Welcome to TLP's first monthly photography challenge!!! I’m so excited to be hosting this as I LOVE photography and using my camera to document my world around me. I’ve been in love with this hobby since I was a child and still remember my first camera - a Kodak disc camera (anyone else remember these?!) Through the years I’ve had many different cameras as they were the tool that I used to capture my life. Times have changed a great deal and, now more than ever, it is so easy to take photos! No more worrying about “wasting film” and waiting to push the shutter button until the “perfect” moment. So these days, I shoot away. And that is your challenge this month - pull out your camera of choice and shoot a photo of your view, right now. Show us what is around you: your environment, what you are doing today, or even more abstractly - your photographic view about a subject. Whatever you choose to photograph is up to you, it just needs to fit the theme of your view, right now. Then create a layout using that photograph. I shot this photo of my current view - an everyday moment that represents my here and now. It isn't a photographic masterpiece, but it captures a moment in time that I treasure and know I will miss some day. I scrapped it using the June 2015 Memory Pockets Monthly kit - Viewpoint. For those who want to get more creative with their photography this month and kick things up a notch - convert your photograph to a black and white image! This is a great thing to do if you have many colors in your photo that don’t necessarily work with the scrapping kits that you want to use. This is something I often do and I love the mood a black and white photo brings to a layout. There are many ways to do this with the simplest way to use your photo editing program’s software and convert your image to grayscale or adjusting your image by decreasing the saturation all the way to -100. You may like the results this gives you, but you can also adjust the effect by changing the photo’s contrast, white balance, shadows and highlights. Play with different sliders and see what happens! Other ways to convert a photo to black and white include using actions (Photoshop users), presets (Lightroom users), using gradient maps, and a large variety of other methods. Experiment and I'm sure you will find something that works for you! Additionally, there are numerous phone apps that will convert photos to black and white. These include editing tools built into many phone cameras and apps such as Camera 360, VSCO Cam, Instagram, Pixr Express, PicTapGo, and many others. I hope you enjoy this photography challenge and have fun with it! I look forward to seeing everyone’s layouts this month. Please remember the monthly challenge rules: Your page must contain at least 75% Lilypad product. Your page should be posted to the Lilypad Gallery and then linked to the February Challenge Layouts thread so it can be tracked, and to this thread as well. The Lilypad uses a percent system for our challenges; the number of challenges you participate in determines the store discount you will receive at the end of the month: 2 challenges = 10% off 4 challenges = 20% off 6 challenges = 30% off If you complete 7 challenges, you will receive a coupon for 30% off, plus you will be entered to win a guest spot on the Lilypad Creative Team! The first seven challenges will be posted on the first of the month; the eighth challenge is the BYOC challenge, which is posted on BYOC release day. Each page counts for one challenge (you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges).