Background patterns


Alpine flora. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Jude at Travel Words has embarked on a year-long project to improve her photography through a series of personal challenges (#2020PhotoChallenge) and she’s invited us to join her. You can find out more here.

I think it’s a great project, and when I found myself critiquing images for this week’s challenge, I realised it’s definitely time I took part and offered some of my images for critique.


Agapanthus, and more agapanthus. Using depth of field to create patterns. Image: Su Leslie 2019

The challenge is ‘to photograph a subject using a background which is a pattern without distracting from the subject’ — and Jude acknowledges that it’s a difficult one.

The issue of distraction is central I think. Too much overwhelms the subject, too little runs the risk of not being seen as a pattern at all. And then there’s the question of what the pattern is formed by — and does it make sense in terms of the subject?

I think some of the most effective photos I’ve seen that incorporate patterns into the background are urban scenes –think brick walls, multi-stories with endless glass, graffitti. Trawling my archives failed to turn up anything even remotely appropriate.

So my background patterns are made of light — bokeh if you like. Do they work? Do they fit the brief? I’m not really sure.

sparrows in western park20

Making patterns with light; bokeh is my friend (I think). Image: Su Leslie 2019

And what about this one? Too tongue-in-cheek?


A necessary pattern. Image; Su Leslie.

Do visit Jude’s challenge posts, and those of other bloggers who are taking part. We learn so much from each other’s comments.

Signs of autumn


The oppressive overnight heat and humidity of the last few months seems to have gone, and I’m sleeping so much better.

The mornings are deliciously cool and perfect for walking. It is windy today though, so most of the shots I took are very blurry.


But the signs of autumn are obvious. And I couldn’t be happier.