Symmetry has two meanings. The first is a vague sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance. The second is an exact mathematical "patterned self-similarity" that can be demonstrated with the rules of a formal system, such as geometry or physics. Why choose it for this challenge? The order, the form and the repetition.
Edward Hopper is my favourite painter. His barren cityscapes, his lonely people in a seemingly empty world, his vibrant colours and mastery of light: I had all these elements in mind when I made Hopper the theme of our weekly contest. As you can see, each entry deals with these elements in a very different way.
Edwin Smith was a British photographer best known for pictures that supposedly helped define what we imagine as 'Britishness'. He captured English gardens, landscapes and architecture with "a remarkable, almost sensuous feeling for surfaces and textures". I chose him as the FFC topic so we would look at other photographers' works and could try and discover our surroundings in a similar way; in black and white that is, with strong contrasts, yet mellow and poetic. Never mind the Britishness...
It was a beautiful almost-summer day and I was at home, visiting my family, when a mixture of inspiration, beer and yearning for a cup of tea with my far away friends struck me. "Why not start a Foto Contest with them? What a great way to keep in contact after I moved away! What a great idea!" And a great idea it was, so great that it allowed for no delay. I decided to start immediately, without any preparation and thus ended up taking a crappy picture with my phone.
The only interesting thing nearby was the bonfire in our garden, which is why "fire" ended up being our first contest theme. That's the banal, boring explanation. The more interesting one is that I chose fire because what's forged in fire is made to last (everybody knows that). Or because of this song that's played in a scene from Hot Fuzz that we often quote. Or because I wanted my friends to "burn with me", as The Doctor did. In any case: fire is a good way to start.