Poetry and Photo Prompts: Doors & Passageways Photo Play

Poetry and Photo Prompts: Doors & Passageways Photo Play

As we begin a new year I’m delighted to introduce an ongoing Photo Play opportunity that will encourage you to explore our monthly poetry themes in a visual way.

I’ll be here to help you push your interpretation of the themes. This isn’t about camera techniques as much as it’s about “seeing”. We’ll work together (and play together) to develop how you see a subject and choose to photograph it. That can be as simple as where you stand and what you include in the frame, the most basic of all photography principles.

Looking out into the sunlight

To start, we’re looking at Doors and Passageways, which can make for interesting photos even taken in the most literal way. Walking through any town or village you’re likely to find interesting subjects. I’m hoping we also can take that a little bit further and look for a photo play on the potential of the new year, represented by openings or paths that give just a hint of what may lie beyond.

Door in the corner

When you’ve found your subject, take time to consider how you’re going to compose the image. Think about these questions:

– Do you want to get up close so you fill the frame with just the door – or a part of it?

– Is there anything interesting around the door or opening, that you’d like to step back and include to help tell the story?

– If you’re photographing a pathway, are there strong diagonal lines you can include to lead the viewer’s eye into the frame?

– How can you use your angle of view to limit what’s visible in the distance or through the doorway?

If you can’t decide between two possible approaches, shoot both and compare the images afterwards, thinking about what difference the composition makes to the mood of the photo.

Post your “photo play” on your blog, Flickr, or Pinterest account, and leave the link in a comment on this post. Some photos will be chosen for feature at Tweetspeak Poetry and all will be posted on our Pinterest Photo Play board. Deadline for submissions is this Thursday. See you back here soon!

Photos and post by Julie Matkin

NOTE TO POETS: Looking for your Monday poetry prompt? On Photo Play weeks, it’s right here. Choose a photo from the post and respond with a poem. Leave your poem in the comment box. We’ll be reading. :)


Sometimes we feature your poems and photos in Every Day Poems if they’re a good fit. Thanks for playing with words and photos!

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  1. says

    They Always Played Music

    Remember the music,
    how the light could be

    blinding on sunny days,
    how from not so far away

    the figures against the wall
    always seemed larger, eyes

    straight ahead, boring in
    on the newly made shadows

    as faces appeared in every
    window, wanting to watch,

    and then not. The knocking
    that it was time was never

    hollow. It held the surety
    of nothing but this one fact:

    They always played music.

  2. says

    Ohhweee. I’m thrilled – not just for the opportunity to submit an image, but to get feedback and insight.

    And these doors. Country doors. Even one with orange twine. I feel welcome.

    Thanks TweetSpeakers!


  3. says


    The Third Floor, childhood home.

    This is the passageway to my best childhood fun, … and my worst recurring nightmare. I took the steps, two by two, to play after school with my Holly Hobbie dollhouse up on the “third floor.” But in the nightmare, I can’t descend the steps, because three creepy old ladies are blocking the door.

    I’m 41 years old now, and still have that nightmare. And in the dream, I’m six, with a Holly Hobbie doll in my hand.


  4. says

    The Hard Way

    If I were
    . one foot small
    I would use
    . those bolts like
    a climbing wall
    . inch myself up
    grasp the rope
    . sound the bell
    ’til one inside
    . showed up to
    bear me through
    . that door that
    was clearly open
    . the whole time

  5. says


    Stacked up neat or placed in winding rows
    Marked and dotted on a trail
    Like Dominoes, wave on wave
    Of curvaceous highways
    Roads, row on row of
    Tree-lined sidewalks
    Of sanitary suburbia
    Equidistance between each planting
    Not the doors through which
    I go
    Or have shut
    Passed through the threshold
    To another side
    The doors through which I slip and slide
    Are not stacked up neat or placed in winding rows.

    Each one invisible to the human eye.

  6. says

    Image: http://theimaginedjay.com/?page_id=545


    Before this, the flames of Autumn
    gave themselves unnoticed;
    the mountains burned each year;
    fur and fowl hurried at their havens
    to endure the ash of winter,
    as the door of winter opened.

    So swung seasons from fair to fire
    to ice, burrow and lair, thatch
    of hair for thick and thin abiding—
    the countryside unbroken.

    What is the swing of a door?
    How is it made, in time or space?
    Reason came and brought a word
    that joined the mountains to a hand.

    Fire fell when the oak was driest,
    a flame shaped to a way for going out
    and coming in from snow,
    a solitary haven, a hinge
    to something wild and holy.

    This then, a door to yesterday,
    but more than that, hewn and shaped
    and bored, a hidden blaze,
    ambiguous, at best, a wilderness
    in a wilderness once blessed.

    The shavings and the dust,
    a must to start a fire,
    to keep them warm, and warned,
    perhaps were they, to keep it close,
    controlled inside the wonder of this.

  7. says

    Living in the boonies as I do, I simply haven’t had the opportunity to take this challenge, but I did create a Doors and Passageways flickr set with a few photos from my archives. They include a rusty door, a door I label new patch on old wineskin (a new aluminum door on the shanty house where my husband was raised), a door that’s apparently been broken into, and the door of the first house my husband and I owned over 30 years ago that we found a couple of years ago with “abandoned” notices taped to it. http://flickr.com/gp/pollywogcreek/467129/

  8. Marcy Terwilliger says

    Doors from the pass,
    Wide and thick
    Metal plates,
    Slide the bar
    Now it’s locked
    in place.
    Big white,
    round knobs
    to turn the
    No one lives
    here anymore.
    Childhood home,
    So full of
    sweet memories.
    Now all that’s
    left is a field
    of concrete.

  9. Marcy Terwilliger says

    Thick old doors
    that have no names.
    How they cry out in pain.
    One hundred and fifty years old,
    as they hear the wrecking ball.
    Knocking on doors was
    different that day.
    Tears spilled down like rain.
    Earth shook from all the pain.
    The house in pieces,
    nothing remains.


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