Manipulating memory: x3

Derelict farmhouse, Waitakere, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

Old but not forgotten? Derelict farmhouse, O’Neils Road, Waitakere. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

The more that I am assailed by the shiny new trash that shores up our consumerist society, the more I find real beauty in the old, the battered, the places and objects in decline.

On any road-trip, the New Zealand landscape offers up glimpses of past lives and old endeavours. Farm cottages, shearing sheds, the single-pump garage that kept people in small towns connected; so much has been abandoned as populations drift toward cities and rural communities are dismantled.

Derelict farmhouse, O'Neils Road, Waitakere, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

The structure remains, but the memories of life, love, laughter and pain have been lost to time. Derelict farmhouse, O’Neils Road, Waitakere, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

This week at Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge the focus is on editing and processing images. For me, it’s about trying to convey the beauty and sadness I find in a tiny piece of New Zealand’s past.

Fading from the mind's grasp; like a dream on waking. Derelict farmhouse, O'Neils Road, Waitakere, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables to created monochromatic faded, oil-painting effect.

Fading from the mind’s grasp; like a dream on waking. Derelict farmhouse, O’Neils Road, Waitakere, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Stackables.

The irony of this abandoned house is that the city is moving outwards, swallowing the farmland that once sustained it. Out of focus on the right of the shot there is a new housing estate filling up with people paving over the orchards and grazing land that once would have fed them.

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26 thoughts on “Manipulating memory: x3

  1. Su, what a strong set of images that each provoke different emotions and responses. Probably, my favorite is the last, because it reminds me of 19th century landscapes. Stackable is an apt that I’m using too. It has taken me a bit of experimentation. Happy Photo Challenge.

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    • Thank you Sally. I’m finding Stackables both great fun and quite frustrating in that there are sooooo many options within options. I’m definitely getting better at articulating my vision with it, but I have a long way to go.

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  2. Pingback: Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Editing and Processing (Art and Nature) | Lens and Pens by Sally

    • Thanks Leslie. Interesting that I seem to be the only one who doesn’t like that edit best. My favourite is the first; probably because the cottage is so clear against the scratched and cloudy background, and I want to remember that places like this nurtured the lives and dreams of people who built the country.

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    • Sounds like an interesting project! It’s amazing that when we start looking, there are derelict buildings all around. Hobsonville Point is interesting for all the old military installations, and driving around the Kaipara is an absolute treasure trove of dereliction — if that’s the right word. 🙂

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  3. These are wonderful Su and your words round out the story- I worked as an architectural surveyor for many years and working in the rural areas was an ongoing interest- buildings are filled with stories waiting to teased out-

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  4. Excellent editing that conveys the beauty,the sadness,the charm of the old and the faded memories in the course of time.Your thoughts and your words brought the old farm house back to life,dear Su.Your commentaries are steeped in nostalgia and have a bittersweet taste.It feels the same when we watch old b/w movies.I am glad it has escaped the “barbaric invaders” and it is still there.Probably you won’t be able to see it again in a few months or years.I think,we are so romantic,we were born in the wrong era … All three versions are wonderful,I find the last one more painterly.All the best to you my friend 🙂

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  5. Amen. I suspect that this nostalgic reflection on places and things and time is common in any age, but I wonder as well if our society’s rapid technological revolution has something to do with it as well. A desire for simpler times and all that. Beautiful photos 🙂

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    • Thanks Meghan. I think the thing I’m most nostalgic for is the egalitarian New Zealand my parents immigrated to. We were the first country in the world to grant votes to women, established compulsory, free and secular schooling for everyone, created a welfare state that genuinely looked after people, and have very low levels of inequality. Within 30 years, that has all disappeared and we are now recognised as having one of the most rapidly growing divisions between rich and poor. Land has become divorced from its natural role as provider and seen as merely another “investment” which returns the most when it is built on. We make television programmes about people building and buying multi-million dollar mansions while down the road, families are living in their cars. Sorry about the rant; this is something that I feel very strongly about.

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      • Wow I am very sad to hear that. I know that Gini coefficients are increasing virtually everywhere, but I think that it is a real tragedy considering that NZ was once such an egalitarian leader. Don’t apologize for your passion: I feel very strongly that not enough people are aware or care about such issues. I’m all for sports, but seriously people let’s give an equal damn about things that really matter!

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