Old and new

photo 111

Old and new Auckland. Visitors to the 175th Anniversary Day celebrations. Image: Su Leslie 2014

We don’t need to look far to find the juxtaposition of old and new. Sometimes it’s pronounced and deliberate — like the shot above of twenty-first century Aucklanders merging with a scene from the city’s past.

Mostly it’s there in our day to day life — old buildings reflected in the mirror glass of new …


Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Centre reflected in the modern glass architecture of the city’s Museum. Image: Su Leslie 2016


White Hart Hotel, reflected in the contoured glass exterior of the new Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2017

… or projects to extend the life of objects through refurbishment, up-cycling and re-imagining …


Before and after: dining chair refurbisment project. Su Leslie 2019


Upcycled desk and armchair. Image: Su Leslie 2019


The “before” shot; junk-shop desk. Image: Su Leslie 2019


The “before” shot. $10 dollar armchair in need of refurbishment. Image: Su Leslie

… or new dishes from old recipes.


Rewena paraoa; or Maori bread, made from a traditional recipe. Image: Su Leslie


Published in 1980, this is a collection of recipes handed down from one generation of European settlers in NZ to the next. Included is a recipe for rewena paraoa. Image: Su Leslie

Sometimes it’s just fun to re-create an old photo. Though in this case, the boy-child didn’t look like he was having much fun.

Father and baby son sitting on Katana motorbike. Image: Su Leslie, 1999

The Big T and our boy-child, Jan 1999 on the beloved Katana. Image: Su Leslie

Father and teenage son on Katana motorcycle. Su Leslie, 2016

Before you know it! Re-creating the shot isn’t as easy when the boy-child is almost as tall as his father, and less willing to play “hands on head”. Image: Su Leslie, 2016


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | old and new


78 thoughts on “Old and new

    • Thank you Jo. I must confess, “home” is looking more like a workshop at present. I think the only rooms we don’t have stuff “temporarily relocated to” are the bathrooms — and that’s because they’re not big enough. 😂


  1. I love all of these, but of course particularly dad & boy-child….. then and now. They’re stunning! Just yesterday I found ONE photo of my son who refused to be photographed for many, many years (we all don’t like to have our pic taken). He was pulling a face because he didn’t want mum to take his photo…
    When I want to see re-cycle I look at myself – it’s called down-cycle!!! 🙂
    I took about 4 re-upholstered chairs with me from UK-CH-F-CH and I’m thinking that I MUST get rid of at least 2. None were as complicated as your arm chairs; they are wonderful.

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    • Thank you. It’s harder to get a photo of the boy now; he prefers being behind the camera.

      My mother had furniture that she took to her various homes around the world. I think she came to hate some of it in the end. I’m not sure in what will make the cut in our house when we finally move 😬

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      • My (personal) pro blem is that I have (had!) loads of beautiful stuff from my life in England, where we lived in a Victorian pile of 1880th, then in a village-house in a tiny but exquisite vintner’s village at Lake Leman (Lake Geneva) Switzerland, then moved to a stone house with wonderful features in France, built in 1920 – and now we moved to a very ordinary rental flat with no history, no features, not a thing out of the very ordinary and all my beautiful, history-laden, refreshed, upcycled and lovingly restored items went or have to go to charity shops, because they don’t belong…. Made me sad beyond reason. Will get over it, sure but it’s like killing my babies. Hero Husband brought some 400 english books to be burnt, still in France. Several dozens have already gone here to said charity organization, still more and more, clothes, dozens of beautiful pictures, large, ornate mirrors, lamps, chandeliers, drapes and curtains – it would look ridiculous AND we have not enough space…… BUT we knew that our next abode would be a modest one, I’m not getting younger and my next move (oh God, please not….) will surely be into a senior citizens’ home! For 20 years I gave a home to every single and unloved but useful chair, now I have to give them away…..

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  2. The reflections of the old buildings are incredibly beautiful. I admire your talent, Su. These upcycle projects… Amazing! And, the two photos of Big T and boy made me smile, love it.
    What a cool series! Thank you so much for joining in! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You hit the ball out of the park for this challenge, Su. I love the reflections and have to agree that you’re a talented upcycler. I’m so glad we could bring all our really important and old/well-made/special furniture along with us when we moved. Makes a new place feel more like home.


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  4. “Re-creating the shot isn’t as easy when the boy-child is almost as tall as his father, and less willing to play “hands on head”.”

    Or pop a foot on the petrol tank – that would’ve been awkward! Lovely selection for old and new, Su.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow! Great series. Love the building reflections. Clever. I love furniture through the years and ages, too. Of course the boy on motorcycle is priceless. Kudos to the Katana and it’s maintainer for hanging in there!

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  6. Wonderful juxtaposition of old and new side by side, Su! Those architecture shots are fab, and I love how you transform things with a bit of fairy dust (because that’s obviously what you do😉). The recipe books look so cool! And recreating that last shot is just such an awesome idea!

    Liked by 2 people

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