The colour green

Close up shot of fern frond. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Fern frond. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Green is the colour of the month at Jude’s Life in Colour photo challenge.

It’s a colour heavily encumbered with association; denoting renewal, nature, harmony, freshness, and the environment — while at the same time being associated with money, greed and jealousy.

Seen from space, New Zealand looks like a series of small jade islands in the vast Pacific. It would be easy to fill a post with the landscapes and flora familiar to me, but instead I’ve sought green in other realms of life.

Food for example (unexpected I know!)

Eat your greens. Image: Su Leslie

Feijoas. Image: Su Leslie

Making tarragon vinegar. Image: Su Leslie

Mint slice al fresco. Image: Su Leslie

And of course art …

Glass chandelier. Image: Su Leslie

Art class. Image: Su Leslie

Light sculpture. Image: Su Leslie

Taking it outside. Fence at artist’s studio. Image: Su Leslie

And life’s small treasures

Vintage water glasses. Image: Su Leslie

A kiwi classic, Fun Ho! toy truck. Image: Su Leslie

The intersection of art and nature. Image: Su Leslie

Morning walk. Image: Su Leslie

If you’d like to join in, pop over to Travel Words and read Jude’s introduction.

Special moments

Two photographers doing what we love. Image: Su Leslie 2018

The history of photography was, until the digital age, entirely the history of special moments. Early photography was both expensive and extremely time consuming. Cameras — large, often bespoke contraptions that worked by exposing chemical-coated plates to light over relatively long periods of time — were the preserve of a few wealthy enthusiasts.

Even after new technologies made cameras accessible to the mass market (thanks Kodak), the cost of buying and developing film meant that many (most) people still saved photography for recording the events and moments of most importance to them. Five selfies with that cheeseburger — no way!

Now that most phones have (perfectly decent) digital cameras and are internet-connected, the way we think about — and use — photography has utterly changed. One of the most intelligent writers about photography (in my opinion) was the late John Berger. Writing in 1972, he said:

Photographs bear witness to a human choice being exercised in a given situation. A photograph is a result of the photographer’s decision that it is worth recording that this particular event or this particular object has been seen. If everything that existed were continually being photographed, every photograph would become meaningless.

John Berger

Recording the experience of art; a project I consider worthwhile. Image: Su Leslie

With the ubiquity of photography in our lives, how do we choose special moments? Not just those we capture — but those we share with the increasingly wide audience available through social media. How different bloggers respond to that question, posed in this week’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge, is fascinating in itself.

My lens for this project is creativity. My special moments are those in which creative activities are being practiced, or their products enjoyed.

Exploring creativity with a compassionate and talented teacher. Image: Su Leslie

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

Sophia Loren

Image: Su Leslie

Image: Su Leslie

Image: Su Leslie

Exploring the boundaries of art. Image: Su Leslie

” … I feel that what we should get from art is a sense of wonder, of something beyond ourselves, that celebrates our ‘being’ here.” — Trevor Bell. Images: Su Leslie

Before and after. Recording process matters. Images: Su Leslie

Lens Artists Photo Challenge | Special Moments

What served in the place of the photograph, before the camera’s invention? The expected answer is the engraving, the drawing, the painting. The more revealing answer might be: memory.

John Berger

The letter S

Sunset, Christmas Beach, Herald Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie

Many (many) years ago, I used to watch the TV programme Sesame Street with my baby brother. At the end of each show, the “sponsor” announcement went something like “today’s show has been brought to you by the letters … (take your pick) and the number … (usually a small one)”.

This week’s Lens-Artists challenge, which asks for subjects beginning with the letter S, reminds me of that (and how convenient that the show was called Sesame Street).

So of course we have a sunset.

And how about some sea, sand and sky?

Kakanui Beach, Otago, NZ. Image: Su Leslie

Or sunflowers.

Image: Su Leslie

Perhaps something sweet …

Image: Su Leslie

Or do you prefer savory?

Image: Su Leslie

I like to sew …

Image: Su Leslie

But I’ll leave singing to others.

