Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

The theme for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘Refraction’.  Over at the Daily Post, Kevin asks:

‘For this photo challenge, show us what “refraction” means to you. It could be an image taken in a reflective surface, it could be light bent from behind an object, or it could mean remedial math homework: the choice is completely up to you. I’m looking forward to seeing how you interpret “refraction.”’

Not being too clear on the exact meaning of ‘refraction’ as opposed to ‘reflection’, I came across ‘wiseGeek‘, a website described as having  ‘clear answers for common questions‘.   My kind of website in other words.

It defines ‘refraction’ as:

‘… the bending of waves as they pass from one medium to another, due to a change in their speed. The phenomenon is most commonly associated with light, but can also apply to sound, or even water, waves.’

A rainbow captures this as a perfect example. Sunlight has different wavelengths of colour (for instance, blue has a shorter wavelength than red) which ‘bend’ when they pass through raindrops.  The different colours are split, so creating a beautiful rainbow:

Rainbow over the River Bure, Norfolk Broads, June 2013 (c) Sherri Matthews

Rainbow over the River Bure, Norfolk Broads, June 2013
(c) Sherri Matthews

In ‘Duck on Bridge’ as I like to call it (I wonder why), another example of refraction, I think, is the image of the bridge captured in the reflective surface of the water:

Duck on Bridge.  Ranworth, Norfolk Broads June 2013 (c) Sherri Matthews

Duck on Bridge. Ranworth, Norfolk Broads June 2013
(c) Sherri Matthews

Sunlight catches the reflection of this glorious rhododendron celebrating an early summer as it dances on the waters of this tiny inlet:

Neatishead - Norfolk Broads June 2013 (c) Sherri Matthews

Neatishead – Norfolk Broads June 2013
(c) Sherri Matthews

The way sunlight refracts through the water here makes me think of melting glass:

Picture 343

Water. Or Melting Glass. (c) Sherri Matthews

Or maybe it could just be the way sunlight slices through the blinds in this window, warming my cats:

Cats Basking in Slices of Light (c) Sherri Matthews

Cats Basking in Slices of Light
(c) Sherri Matthews

I may not have captured ‘refraction’ correctly in some of these photos, but I hope you enjoyed them anyway.

Happy Thursday everyone 🙂

 

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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82 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

  1. Love the photos Sherri! My favorite is the rainbow! SO beautiful!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Jhanis, so glad you enjoyed them. I took that photo through a window on a boat moored up on the side of the river, so I was really pleased how it turned out, not all blurry as I thought it might 🙂

      Like

  2. Sherri, I’ll bet you were every teacher’s favorite. When asked to show “this” or “this” or “that”–you did all of the above! I love all of your pictures, but the duck on the bridge over the water stole my heart and imagination.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Well I don’t know about that Marylin, I’m not at all sure I was any teacher’s favourite truth be told 😉 But I’m so glad you enjoyed these pics and yes, I was so taken with that little duck sitting like that on the bridge, looking so peaceful and content 🙂

      Like

  3. Sherri, you captured refraction beautifully in those wonderful photos- Perfect! Lovely way to start my day!! 🙂 ❤

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  4. Amy says:

    Beautiful series of refraction, Sherri! The rainbow is a perfect capture. Love, love the duck on the bridge!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Amy! I have tried many times to take photographs of rainbows but never managed to get a complete one like this. I was on a boat moored up on the river taking shelter after a downpour as you can see from the dark skies. Then this amazing rainbow appeared, so I took a chance to capture it through the boat window. And yes, I was very taken with that little duck 🙂

      Like

  5. Sherri, you really are an amazing photographer. These photos are beautiful! I agree with Marylin, the duck on the bridge photo is spectacular!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Jill, you are so kind, thank you, I’m just so glad you enjoyed these pics. And yes, that little duck seems to have captured a few hearts, you can see why I just had to take that photo that day, he looks so serene doesn’t he? 🙂

      Like

  6. Mumblypeg says:

    Beautiful!!! Love the memories these lovely pictures impart. They bring peace to my heart.
    love M xxx

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  7. prior says:

    all great – but the rainbow came up in my reader and ohhhhhhhh wowwwww – what a shot you caught that June – a full one too – <3<3

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I love that… 😀 I was so happy to capture this beautiful rainbow that day Y. I took it through a window on a boat while moored up on the river and I was hoping it wouldn’t be blurry. When it appeared in full like that, I wasn’t going to turn down such a great opportunity…I’ll never forget that moment 🙂

      Like

      • prior says:

        yeah, and coming back today I saw additional things in the post – funny how this happens, eh? But you take us from the sky – through a garden and then indoors….

