The Changing Seasons, December 2017

As usual, my photographic month was weighted towards food and flowers — with a little festivity thrown in.

Despite our family’s commitment to celebrate Christmas simply, and with gifts of time and creativity, I still got to the 25th feeling a bit crazy and harassed.

But the last week has been calmer. Auckland has emptied out as people head to beach towns for New Year celebrations. I’ve eaten well, exercised, and found time to read a couple of books that are almost due back at the library.

I began taking part in Max’s The Changing Seasons challenge almost two years ago, and have really enjoyed the way that creating monthly posts has made me look at and think about the themes and direction of my photography. But — more importantly — I love reading  others’ posts.

Max has decided to retire from hosting duties, so from January 2018, I’m going to try and fill his shoes.

Max, you’ve done a great job, and I really hope that you continue to share your changing seasons here. I particularly hope you’ll share your music.

For anyone who’s contemplating joining The Changing Seasons, please do!

You don’t have to post every month, and it really is a good chance to reflect on the passing months.

The structure is pretty straightforward and has a couple of different versions.

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

In the meantime, I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

 

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Friday flowers | regular random

Close-up, purple agapanthus buds against dark background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Close-up, purple agapanthus. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

…  five minutes with some agapanthus

I’m really enjoying that delicious lull between Christmas and early January, when the city’s commuters are granted an extra couple of hours in bed, and my early morning walks are free of the usual traffic noise and pollution. In that calm, I find myself much more aware of the world around me.

Not that the agapanthus is easy to miss.

It seems that every garden and roadside, every park and verge is home to clumps of these large, mainly purple, flowers.

Cluster of purple agapanthus flowers against dark green background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Agapanthus flowers. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

And, standing at waist-height, they are ridiculously easy to photograph — even for “she-of-the-dodgy-knee”. Easy to spend five minutes photographing in fact.

So my Friday Flowers are also a  RegularRandom offering this week.

RegularRandom is a challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Desley Jane Pictures. If you would like to join:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to not interfere with the subject, instead see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • have fun!
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to this post

 

DP Photo Challenge: 2017 favourite, take 2

Learning that less can be more. Single autumn leaf in bottom right hand corner of shot; rest of frame black. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Learning that less can be more. Autumn leaf. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Photographically, this image has meaning for me because it represents experimentation; with light (and dark), and with composition. It’s informed of course by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s “Less is More.”

Daily Post Photo Challenge | 2017 favourites

DP Photo Challenge: 2017 favourite

The last butterfly has emerged and flown away, leaving an empty shell and the Big T and I with new skills and great memories of our Monarch rescue mission. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The last cocoon. The final butterfly has emerged and flown away, leaving an empty shell and the Big T and I with new skills and great memories of our Monarch rescue mission. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

2017 has proved to be a bit of a watershed for me photographically.

I have taken more shots than ever before, spent time learning about photography and my cameras, and for the first time have actively composed shots, rather than just pressing the shutter and hoping for the best.

I have also learned that seeing the world through a camera lens brings me closer to understanding and engaging with the natural environment.

So my choice of most meaningful shot for this week’s Daily Post challenge is less about my development as a photographer than a reminder of the fragile beauty of the natural world outside my door.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | 2017 favourites