Image: Su Leslie

Amongst the visual arts, I’m particularly fond of sculpture.

Sometimes serious …

‘Gretchen’ Sam Harrison, 2014. Exhibited at NZ Sculpture OnShore, Devonport, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie

Sometimes a little bit silly?

‘Damien Hurst Looking for Sharks’ Cool Shit, 2018. Exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea Bondi, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie

Just like Smurfs on a road trip …

Image: Su Leslie

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge subjects beginning with the letter S

The Changing Seasons, January 2021

Image: Su Leslie 2021

January was a quiet month for me. An introspective month.

A largely stay-home time of tidying and organising and making.

Sewing days, and some new shopping bags. Image: Su Leslie 2021

… and the scraps from experimentation. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Alcohol ink experiments. Saving the “good bits”. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Alcohol ink experiments. Some pieces just work. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Alcohol ink experiments. Some pieces just work. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Scottish oatcakes; feeling pleased with my first attempt. Image: Su Leslie 2021

When I did venture out, my Covid-tracking app tells me that I travelled a narrow circuit between supermarket, DIY shop and library. Maybe that explains why there are so few photos this month?

But the last weekend in January marks Auckland’s Anniversary, so the Big T and I laid down tools and, on the last day of the month, went to the beach.

Port Waikato is a small settlement of mainly holiday homes at the mouth of the Waikato River. Even on a busy holiday weekend, it felt peaceful and uncrowded.

Estuary at Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Estuary at Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Fishermen, estuary at Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Slightly more exciting place to fish. Sunset Beach, Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Sunset, Beach, Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Sunset, Beach, Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Sunset, Beach, Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Sunset, Beach, Port Waikato. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Far from the madding crowd. Countryside inland of Port Waikato, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

Far from the madding crowd. Countryside inland of Port Waikato, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2021

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly project where bloggers around the world share their thoughts and feelings about the month just gone. We all approach this slightly differently — though generally with an emphasis on the photos we’ve taken during the month.

For many of us, looking back over these photos provides the structure and narrative of our post, so each month is different.

Others focus on documenting the changes in a particular project — such as a garden, an art or craft project, or a photographic diary of a familiar landscape.

But in the end, it is your changing season, and you should approach it however works for you.

There are no fixed rules around post length or photo number — just a request that you respect your readers’ time and engagement. (1)

Tags and ping-backs

Tag your photos with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

Create a ping-back to this post, so that I can update it with links to all of yours.

Update

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Marilyn at Serendipity, Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Natalie at Little Pieces of Me

Ladyleemanila

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Sarah from Art Expedition

Natalie the Explorer

Suzanne from Life at No. 22

Ju-Lyn from All Things Bright and Beautiful

Brian at Bushboy’s World

The colour brown

Crunchy Anzac biscuits and a cup of tea. Image: Su Leslie

Brown is not a colour I think of much when I’m taking photos, unless it’s autumn and I’m obsessing about falling leaves.

Image: Su Leslie

But it’s the colour of the month at Jude’s Life in Colour photo challenge. And when I looked in my photo archive, I found more than I’d expected.

There was food (naturally).

Image: Su Leslie

Image: Su Leslie

Image: Su Leslie

And art.

Stay, by Antony Gormley. One of two sculptures created for the city of Christchurch, NZ, post-2011 earthquake. Image: Su Leslie

Bernar Venet, '88.5° ARC x 8'. Seen at Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park, Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

88.5° ARC x 8, Bernar Venet, Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park, Kaipara, NZ. Image: Su Leslie

(Detail) Tip, John Radford, Western Park, Ponsonby, NZ. Image: Su Leslie

Informal Still Life. Seen at Bushey Park, Whanganui. Image: Su Leslie

And small treasures in the natural world.

Cicada shell. Image: Su Leslie

Driftwood, Castlecliff beach, Whanganui, NZ. Image: Su Leslie

Image: Su Leslie

If you’d like to join in (even belatedly like me), pop over to Travel Words and read Jude’s introduction.