        There is a water theme – the rainbow & water – then the green & water- then the English garden & water – and as you scroll the photos – it all sorta drops down and then the teal in that water/melting glass…
        well the teal color matches with the refracted teal light coming in on the lower left blinds – and we end up indoors to that eclectic decor shot that almost looks like a magazine photo (cats are so cute sleeping like that).
        <3<3<3

        Like

        • Sherri says:

          Goodness Y, you are an artist/art critic magnifique most certainly 🙂 I love how you pick up so much in this post and you know, I just want to say a huge thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to come over and glean so much from it all and then share it with me. This moves me…really does. And the word that really jumped out in your comment is ‘eclectic’. Ha! Yes, you can tell, I do like to mix things up 😉 Doesn’t look like that any more though..different curtains, new sofa (the old one well past its prime) and new paint on the walls. But the sun still beams in through those very same blinds on those very same cats 🙂 Have a great weekend mon amie, and thank so much again for all this… ❤

          Like

  8. I have never seen a rainbow like that. One color inside, another, outside!

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  9. jennypellett says:

    Yes I did enjoy your photos, especially the rainbow over the Bure. Brings back those Norfolk holidays!
    The only way I can begin to understand refraction is by thinking of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon cover. Physics in general is a complete anathema to me 😝

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh thanks Jenny, and oh yes how we do love our Norfolk Broads! And funny you should say that about Pink Floyd (and Dark Side of the Moon is one of my absolute favourites…) as I thought of the exact-same image. A prism is a perfect example of refraction, apparently, but I couldn’t turn up any photos of one, ha! I’m with you on the physics thing…hence my finding the ‘geek’ website…and I still don’t understand how wavelengths of colours bend…yikes o_O

      Like

  10. Heyjude says:

    All beautiful photos – who cares whether they show refraction or not! I thought the rainbow may have been at the Somerset Levels – but, yes, I see the Broads now. And I like the ‘melting glass’. Nice
    😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Phew…so glad you said that Jude, thanks!! 😀 Yes, I can see why you would have thought that about the Somerset Levels. Talking of which, we often go for walks down by the river in Langport along a path that takes you all the way to Mulcheny, the village that was completely cut off for months during the floods. Signs of river dredging are everywhere. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again :/

      Like

      • Heyjude says:

        be nice to see that walk linked to Jo’s walks, if you have time in your busy writing schedule 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Funny you should say that Jude as I’ve been meaning to do a ‘walk for Jo’ for a while now but keep getting lost…in every sense of the word! I’ll take another look at my Langport pics and see what I can cobble up, thanks 🙂

        Like

  11. Allison says:

    Happy Thursday, beloved – you are an amazing and beautiful photographer!!! 🙂 GORGEOUS!!

    xxoooo

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  12. These are beautiful, Sherri! 🙂

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  13. Wow Sherri, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a perfect rainbow shot!! How gorgeous.
    LOVE that duck on the bridge, though! ❤ Ducks are the best. Haha, bless it. Such a green and vibrant environment, too ^^

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I was thrilled to capture this beautiful rainbow Jenny Jen Jen, so I do thank you 🙂 I’ve take a few over the years but never so complete as this one and even more so that it wasn’t blurry since it was taken through a boat window 😉 Yes, he is a sweetie isn’t he? That little duck called to me, posing for me I’m sure of it, ha 😀

      Like

  14. You’ve definitely showed us variations on the challenge and I believe you’ve captured refraction in all of them. Wonderful photographs, Sherri. ⭐

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  15. Sherri your images are divine I enjoyed every one, especially the rainbow and the flowers reflected on the water. When we open our eyes to the world around us, truly open them, we can see another world. Kath.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      How very true that is Kath. Nature and all that it gives us truly is divine isn’t it? Thank you so much for your lovely comment, It’s wonderful for me to know that you enjoyed the photos 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. simplyilka says:

