June 23, 2012

Photo Challenge: Childhood Memories

It’s time for another Brenda Photo Challenge! The current subject is “childhood memories.” After checking out my photos, please click on the above link to see contributions from the other participants. 

I would have adored having a huge collection of stuffed animals when I was a wee girl. But toys were a bit of a rare commodity during my childhood years. I recall having one stuffed animal and it was a furry cat. On a shopping trip to the downtown area with my mom, I had admired it at a Woolworths dime store. (Are you old enough to remember those?) My mom slyly purchased it when I wasn’t looking and later surprised me with it as a gift! 

As most of you have figured out by now, I am bonkers for bears. I have no idea how this fascination started, but I have been afflicted with it for many decades. Thankfully, my husband has the same fondness. And I confess that we have indulged in the purchase of many stuffed bears over the years, making up for lost opportunities in my childhood. Two of our bruins posed for this challenge’s photo shoot. 

I decided to use some very strong natural light for showcasing the subjects. Because of our home’s design and lot, we get a very short duration of direct morning light through any of our windows, and it only occurs in the summertime. Use of strong, direct sunlight can be tricky in photography because it can easily blow highlights in an image. In this case, it was a good lighting choice to dramatically showcase the mohair fur of the bears and the old leather chair used as a backdrop. Rich shadow outlines were a bonus.

This teddy bear is a limited edition Steiff, circa 1982, and a replica of one manufactured in 1904. (Don't forget to click the photos to see them bigger!)

(f/11, 1/200 second, ISO 800) 

And here is a black and white version. 

This artisan-created bear was made by Claire Vandenberg, circa 1985. 

(f/3.8, 1/800 second, ISO 640) 

He is quite content with the spotlight in black and white too.


  1. Your bears are just perfect for this Challenge Miz Donna! I especially like the artisan bear, he is so handsome sitting there. You did an excellent job shooting them.

  2. Am I old enough? What kind of a question is that? I'd just like to know if you ever had the opportunity to have lunch at the counter? Cool experience. Why were you really there, besides to ogle stuffed animals? I was always there for my mother to shop for sewing notions...what a blast! (Not.)

    These photos are crisp and clear and wonderful. Do the bears ever get together for a picnic?

  3. Yep...I'm old enough...Hahaaa...We'd go to downtown Waco, Mom would put us kids at the soda counter and she'd go grab HER sewing notions...
    LOVE the bears Donna!
    Thanks for a memory I hadn't thought about in years...

  4. Very interesting bears.My mom traveled the craft sale circuit with knit outfits to dress them up with and had hundreds.

  5. These photographs are awesome!
    I had to share a teddy bear with my elder sister and younger brother... how I longed to have my own teddy but in those days we were happy to share and your teddies brought back a memory I had almost forgotten. Thanks for stopping by my blog I appreciate your comments.
    Wishing you a happy weekend!

  6. (i liked woolworth's.) :)

    and i like your bears in B&W.

  7. Oh yes, Woolworth's. I can't remember going with my mom, but when my friends and I were old enough to drive, we'd skip school sometimes and go. It was all the way downtown which back then was pleasant, not so anymore. No one could bribe me now.

    Love the teddy's. :)

  8. Perfect photos! What child does not like stuffed bears! I remember Woolworth but only for a short time! ;)

  9. I love your bears! I am a huge fan of teddy bears too, and these are very cute! As always, I love what you did with the photos.

  10. Do I remember Woolworths? Heck yeah :)
    Love your bears

  11. Lovely bears! I can't say I remember Woolworth, came to Canada in 1976. But I do love teddy bears.

    thanks for sharing your childhood memories!

  12. Your bears are just beautiful. I love having lots of bears and dolls now. I didn't have a great many toys as a child either. I still have 1 old flat stuffed bear from my childhood. He has been much loved!

  13. So cute I can hardly bear it!


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