Abstracting form from context: an exercise in small joys

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Plastic mesh bag. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4.

Plastic mesh bag. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4.

Life seems quite stressful at the moment. The Big T is out of the country for two weeks, workplace politics are spoiling my enjoyment of a project I’ve hitherto loved, and I have some ongoing, low-level pain that’s quietly driving me crazy. So I’m trying to focus on the good stuff; friends, my darling son, my home – and most of all living in a country where I can go about daily life without fear of snipers, rocket fire, suicide bombers or air strikes.

Today I bought mandarins; small, sweet, juicy and very fresh. They were packaged – not in the usual polythene bags – but in plastic mesh, which reminded me of the string bags my mum used to carry fruit and veg home in.

I had all but thrown the bags away when I noticed the lovely sculptural quality of the pliant mesh. I’m happy enough with the photos I took; but happier still with the edits.

I like the way the layers of mesh form different patterns in the shot below, and I think darkening it accentuates the contrast between the fine plastic thread and the background.

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Scrunched plastic mesh. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone 4, edited with Pixlr Express.

I particularly like this black and white shot which abstracts the mesh even further.

Plastic mesh bag. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Plastic mesh bag. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express

Changing the colour palette removes the shot even further from the reality of a fruit bag.

Plastic mesh bag. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone 4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Plastic mesh bag. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone 4, edited with Pixlr Express.

As does the opposite – increased saturation and a paint-like effect.

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Plastic mesh bag. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

This week it’s challenger’s choice in Sally’s Phoneography and non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge.  Pop over and have a look at Sally’s post, and those of other bloggers.

 

Obsessing about the weather

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At the local pony club. These two don't seem terribly impressed with the cold and fog. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014.

At the local pony club. These two don’t seem terribly impressed with the cold and fog. Wainoni Park, Greenhithe, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014.

I don’t know if it’s proof I’m getting old, or just that deep down I’m really British, but lately I have been thinking, commenting — and  posting — about the weather. True, we have had an unexpectedly large number of storms and way more rain than usual, but still!

Anyway, I’m doing it again. I woke this morning to the heaviest fog I’ve seen in ages, so as soon as the boy-child was out the door for school, I headed off with my camera. It was really cold and damp in Greenhithe today, but I’m quite pleased with the photos I shot.

Horses silhouetted against a misty sunrise. Greenhithe Pony Club, Wainoni Park, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Horses silhouetted against a misty sunrise. Greenhithe Pony Club, Wainoni Park, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Catching the sunrise. Greenhithe Road, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Catching the sunrise. Greenhithe Road, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

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Jetty to nowhere. The harbour was totally shrouded in fog. Greenhithe, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Boats moored off Greenhithe Wharf. Greenhithe, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Boats moored off Greenhithe Wharf. Greenhithe, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

A single drop of water on a magnolia bud. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

A single drop of water on a magnolia bud. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Dew on a spider web. Wainoni Park, Greenhithe, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Dew on a spider web. Wainoni Park, Greenhithe, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

 

#BringBackOurGirls 100 days later

I think of all that I have done in the last 100 days, and know that if my child had been taken from me and I didn’t know where he was or what was happening to him, I would be so consumed with fear and anxiety that even the smallest things would seem impossible. Please, don’t let us forget these girls and their families.

The Brixton Housewife

Over the past 100 days I have:

pottered in my garden.

tweeted.

helped my husband lay new flooring.

written school reports.

protested for Palestine.

bitched with friends.

received flowers.

been overdrawn.

attended a street festival.

laid in the sunshine.

argued with loved ones.

bought new artwork.

laughed.

witnessed the dashed hopes and dreams of a nation.

taught Zumba to my class.

cried.

received callaloo and cabbage seeds from a stranger.

hoovered (ok I’m not fooling anyone) hoovered.

listened to my unborn baby’s heartbeat.

felt fat.

stalked on Facebook.

watched a human chess match.

daydreamed.

found it impossible to sleep.

eaten Nandos.

watched TV.

participated in a treasure hunt.

joined the TEDx Brixton event team.

had a pedicure.

rushed to hospital.

attended a beautiful wedding.

Over the past 100 days the Chibok girls have:

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How quickly the world forgets. ©Sarah Peace How quickly the world forgets. Photograph S Peace ©

Yesterday marked 100 days since the girls…

View original post 100 more words

On needing an infusion of colour

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Inside the greenhouses of the Wintergarden in Auckland, there is always colour and warmth. Photo: Su Leslie, 2013.