    Sherri, you really took water & sunlight to perfection-refraction-reflection 🙂

    Love it !!!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      And I love your comment Ilka…you have a lovely way of putting things so perfectly, especially with your unique and wonderfully scientific perspective. Thank you so much 🙂

      Like

  17. You caught a gorgeous rainbow arc!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much BT…I admit, I was thrilled to capture this beautiful rainbow that day. And it wasn’t for want of trying I can assure you! Part of the beauty of the Norfolk Broads are the flat, open spaces which can make for some wonderful photographic opportunities 🙂

      Like

  18. cardamone5 says:

    Beautiful.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Like

  19. Charli Mills says:

    Duck on a Bridge inexplicably makes me happy! I love your photos and exploration of refraction. Cheers!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Cheers Charli, thank you very much!! Duck on a Bridge seems to be the winner! That little duck captivated me as soon as I laid eyes on him. The Norfolk Broads, where I took this photo, is made up of a body of water ‘meres’ and holds many happy memories for me. Not to mention a beautiful place for photographic opportunities. I took this photo last year during my first holiday there in 15 years 🙂

      Like

  20. Mabel Kwong says:

    You write beautiful stories, and you share beautiful photos too, Sherri. Love the second photo – love how you captured the duck right in the middle of the small bridge. It looks so lonely all by itself yet to peaceful. Oh wait, he’s got you to keep him company 😀 That blue water photo was a very creative one. It actually looks like a painting.

    Hope the book is coming along well (I always say this but I’m very excited for you!). If you get stuck, take a break and go out to take more nice photos 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I love your wonderfully upbeat messages Mabel 🙂 Yes, that little duck seems to be quite the little star of the show doesn’t he? I was entranced by this view, just that one duck sitting there all alone on the bridge, quite serene and peaceful, happy for the moment. We could learn a lot from that duck couldn’t we 😉 Thank you so much as always for your lovely words, and yes Mabel, you will be pleased to know that my book is coming along. But you are right, nothing like taking a break and next time I take some more photos I’ll be thinking of you and your wonderful encouragement! I hope things are going well for you and I also hope you have a beautiful weekend in your gorgeous springtime 🙂 😀 ❤

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        No, I think you’re the upbeat one, Sherri. Even when you post a bit of a stressful-sounding post, you end on a very thoughtful, hopeful note. We all learn a lot from you and your words 🙂 Freelance writing is going very well for me. But very slow progress on the book – but I know this takes time and things will fall into place soon.

        I had a good weekend. Hope you had a good one too and have a better week ahead 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Ahh…you are so kind and I’m go glad that the freelance writing is going so well for you, that’s wonderful news Mabel! Your book will certainly ‘arrive’ at the right time. I’m making moves to make a push to get the rest of the first draft written and I might be taking some time out from blogging during November to do so. Not too long, but just enough for me to really focus on what I must do for my memoir. It is intense but I relish it and am more than ready to really get my teeth into it now. You will be able to do the very same when you are at that point but meanwhile, you have the success you have and long may it rein for you!
        So glad you had a good weekend, I did too thanks and yes, here’s to a great week ahead, you in your spring and me in my autumn. 😀

        Like

  21. Every time I see your beautiful photos I’m tempted to hop a plane and go hang out with you in that land of rainbows! Of course, I loved your grand finale – I’m a sucker for cats. They look pretty darn cozy dressed in that sunbeam!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh do come over Shel, I would love to hang out with you in the land of rainbows 😀 That particular photo was taken on the Norfolk Broads (Broads meaning bodies of water and not the other kind, ha!) a place that holds many happy memories for me since I was a girl. As for the cats, I can see you and I obviously share a love for them so I really appreciate that you enjoyed the last photo. I had to throw that one in and now I know it was just for you 🙂

      Like

  22. Rachel M says:

    The photos are wonderful as always, Sherri.

