This week, show us something you appreciate despite — or even because of — its short shelf life.

  • Want to participate? Each Wednesday, we’ll provide a theme. Publish a new post with a photo interpreting the weekly theme. Create a pingback to this week’s challenge to share your post with the community. Learn More.

Even when we snap a photo of a timeless monument like the Colosseum or the Taj Mahal, there’s something fleeting about the result. What we capture is just one specific moment of alignment between the world, our camera, and our eyes.

Still, I can’t help but feel a deeper wistfulness when my photo preserves something that is itself short-lived: my son’s first day at school, a rare get-together of far-flung friends, or, this time of year, the very temporary glory of fall colors.

Every October, I find myself walking down city blocks in awe of all the pinks and golds and purples that seem to have materialized out of nowhere. Pictures rarely do them justice, but I never regret trying anyway. Between the time I took the photo above and the moment I’m writing this, the rain and the wind have already taken care of the foliage, which is now mostly on the ground, ready to be swept up by cleaning crews before it clogs all the drains.

For this week’s challenge, share a photo that says “temporary” to you. As always, you can take the theme in any direction you see fit — from the natural world to the human, and from the concrete to the abstract. I look forward to browsing your photos!

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585 Responses Want to participate? Publish a new post on your blog interpreting the theme. Create a pingback to this challenge and we’ll list your post below. Show instructions.

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<a href="">Temporary</a>