Inside the greenhouses of the Wintergarden in Auckland, there is always colour and warmth. Photo: Su Leslie, 2013.

It rained again overnight, and although there is some blue in the sky this morning, the Met Service is predicting heavy showers, hail and (for Auckland) low temperatures. So another grey day then — which makes Ailsa’s travel theme of “purple” very welcome. If I can’t find colour in the living world today, I can vicariously enjoy my favourite colour in photography.

I'm used to golden skies from my office window, so this took me by surprise. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

I’m used to golden skies from my office window, so this took me by surprise. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

The Wintergarden, Auckland War Memorial Museum. Photo: Su Leslie 2013

The Wintergarden, Auckland War Memorial Museum. Photo: Su Leslie 2013

And of course reality can always be modified to visualise an interior landscape. These sculptures have both appeared in my dreams lately, and playing with photo-editing apps has allowed me to externalise, and understand those dream landscapes.

Antony Gormley's 'The Angel of the North', as it sometimes appears in my dreams. Photo: Su Leslie, 2013.

Antony Gormley, ‘The Angel of the North’. Photo: Su Leslie, 2013.

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Ramon Robertson,’ Void.’ Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

If you’d like to see Aisla’s wonderful purple images, visit Where’s my Backpack. Here are some other bloggers’ interpretations of the challenge that I’ve enjoyed:

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/travel-theme-purple/

http://loganbruin.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/travel-theme-purple/

http://shootngo.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/travel-theme-purple/

http://figliodelgiaguaro.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/travel-theme-purple/

http://nowathome.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/travel-theme-purple/

http://adventuresofmisshouse.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/travel-theme-purple/

http://jennysotherstuff.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/travel-theme-purple-amongst-other-colours-one-redeeming-feature/

http://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/travel-theme-purple/

http://piecesofstarlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/five-shades-of-purple/

http://dauwpics.blogspot.be/2014/07/snel-nog-even-pootjes-wassen.html

When the weather offers just shades of grey

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Watching the world go by. Caffe Eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Watching the world go by. Caffe Eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

It’s hard to believe, watching the sun go down in a clear blue sky, that it’s rained virtually every day for the last few weeks. My Wellington trip was fantastic, but yielded few photos — it was just so dull and grey. Here are a few, shot in colour but really not diminished by removing that for Sally’s  Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices ChallengeBlack & White.

Neil Dawson, "Ferns". Civic Square, Wellington, New Zealand.  Neil Dawson's wonderful metal globe of interconnected fern leaves hangs high above the square. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Neil Dawson, “Ferns”. Civic Square, Wellington, New Zealand. Neil Dawson’s wonderful metal globe of interconnected fern leaves hangs high above the square. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

City lights brighten the inky blackness of The Lagoon, Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

City lights brighten the inky blackness of The Lagoon, Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Giant ceramic shards form a sculptural entrance-way to the forecourt of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa, Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

Glen Hayward, “Rita Angus used to grow her own vegetables.” Hayward’s giant ceramic shards form a sculptural entrance-way on the “four plinths” sited on the forecourt of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa, Wellington. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014. Shot with iPhone4, edited with Pixlr Express.

 

Wordless Wednesday: having fun with my 100 days project

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Today I really feel that I have no words left over. I’m thirteen days into my 100 Days Project, and it is challenging.

But he random word generator has been kind and I’ve been mostly happy with the results. I’m finding that while I originally imagined doing things “to” the words, what actually seems to happen is that my random word inspires an idea, which then plays off a photograph. It’s the marriage of words and image that excites me.

These are days 6 and 7; “leaf” and “junk.”

Here are some other bloggers’ Wordless Wednesdays that I’ve enjoyed:

http://tikulicious.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-188/

http://foodessen.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-german-baking/

http://beyondthewildgarden.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-ray-of-light/

http://hurtledto60.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-17/

http://gracethorson.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-calico-cat/

http://unclespikes.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-weekend-pad/

http://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-tv-theme-hawaii-five-o/

http://afishandabicycle.com/2014/07/22/wordless-wednesday-loch-and-sea/

http://jillianchantal.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-211/

http://dyoselin.kissedmuses.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-33/

http://duverdiary.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-alternative-feast/

http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-111/

http://loreleispixels.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/wordless-wednesday-010/