    Like

  23. I did enjoy them very much, Sherri, refraction or not. Lovely pics, as always. See you soon.

    Like

  24. What wonderful pictures of refraction Sherri. I must say that I particularly enjoy the rainbow photo. It seems that I can never quite capture a good photo of a rainbow myself and yours is just beautiful. I’ve been away from the blogging world for a couple weeks and it’s wonderful to come back to your lovely posts 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Heather, how lovely to see you again…as a newlywed…I hope your day was as beautiful and wonderful as you hoped it would be 🙂 I look forward to catching up with you over at your blog! Oh thank you, I have taken a few photos over the years of rainbows too and have never been able to get a good shot…until this one. I took it through a boat window, moored on the side of the river after a downpour. I was so happy it came out the way it did, afraid it would disappear, and I’m even more delighted to be able to share it here 🙂

      Like

  25. Lovely photos of refraction, Sherri.
    I think that refraction is one of those things that help people see beauty in the world. It is not something dependent upon wealth but something that comes free.

    Like

  26. restlessjo says:

    Those rhodies are such a sweet shot! 🙂 Happy weekend to you, Sherri!

    Like

  27. Beautiful pictures, Sherri, you are the photographer of light!

    Like

  28. Love them all my friend. Each one radiates with blessings that talks straight to our hearts. The rainbow symbolizes hope that things will get better and that we will find our little treasure at the end of it’s tail. The Duck on the bridge, that we all will get to our destination and the best part, we don’t have to travel alone. The waters, just beautiful and calm, reminding us that inner peace is reachable and no matter how our days can get crazy sometimes, we can choose to create a mental picture of calmness. Sunlight by the window, that home will always give us comfort, refuge and love from our families. Thank you for sharing these amazing images of life and nature. Have a blessed weekend. Regards to your family and God bless always…

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I love so much how you interpret these photographs my friend, you have such a beautiful way of expression and ability to create something different again out of what has already been created…that is a wonderful gift. You bless me greatly with your poetic prose and I thank you greatly. Have a wonderful weekend filled with joy, love and laughter and all that is good in life for you and your gorgeous family… 🙂

      Like

  29. Refraction is one of those words I’ve always vaguely thought I knew what it meant, but wouldn’t have been able to explain it to someone, so you’ve taught me something today as well as giving me some food for the soul in your photos! I love the rhododendron and the way it reflects in the water.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I was just the same as you Andrea, so I looked it up hoping to explain it a bit better. I’m thrilled you found it useful, love it when that happens 🙂 Always makes me smile knowing how much you love nature 🙂

      Like

  30. I loved each of these photos as they all impart a different kind of peace. The rhododendron reflected back from the water were stunning as were the others. I liked what PRIOR said about the flow of the photos. I’m learning a lot by observing. Have never taken many photos myself as the visual impairment makes it a bit harder but I’m learning to snap and crop or adjust after.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed these Marlene, thank you very much for your lovely comment. Yes, Yvette (or Y as she goes by) has such an artistic eye like that, she is amazing. Much can be done nowadays with the beauty of editing. I just point and shoot with my digital Cyber Shot but I do love being able to share the end result here. I’m so glad you are enjoying the beauty of editing too 😀

      Like

  31. Hello, my friend! Just coming out to play a little tonight and wanted to check in on you. What glorious pictures! What a nice post to check out. Love the reflection of the rhododendron! Hope all is well with you! xo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Maria, how lovely to see you again! I’ve been thinking of you so much, wondering how you are getting on. I miss you! So glad you came out to play and enjoyed the pics, yay 🙂 Ahh…how kind of you to ask…not too bad my friend, not too bad…improving *she says optimistically* Do hope you are feeling better… see you soon 🙂 xo

      Like

  32. Marie Keates says:

    Lovely photographs Sheri. Reflections in water is one of my favourite subjects but another refraction photo I like is the crepuscular rays when the clouds and the sun meet in exactly the right way.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Marie, glad you like them! You obviously know much more about refraction than me so I really appreciate the compliment 🙂 I love the clouds and the sun meeting like that, makes for some truly beautiful captures.

      Like

  33. jenny says:

    Great post, Sherri. Really love the photos. Especially the rhododendron on – those colours are beautiful.

    Like

  34. Great photos Sherri and yes the duck on the bridge and the reflections of the flowers in the water are my favourites. Though your cats are lovely too and wow what a rainbow. Water is always calming to look at whether it is refracting or not.

    Like

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