on beating the creativity blues is more than welcome. Thank you for stopping by and smelling the roses. I hope you have a fantastic week!












  • Photos were taken with an Olympus OM-D and edited with ON1 Photo RAW
  • If you want to join the 52 Photo Challenge, you can find all the information at nicolesy.com

52 Photo Challenge
Week 1: Bokeh
Week 2: Silhouette
Week 3: Black and White
Week 4: Motion Blur
Week 5: Texture
Week 6: Framing
Week 7: Leading Lines
Week 8: Negative Space
Week 9: Patterns
Week 10: Symmetry
Week 11: Green
Week 12: Sidelight
Week 13: Sense of Scale
Week 14: One Lens
Week 15: Series
Week 16: Flat Lay
Week 17: Behind the Scenes
Week 18: Water

70 thoughts on “52 Photo Challenge: Week 19-Blurry Foreground

    • Thanks! There are hundreds of beautiful roses in this garden and the smell is fantastic. I should have included a photo which shows the vastness of the rows of roses. It’s really remarkable.


  1. OK, I’ll play. #0 flower beautifully framed, but is the OF background, not fore? Next #1 with the red foreground splash, nice. THEN, my bias showing, #10 human interest F & OF hands, I like. LAST #11 cause I like seeing people – humans like seeing other humans. You did fine.

    Bridgette, remember when you are “learning” sometimes you are going to feel like you’re failing – cause that IS how learning is. My teacher once said, Faith includes doubt, but not the other way around. Will that make you feel better? Probably not. But understand, you are not doing wrong. You are doing what learning requires. Me included. Some of my poems after written, I look and think, that didn’t come out the way I wanted. OK, next. Next. Like that. I have faith in your ability to learn. ~neil

    Liked by 4 people

    • Although it’s hard to tell, the top photo is shot through the leaves and the green on the right is in the foreground (but it’s not really obvious). I REALLY struggled with this one. It was so hard for the foreground blur to show. In retrospect, the rose garden was probably not the right location for this challenge.

      I’m glad you liked the photos of my sweet nephew. Those are my favorites too. I paid him for his work with a chocolate.

      Thank you for the kind words about learning. Yes, that is exactly what learning is like. You are right. Next. Next. Next. We keep going. It’s easy to lose perspective when we are in the thick of it (I suppose that could apply to all life, couldn’t it?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooo, chocolate is dangerous stuff. Shall I tell you what mom gave after a visit to the dentist? Yep, 25 cents. (bigger money in those days) And off to the magazine shop down the block. I could buy a fair amount of candy for 25¢. Years later, teeth didn’t thank me much. But yea, I love chocolate.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right. Although it was a struggle, it felt good to be at the rose garden taking photos with an “assignment.” It felt like purpose. I had several people stop and ask me what I was doing and I explained the challenge to them. Although I felt like I failed, that is also part of the process. I pushed through and completed the task when I very well could have stopped. Thanks for the kind reminder.


  2. 1 has a lovely blend of colors in its petals, 6 has the ideal sharpness to really make that bloom stand out, and loved the clarity of water droplets offset by the rug in 9. It’s a learning curve, and you’re doing great at it! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Tom for such a thoughtful comment. It is a learning curve and I suppose I just want to fast-forward to the place where I’m just good at stuff. Nope. Not how it works! I’ll keep pushing through.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are way too hard on yourself, Bridgette.

    I criticize the heck out of my paintings so I understand where it comes from. I believe it’s because we are growing in our art forms so we are becoming harder on ourselves when we perceive things aren’t going quite right.

    I like #6 if I had to pick just one. I would love to attempt painting it, it’s beautiful!

    Your nephew is so adorable!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Jennifer, I think you are right—it’s growing pains. I’m the same way with my writing. I’m growing impatient with my progress. I want to be better right now, but that’s not how it works. We have to put in the time. Our ambitions don’t match our skill, but I think that’s how it will always be. Maybe I need to simply get comfortable with that.

      If you’d like to use any of my photos for painting inspiration, I’d be honored! I love your work.

      My nephew is such a cutie-pie! I love him so much and I’m so lucky I get to watch him every Friday. It’s such a blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is a bit of learning to get right. So don’t have too many doubts. I like #9 and #11. It is too hard not to get photos of fabulous roses in their entirety so maybe not the best subject. Keep going 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, in retrospect this wasn’t the best place to try out this type of photo. I’m glad I took those extra shots of my nephew as I think they are the strongest examples of blurry foreground. I’m going to keep at it. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t like when I’m mean to myself, either! We are having a rough week over here (daughter received a more serious diagnosis and more meds). On the surface, that’s good news as she will get more help, but it’s been rough. I fear we still don’t have all the pieces of her struggle yet and I hate that it takes so long to figure all this out.

