Weekly Photo Challenge – Inside

 “Everybody’s a bird, locked inside a pretty cage. ”

Dave McKean



As a photographer, one of my favorite things to look for while traveling is symmetry.  As such, I’ve chosen to take an approach to Josh’s “inside” challenge highlighting that aspect.  Above, the symmetrical birdcages of Hong Kong which keep small birds inside of their pretty exteriors.



“Life is lived on the inside.  What’s outside doesn’t matter.”

Sonya Hartnett

Many of the buildings in China had lovely, beautifully-detailed and always symmetrical shutters through which to look from the inside. Above, an example from the historic town of Zhouzhuang, about which I posted here.  Also in China, a favorite capture from our visit to Ping Yao in the Shanxi Province.  It was actually the charming courtyard of the  Jing’s Residence Hotel, cleverly hidden inside the original antique doors of a 12th century merchant’s home.



“It is your inside that controls the outside.”

Vikrant Parsai

Our visit to Angkor Wat in Cambodia offered so many opportunities for symmetry it was difficult to choose from among them. I’ve featured two of my favorites here –  from inside the corridors of the amazing temples.



“It is about happiness inside.”

Zeina Glo



“You have to rely on whatever sparks you have inside.”

Lisa Kleypas

In closing, one doesn’t have to travel far to find beauty.  Exhibit A, favorite shot from nearby Charleston, SC, where the historic and stately buildings of the peninsula offer some wonderful symmetry. The play of light and shadows on this courtyard, for example, simply called out to be captured.



“Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”

Carl Gustav Jung

To see how some other bloggers interpreted the “inside” challenge, click here.

118 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Inside

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Tina Pumfrey

  2. I recognised those little birds straight away 😉 We found a bird market here in Shanghai. Same idea, but not as beautiful as the one in the Bird Garden in Hong Kong.
    Amazing shots… feels like I am there again.

      • Yes miss Willow would love them! She spots them from the apartment way up high. She is no longer allowed on the balcony since one day she leaped up as she saw something fly by. My heart stopped and I worry she may go a little too far.

  3. Like you I seek out symmetry. You have captured some wonderful examples here and I’m rather taken by that courtyard, so perfectly in balance. Must be the Libra in me 🙂

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside (Or Outside?) | Pilot Fish

  5. Even knowing it’s a open corridor on a grand architectural scale , for me there’s a great sense of ‘ inside intimacy ‘ captured within your photo which ever way I look at it Tina .
    Love your chosen pictures and words .

  6. I love how you always complement your pics with quotes. Lovely choices today & I think my fans are the Chinese pics too.

    • Thanks so much Maamej, I do love finding the right words for each capture and always try to pull the theme together that way so very much appreciate your commenting on it. China was a photographer’s dream – my only fear is that travel will always fall short of the experience by comparison going forward!

  7. I was expecting it, a series of incredible shots and a challenge with in the challenge 🙂
    My pick from the series is “Inside Closed Doors” and simply reason being, it’s a very pleasant image.

    • Hi Sreejith – thanks so much for your lovely compliment – Inside Closed Doors seems to be the hands-down favorite. Believe me, it was even more beautiful in person, especially because it was such a surprise hidden behind the ancient doors!

      • Yea, I could see that, Tina and the way you have composed it made it look outstanding.

        Lighting played it’s role too, very pleasant warm lighting there, even inside 🙂

  8. Wow, these shots were a bit sensory overload…beautifully framed, the lines and angles were intense and so many great ones throughout this series. I loved this feeling of being drawn further & further into your world with these shots and words!

  9. The 4th shot at Angor Wat is my fave Tina….the warm light really brings out the lovely tones of the ancient stone that so many people must have passed by and touched over the centuries. Planning to see it with my own eyes one of these days, but in the meantime your image just reinforces for me the need to keep it on my travel ‘to do’ list. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Thanks very much Deb – yes, Angkor Wat is truly a “must-see”. Love your comment about the people who must have passed by and touched over the centuries! Wish I’d thought of that 🙂

  10. Hi Tina, my favorite quote from this series today is “It is your inside that controls the outside.” –

    and how cool to add a SC photo to the ones from other parts of the world – and that photo was nice – and when you noted the shadows and light I actually saw that more – but my first glance just found the depth and the pattern of the light – so it helped me see more (and I know shadows seem obvious – but for some reason I missed it – well only at first. 😉 )

    Lastly, and this is such a side note that I was NOT even going to mention it – but the first quote is unnerving to me in a small way.
    “Everybody’s a bird, locked inside a pretty cage.”
    I do not like this quote in some ways – well on one hand I get what the author means (I think so) and then having it paired with your GORGEOUS photo of those ornate copper cages – with cool hooks and colorful birds -all lined up and interesting blur (if that is a description) – and so seeing the quote paired with that gave it a totally different feel….

    but by itself – the quote feels (to me) sad and dismal – and trapped.
    “Everybody’s a bird, locked inside a pretty cage. ”
    maybe it is the word LOCKED that screams trapped – and maybe the pretty cage feels like a feigned social world – and maybe there is a feel of loss of identify through the “everybody’s a….”

    Hey Wait – I know why I am feeling conflicted with that quote – it has to be that earlier I JUST read a different quote in a blog post – and maybe that was in my mind…. because it is a quote that is maybe opposite (and maybe refers to the them for outside – ha!) Here it is:

    “I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don’t apply to those who live on the fringe.” Tamara de Lempicka:


    anyhow, sorry for the long comment – but all that to say -I enjoyed your take for the topic INSIDE. 🙂

    • Personally I hate the practice of keeping birds in cages, especially small cages, and I agree with you about the quote. Are we all really trapped? But I do like the cages (empty) and I do like this image.

      • Thanks Jude – I’m not a fan of it myself but there are people who really love it. The “trapped” quote was a bit dark but I tried to be a bit lighter with the rest of the post 🙂

    • Hey Yvette – thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I agree with your thoughts on that first quote,; my personal favorite was the last. I did try to lighten up as the post went on 🙂 and very much appreciate your comments on the symmetry aspect. Great to hear from you as always.

  11. Beautiful ! Loved the columns and corridors – especialy Angor Wat. I guess we’re your Night Owl viewers 🙂 Goodnight, JohnBoy

    • Thanks Rick! Inside Closed Doors was a beautiful little inn that was perfect down to the last detail. The courtyard shot was a challenge because it was hard to be far enough away to capture the essence so thanks for singling that one out!

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