      I’m glad you liked my mother’s day poem. It was very raw and I felt weird about publishing it, but it was my truth and would feel weird saying anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am sorry to hear she is still struggling, but I am glad she is getting the help she needs. I hate the time for things to work, for things to be diagnosed, is it this, is it that. I am sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. All these are great, but I liked #6 the most, and your nephew is so cute 😍💕

    I think you should either take a proper break. Maybe you’ve exhausted yourself by doing too much work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got too much going on with my kids to take a proper break. I need my writing and creative outlets to balance out the hard stuff we are facing, otherwise I’d break. What I do need to do is stop beating myself up. I’m working on that. I’m trying to see the beauty in these photos and not the disappointment and doubts I have about my own abilities. I need to keep reminding myself that I’m learning and that involves frustration and self-doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, you know everything that needs to be done, and that’s great. I hope you find your peace ASAP and be the happiest you can be!!
        Sending love 💕


  6. “Things blossom in their time. They bud and bloom, blossom and fade. Everything in its time.” —Neil Gaiman , very nice thought. Beautiful photo.
    All rose photography is fabulous.
    So pretty your Nephew. Beautiful & love 2,4& 11 photography. I like.
    Tack care, Bridgette 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a kind thing to say! Thank you. I’m rather fond of my camera and I sort of lost some perspective this week on growth. I’m working on reframing it and being gentler with myself.


  7. Beautiful photos, as always, Bridgette. I like #5 – it’s a perfect picture to be on the front of a greeting card. #6 is gorgeous, and I like it especially because it reminds me of my Mum’s favourite rose in her garden. I often wonder what is left, if anything, of her much-loved and treasured garden. It’s probably been concreted over to make a base for an extension. I don’t think I’ll go back – it would be too upsetting to see Mum’s garden destroyed. I Don’t know why I wrote all that – the rose brought back lovely memories of my precious Mum, and I thank you for that. And, of course, it goes without saying that your nephew is just adorable. I’m glad you see him regularly (I noted this in the comments). How old is he now? Much love to you, my friend. Xx 🌹💝🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad my photos remind you of your mother’s garden! I know what you mean about not going back. I made the mistake of driving past my grandmother’s old house (my favorite place in the world growing up) and the new owners cut out everything (in the front, I didn’t see the back but I imagine it was more of the same). They cemented it all over and put up a basketball court and a place to store their boat. It BROKE MY HEART. My grandmother LOVED her yard. It was the product of DECADES of work. So, yeah, I’d say to not go back. Keep the joy and memory as is. My sweet nephew is 4 already! I feel like my surrogate journey with him was just the other day, but it’s already been four years. He brings me tremendous amounts of joy. One of my dearest friends is pregnant right now and I’m SUPER excited about the chance to hold a baby again. I’m going to take her maternity pictures in a few months. I can’t wait! Love to you too, my dear friend! Hope your tooth pain is better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so sorry that your grandmother’s yard was spoilt – how upsetting for you. You must have been devastated to see that. I don’t think I could bear to see my Mum’s house changed drastically like that; I don’t think I’ll ever go back, however tempting it might be.

        How lovely that your friend is pregnant and that you will be able to hold a new bundle of joy.

        My tooth and jaw pain is still intense, although my doctor has put me on a drug, which is helping the pain ease a tiny, tiny bit. The problem is that it makes me dizzy and drowsy, making it difficult to type as I’m a bit shaky. I really don’t like taking it, but my doctor says the side effects should wear off once my body gets used to it.

        Much love to you again. my dear friend. Xx 🥰💞.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the closeups of the roses. Those are quite stunning. As far as a blurry foreground, though, I like the one of your nephew behind the blurry flowers. I think the composition of that one turned out quite well. Be good to yourself. You are making great art here with your camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words! I’m trying hard to be good to myself. In the words of my favorite Sam Smith song I’m playing on repeat right now “I go up, I go down, I go all the way around. I’m not perfect, but I’m worth it.”


  9. I’m a bit Johnny-come-lately here–I’ve been distracted lately. This seems to me one of the most difficult things to do. I know with my point-and-shoot (my choice these days), it’s nearly impossible. I think you accomplished it quite well. Look at those photos again. You’ve done quite a good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, it was a really hard shoot and I’m glad you think I was able to get the right effect. I think my mushroom photo this week is probably the best blurry foreground I took and it was accidental. It’s much harder to do things on purpose.

      Also, I tend to read people’s blogs in batches as I fall so behind. Never worry about reading or commenting late. I’m always glad to have you stop by.


  10. I’d have to say #7 and #8 are my top 2 images in this round….#7 I love how translucent the petals are and #8 I’d say fits the assignment perfectly…with someone clearly peeking his adorable smile at you 💞💞💞 (Sorry for the late response!)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maybe #5 but it’s a bit of a bonkers challenge really (I get it with blurry backgrounds). You need to let off steam. In Japan the offices have basements with punchbags resembling the boss which you can go and bash around for a while. I hear it does the trick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was bonkers! The mushroom photo I took last week is probably the best blurred foreground I’ve gotten and it wasn’t purposeful. You know, punching bags in the basement with faces of those that have made me mad does sound rather perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s